"Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist" is the 15th episode of the fourth season of the television series Monk.
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On a rainy night, a Marshall armored car makes its way down a deserted street, running ahead of schedule. The guard riding shotgun is engaged and he is talking about meeting the wedding planner the next day as they pull to a stop at a red light behind a semi truck.
Suddenly, men emerge out from the sides of the semi, open the back doors, then train rifles and shotguns at the guards. The semi's hydraulic lift activates, lowering the container to the ground. Moments later, a stolen garbage truck rear ends the armored car, and shoves it into the back of the semi's container. The drivers frantically try to radio for help, but the robbers have jammed their signals. The armed men lock the back doors behind them. The light turns green, and the semi truck and garbage drive off, carrying the armored car with them.
Three days later, the armored car is found abandoned in an empty warehouse, both guards shot dead. Lieutenant Disher notes to Captain Stottlemeyer that the guards put up a fight against the robbers and might have injured one of them. Stottlemeyer agrees, and requests that they check hospitals for recently admitted patients with gunshot or knife wounds. He notes that the robbers left most of the loose cash behind. Randy is interrupted by an excruciating toothache, which he tries to deny having. However, Stottlemeyer, upon noticing that Randy is starting to cry, realizes that he is trying to skip the dentist to prevent using up his sick days so he may use them for his own benefits. Annoyed, Stottlemeyer orders Randy to get an appointment and Randy reluctantly agrees, and Stottlemeyer stalks off to talk to Adrian Monk. Natalie notices Randy standing by the armored car and initially thinks that he's thinking about the fact that one of the dead drivers was engaged, but he admits to having a toothache.
Monk notices several interesting details about the scene that seem to suggest that the armored car might have been hijacked and carried to where it is now located - the back bumper has been severely damaged (from when the garbage truck first rammed the vehicle while shoving it into the semi), the side mirrors have been pushed in, and there are tire tracks from an eighteen-wheeler on the floor. Asked as to how the drivers were forced out of the cab, Monk extracts a small piece of plastic tubing caught in the rear fender, and realizes that it fits a small hole drilled into the Plexiglas in the rear window, indicating that the guards were gassed out.
That night, Randy visits the office of Dr. Oliver Bloom and his assistant Terri. As they set Randy down in the chair, Dr. Bloom correctly guesses Randy's rank, and confides that he is on most cops' dental plans. He also admits that he keeps his office open on certain days of the week in the event of emergencies, and informs Randy that his number 3 molar has become infected. When it becomes clear that Randy is very sensitive, Dr. Bloom has to put him under anesthesia to remove the bad tooth.
While sedated, Randy has moments of semi-consciousness, seen from Randy's point of view. During one glimpse, the door to the room flies open, startling Dr. Bloom and Terri. A mysterious bald-headed man storms in, and angrily demands to know what Dr. Bloom and Terri have done to Barry Bonds, pointing out that he's worth $13 million. Terri insists that they don't know any "Barry Bonds," but when the intruder refuses to stand down, Dr. Bloom and Terri attack him. We only see parts of the fight as they try to subdue the intruder, and as Randy fades back into unconsciousness, Terri strikes the mystery man several times over the back with a foreign object, killing him. When Randy does finally come around, he notices that Dr. Bloom and Terri are unharmed, and there is no sign of any fight or intruder whatsoever. Randy tries to ask questions to Dr. Bloom, who claims that there was a fight - between him and Randy's molar, which apparently was very difficult to remove. He writes Randy a prescription for a pain medication and Terri hands him a sticker.
The next day, at the police station, a task force has been assembled to investigate the armored car heist. One detective informs Stottlemeyer that no semi trucks have been reported stolen. Another detective, Patterson, hands Stottlemeyer an updated copy of the armored car's manifest, and notes that the robbers only took about $10 million in negotiable bank certificates. The police begin to scour the country to see if there are any fences that could handle such a large haul. Randy comes in, refreshed and better, and Stottlemeyer starts giving him tasks on the robbery, but Randy interrupts him and informs him about the murder he believes Dr. Bloom committed. Stottlemeyer and Patterson try dismissing it as an effect of the anesthetics (Stottlemeyer notes that he thought his mustache was a chipmunk while under anesthesia, while Patterson admits that he thought he was the Green Lantern), but Randy insists that it was real, and even gives a profile of the victim - male, bald head, about 190 pounds. He also mentions that he was under anesthesia for two hours, not 30 minutes as Dr. Bloom said it would take. Stottlemeyer advises Randy to take the day off, and asks him to deliver a copy of the armored car case file to Monk's apartment.
