|Mr. Monk Takes the Stand|
September 11, 2009
Jay Mohr as Harrison Powell
|Monk Season 8|
Mr. Monk Takes the Stand is the fifth episode of the eighth season of Monk. Adrian Monk's confidence is shattered when a slick-talking defense lawyer ridicules him in court and uses his many phobias and tics to convince a jury to acquit his latest murder suspect.
Adrian Monk, Captain Stottlemeyer, Lieutenant Disher, and Natalie confront Evan Gildea, a sculptor who Monk believes killed his wife Nancy. Monk begins to explain how Gildea used a two-ton block of marble as his alibi. However, Gildea's high profile lawyer Harrison Powell arrives, tells Gildea not to say anything, and offers his services as the man's lawyer.
A few months later, Monk and the others arrive to testify at Gildea's murder trial. District Attorney Charles Friedken warns them to be careful what they say because Powell can be ruthless.
First up to testify is Stottlemeyer. He testifies that on the morning of October 2nd, he, Randy, Monk and Natalie were called to a suspicious death scene. The murder victim: Nancy Gildea.
The initial indications, Stottlemeyer notes, were that she interrupted a burglar, who struck her over the back of the skull with a marble sculpture, killing her instantly. However, when Monk arrived he noticed two discrepancies. First, the hole the thief made in the door was too small for an adult hand (to prove this, Randy tried fitting both of his hands through the hole). The other clue was that the killer had chosen a sculpture that came from slightly farther away from the body than a more accessible one nearby - one that happened to have Gildea's name on the bottom. Monk concluded that Gildea was the killer and didn't want to damage his own art. Powell cross-examines and forces Stottlemeyer to admit that the thief could have simply moved during the fight, and that neither Stottlemeyer nor Monk could absolutely testify how the fight occurred.
In the hallway outside, Randy notices that his former Little Brother, Rudy Smith, is sitting on a bench. He goes over to talk, figuring that Rudy is working to become a lawyer. However, an officer arrives to take Rudy away: he's been charged with murdering Sarah Paddock, a clerk at an auto-parts store bludgeoned and killed during a robbery.
Randy returns and explains to Monk and Natalie that he feels responsible for Rudy because he promised the boy's grandmother that he'd look out for him. They're surprised to see Stottlemeyer, stunned and covered in sweat, stagger out of the courtroom. He warns Monk to be careful but the detective confidently walks into the courtroom and takes the witness stand.
Monk testifies that he accompanied the police to Evan Gildea's studio in Santa Barbara. Unfortunately for Monk, Gildea was working on a nude sculpture and he couldn't bring himself to look at it (when asked to describe it, he squeals through gritted teath). Gildea told them that he received the two-ton slab of marble he had used to carve the sculpture the day before the murder, spent all night working on it, and had just completed it the next morning. Monk doesn't believe it but on cross-exam, Powell gets him to admit that he never actually looked at the statue. Powell has it brought in and Monk still can't look at it.
Randy goes to the lockup to meet with Rudy, who insists that he left the clerk alive after he took the money and ripped her gold necklace off. He thinks there was someone in the store but can't remember for sure if they were there or what they looked like. Randy notices that the police report does not mention the fact that Rudy took the clerk's necklace, though it mentions the money. Randy shows Rudy their friendship bracelets and reminds Rudy that they promised never to lie to each other. He has Rudy put it on and Rudy promises that he's telling the truth.
Powell waits patiently in the courtroom while Monk fixes the microphone support. Once Monk is done, he notes that Gildea claimed that he received the block of marble and finished the statue the next morning. Art experts have confirmed that it would have taken Gildea all night to finish it, meaning he couldn't have left his studio. Monk testifies, however, that he saw a few clues that made him cast Gildea's alibi into doubt: he spotted an electric clock that was 20 minutes slow and found a half-melted popsicle in the freezer. From that, Monk deduced that Gildea had used a jackhammer for 20 minutes, using all of the studio's power (based on the lack of dust on his heavy-duty extension cords). He concluded that the sculptor carved his nude sculpture in advance, had the block delivered, and then used the jackhammer to reduce it to gravel and scatter it on his driveway.
Powell begins to hammer Monk on his cross-examination, and Natalie objects. Powell turns to her and has her identify herself as Monk's assistant, and that the formerly had a nurse. He pursues that line of questioning and asks Monk why he needed a nurse. Powell questions Monk's competence and has the gravel brought in. When Powell notes that the pieces should fit into the shape of a block, Monk desperately tries to put them together to recreate the block.
