In a parking garage, a shadowy male figure is seemingly changing a tire on his car. A security guard named Ronnie Shelton confronts him, telling him that it's not his car, and takes out his cellphone, planning to call the police. Before he can call, the man shoots him twice in the chest with a .45 caliber gun, drags his body underneath a nearby parked truck, and comes back to the car, waiting. Soon, a financier named Warren Kemp walks into the garage while talking on his cellphone. As he finishes his call and approaches his car, the man comes at him from behind, points the gun at his back, and orders him to open the front car door and put his right hand in it, which Warren does. Then the man closes the car door, breaking Warren's hand, and runs away, leaving Warren to scream in terror and agony.
At the crime scene, Monk tries to talk with other police officers, using his "cards", but he fails every time. Then and Natalie go to Stottlemeyer who recounts what happened: a man killed the security guard (they found gun shells), then waits for Warren Kemp and breaks his right hand. Monk notices a tire iron found near one of the cars, and figures out that it doesn't match the tires of that car, so the killer obviously took it with him so he could pretend he was changing a car tire while waiting for Warren. The tire iron also makes it apparent that he drives a European car (since the tire iron is metric, and all cars in parking lot are American). He also finds a toothpick near the car tire, which the killer had been chewing, and says that the killer (judging by that) wants to boost his ego (but later says he's just guessing, when he sees that Stottlemeyer is chewing a toothpick as well). Soon, Warren notices Natalie and takes an interest in her. The paramedic says that Warren must go to the hospital, but he wants Monk to go to his office the next day,along with Natalie.
The next morning, while waiting for Kemp, Natalie says she used to have the kind of job he has, but she soon quit because she hated doing the same things every day and start feeling like a number. Although she believes that type of job is terrible, Monk seems to enjoy it.
They talk to Kemp. Monk is upset because Warren broke nine bones during the attack (he wished that Kemp had broken 10). Due to imprints on the carpet, Natalie figures out that furniture was recently moved to the opposite side from which it was originally. Warren says his decorator did that, and also mentions that she talked about very important things here and the security company comes every two weeks looking for microphones and other listening devices. He says he's very scared and paranoid that the killer is someone close to him, and asks Monk if he will go undercover in the office. Natalie says he couldn't do that, but Monk accepts the offer.
Some time after, Monk goes into the office undercover. One of the employees, Annette, takes him to his cubicle. During the walk, he tries to solicit information about the incident, but he doesn't find out much. One employee, a strange guy named Chilton argues about why Monk took the spot at the office which he wanted, but Annette defends Monk. Chilton later collects money for the celebration of his own 40th birthday.
At the police station, Randy comes up with a very plausible theory: it seems that there's been an inside man who was selling important financial information, and Kemp was the suspect. There's possibility that Warren was cooperating with the killer, they argued and the killer breaks his hand as the warning, killing the security guard in process.
Back at the office, all the employees are going to a restaurant at the bottom of the building using the elevator. Monk promises to go with them, but he doesn't enter the elevator, and he lies saying that he will waiting for another one. Then he meets Warren and Natalie, and he reveals that he didn't learn anything. After Monk leaves, Warren offers Natalie to go in his office with him, and she agrees.
At the restaurant, as the employees are eating nachos, Monk is only pretending to eat(since they're all touching nachos). He also reveals that Annete and one other employee, Greg, are a couple, and starts calling his new friends "the office crowd".
Meanwhile, Warren and Natalie are hanging out and are getting even closer to each other. She even mentions that in a bar in Vermont, she beat up one guy who was annoying her friend.
Later on when Warren meets up with Monk Monk agrees to go bowling with the other employees to see if he can learn anything new. He also notices that Chilton is chewing a toothpick, jut like the killer did.
In the hall, Natalie heard two women talking about her and saying that she almost killed some guy in Vermont and sent an email about it to the whole staff. She comes to the conclusion that Warren leaked that information and confronts him. He denies everything, but she doesn't believe him. She and Monk also reveal that Chilton has an alibi.
During the game, Chilton points out that Monk doesn't wear special bowling shoes, and that he shouldn't play. Other employees try to make him wear the bowling shoes, but he refuses because somebody else was wearing the shoes. The other team wins.
Back in the office, Monk says he bought the bowling shoes, but other employees are still very cold to him.
Late at night, a shadowy male person, who chews a toothpick, enters the decorator's place and shoots her once to death, using a pillow as a silencer.
The next day, Stottlemeyer and Disher are on the crime scene. Disher says that decorator worked in the same company Kemp is working at, and that killer and weapon are probably the same. The toothpick is also found.