Randy stops by Monk's apartment, and offers to hire him for free to look into his case. Monk is unwilling to investigate this extra murder, because he has odontophobia (fear of dentists), but with some pressuring from Natalie, he reluctantly accepts. The three return to the office, but because of his pathological fear, Monk is unable to stand up from his chair. Randy uses the pretense of looking for his cell phone to get Terri to allow him and Natalie into the room where he had his appointment. They look around, and find no evidence of a murder, not even traces of blood or anything to suggest a fight, but then Randy notices that Dr. Bloom recently ordered some equipment, indicating that some components were damaged recently. As Randy and Natalie try to pry to Monk out of his chair, Dr. Bloom comes by and notices them. He happens to accidentally read some of the pages from the file on the armored car heist when they drop it. Randy also tries mentioning Barry Bonds to see how Dr. Bloom reacts to see if that hints that there was a murder.
Unfortunately, before they can get a further look around, they get called to a crime scene in the woods, where a dead body has been discovered by fishermen, stripped naked. Monk looks around, wondering why they have been brought down. Stottlemeyer notes that they found some Plexiglas in the dead man's pants cuff, indicating that during the robbery, he had gassed the guards out of the truck. They turn the body over, and Randy immediately recognizes the victim as the man that Dr. Bloom killed. Randy continues to persist about his story. After becoming frustrated with being laughed at by Stottlemeyer and the other officers, he quits in anger, turning his badge and handcuffs over.
Later, at the police station, Patterson informs Stottlemeyer that they have identified the body as that of Denny Jardeen, an ex-cop from the Mission District, charged multiple times with excessive force and conduct unbecoming, before he took an early retirement a few years ago. Monk is now flossing and gargling to the point of annoying Stottlemeyer, who tells him to cut it out. Stottlemeyer hands Natalie a file, which he claims is nothing, but Natalie points out that he's doing a background check on Dr. Bloom.
Later, Stottlemeyer later talks to Randy, who has brought his old high school rock band, the Randy Disher Project, back together and is rehearsing with them. The band plays their new song "I Don't Need a Badge", which lashes out at Stottlemeyer's dismissive attitude towards his lieutenant position. Stottlemeyer notes that Dr. Bloom is 100% clean, with no previous arrests of any kind, and mentions that they have found that Jardeen had a cousin who has served time in prison and now works with a trucking company. Randy refuses to rejoin the force, and Stottlemeyer leaves.
At Dr. Bloom's office, Dr. Bloom and Terri wonder how close the police are to catching them, and decide to torture Monk for information. Dr. Bloom instructs Terri to put some chloroform into a handkerchief, and make sure he inhales it. Terri is skeptical, wondering if they need more chloroform than what Dr. Bloom wants her to administer.
Stottlemeyer and Patterson interrogate Denny Jardeen's cousin Neal Graham, whose fingerprints have been found all over the warehouse and armored car. Neal admits that he didn't kill the guards, saying that Jardeen went ballistic and shot them when they fought back, and he has stored the money in a tool shed at his house. But Stottlemeyer mentions that not only is Jardeen dead, but they also have searched the toolshed, and someone has stolen the money. At Monk's house, Terri shows up with a chloroform soaked rag. She knocks Monk out with the chemical, and kidnaps him to Bloom's office.
Natalie goes to the police station where Stottlemeyer, distraught at the situation he has caused with Randy, is working late. Stottlemeyer does not know where Monk is. Monk, across town, awakens strapped into Dr. Bloom's chair. When he notices that the giant tooth in the corner of the room matches the pattern of the bruises found on Jardeen's body, he solves the case.
Here's What HappenedEdit
During the hijacking, the two guards put up a fight with their attackers. During the fight, the driver managed to punch Denny Jardeen in the face before Jardeen shot him with a pistol. The hit must have knocked one of Jardeen's teeth loose. As an ex-cop, Jardeen went to Dr. Bloom, his own dentist, to get his tooth fixed. While he was anesthetized, Jardeen divulged details on the armored car heist and even where he was hiding the bonds - after all, Monk remembers Dr. Bloom mentioning that a lot of his patients sleep-talk during their operations.
