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Mr. Monk and the 12th Man

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Mr. Monk and the 12th Man is the ninth episode of the second season of Monk.

SynopsisEdit

When a rash of murders sweeping the city goes unsolved, Monk is called upon to find the link between the victims and stop the killer before the next murder.

PlotEdit

Two highway tollbooth operators, Frank Pulaski and Tommy Zimm, are having routine conversation as they send cars through their tollbooths. As they talk, a black sedan pulls up to Pulaski's booth, and the driver pays with a $10 bill. He then asks the operator if his name if Frank Pulaski. When Pulaski says yes, the driver demands his change. As Pulaski is extending his hand out to give the driver his money, the driver suddenly handcuffs his wrist to a long rope, and then floors on the gas pedal. Tommy attempts to cut the rope as it unravels, but fails. The rope goes taut, and Tommy can only watch as Pulaski is yanked off his feet and dragged to his death.

Adrian Monk, meanwhile, is haggling with his drycleaner, Mrs. Ling, while Sharona excitedly admires pictures of herself in the newspaper with her new boyfriend, Kenny Shale, the favored candidate in the upcoming mayoral election. To Mrs. Ling's immense relief, there's an interruption when Captain Stottlemeyer calls them to the tollbooth.

Monk and Sharona meet a ragged Stottlemeyer at the crime scene. He notes that drier handcuffed Pulaski by one wrist to 70 feet of rope and dragged his body for almost three-quarters of a mile. He tells them that there is no end in sight. Monk asks, and Stottlemeyer explains that this hit-and-run is just the ninth in a string of bizarre homicides that have been sweeping the city in the past two weeks. The victims have nothing in common: four have been men, five have been women; all of them different ages, races, professions, backgrounds, etc. Even the M.O.s have been different: a few have been shootings (all different weapons), plus one drowning and one electrocution. The only thing in common about all of the murders is that it is impossible to solve any of them, which is why Monk is being called in.

While they are at the scene, Lieutenant Disher mentions to Sharona that he saw the picture of her with Kenny Shale in the paper, and soon other cops at the scene are gathering around the possible future first lady. After a while, Stottlemeyer breaks them up and pulls Sharona aside. He warns Sharona that seeing Kenny Shale is going to represent a big change in her life - everybody she knows will want a piece of her. She won't know who to trust, and Monk won't be able to help her.

While that is going on, Monk and Stottlemeyer interview Tommy. He is pretty shaken up by his coworker's death, so he can't remember the make or model of the car, nor can he supply a license plate number. He also doesn't know why the killer went for Pulaski instead of him, as Tommy's booth was wide-open and there were three cars at Pulaski's booth right before the killer's car. Monk and Stottlemeyer conclude that the driver had preselected his victim. Monk looks inside Pulaski's tollbooth and gets a look at the $10 bill used by the killer to pay his toll. He also notices that Pulaski's coin tray only has a small amount of money in it, and deduces that Pulaski had just started his shift when he was killed. Tommy confirms that, and suddenly remembers that the killer's car was parked by a callbox a few hundred feet before the toll plaza for about twenty minutes. Monk figures that the driver waited for Pulaski to come on duty.

Monk is a bit jealous that the other cops are sucking up to Sharona as a future first lady. However, he confides to Dr. Kroger that he hopes to catch some of Kenny Shale's patronage, noting that if Sharona is still seeing Kenny and he gets elected, it might give him some leverage when it comes to being reinstated.

At a movie theater across town from the tollbooth, a young woman named Arlene Carney sits down at a horror movie. Shortly after she sits down, a shadowy man sits down behind her and asks her if her name is Arlene Carney. When she says yes, he strangles her.

The scene cuts to Monk and Stottlemeyer taking statements from a teenage usher and the theater manager, who both witnessed the attack, as morgue attendants roll a stretcher into the building to grab the body. They recount that the victim bought a ticket for the movie and went into the theater. A minute later, a man who was wearing a handkerchief to hide his face showed up and bought a ticket for the same movie. He gave the usher a $10 bill, then went inside and committed the murder. While they are briefly interrupted when Sharona gets a call from Kenny Shale, Monk looks at the $10 bill, and he tells Stottlemeyer that they've got a serial killer on the loose: the serial number on the $10 bill from the movie theater is sequential to the $10 bill Monk found in Frank Pulaski's tollbooth.

