Monk Season 5
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Season 4 Season 6

"Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital" is the sixteenth and final episode of season 5 of Monk.


It's late at night at St. Mark's Hospital, and everything is quiet. Nurses are at their stations, a janitor cleans, and patients sleep. We follow an old man who is shuffling down a hall on the sixth floor, lugging an oxygen tank behind him. He shuffles his way to the elevator, and rides the elevator down to the fifth floor. He gets off, then goes to the office of neurotrauma surgeon Dr. Graydon Whitcomb. Before entering the office, we see the man slip on a pair of latex gloves. He then shuffles into the office, where Dr. Whitcomb is working late. He turns his head at the arrival of the patient. With an amazing burst of strength and speed, the old man suddenly drops any pretense of disability, lifts his oxygen tank and viciously uses it to beat the luckless doctor to death. Then he shuffles his way out and returns to his room as quietly and inconspicuously as he left.

The next morning, Monk shows up at the hospital with his own medical emergency - a bloody nose from an ironing board. He's forced to wait hours for treatment as the nurse at the reception desk doesn't consider his nosebleed as an emergency and becomes exasperated with him. Natalie then abandons him to go on a date with a man that she has had to cancel on several times because of Monk. Monk eventually gets treatment but is very paranoid since a woman who sat next to him in the waiting room told him that her stepson had a nosebleed which tured out to be cerebral hemorrhage and he died a week later. The doctor tries cauterization but it doesn't work, so Monk goes to see her superior while trying to keep his head back to staunch the blood flow. His seemingly incurable nosebleed leads him to seek out Dr. Whitcomb, the hospital's chief of neurotrama. Entering Dr. Whitcomb's office, Monk bumps into a coffee table, and then discovers Dr. Whitcomb's dead body.

Stottlemeyer and Disher soon arrive to join Monk at the crime scene. Monk has accidentally left some of his own blood behind on the coffee table, which the CSI tech quickly notices. Randy also inadvertently bangs his shin on the coffee table when entering the office. Stottlemeyer gets Monk to focus on the case. While still trying to stifle the bleeding, Monk notices a few clues: first off, the killer apparently emptied several pill bottles, but he didn't take the bottles themselves, indicating that he wanted them to think this was the work of a junkie (as the hospital administrator on the scene notes that there is a drug rehab center that gets a lot of junkies and drug addicts, leading to some major security problems). Furthermore, the killer stepped into some spilled dirt on the floor, leaving behind a footprint. Monk notices that the footprint is rounded and smooth, meaning the killer was wearing slippers. Stottlemeyer takes this as a clue that the killer entered the room disguised as a patient. There is also some talcum powder on the floor and on the journals near the body. They also find part of a plastic tag, which the hospital administrator recognizes as part of the seal from an oxygen tank. The piece of tag left behind has the room number - 623 - written on it.

Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher head upstairs to room 623 in the geriatric ward, where elderly patients are housed. The room is occupied by 82 year old Hank Johansen, an elderly, bed-ridden ex-Korean War veteran. Johansen is a bit agitated at their appearance, and even takes to calling Monk "soft-serve". He doesn't look likely to be their suspect, even though his oxygen is positively identified as the murder weapon. Monk notices two clues: for one, it looks like someone else may have been using the oxygen tank as the straps on the breathing mask appear to have been readjusted to fit someone other than Johansen. Also, why did the killer return the murder weapon to the room he acquired it from? Monk also observes a water stain on the ceiling.

The cardiogram for Johansen also checks out and shows that at 2:00 AM, when the murder happened, he was in bed hooked up to his heart monitor. Then nurse tells Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher to talk to Hank's primary physician, Dr. Davis Scott.

When they find Dr. Scott, he's in the cardio ward, as he checked himself in the night before with heart symptoms. He's just receiving a clean bill of health after spending all night on a heart monitor. He tells them Hank Johansen is practically incapable of murder: he suffers progressive rheumatoid arthritis in both legs and is physically incapable of putting his own pants on, much less lifting a 40 pound oxygen tank, not to mention the heart monitor he was hooked up to. Monk takes the opportunity to ask for a second opinion about his nosebleed and Dr. Scott suggests that he's over-exaggerating the severity of it.

After leaving the office, Monk realizes that Dr. Scott is "the guy": he has a very fresh bruise on his shin that looks suspiciously similar in shape and location to the bruises Monk and Randy each got from banging into the coffee table in Dr. Whitcomb's office (although Dr. Scott claims he got it while playing racquetball), plus he has talcum powder on his hands, which the doctor explains as coming from the latex gloves he uses.