The jury acquits Gildea and he leaves the courthouse, boasting that justice was served. A cocky Powell reminds Monk and the others that due to the Fifth Amendment and double jeopardy, Gildea can't be re-charged with his wife's murder no matter what they might find against him. The sculptor departs. As Gildea drives off, Monk notices that he has recently replaced one of the taillights on his car.
As Powell promotes his new book, Undefeated: The Harrison Powell Story, on the talk shows, Monk goes to see Dr. Bell. Monk is ready to quit, concerned that any murderer he catches could get free just by hiring Powell. Dr. Bell tells him about his time in college when he ran up against a pitcher he couldn't get a hit off of, and how he finally figured out the pitcher's tell. Monk doesn't see the point and tells Dr. Bell that he's quitting.
Clearing Rudy's nameEdit
Back at his apartment, Monk is packing away his files when Natalie and Randy arrive, insisting that he clear Rudy of the clerk's murder. Monk notes that Rudy confessed to the robbery, placing him at the scene, and that it looks helpless. Randy and Natalie insist that they believe in him and Monk reluctantly agrees.
Monk, Natalie and Randy visit the auto-parts store and Monk divides his time between looking around and imagining how Powell would demolish his testimony. However, Monk finally concludes that the murder wasn't premeditated. Monk notices some clues that cast doubt on Rudy's guilt in the murder: for one thing, Rudy was too short to have stolen the security tapes without using a stepping stool. Furthermore, the clerk was killed by a single blow to the back of the skull - the exact same M.O. as Nancy Gildea's murder. Then Monk makes a surprising deduction out of nowhere: the clerk's murder happened at 10 p.m. When Disher and Natalie wonder how he figured it out, Monk goes outside and in a bush next to the store, he finds a discarded taillight bulb.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Stottlemeyer brings Evan Gildea back in for questioning on the clerk's murder. Rudy is in the next room watching through the mirror but admits that he can't remember if Gildea was in the store. Monk is with Stottlemeyer and explains what happened:
Gildea set up his alibi with the nude sculpture just as Monk claimed. Just before 10 p.m, Gildea drove to San Francisco and killed his wife, and he made it look like an interrupted robbery. However, as he was leaving town, an indicator on the dashboard came on that told him that his right taillight was broken . Gildea panicked, because if he got pulled over on the way back, his alibi would be ruined. Gildea went to the nearby auto-parts store and bought a taillight. Gildea, however, ran into more misfortune: he picked the wrong moment to enter the store, coming in just as Rudy was robbing that store, taking the money and the clerk's necklace. After Rudy ran out, the clerk assured Gildea that the security camera captured everything. Now Gildea, already trying to cover up something that would ruin his alibi for his wife's murder, had another problem: once the clerk reported the robbery, the police would have looked at the security tape. They'd have seen Gildea in a store not too far from where his wife was killed, and this would have blown open his alibi for his original murder. So he grabbed a tire iron, killed the clerk by striking her over the head, stole the security tape, and made his getaway.
Powell arrives and makes light of their new theory, insisting they have no proof. Stottlemeyer admits it's true but insists that the truth will come out. As Powell leaves with Gildea, Rudy sees him. Gildea claims that he isn't the killer of the auto-parts clerk, but rather, it was Rudy,"that dope-smoking chain-snatching little punk". Monk realizes that Gildea has provided them with the evidence they need to incriminate him: Gildea just called Rudy a "dope-smoking chain-snatching little punk", but how could he know about the chain-snatching if the police report and the newspapers did not mention it? The conclusion is that the only way Gildea could have known that Rudy had stolen the clerk's necklace is if he was in that store when it happened. Stottlemeyer arrests Gildea while Powell mocks Monk, noting that he doesn't have a chance against him. His confidence restored, Monk tells a puzzled Powell that he knows what his tell is now and the lawyer won't catch him out twice. As Powell leaves, Monk loses his confidence and begins to panic.At the new trial, Gildea is found guilty of the clerk's murder after Monk supplies the vital testimony. Powell leaves the court, his perfect record ruined, and he tells Monk to say it. Monk asks him how it feels. As the lawyer leaves, Disher lets them know that Rudy has been remanded into his custody and will be working at the station as community service. Monk turns back to Natalie, who says that he did great and didn't even have to adjust the microphone stand. She and Monk go out of the courtroom... and then Monk returns to adjust the microphone.