|Monk Season 7|
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"Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs" is the thirteenth episode of the seventh season of Monk, and the 106th episode overall. Guest starring sportscaster Bob Costas, it aired the same week as the 2009 Super Bowl.
David Gitelson, back-up quarterback for the Condors, comes out from a club and gets into a limo with his girlfriend. She notices a classified playbook and he takes it away from her. Gitelson orders the limo driver, Shawn Metzger, to take them to another club hosting an after party. Once Gitelson is inside, leaving the playbook in the limo, Metzger calls someone and says he has the playbook, and that they have one hour to complete the deal. Metzger sells a copy of the playbook to Brian Binsack, the opposing defensive coach for the Wildcats, and gets paid off.
The next morning, Gitelson is in the locker room at Summit Stadium and notices something wrong with the playbook. He goes outside and confronts Metzger. There is a short fight, and Metzger grabs a tire iron with which he bludgeons the luckless quarterback to death.
Three Days Earlier Edit
Stottlemeyer is at the station discussing the playoffs with Disher and the others. Monk and Natalie are there and Natalie prods Monk into discussing football and a party which they are having that Sunday. She wonders why they're not inviting Monk -- since they know that Monk knows very little about the game -- to their game party. Reluctantly they do so but Monk reveals he's going to be at the game. He admits he promised Bob Costas to go, as he helped him out of a jam ten years ago. Costas has given him two press box tickets along with an all-access pass. They are incredulous even when he shows them the passes. Stottlemeyer asks Monk whom he plans to take and Monk suggests Natalie. Natalie convinces her boss to take Stottlemeyer instead.
The Present Edit
Monk and Stottlemeyer arrive at the game and find tailgaters in the parking lot. They spot one man who has passed out in his lounge chair. Meanwhile, Disher is at the station when Natalie calls and admits he's the only one there. Unable to watch the game on his handheld, he pulls a big-screen TV out of the evidence room and tries to haul it up the stairs but gets it stuck at a bend and it is even worse, upside down.
At the stadium parking lot, Metzger siphons off gasoline from his limo. He secretly dumps it of the tailgater's barbecue grills. Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer gets into the spirit of tailgating while Monk is less than enthused. As they go in and Monk tries to get his ticket envelope open, the tailgaters open up the grill and it explodes. Stottlemeyer tries to get Monk into the stadium but Monk insists on investigating.
The paramedics tend to the injuries from the explosion and Monk examines the grill. He insists that a charcoal grill wouldn't have exploded but Stottlemeyer insists it's nothing to worry about. Monk determines that gasoline was poured into the grille and convinces a disappointed Stottlemeyer that something is wrong. While the tailgaters complain that the backup quarterback, David Gitelson, isn't playing, Monk talks to the grill owner, Chet Walsh, who refuses to go the hospital and puts a foam finger on the injured hand. He also mentions seeing Gitelson earlier (he blew Walsh off when asked for an autograph) while shouting, "They're out of order!" Chet figures that a Wildcat fan named Cory sabotaged the grill and Stottlemeyer agrees. However, he talks to the Wildcat fans, who recognize Stottlemeyer from high school. They ask him to take care of a speeding ticket they received 35 minutes ago, and the time stamp confirms they weren't at the stadium when the grill exploded.
Natalie arrives at the station with pizza and discovers that Randy has rigged up an extension cord to watch the game on the big-screen TV… on the stairway, since he can't get it all the way up due it's being stuck. They settle down to watch the game at an angle.
Monk obsesses about the explosion, insisting it was deliberate. Stottlemeyer thinks he wants it to be a crime because that's all Monk ever thinks about. He says they can deal with it later and Monk admits he might be over thinking things. They go into the stadium but Monk notices a poster of a championship ring. He remembers seeing the ring on the fan who was passed out on the lounge chair and goes to investigate. Stottlemeyer reluctantly follows and they discover that the "fan" is dead… and it's Gitelson, made up to look like a fan.
Chet doesn't remember mentioning that he saw Gitelson earlier. Stottlemeyer calls in Disher and they find the team playbook with the corpse. They talk to Metzger who confirms that he dropped off Gitelson in the morning. However, they don't know that Metzger is who killed Gitelson. Monk notices he has a smudge on his jacket and notices an odor. When Stottlemeyer lets him go, Monk points out that Metzger smelled like gasoline and the smudge was from charcoal. Disher tells them to go in while he deals with the local authorities who have jurisdiction. Monk still wants to investigate and talk to Chet about seeing Gitelson. Stottlemeyer finally gives up and asks for his ticket, then goes in on his own.