To Dr. Bloom and Terri, this information was the equivalent of hitting the jackpot. Instead of reporting Jardeen or the location of the money to the police, they went to Jardeen's house, and took the money for themselves. They figured that they were safe and thought that Jardeen would never remember disclosing the location to them. However, they were later proven wrong: Jardeen either remembered saying this, or he figured it out when the money went missing. A few nights later, Jardeen broke into the office while Dr. Bloom and Terri were working on Randy in order to confront them about the bonds. Dr. Bloom and Terri tried to deny it, but when he became insistent, they attacked him. At some point during the fight, Jardeen pinned Dr. Bloom down to the floor, and Terri brought down the tooth on top of him, fatally bruising him around the chest, and then they disposed of the body.
Unfortunately, Monk is still strapped down to the chair and can't do much with his theory. Dr. Bloom shows up, intending to torture Monk until he reveals information about the police's knowledge about the missing bonds. They would like to currently sell these bonds to a buyer in Chicago whom they are afraid of approaching because they don't know if the police have him under surveillance. They start torturing him in a scene that is very much a copy of a scene in the movie Marathon Man (and Dr. Bloom even compares the torture to such).
Meanwhile, at their hangout, Randy's group is having a hard time trying to figure out what the name of their band should be. One of them decides to open a newspaper and name their band based on the first word his finger lands on, and the word happens to be "Baghdad" since he opens a newspaper to a page with an article about the War in Iraq. Randy suddenly realizes something, and takes a look at the newspaper, in which there is an article about the armored car heist, which mentions that $13 million in bearer bonds were stolen. He remembers that when Dr. Bloom and Jardeen were arguing right before the attack, Jardeen said that "Barry Bonds" was worth "$13 million". Randy realizes that Jardeen was actually under the impression that Dr. Bloom had stolen the bearer bonds acquired in the robbery. He calls Natalie and Stottlemeyer and asks them to meet him at Dr. Bloom's office.
By convincing Dr. Bloom to wash his hands, Monk is able to stall him until Stottlemeyer, Disher and Natalie show up to arrest them.
His band once again dissolved, Randy rejoins the force, and Monk concludes that his "super-mega-phobia of dentists" is one that is very well-founded. After they watch a music video on "I Don't Need a Badge," Randy admits that the band also broke up because they couldn't agree on anything. It soon becomes clear that one of Monk's teeth might have come loose when Dr. Bloom was torturing him, as he is complaining about a loose tooth. Now he has a different reason to fear dentists.
References to other worksEdit
Bloom's line of questioning to Monk - asking whether the buyer for their bonds is under surveillance - is a direct tribute to the film Marathon Man, when Nazi war criminal Szell (Laurence Olivier) asks Babe (Dustin Hoffman) whether it is "safe" for Szell to go to the bank to retrieve a cache of diamonds from a safe deposit box, or whether the bank is under surveillance, and tortures Babe by drilling holes into the nerve endings of his teeth. Both Bloom and Terri even directly note this by asking Monk if he's ever seen the film, and then telling him that he'll be "living it" when he begs to watch the film due to not having seen it.
Notes & GoofsEdit
- Given that Denny Jardeen is mentioned to be a recently retired ex-cop (having only retired five years before the armored car robbery), it seems unusual that none of the cops or detectives on the scene identified the body right away when he was discovered. Someone like Stottlemeyer or one of the veteran officers would have been the likely ones to do this.The only person who even identifies him is Randy, identifying him as the man Dr. Bloom killed at the dentist's office.
- In the end, when Randy asks for Stottlemeyer's cuffs, he immediately cuffs the smaller Terri. However, it would be more logical if you have only one pair of handcuffs to put them on Dr. Bloom, as he is much bigger and stronger.
- Stottlemeyer's deduction of the reason behind Randy Disher's reluctance to go to the dentist for an obvious toothache is proven to be sound in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert", when he catches Randy faking an illness to attend the San Francisco Band Jam.
- Photographic analysis shows that the warehouse where the armored car turns up is the same building that represents Lester Highsmith's workplace in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine".