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Monk Season 6
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"Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank" is the 12th episode of the 6th season of Monk.

Plot summaryEdit

Monk goes undercover as a security guard at his bank after a safety deposit box with Trudy's bracelet is stolen.

Plot Edit

Late at night, two police officers are outside a suburban West Bay Trust bank, writing a parking ticket for an illegally parked Ford Escape SUV that has been parked in the 15 minute parking space. The one writing the ticket comments that the city just made an easy $85, and mentions that the bank had just been robbed the day before. As they write the ticket, the first cop notices that his pen is out of ink. Though his partner offers a pen, the cops decide to leave, remarking that it must be the SUV driver's lucky night. As the two cops drive off, they have no idea that Adrian Monk, Natalie Teeger, Captain Stottlemeyer, and Lieutenant Disher are trapped inside the bank's vault.

Two days earlierEdit

Monk and Natalie are preparing breakfast at Monk's apartment - or rather, they are trying to, as Natalie complains about how his old toaster is burning their bread up, and begs her boss to loosen his purse strings and buy a new one. But Monk cannot do so, as he's owned said toaster for 27 years. There is an interruption when they see a news broadcast on the TV reporting a bank robbery at a suburban branch of the West Bay Trust. The reporter notes that earlier, a masked gunman barged into the bank, shot a teller in the shoulder, and forced the others to empty the safety deposit boxes. Monk immediately drops what he's doing, realizing that it's his bank that has been hit. He and Natalie hurriedly dash out of the apartment.

Down at the bank, the wounded teller, Jasmine, is being removed by paramedics. As they are wheeling her out, Stottlemeyer arrives and informs the other employees that he will need to take an eyewitness statement from each of them individually. He sets up in the bank manager's office to interview each employee.

Stottlemeyer interviews the five employees in the following order: bank manager Peter Crawley, Madge, Leon Harrison, Tiffany Preston, and Gloria Morales. All of them corroborate the same story: at 9:05 AM, a heavily-accented Russian wearing a green hooded sweatshirt barged his way in with a pistol, and took Crawley hostage. He made Crawley empty all the money in the drawers into a giant cloth bag, and used a drill to break into the safety deposit boxes. At one point, Jasmine tried to reach for the silent alarm, but the robber spotted her and shot her, the bullet hitting her in the left arm. He then fled out the back door.

Outside, Randy is collecting statements from people in the area who might have seen something. He tries talking to a hot dog stand vendor but learns that he arrived after the robbery, and then Randy notices a silver living statue performer standing on the opposite side of the parking lot from the bank, and realizes that he might have had a very clear view of what happened.

Randy approaches this performer, and tries to get the performer to talk, but none of the antics he attempts - startling him, yelling gibberish in his face, flashing a badge, and even putting money in his collection box - are able to get the performer to unfreeze. Randy is relieved when the performer's watch goes off and signals his break. He is not very happy with Randy yelling in his face trying to get him to react, but admits that he did see the Russian loitering in the parking lot just before the robbery. He is just about to reach the part where he saw something after the alarm went off when his watch goes off indicating that his break is over, and he gets back into his pose as Randy makes futile attempts to get him to finish his statement.

Monk and Natalie arrive at the bank and when they check the vault, they confirm Monk's worst fear: a bracelet belonging to Trudy was stolen from Monk's safety deposit box. Monk vows to track it down.

After reviewing the crime scene and surveillance footage, Monk makes an important discovery: the gunman had an inside accomplice at the bank. Monk knows that bank lobby like the back of his hand, and mentions to Stottlemeyer that on the day of the robbery, someone moved a potted tree to block the security cameras, disabled the alarm wired to the bank's back entrance, and unlocked a security gate at the end of the alley behind the bank.

In the hallway, meanwhile, Randy practices to become a living statue and compete with the performer he met at the bank, though Stottlemeyer disapproves of this. Natalie spots him doing so and she tries antics similar to the ones that we saw Randy try on the performer in an attempt to get Randy to react: including tickling him, jumping on him as if to tackle him, and finally sticking pencils up his nose.

Determined to track down the inside man, Monk gets approval from Stottlemeyer to take a job as the bank's security guard so he can keep an eye on the staff.

The next day, Monk takes up the security guard post and quickly begins analyzing the employees. Around midday, Natalie drops by. She's overly impressed by Monk's uniform and makes some guesses, but Monk explains that the inside man had to be strong enough to move the plant, tall enough to reach the circuit breaker for the alarm, behind a cabinet, and senior enough to have the key to the gate. A few of the employees may meet at least one of the criteria, but they fail to meet other criteria: for example, Madge and Gloria cannot move the potted tree. Harrison could move the tree, but he's too short to reach the circuit breaker for the alarm, and Tiffany could reach to disable said breaker, but she doesn't have the seniority to have the back gate key.