Metzger is blocked in while trying to leave the parking lot, and while he's stopped, Monk examines the limo and notices he's been siphoning gas. Monk accuses him of trying to kill Chet but Metzger denies everything. He drives away despite Monk's warning that justice will catch up to him. Monk finds Chet Walsh and confirms that Gitelson kept yelling something over and over. Chet finally remembers that Gitelson said that something was out of order. Monk uses his all-access pass to get inside and takes Chet inside with him.
Stottlemeyer is enjoying himself in the press pass with Bob Costas, who wonders where Monk is. Costas talks about how Monk helped him with a cat salesman who sold psychotic cats. Stottlemeyer is less than interested. Meanwhile, Monk explores the stadium and tries to figure out what was out of order.
Here's What HappenedEdit
The game continues and Monk notices that the Wildcat coach, Binsack, is anticipating all of the Condors' plays. Monk realizes that it was the playbook that was out of order. He remembers having seen it on Gitelson's body, and remembers that some of the pages were put in the wrong way or were out of sequence.
When Metzger stole the playbook, he made a direct copy of the book. He made a visit to a photocopying business to make a copy, but he must have accidentally dropped the book, causing the pages to fall out of sequence. He had only one hour to sell the copy to Binsack, so he had to copy the book with the pages out of sequence. He sold the copy to Binsack and made a few bucks. The next morning, after Gitelson was dropped off, he must have seen that the pages were out of order. He burst out of the locker room entrance, next to which Chet Walsh was waiting. Chet asked Gitelson for his autograph, but Gitelson declined, saying he was looking for someone. He stalked back to Metzger, and confronted him, accusing him of selling him out. There was a fight, and Metzger killed Gitelson in a panic. But the gates had already opened, and fans were just starting to arrive so Metzger had to improvise: he had to hide the body in plain sight by disguising it a passed out fan. He later tried to kill Chet because he feared that Chet might have seen the playbook.
It's half -time and Stottlemeyer starts to feel guilty about abandoning his friend. Meanwhile, Chet figures that Gitelson's playbook is in the locker room. He and Monk sneak into the Wildcats locker room and steal the stolen playbook while the team is praying. However, they notice Monk, who explains he's a police officer. When they're not convinced, Monk and Chet make a run for it (after Chet yells at them "Wildcats suck!").
Stottlemeyer goes to find Monk, who passes the playbook to him. They toss it back and forth to avoid security, and Disher arrives to make the winning catch. Monk says that they are the winners. Later back in the press box, Costas announces that the Condors have come back to win and interviews Stottlemeyer and Monk. Stottlemeyer confirms that Binsack has been arrested for receiving stolen property and Metzger has been arrested in Marin County, while Monk cleans up. Costas then states on the air about how Monk saved him from insane kittens. Natalie watches from the police station stairwell, noting that Randy was right: watching the football game there is better than at the stadium.
Instead of simply stealing the playbook from the locker room, Monk could have simply had Disher do a search of every all-night copy and stationery store with either a photo of Metzger or even the limousine since they would have stood out even at night.
The exterior of Summit Stadium is represented by Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. A set was used for the press box.
- The footage used to represent the Condors-Wildcats game is actually footage from a United States Football League game between the Houston Gamblers and the Tampa Bay Bandits. The Bandits are used to represent the Condors (a bird), despite the presense of the Bandits logo (a horse and rider) on the team's helmet. The Los Angeles Wildcats logo (as seen on the fans' and coaches' clothing) is very similar to the logo used by the Houston Gamblers.
- While Monk is investigating, a TV in the stadium reads "PIT 14, PHI 14", indicating the game is between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles and is tied 14-14. Rather, the teams are from San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the score as stated by Bob Costas is 10-10.
- In this episode, San Francisco's professional football team is referred to as the "Condors". This is a continuity error from the season 4 episode Mr. Monk Goes to the Office, which acknowledges San Francisco's real-life professional football team, the San Francisco 49ers. However, it's possible that the Condors play in a separate league from the NFL.
- While Stottlemeyer is talking to his old friends, the Wildcat fans, they tease on how he was now a Condor fan, he says he had been there for thirty years and in still in all that time LA has no real football team. Indirectly he was referring to the real life situation in LA which has had no professional football franchise since 1995.
- Randy is shown in the station attempting to watch the game on a low resolution mobile phone. Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame he was shown to keep a portable television in the office which would have provided a much better picture. It is possible though that he no longer kept it at the station now that Stottlemeyer had found out about it.