|Mr. Monk and the Actor|
July 7, 2006
|Monk Season 5|
|Season 4||Season 6|
Late one night, Michelle Cullman is married man Jack Leverett’s mistress, and has him come over to her apartment. They start to make out, and during a small pillow fight, Jack accidentally knocks over a teddy bear to reveal a hidden camera. Suspecting blackmail, he struggles with her and eventually beats her to death. He grabs the camera and flees.
Adrian Monk is meeting with Dr. Kroger and reveals he’ll be alone for two nights at a hotel. Dr. Kroger is happy that Adrian is making progress and then suggests they cut down on his visits. Later Monk is boasting to Natalie Teeger about his progress as they arrive at the crime scene, and they notice Stottlemeyer talking with a producer. Disher reveals they’re making a movie based on the Wagner murder case (“Mr. Monk and the Astronaut”) and they promise to act surprised when Stottlemeyer tells them. Monk does (badly), and Stottlemeyer tells them that David Ruskin will play Monk in the movie. Further, Ruskin wants to follow Monk to study him.
Monk examines the crime scene and notices some interesting details - like a lack of stuffing and a piece of shirt fabric. He concludes that there was a hidden camera in the teddy bear that they discovered, and Ruskin comes in to observe. Monk, impressed by the actor, shows off with several deductions and repeating his stuffing deduction. Monk even goes so far as to shake hands with Ruskin without using a wipe. Monk soon starts to flag in his efforts to appear “normal” but manages to find a shard of watch crystal.
Later that night, Leverett breaks into a pawnshop through a hole that he punches into the wall from the neighboring establishment. As he begins to rob the store, the manager, Lexus Orlov, happens to come up and confront him with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver. In the resulting struggle, the manager is accidentally shot with his own weapon.
The next day Monk goes to the restaurant that Leverett broke through to get to the pawnshop—the walls are covered with sketches of the guests. Ruskin is already there, “getting” into Monk by duplicating his gestures. Monk provides guidance, but wonders why the killer went after a very cheap watch and also wonders why he had to break in through the wall of the neighboring establishment. A dismayed Natalie stalks off over Monk’s efforts and Monk goes outside after her. This allows Natalie to privately warn Monk that Ruskin is actually very dangerous - according to her, he's a method actor who generally gets too involved in the roles he plays (Natalie notes an incident where Ruskin played an alcoholic and then spent three months in real rehab). Monk doesn’t believe her, and notices evidence that the killer went out the back. They also find part of the pearl handle from the manager's gun nearby, with glitter on it, proving a connection to the Michelle Cullman homicide.
Stottlemeyer orders a complete investigation into the two homicides, while Natalie notices that Ruskin is starting to uncontrollably obsess over things the same way Monk does.
Later, Stottlemeyer and Disher both meet at the set where they’re filming The Killer Astronaut, the new movie based on the events from "Mr. Monk and the Astronaut". Right off the bat as the actors who are to play Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher start acting out the scene, the real Stottlemeyer and Disher, as well as the viewers, can see that Hollywood has taken a lot of liberties with the actual events of the episode - Randy is portrayed as a woman, he and "Stottlemeyer" have a love relationship, and we can also observe a lot of the dialogue scattered throughout the original episode has now been condensed to one scene. During filming, Ruskin soon starts obsessing about the crew’s mish-mash of hats and jackets and stalks off the set.
That night, Ruskin goes to Monk's apartment and insists on knowing the “why” of how Monk acts the way he does. Ruskin wants to know about Trudy and insists he needs to feel what Monk feels. He finds Monk’s collection of evidence about Trudy’s death and figures out that’s the key—Monk tracks down other killers because he can’t catch his wife’s killer.
Monk goes to Natalie in the middle of the night and confesses that Ruskin has been dredging up his old feelings and then chased him out of his own house. Monk prepares to sleep over but notices a note from some boy to Julie that she ripped up so Natalie couldn’t see it, which is what Monk uses to solve the case.
Here's What HappenedEdit
The next day they go back to the sketch restaurant and recreate the debris to recover a sketch destroyed when the killer broke through the wall. Monk has figured out that the killer and Michelle were there the previous week and the sketch artist drew them together on the wall, and was wearing the shirt that matches the fabric they found at the crime scene. The killer faked the robbery to have a reason to destroy the wall.
At the garage where Trudy was killed, Ruskin is there, even more “into” Monk and looking for clues for the murder.
The police identify Leverett as the killer and track him down to his auto dealership. They get word that Ruskin is there but think he’s Monk and send a message telling him where Leverett is. Ruskin-as-Monk thinks Leverett is Trudy’s killer, goes there, and takes Leverett hostage with a Model 26. Stottlemeyer arrives and at first thinks that Monk is the one holding the gun on Leverett, until the actual Monk arrives with Natalie.
Ruskin-as-Monk is demanding answers from Leverett at gunpoint when Monk arrives. Monk tries to distract Ruskin with a peeling sticker and the two of hem end up working on the sticker together using the gun to push it down. They finally realize what they’re doing and fight over the gun. Ruskin gets the gun but Monk points out who Leverett finally killed and Leverett confesses. Monk convinces Ruskin that Trudy wouldn’t want him to kill Leverett, and Ruskin gives up the gun. But Ruskin admits that “he” didn’t’ go with Trudy they day of her murder because he was tired, and they both break down.
Later Monk is visiting with Dr. Kroger and observes the movie has been cancelled. Monk insists on upping his treatment to five days a week and they end up doing seven days a week.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- The second time Randy gets to give a summation, after "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever."
- Stanley Tucci was one of the three final choices to play Adrian Monk, along with Tony Shalhoub and Alfred Molina. Molina later appeared in the Season Six episode "Mr. Monk and the Naked Man."
- Tucci and Shalhoub also played brothers in the film Big Night.
- Peter Weller, who appears briefly as the actor playing Stottlemeyer, directed the later episode "Mr. Monk, Private Eye."
- The original script for this episode called for a kid dressed in a cowboy suit to find the murder weapon. The "little cowboy" was to be played by Nicholas Stargel. This was his first booking at the age of 5. The "little cowboy" uses the gun to play the Cisco Kid, and picks it up, mistaking it for a toy. Natalie begins playing "shootout" with the young cowboy, until Monk deduces that this is the murder weapon and that it has one bullet left in the chamber. A suspenseful hide-and-seek game results, and ends with Monk and Natalie narrowly escaping getting hit when the kid fires. Due to time, the scene was cut, so instead, Monk and Natalie find the murder weapon in the downspout.