Stottlemeyer suggests to Monk sometime later that he take Dr. Scott's suggestion that the severity of the nosebleed is all in his head seriously. Randy then returns to reveal that he's found a potential motive: Dr. Scott is being sued for malpractice and Dr. Whitcomb was scheduled to testify against him. Apparently, a year ago, he lost a patient on the operating table and Dr. Whitcomb was going to state that he caught Dr. Scott taking amphetamines before the operation. It's likely that Dr. Scott killed Dr. Whitcomb so he wouldn't risk losing his license. There's one problem, though: Dr. Scott was hooked up to a heart monitor all night, giving him an ironclad alibi, and a security guard outside his room says he never left the room. Dr. Scott's cardiogram also has no extended breaks or interruptions in it.

Stottlemeyer, somewhat agitated about Monk's nosebleed, suggests Monk go home while he and Randy go check the surveillance tapes. While Monk is about to climb in a taxicab, he notices something and rushes back inside. He confronts Dr. Scott and accuses him of killing Dr. Whitcomb. Dr. Scott denies involvement and Monk is sent on his way.

Monk returns to Dr. Scott's old room, where a janitor is mopping up, and tries to see how Dr. Scott may have fooled the heart monitor. He then notices a water stain on the ceiling similar to the one in Hank Johansen's room, and the janitor comments that the water stains are probably connected, as a lot of the rooms on the sixth floor were divided up a few years back in a renovation. Monk traces the stain into the closet. In the closet, he finds a connecting door that has been covered over. He uses a clothes hook to remove a small pin holding the panel in place. He then kicks it down and finds himself stumbling straight into Hank Johansen's room. Johansen is somewhat startled at the sight of Monk bursting out of his closet. Monk learns that Dr. Scott had arranged for Johansen to be assigned to this particular room, and with that, he gives the summation to Johansen who thinks Monk is crazy.

Here's what HappenedEdit

Dr. Scott knew the hospital very well, and he knew that it had recently been renovated. The evening before the murder, he checked himself in as a patient. He made sure he got the room that was connected to Johansen's room through the supply closet. At around 2:00 AM, he climbed out of his bed, and pulled the heart monitor with him through the supply closet to Johansen's room. Dr. Scott knew full well that the sedatives he'd prescribed for Johansen would guarantee his unwitting accomplice would be sleeping and wouldn't wake up. He took his heart monitor chip off and put it on Johansen's chest. He then grabbed Johansen's walker and oxygen tank and took them downstairs. After he committed the murder, Dr. Scott returned to Johansen's room, and put everything back where it was before. He put the oxygen tank back where he found it, put his own monitors back on his own chest, and returned through the supply closet to his own room.

Monk leaves Hank and takes off to find the previous night's cardiograms for Johansen and Dr. Scott. If Monk's theory is correct, the two cardiograms should look identical for the time that Johansen was hooked up to both monitors. Unfortunately, Hank, after faking agreement with Monk, thinks Monk is crazy and proceeds to telephone Dr. Scott to warn him. While Monk is searching through the hospital's records for the cardiograms, Dr. Scott creeps up behind him and knocks him out with a metal crutch.

Monk wakes up to find himself in a hospital bed, drugged and unable to move, or talk. Dr. Scott enters and casually tells him that he's not going to let Monk ruin his career. He then goes on to deliver some good news and bad news. The good news is that he stopped Monk's nosebleed, but the bad news is that he's claiming Monk fell down a stairwell and suffered a concussion and nerve damage. Even more so, Dr. Scott reveals that he's checked Monk in under the phony name "Dale Butterworth", and has arranged for an unwitting nurse to administer Monk a deadly dose of the antibiotic intravenous tetracycline, which Monk is allergic to. He then leaves to continue on his rounds. Things couldn't look any worse for our detective.

Fortunately, though, Natalie's conscience gets the better of her, and she decides to leave her date and head back to the hospital. When she arrives at Monk's room, Monk is unable to communicate the danger to her. The nurse then arrives to administer the fatal drug to Monk. Just as the drug is dripping into Monk's IV, the nurse mentions to Natalie the false name Dr. Scott checked Monk in under, and she pinches the IV tube just in the nick of time.

Sometime later, Monk is being released after an extended stay in the hospital to be treated for the injuries Dr. Scott inflicted on him. Dr. Scott has already been arrested, and Stottlemeyer and Disher have noted the matching beats in his and Johansen's cardiograms should secure a conviction for both Dr. Whitcomb's murder and the attempted murder of Monk. However, they enter a minor argument as to who noted it first, with Disher eventually telling Stottlemeyer in irritation that he'll just keep his observations on his notepad. While loading his bags into the car, Monk slams the trunk shut on his hand, causing it to bleed. Monk refuses to go back into the ER and tells Natalie to just drive off (heavily implying that the experience of nearly being killed by Dr. Scott caused him to develop a strong-enough fear of hospitals that he's willing to endure grievous injuries just to avoid going back.).