|Monk Season 5|
|Season 4||Season 6|
"Mr. Monk Makes a Friend" is the eleventh episode of season 5.
A woman, Gail Segalis, is unpacking from an overseas trip while her new boyfriend is showering. In the middle of unpacking, she asks her boyfriend if he can stay long enough to have a drink, and offers to open up a bottle of Santorini wine that he purchased. The boyfriend sounds outraged. He gets out of the shower, puts on a bathrobe, and walks over to confront her for opening the bottle too soon. Just as Gail notices something is stuck inside the wine bottle, the boyfriend suddenly proceeds to fatally strangle her with a towel.
Sometime later, Monk is getting his grocery shopping done when he inadvertently collides with another shopper, Hal Tucker. They hit it off immediately. Hal seems to be everything Monk ever wanted in a friend, and the two men promise to meet again soon.
Back at Gail Segalis' apartment, a full crime scene investigation is underway. Monk quickly finds a wet candle in the bathroom and discovers that the towels on the rack are still wet. He concludes that the attacker was in the shower when Gail said or did something that upset him. He opened the shower curtain, not bothering to stop and turn off the water. he grabbed the first towel off the rack, then he killed her with it. Much to Monk's, Stottlemeyer's and Disher's surprise, they know Gail Segalis: she's a former police dispatcher. Monk recalls how he used to carpool with her when he was on the force and she told him a lot about all the trips she wanted to take. Monk recalls that Gail promised to send him a picture if she ever got to the Parthenon. It's clear that she must have made it since they find photos of her that were taken in Athens, including ones of a person they decide must be a boyfriend. They also find a wine box with a price tag in Euros, but the wine bottle is gone. While they're looking over the scene, Natalie receives a phone call, from none other than Hal himself. Everyone is stunned to hear that Monk has a friend, but Monk couldn't be happier.
The following day at Monk's apartment, Hal arrives to pick up Monk on their way to a Sharks hockey game. Natalie and Julie are there, and they find Hal to be charming and friendly and normal - the exact opposite of Monk! Naturally, Natalie's suspicious. Monk and Hal get along at the hockey game like a couple of old pals. However, Monk becomes a bit weary when, during a break in the game, Hal runs into another friend of his and finds out that Hal has done time in prison. Hal admits that he did a year in prison for receiving stolen property, namely some antique coins. Monk has his first doubts, but quickly forgets them - after all, he has a friend.
The next day, Stottlemeyer and Disher interrogate Gail Segalis' former boyfriend, Tim Hayden, the man in the photographs found at Gail's apartment. He insists that he was at his restaurant all day on the day of the murder. He admits that he took Gail to Greece, but he returned early because she dumped him for another man she met at their hotel. Tim doesn't remember the other guy's name, only that he had a beard and he smelled like he had money since he bought her an expensive bottle of Santorini wine. But he does swear he'd recognize the man's face if he saw him again. After the interrogation, Stottlemeyer and Disher join Monk and Natalie in the observation room. Stottlemeyer is a bit suspicious about Monk's new friendship with Hal and privately warns him that Hal could be a con artist who takes money from people by "softening the mark". But Monk is certain Hal isn't a con artist.
Back at Monk's apartment, Monk and Hal watch an old Sonny Chow movie - interrupted only by the arrival of Monk's mail, which Hal eagerly picks up. What Monk doesn't know is that Hal happens to also be Gail's killer.
That night, Tim Hayden is working late in his restaurant, doing inventory, when someone knocks on the kitchen door. The visitor asks to make a reservation since he promised his wife. Tim goes to open the door, and is surprised when Hal barges in. Tim is stunned to see that Hal has shaved his beard. Hal admits that Gail didn't like the beard. He's come to find out if the police have shown Tim any mugshots of Hal. When Tim says he hasn't, Hal draws a revolver and tries to shoot him. However, the weapon jams, and this gives Tim the opportunity to attack Hal. After a short struggle, Hal manages to get the upper hand, grabs the revolver, and whips the luckless Tim to death with the barrel. He then wipes his prints off the revolver and leaves.
The next day, after a session with Dr. Kroger, Monk decides to take his relationship with Hal to the next level - he's going to ask him to be his best friend. Hal tags along when Monk gets called to the murder scene at Tim Hayden's restaurant. While Monk looks around, Hal notices a pair of sunglasses he dropped during the fight and surreptitiously retrieves them. Monk is able to conclude that the crime is not the work of a random mugger or junkie since they would've emptied his pockets.
Stottlemeyer, meanwhile, has also been harboring suspicions about Monk's new friend, and he, Natalie, and Disher take Hal aside and confront him. Hal defends himself, claiming to be Monk's only true friend.
Back at Monk's apartment, Hal once again checks the mail, and this time, he finds what he's been looking for. It's a letter from Gail Segalis which contains the promised photo of her at the Parthenon...posing with Hal. Hal pockets the incriminating letter for himself. Having gotten what he wants, Hal has no further need for Monk, and when Monk asks him to be best friends, Hal hastily agrees before hurrying off. Monk is ecstatic. He thinks he has a new best friend!
But Monk becomes a wreck as days pass without hearing from Hal. Natalie convinces him to go to Hal's place and talk to him, man to man. Monk agrees to do so.
Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer gets a lab report on the revolver used to kill Tim Hayden. It turns out the weapon didn't fire because the firing pin had worn out. They think Monk's output is needed, but then Randy mentions that Monk is having problems with Hal. Suddenly Stottlemeyer realizes Hal is the killer: at the restaurant, Randy showed Hal the revolver and said it was the murder weapon, and Hal immediately pointed to the cracked handle. It means he knew all along that the killer used it like a club, when they hadn't yet told him that Tim Hayden had been pistol-whipped. A normal person, when shown a gun and told it is the murder weapon, would have assumed the victim had been shot. They immediately head out to grab Hal.
Meanwhile, Monk arrives at Hal's apartment. He's impressed by the interiors, and as Hal closes the blinds, he starts humming a song. Monk immediately recognizes the song as the one he heard on a music box in Gail Segalis's apartment. As he looks at the photos, he suddenly notices photos of Hal, with a beard, in a Greek market. Just as he puts the pieces together, Hal produces a pistol and trains it on him. Monk now suddenly puts two and two together: Hal never was his friend and only was after the postcard that Gail had sent to Monk. Then Monk notices the wine bottle.
Through a quick distraction, he is able to grab the pistol and train it on Hal, and orders him to open the wine bottle. Indeed, it is carrying an antique figurine. Now it all makes more sense to Monk: Hal is an antiques smuggler. He has a criminal record, so he knew his things would be searched at the airport, so he seduced Gail to get the bottle past US Customs and immigration. Then Hal turns on the charm and becomes Monk's best friend again. He wins Monk over, then gets control of the weapon again and trains it on Monk. Before Hal can shoot him, Stottlemeyer and Disher burst in to arrest him.