At the police station, the Robbery-Homicide Division is being mobilized into a task force to find the killer. Randy hands Stottlemeyer a preliminary psychological profile, but Stottlemeyer dismisses it as scrap paper. He also makes it clear that he wants to stop the killer at ten victims - and even orders Randy to take down a piece of paper that he's using as space for the killer's next victim.

Monk examines the photos of the victims and makes a link between some of the victims - they have the same wall calendars. Stottlemeyer insists to Monk that there are several more promising leads, but nonetheless, Monk goes to the house of Henry Smalls, who produces the calendars. Despite the fact that Smalls has been out of town for the past two weeks and is due back tonight, he stakes out Smalls' house that night, with Sharona and Kenny in tow since Sharona doesn't want to break her date. While waiting for Smalls to come back, Monk notes that the odometer on Sharona's car is at 99,999, and he starts to roll the car back and forth in an attempt to get the odometer to even out.

At that point, Smalls arrives home in a taxicab. But just as he is walking up to his front door, a man comes out from the side of the house and lethally stabs Smalls, despite Monk shouting a warning to him. Monk tackles the killer, but is thrown to the ground and the killer escapes, though Monk tears off a piece of his shirtsleeve.

Back at the police station, the police somberly add a photo of Henry Smalls to the wall of the victims. Stottlemeyer is clearly upset that despite all their work and overtime, their killer has claimed another victim. He quickly orders the detectives to find out how many of the other victims knew Smalls, and revisit every crime scene to look again for more clues.

Monk has sprained his arm in the attack, and openly admits to Stottlemeyer that he thought Smalls would be a suspect, not the 11th victim. The only thing he knows about the killer is that he was chewing his fingernails, and he was wearing a ski mask. Convinced that there must be something to help them narrow down a potential suspect, Monk re-examines the photos of the victims and quickly realizes something doesn't add up: all eleven victims were all of different ages and professions, all different origins, and all from different social classes; a group way too diverse for the killer to be choosing at random. Monk then notices something interesting on the map of pushpins showing them where the victims lived and where they were killed: the victims were killed all throughout the Bay Area, but all eleven of them lived in Marin County. He also notices that the victims were all registered voters, and Stottlemeyer, catching on, realizes the one place a person could find a diverse group of victims: on a jury.

Some quick research confirms Monk's suspicions: six years ago, the eleven murder victims served as members of a twelve person jury for a personal injury lawsuit in Marin County. It happened when a handyman named Ian Agnew fell off a roof and landed on a metal pipe sticking up out of the ground. He sued the homeowners, Stewart and Lisa Babcock, for negligence. The jury deliberated and awarded Agnew a considerable $750,000, which the homeowner's insurance paid for completely. It was all a straightforward trial, and the file notes nothing unusual as having happened: the jury deliberated for a day and half, visited the scene of the accident, and then was sequestered in a motel for a night before they delivered their verdict. The only thing "unusual" about it is the fact that six years later, someone killed off the entire jury one at a time.

Currently, the police are trying to track down the one remaining juror, Wallace J. Cassidy. Randy then appears to tell them that they've picked up Cassidy, and he seems like a likely suspect: for one thing, he is a gambling addict and is frequently in debt, and they've found a human finger in his freezer. Monk, however, is not convinced, because none of the victims were missing a finger and Cassidy doesn't seem to have any conceivable motive for killing the rest of his jury.

Despite the police and Kenny Shale being certain that they've found their man, Monk and Sharona do some asking around to find out more about the trial, to see why someone wanted to kill the jury. They first interview Ian Agnew, who confides that he felt indebted to the jury for the money that they awarded to him, but he never met the jurors at all. He never completely recovered from the fall, as part of the pipe has been lodged permanently in his head, and he seems to have been psychologically altered by the incident. He's taking phone calls from imaginary people, saying "I don't get many visitors" over and over, and yelling "bad dog!" at a spot on the floor. Agnew does, however, mention that he was hired by Stewart Babcock's first wife, but she vanished shortly after he started the job, so he mostly dealt with Stewart.

