|Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine|
August 20, 2004
|Monk Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Monk takes a new medication that alleviates the symptoms of his obsessive-compulsive disorder but impairs his ability to solve crime.
A team of detectives catch biker Dewey Albert on a street, about to arrest him for missing his bail hearing. Unknownst to anyone, as they are arresting him, a blue Toyota Corolla pulls up to a light at the nearby intersection, and the driver takes a gun out of the car's glove compartment, and aims it at the cops. As Lieutenant Disher and Captain Stottlemeyer arrive, the driver opens fire on them and floors through the intersection, sending cops diving to the ground. Amidst all the confusion, Albert jumps on his bike and takes off. Disher looks behind him, and sees Stottlemeyer lying on the ground, shot through the shoulder.
Monk confesses to Dr. Kroger that he's despairing of ever getting better. In response, Kroger gives him a bottle of a new experimental medication for OCD, Doxinyl, even though he knows Monk's hatred of pills. Then a distressed Sharona bangs on the window and tells Monk gets about the shooting.
He rushes to the scene, where a harried Disher is overseeing an investigative team. Monk looks carefully and sees a number of vital clues – the shooter was a drive-by, and most likely dumped the gun in the reservoir. Disher theorizes that he was a friend of Dewey Albert's trying to keep him out of prison. Monk sees leaked gasoline on the pavement and realizes that Albert could not have gone far.
While Monk and Sharona hang back, the police track Albert to a repair shop. But as they enter, Albert bursts out of a window to escape, and runs directly at Monk. Sharona grabs a tire iron and tosses it to Monk, but he is so horrified at its filthiness that he drops it, allowing Albert to run right past him.
Ashamed, Monk goes home that night and decides to not take any chances, and takes the pills....
The next morning, he is a different man, for better or for worse. When they visit the recovering Stottlemeyer in the hospital, Monk is relaxed, friendly, and afraid of nothing (including pissing other people off). He has developed a compulsive appetite, and seems incapable of paying attention to the case. Disher arrives and updates them: Dewey Albert was caught at his girlfriend's apartment, but he had nothing to do with Stottlemeyer getting shot. Also, the shooter's gun was picked up in the reservoir. The strange thing is, it was registered to a woman, Marlene Highsmith, who committed suicide on the morning of the shooting, jumping from the balcony of her apartment only a few blocks away. Monk appears to hear nothing of this, instead focusing on polishing off the remains of Stottlemeyer's hospital meal.
Sharona drags Monk to the dead woman's apartment. He pretends to look around, and at her suicide note, and says something is wrong. But what it is, he doesn't know, nor does he particularly care. When Sharona gets him to admit the truth about his new medication, she is appalled, since she didn't approve it. Monk insists that, with the help of the pills, he is truly happy for the first time since Trudy's death.
Monk continues to take the medication, and his behavior gets more and more extreme. Hazarding a meal in a fast food restaurant across from his apartment, he meets a car salesman, and before long, is motoring along in a bright red Mustang convertible.
Stottlemeyer and Disher call him and Sharona to interview a prime suspect, Marlene's ex-husband Lester. Lester works as a security guard for an armored car company, and he clocked out at around the time Marlene killed herself. Records show that Marlene called Lester at work shortly before her death. Lester says that, after talking with her, he rushed over to try and stop her, but was too late. He couldn't even go near her apartment, the roads were blocked because of the shooting.
Stottlemeyer is not convinced, but Monk has nothing to add except flippant remarks about Marlene's death. Angered, Sharona pulls him aside and tells him to hand over the pills. Fed up with them, Monk hops into his car, announcing he's going to New Orleans for a few days.
After playing in a hotel pool with a group of college kids (and driving them away with a pair of squirt guns), Monk, for the first time, begins to question whether he really likes the new "him." Returning to San Francisco, he nestles the pillow from Trudy's side of the bed, and realizes that his memories of her are becoming clouded and distant. That is the one thing he cannot bear.
Restored to normal after stopping the medication, he calls Sharona back to Marlene Highsmith's apartment. Looking at the suicide note again, he realizes what is wrong: it was written in red ink, but there's no red pen in the kitchenette where it was found. Looking at the dining table, he sees the impression of the real suicide note in the placemat. He reveals it with a chalk rubbing, and, reading its contents, he and Sharona rush out of the apartment, calling the police to the scene of an armed robbery in progress.
Here's What HappenedEdit
While Sharona drives toward the crime scene in Monk's new Mustang, Monk, riding along, fills in Stottlemeyer over the phone:
Two years ago, Lester and Marlene pulled an armored car heist, and Lester killed the car's driver. Lester and his other accomplice were planning another job, but Marlene, consumed with guilt over the death of the car's driver, killed herself rather than go through with it. Marlene's note confesses to the earlier heist, and gives the time and place of the next one.
Before she jumped, she called Lester and left him a message, mentioning the suicide note. Lester immediately clocked out and rushed over to her apartment, but he was too late when he got there: she was already dead and police were just starting to arrive on the scene. Lester needed a very serious diversion to draw the police away, because if anyone found the note, he'd be ruined. So he drove a few blocks, pulled out his gun, and shot the first group of cops he spotted. As the police at the suicide rushed to the shooting, Lester ditched the gun in the reservoir, entered Marlene's apartment, destroyed the real suicide note, and wrote the fake one.
At the industrial park, Lester and his accomplice have finished loading the cash, and Lester is about to shoot the driver, when Monk's car screeches to a halt in front of them. While Sharona keeps her head down, Monk gets out and bluffs Lester for a few vital seconds with one of his water pistols. Just as Lester starts to bring up his gun again, Stottlemeyer and Disher arrive and arrest him.
Monk decides to throw his pills away, though he warns Sharona that if he does so, she'll never get to see "the Monk" again. That night, lying in bed, Trudy's memory is as real to him as if she were lying there beside him, and all is well.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- The last regular appearance of Bitty Schram as Sharona, until Mr. Monk and Sharona; Schram left the show unexpectedly after this episode, and was replaced by Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger.
- Though Monk never uses Dioxnyl again in the series, he does so several times in the novels by Lee Goldberg, to combat his fear of flying when it is necessary for him to travel. Likewise, Monk also needed Dioxnyl in Mr. Monk Goes to Germany in order to handle the evidence needed to implicate the psychiatrist for murder, having already deduced how he did it beforehand.
- On the Monk Cast Favorites Marathon, this episode was shown as one of Tony Shalhoub's favorites.
- The general idea of "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" (Monk trying to solve a case on impaired detective skills) was later reused in the season 7 episode "Mr. Monk Gets Hypnotized".