"The office crowd" goes into the Chinese restaurant without Monk. He goes down the building in restaurant with Natalie. Natalie says that there got to be a connection between two homicides. When Monk sees the man sitting opposite from them, who has a hearing aid, constantly look into Kemp's window and write notes down on paper, he solves the case.
Here's what happened Edit
Monk smiles strangely, so his lips wouldn't move, and gives the summation:
That man can read lips and he discovered that he can see Warren Kemp's window through the restaurant's window and found out a lot of important business information. But the furniture was put opposite and Warren starts covering his mouth with his hand while talking on the phone. So, he needed Warren to change hands. He also killed Angela (the decorator) because she wanted to put on curtains.
The killer saw Natalie in the mirror and read her lips. He comes to her and Monk and shows them a gun. He wants them to go out, but Natalie screams into his ear and Monk takes his gun. Natalie calls the police.
Later, Natalie tries to continue her relationship with Warren, saying that the killer probably saw them and sent an e-mail to make them fight, but she failed to get him back.
Background information and notesEdit
- This is the sixth time in the series that Monk goes undercover (before this episode he was going undercover in "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School", "Mr. Monk Gets Married", "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail" and in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month").
- This is third of four Monk episodes in which the killer isn't introduced until the very end ("Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame" is the first one, "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan" is the second one, and "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy" is the fourth one).
- Monk also uses his conversation cards in "Mr. Monk and the Blackout"
- Monk likes chewing toothpicks in "Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation", but here he thinks that people only do this to boost their ego.
- Police could find the killer's DNA on the toothpick and also his fingerprints all over since he didn't wear gloves or wiped them off. Even if he wasn't in system, it wouldn't be very wise from a person who was able to conduct a scheme like that.
- When Monk discovers the tire iron he says that is metric and all the cars are American. The two metric and standard sizes of the log nuts of nearly all passenger cars are interchangeable. 3/4 is nearly identical to 19 mm and 13/16 to 21 mm. The tire iron was simply the smaller size. American cars have been metric since the 80's anyway.
- When Monk and co-workers get on the elevator, that mention it is only 2 floors and other scene shows that office located on 2nd floor and visible from the ground of cafeteria, however the elevator displays 9 on the door frame, indicating on the 9th floor.
- When office employees are going to lunch they all get onto the elevator and tell Monk to join them, he gets in and immediately gets back out and he does so you can see cross made on tape on the floor at his feet used to "mark" his position for the scene.
- When Monk and Natalie are talking to Kemp in his office, the desk ornament and the cups of pencils that Monk keeps organizing change positions between shoots. In the shoots from Monk's side of the desk, the ornament is closer to the door. In the shots from Kemp's side pencil cup is closer.
- When Natalie calls Warren from the Wednesday night bowling league, there is bright sunlight outside Kemp's office window.
- Eventually the other bowlers notice that Monk is wearing street shoes, but no bowling alley would have let him on the alley without bowling shoes.
- It's not likely that security firm which installs alarms and sweeps for bugs every two weeks would fail to notice the vulnerability of large windows to eavesdroppers in courtyard.
- Killer shoot security guard twice with .45 caliber gun, without a silencer, in an empty garage, but less then half a minute later, Warren walks in. Despite he was talking on the phone, in real life, he, or somebody else in he building, should have to hear something.
Monk: Give me the card. Weather. Politics. Swear words.
Natalie: Swear words?
Monk: (pocketing the swear word cards) Don't you look at them. Football.
Monk. You guys want to hear some swear words?
Monk: We were talking about the local football franchise.
Stottlemeyer: The Niners.
Monk: No, the San Francisco Forty-Niners.
Monk: He's unsecure. He's always trying to impress people. Act tougher than he is.
Disher: How do you know that?
Monk: He was chewing on this--toothpick.
(Stottlemeyer, chewing toothpick, glares)
Natalie: I used to work in place like this. Lasted about two weeks.You do the same thing every day.
Monk: (longingly): The same thing.
Natalie: After a while, you get to feel like a number.
Monk: A number?
Natalie: Just like everybody else.
Monk: Everybody else...
Monk: How's the hand?
Warren Kemp: Nine broken bones.
Monk: One more, it would have been an even ten.
Warren Kemp: You sound disappointed, Mr. Monk.
Monk: Well, it's too late now.
Natalie: (to Warren Kemp) Monk can't work here. There are people here.
Natalie:(to Monk) YOU ate nachos!
Monk:(about Chilton):Look at him! He's completely obsessed! And not in a good way, as me!