Only Peter Crawley fits all of the criteria. As Crawley comes back from a three-hour lunch break, Monk notices some details that indicate that Crawley has brought a brand-new Jaguar convertible that he doesn't want anyone else to see: his neck is sunburned, plus he also has a ticket for a space at a parking garage, which seems odd given that he has a private space in the bank's parking lot. And Monk has also noticed that Crawley can't stop playing with a small toy model of a Jaguar convertible on his desk.

Sure enough, when Monk and Natalie stake out Crawley's house a few hours later, they see a brand-new life-sized version parked on his driveway. It seems that all they have to do is wait for Crawley to come out, but Natalie notices something dripping from underneath the car, and mistakes it for oil, but on closer look, find it to be blood. They pop the trunk and find Crawley's dead body inside, shot twice in the head (we never see the body, though based on Natalie's reaction, the interior of the trunk is probably a very bloody mess).

Stottlemeyer notes to Monk and Natalie that Crawley was shot twice in the head with what appears to be the same .22 caliber pistol used at the bank. A search of Crawley's house and body doesn't turn up Trudy's bracelet, but a pawn ticket in Crawley's pocket leads Monk and Natalie to a local pawnshop in the suburb of Brisbane, where Crawley pawned something three hours after the robbery. Again, the bracelet is nowhere to be found, but the pawnbroker does mention something that piques Monk's interest: apparently when Crawley pawned the items, he mentioned still having another "half a box" full of jewelry back at his place.

Following this lead, Monk and Natalie return to the bank after business hours, where Stottlemeyer and Disher are waiting. Madge, who is still there, lets them in, and Monk explains what he's figured out: the money and stolen goods never left the bank. They're still sitting in a safety deposit box in the vault – the one box that the Russian allegedly didn't open. They find that the unopened box belongs to a "J.A. Guar". Madge agrees to open the box to check, and goes to get the key, leaving the others waiting in the vault.

While Madge is gone, Monk notices something in the otherwise empty wastebasket: six toothpicks, one shorter than the others. With that, Monk solves the case, and yells that they need to get out, immediately. Unfortunately, Madge has seen him on a surveillance camera, and she rushes to the back and shuts the door, trapping Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher inside.

Here's What HappenedEdit

We are now back at the scene that we saw prior to the opening credits. The officer writing up the parking ticket for Natalie's car gives up when he finds that his pen is out of ink, so he and his partner decide to go grab a bite to eat and drive off, unaware that the car's occupant is locked inside the bank vault. After Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher wear themselves out shouting for help, Monk lies down in a corner, preparing to suffocate to death. Natalie tells him not to panic, that they only need to last through the night, until the rest of the staff open the vault for business the next morning. Mournfully, Monk says that won't happen: it wasn't just Crawley and Madge who was in on the job, but everyone on the staff.

There was no "Russian" - all six members of the staff decided to conspire to rob themselves, with Madge playing the Russian and the rest of them playing innocent victims. (the flashback also makes clear that, in a way, Natalie was correct: the staff actually worked together in small teams to move the tree, disable the alarm, and open the back gate). After moving the money and the valuables to the single safe box, Madge left through the back door, and then discarded her costume and returned to work as normal.

The toothpicks are the proof that it was a conspiracy: the six decided that in order to sell their story to the police, one of them needed to get shot, though not seriously enough to kill or cripple them. Jasmine ultimately volunteered for this part as she had drawn the short straw. When Natalie asks why Crawley was killed, Stottlemeyer reasons that the thieves must have made a pact not to spend any of the money until they could divide it and the heat had died down, but Crawley couldn't resist the lure of his new Jaguar.

Outside the vault, the staff have left the vault sealed, pretending that an electronic failure has occurred, and turning away all customers who want to access their safe boxes. To hasten the process, Harrison shuts off the air circulation system.

Inside, Stottlemeyer breaks open the safe box and finds the money and jewelry. Small comfort though it is, he finds Trudy's bracelet and hands it over to Monk.