Monk and Sharona next go to the Babcocks' house. Lisa Babcock mentions to them that the lawsuit was before her time, as she didn't meet Stewart until after the trial. When they first see Stewart, he is lounging in his pool, and reading a magazine. He is somewhat exasperated as he explains that he never went to the trial. Monk is distracted when he fishes a leaf out of the pool. When he heads to the kitchen to dispose of it, he catches the Babcocks in a couple lies: despite Lisa claiming that she didn't meet Stewart until after the trial, Monk finds a photo of them smoking in an Irish pub that he knows hasn't allowed smoking since 1995. He also realizes that Stewart is "the guy" - he was chewing on his fingernails when they talked to him, just like the guy who attacked juror #11.

Back at the police station, Kenny Shale holds a press conference announcing that Wallace Cassidy has been arrested as the killer, despite Stottlemeyer's skepticism on Cassidy's guilt. Sharona tries to plead to Kenny on their behalf, but he dismisses her pleas. Monk looks at the shirtsleeve he tore off of Henry Smalls' attacker, and notices something, even though Randy points out that the piece of fabric is untraceable.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Monk, Sharona, and Stottlemeyer pull up outside the Babcocks' house just as Stewart and Lisa Babcock are about to leave. While Sharona stews nearby about her relationship with Kenny Shale, Monk and Stottlemeyer talk to Stewart and Lisa. Stewart claims that they are heading to a house at the beach, but Monk notices passports in their bag, and reveals that they're leaving the country because they've heard that the police have arrested Wallace Cassidy. When Stewart asks why he would care about the members of the killed-off jury, Monk suggests that they know that Cassidy is going to confess - not to murder, but for blackmail. Cassidy, Juror #12, has been blackmailing them, because he knows that six years ago, Stewart murdered his first wife. Monk explains.

After Ian Agnew fell off the Babcocks' roof and sued the couple for negligence, the jury went to the house and visited the scene of the accident. As the jurors looked around, Cassidy wandered off. As he had a gambling problem, he was most likely trying to search for something worth stealing. But Cassidy never found anything worth stealing from the house - but in one container, he found the preserved remains of the first Mrs. Babcock. He was so amazed at his find that he didn't leave without taking a picture and one of her fingers. Instead of reporting the crime to the police, Cassidy started blackmailing Stewart for money to support his gambling habit.

Stewart paid, only knowing that the blackmailer was one of the jurors, likely because that was the only time he had had any visitors prior to disposing of the body. He didn't really care which juror specifically was the blackmailer. He figured that would be the end of it, but Cassidy kept demanding more and more money, and six years later, Stewart finally snapped. He decided to kill the blackmailer, but since he didn't know which juror was sending him the notes, he had to kill them all, one at a time.

Stewart says there is no proof, but Monk pulls out the shirtsleeve he pulled off when Stewart attacked Juror #11. Monk admits that he can't prove it's Stewart's shirt, but he knows someone who might identify it. As he says that, Randy arrives with Mrs. Ling, Monk's drycleaner. Monk reveals that when he saw the piece of shirtsleeve, he noticed the unique stitching and realized that he and the killer had to have one thing in common: they share the same drycleaner. Mrs. Ling recognizes the stitching pattern on the shirtsleeve, and identifies the sleeve as coming from Stewart Babcock's shirt. This is enough to arrest the couple for the twelve murders.

A few days later, Monk is arguing with Mrs. Ling through the door of her shop, whom she refuses to serve ever again. Sharona tells him to forget about it, and turns to see her car being ticketed. Since Kenny Shale has just dropped out of the election after wrongfully accusing Wallace Cassidy to the media, his name means less than zero to the parking officer.

Background Information and NotesEdit

  • Kenny is played by Jerry Levine, who has directed a large number of the series's episodes.

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