|Mr. Monk Takes A Punch|
August 8, 2008
James Lesure as Ray Regis
|Monk Season 7|
|Season 6||Season 8|
PlotEditLate one night, a mysterious individual breaks into a boxing gym. He cuts open a punching bag, removes some of the stuffing, plants a miniature bomb inside, then replaces the stuffing and sews the bag up, and leaves.
The next morning, trainer Louie Flynn and his star, professional boxer Ray Regis, arrive at the gym for their routine morning workout. As they enter, they discuss the championship that they're competing for on July 25th, in which Ray will fight against current heavyweight champion Carlos Hiraldo, whom he lost the title to in 2003. Although Ray lost that previous championship, he's eager to get another shot at reclaiming the title. A washed-up and drunken old boxer, Eddie, has been sleeping at the gym. He wakes up, and he gives Regis some words of advice. He takes a demonstrative swing at the heavy bag to show Ray how he should do it, accidentally triggering the bomb and killing himself.
Monk and Natalie are called into Stottlemeyer's office to hear some grave news: ever since a private police consultant down in San Diego sued the city after suffering a heart attack, the state is requiring all such consultants, including Monk, to pass a physical fitness test or else be disqualified from further work.
Monk tries some practice runs at a local track, and the experience is so debilitating that he seriously considers giving up detective work rather than trying what seems to him impossible. But Natalie, Stottlemeyer, and Dr. Bell all remind him that he’s not a quitter by nature.
Monk is called in to consult on the gym homicide. It is very obvious that Regis was the intended target of the bomber - after all, Regis's schedule is very well known and the bomber assumed that he'd be the first to hit the deadly punching bag. One possibility is that someone doesn’t want him winning the upcoming championship match, five years after losing the last one. Another is that some people are still upset about that loss, since Regis was the odds-on favorite and a lot of people lost money betting on him. While he and Disher wait for Monk, Stottlemeyer talks to the CSI tech who has determined that a motion-sensitive detonator was used for the bomb. Stottlemeyer looks closely at what remains of the bag, and notices a detail: one of the threads is twisted, indicating that the bomber licked it sewing the bag up, giving them DNA evidence.
Later, when the captain asks about Louie's "World's Greatest Dad" coffee mug, the trainer admits that he didn't do a very good job and his daughter died five years ago from surgery complications. Stottlemeyer and Disher get down to business and tell Louie that the DNA found on the punching bag belongs to a guy named Charles Bach, better known as "the Iceman". Louie comments that that sounds bad, but Disher replies that in fact the name suits Bach very well - he's a professional hit man, and the FBI believes that he's killed at least 14 people. The fact that someone has hired the Iceman means that someone with very deep pockets has taken a contract out on Ray. Louie says there's no one who hates Ray that much, and he also confirms that he doesn't owe any money to the Marino crime family who often use the Iceman. Louie refuses to let Ray back out of the championship match even though Stottlemeyer warns him that he can't assure the boxer's safety. While interviewing Louie, Monk notices that the trainer has a very compulsive habit - he tucks his crucifix in whenever he is lying. He looks at photos of Regis from his previous loss and sees Flynn doing the same thing.
Monk confronts Ray Regis in private at a recording studio, where he is dubbing some lines for a deodorant commercial. Monk manages to ask for a few moments alone with Ray, despite the manager telling him that the commercial has to be on the air by September 1.
As Monk prepares to talk to Ray, they are interrupted by a loud racket from the studio, as the sound engineer runs some blooper reel footage from a busted take of the commercial. In it, the owner of the mansion where the spot was filmed returns from abroad and goes berserk at finding cameras in his home, screaming at them to shut off and also threatening them.
Monk says he’s figured out that Regis threw the fight five years ago: Louie's daughter was dying of a rare illness, and he and Regis bet against themselves in order to raise enough money for experimental surgical operations in Switzerland (sadly, they were unable to save her). Monk notes that the operations cost $2 million, but it didn't say where that money came. He says that if he figured this out, so might other people, including the mob, who must have lost a lot of money betting on Regis, and who might have decided to return. Regis is crestfallen, believing that now that his secret is out, he will be disqualified from boxing ever again. But Monk says that he believes Regis did a noble thing, and he promises to keep their secret safe, on one condition.
The next morning, Regis shows up at Monk's door at the crack of dawn, so grateful to Monk that he insists on training Monk to pass his fitness exam. Regis fights one of the toughest uphill battles in history, working not only against Monk’s lack of fitness, but also his obsessive habits. Gradually, however, Monk improves.
Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer and Disher question Frankie Marino, a local mob boss and the Iceman's former employer. He asks them if they are wearing wires. After Disher proves that he isn't by dropping his pants and unbuttoning his shirt, they get down to business. Frankie tell them that the Iceman has recently gone freelance, though Stottlemeyer notes that Frankie has been known to hold a grudge. He also says they don’t have a reason to kill Regis. At the last moment, they managed to change some of their bets, and actually turned a tidy profit on his loss. However, Frankie has heard that someone was shopping around for a contract on Regis’s life, insisting that he had to be dead by the end of the month. This makes no sense, when the big fight is scheduled five days before the end of the month. Stottlemeyer and Disher are stumped, and meanwhile the Iceman gets a call from his unknown employer, assuring him that Regis won’t make it through the fight alive.
The day of the fight, the Iceman gets into the stadium by posing as a food delivery man. That night, Stottlemeyer has policemen patrolling the crowded stadium, and insists on having one of his officers stick to Regis as his corner man. But Regis refuses to trust an officer he doesn’t recognize, and asks for Monk. Again, Monk is out of his depth hanging out near a boxing ring.
As the fight begins, the Iceman heads upstairs, ties up the spectators in one of the first class booths, and starts assembling his rifle, which he then prepares to steady on Ray. At one point in the fight, Monk runs into the ring to adjust Regis’s sock (so both are even), and in the confusion with the referees, a crowd of people spoils the Iceman’s shot.
As Regis gets through the third round, Monk reels from his sweat and asks Natalie to fetch a stick of deodorant. As she comes back, he notices the rifle being aimed from the box, and also overhears a cocktail waitress mentioning that the people in the skyboxes didn't receive their food. He tells Natalie to call the Captain and make sure that they can't stop the fight, and rushes up to the box alone. Without realizing it, he performs the exercises required for the fitness test: running, dashing up a down escalator, and pulling himself over a balcony to reach the box. Just as the Iceman’s shot clears, Monk bursts into the box and tackles him. They struggle for a few moments, and just as the Iceman regains control of his rifle, Stottlemeyer and Randy burst in and have no choice but to shoot and kill him on site. Below, Regis wins the title.
Recovering, Monk is stunned to hear from Natalie that he made it up to the box in only 90 seconds; it seems Regis's training paid off. Stottlemeyer laments that while they saved the day, now they’ll never know who hired the Iceman. Then Monk looks at the stick of deodorant Natalie is still holding, and solves the case.
Here's What HappenedEdit
The Iceman was hired by Daniel MacGraw, the owner of the house where the deodorant commercial was being shot. MacGraw is a collector of stolen art, who vainly hung his stolen pictures all over his living room wall (Monk recognizes them from a bulletin board in Stottlemeyer’s office). His wife, who didn’t know the art was stolen, leased the house for the commercial shoot, and MacGraw became terrified that someone would recognize the art in the background. The commercial was due to air on the first of the next month, and MacGraw knew that if Regis died, it would be canceled. MacGraw is arrested.
While Regis is training for his next match, Monk and Natalie enter, still jazzed because Monk aced the physical fitness test. Monk dares Regis to take a shot at him. They spar for a few seconds, and Regis (of course) decks him with one punch (although completely by accident, as he was requesting that Natalie assist him). Being a good winner, Regis lifts Monk to carry him out, Monk still mumbling that he's the beast.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- Stottlemeyer makes reference to Monk’s history as a track-and-field runner in high school, first referenced in "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man."
- Monk says his purple jogging suit and headband were a birthday present from Kevin Dorfman, his annoying upstairs neighbor.
Ray Regis: Adrian Monk, the detective? He’s supposed to be the best.
Randy Disher: The best of the best. He’s kind of like a superhero.
Leland Stottlemeyer: He's good, but I wouldn't call him a superhero.
(Monk enters with Natalie, still wearing his purple jogging suit and headband, and stands with his fists on his hips)
Stottlemeyer: I guess I stand corrected.
Stottlemeyer: We're looking for Charles Bach.
Frankie Marino: Bach?
Disher: The Iceman? He's been on your payroll for ten years.
Frankie: Are you wearing a wire, Lieutenant?
(For answer, Randy unbuttons his shirt, then drops his pants around his ankles.)
Frankie: How about you?
Frankie: Okay, let's talk.
Disher: ...Why did I just get undressed?
Stottlemeyer: I don't know, Randy, everybody in the room is wondering the same thing.
Disher: You should have just kept it all in the basement.
Daniel MacGraw: It’s fine art, Lieutenant. It’s meant to be savored. I never imagined my bride would invite a TV crew into my house, while I was out of the country.
Stottlemeyer: So, you didn't tell her it was stolen.
Daniel MacGraw: In hindsight, maybe that's something I should have mentioned.