Since they can't depend on help coming from outside before they suffocate, Stottlemeyer decides their best bet is to break into a wall panel, in which he hopes there is a telephone line. But all their attempts to break the padlock guarding the panel (including shooting it) fail, until Stottlemeyer pleads with Monk to let him use the bracelet. Monk gives it up, and Stottlemeyer uses the diamonds to saw through the steel lock (though not without some damage to the bracelet). Inside the panel, there is no telephone, but the next best thing: the control panel for the electronic ad board above the front doors on the outside. When nothing happens, Randy suddenly realizes that there is at least one witness in front of the bank at all times who will see the message: the Tin Man street performer from before. So he sends a very personalized message to him ("WE R DYING CALL 911 U SILVER BASTARD"). Sure enough, when the performer's watch beeps to signal his next stretch break, he grabs his cell phone, and calls 911.

A few days later, the crooked staff have been arrested, and the bank's new manager extends his special thanks to Monk. Natalie seizes the opportunity to ask for a new toaster, which the bank is giving away as a promotion. Outside the bank, we see the original Living Statue at his pedestal, next to his new competitor: Randy. They are arguing with each other through clenched jaws and accusing each other of having poor form. A passing woman drops some money into Randy's collection box, and the original Living Statue expresses his profound hatred of Randy.

QuotesEdit

[Disher is practicing his "Living Statue" act.]
Natalie: Randy...? What are you doing?
(no answer)
Natalie: (laughing) Hello? Are you all right?
(She walks in a circle around him, he doesn't move.)
Natalie: Oh, my gosh... tickle, tickle, tickle! (no response) All right...
(She starts to walk away, then turns back and jumps off the floor and onto Randy's shoulder. He still doesn't move.)
Natalie: I'm gonna take these two pencils, and I'm gonna stick them up your nose. (does) Pencil number one... (does) Pencil number two.
(still no response)
Natalie: Our tax dollars at work.


Monk: I'm gonna die here.
Natalie: No, you are not!
Monk: You're right. (gets up and moves to another corner) I'm gonna die over here. I call this spot. You can all die over there.

Stottlemeyer: That's it. Monk is no longer the morale officer.



[Disher is interviewing the "Living Statue".]

Disher: Excuse me. Lieutenant Disher, SFPD. You've got a pretty good view of the bank from here. We're investigating a robbery that took place earlier this morning. (Pause. No response.) Sir? (Pause. Still no response.) Sir, this is official police business. It will just take a minute. (Pause) (Disher takes out his badge and flashes it) If you're not too busy. (Pause. Still no response.) Ok, I know you can hear me. Look, I just saw you blink. You blinked. (Randy tries to startle the "Living Statue") (Pause. No reaction.) Oh. I get it. (Pause. Disher puts money in the bucket, after waving the cash in front of the "Living Statue") Normally, we don't pay for information! So, what time did arrive at the park this morning, sir? (Pause. Still no response.) Ok. You know what, pal? I can get a crane here in 20 minutes, lift you up and drag you downtown.

[The "Living Statue"'s alarm on his watch beeps, indicating his break.]

Living Statue: It's my break, man.

Disher: Well, thank you. That's more like it.

Living Statue: (Groans) This is my job. I mean, how would you like it if I came to your office and (Screams) in your face, huh? (He yells in anger again.) Was I here? Yes, I was here. I've been here all day. I'm here every morning. Even Sundays.

Disher: Good. Did you see anything unusual at around 9:00?

Living Statue: Yeah. I, I saw a guy. About 5' 10", green hoodie. He was hanging out, pacin' around. Looked kinda nervous, and then, he went inside.

Disher: Good. Did you see his face?

Living Statue: He had his hood up. Sorry.

Disher: Okay. Hood up. And then what happened?

Living Statue: Oh, about 10 minutes later, the alarm went off. And I saw... [The "Living Statue"'s watch alarm beeps again] (The Living Statue gets back to work.)

Disher: What? Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you doing? (Pause. No response from "Living Statue") (Disher laughs for a second.) No, no, no, no. No, no, no. Don't. Don't do that. (Pause) Hey, we're not done here. What did you see?


GoofsEdit

  • The bank's interior and exterior do not match up.
  • It would ruin the plot, but bank vaults generally have some method of escape inside them if someone gets trapped inside. This could include a key to unlock the door from the inside, a telephone, a panic alarm, or some combination thereof.
  • It also would have ruined the plot, but a bank robbery in San Francisco would not be investigated by the SFPD, but by the FBI because banks are federally insured. However, the SFPD might be an active participant in the investigation as the first law enforcement agency to show up on the scene.
  • Security cameras could have taped the employees moving the tree, Madge while coming outside and other suspicious acts of employees before the robbery. However, they just as well could have erased any incriminating footage.
  • You can't cut a steel lock with a diamond bracelet. So don't try it.
  • No need for guns or diamonds...the eight hours is plenty of time for you to find the 4-digit combination of the steel padlock by trial and error.

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