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Mr. Monk and the Airplane

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Mr. Monk passing through gate security.

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Monk Season 1
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Season 2

Mr. Monk and the Airplane is the thirteenth episode of the first season of Monk, and is the season finale.

SynopsisEdit

Monk braves the unfriendly skies–and finds murder in the air! No one believes him except for Randy, who provides aid back in San Francisco. While in the air, Monk must deal with his fear of flight, a flight attendant, a zealous extension cord salesman.

PlotEdit

Sharona leaves to fly to New Jersey to visit her aunt. Adrian Monk is forced to brave the skies, as he is unable to live without Sharona. While at San Francisco International Airport waiting for departure, Monk sees a woman named Barbara Chabrol stand on her toes to kiss her husband, Stefan. Meanwhile, Barbara goes over to the women's bathroom. Moments later, another woman identical to Barbara arrives and asks to borrow her lipstick. The first Barbara then stares at her duplicate in shock as her duplicate tells her that her lipstick is "the only thing of [Barbara's] she doesn't have." before shooting her with a silenced pistol.

Aboard the plane, an annoying extension cord salesman named Warren Beach does little to assuage Monk's fears. Monk quickly becomes suspicious of Stefan when he notices that Barbara no longer needs to stand on her toes to kiss him, has "forgotten" that she ordered the vegetarian meal, knows nothing about air travel despite having a frequent-flyer label, and claims to have "forgotten how to" speak French when an old family friend, Bernard, meets them onboard. More digging convinces Monk he is on to something. Monk quickly annoys everyone and a fellow passenger informs Chabrol of Monk's suspicions.

Meanwhile, Bernard turns up dead (supposedly due to a heart attack) but Monk is not so sure. He steals Bernard's cup and, with a lighter Beach has, proceeds to burn away the wine. Unfortunately, the flight attendant catches him just as Monk finds a mysterious liquid at the bottom. She confiscates the lighter and throws the remainder down the sink as well as disabling the call button, also relapsing into drinking despite having quit doing so due to irritation at having to deal with Monk.

Monk calls Lieutenant Disher and explains what he thinks happened: Stephen Chabrol and his mistress murdered Barbara and the mistress disguised herself as Barbara. Stephen Chabrol, a pilot, then used his virtually unlimited access to hide the body at a construction site at the airport. The workers poured concrete over the corpse, unwittingly destroying the evidence.

Upon landing at Newark Liberty International Airport, Monk stalls Chabrol's connecting flight to Paris by contacting air traffic control. Posing as a pilot, he claims that he and his "friend," the pilot of the plane heading to France, had gotten "hammered" at a party the previous night, while Randy excavates and finds the body. The plane is forced to turn back so that the authorities can arrest Chabrol and his mistress. As they pass Monk, Chabrol then asks whether this was Monk's first flight on an airplane. Monk confirms it, causing Chabrol to curse under his breath, and acknowledge that there are some things you can't prepare for before being led away.

Background Information and NotesEdit

  • On the Monk Cast Favorites Marathon, this episode was listed as one of Jason Gray-Stanford's favorites.
  • In several novels by Lee Goldberg, Monk uses Dioxnyl, the anti-O.C.D. drug prescribed by Dr. Kroger in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" when he finds it necessary to travel by air.
  • This is the first appearance of Brooke Adams, Tony Shalhoub's real-life wife, on the series. In subsequent episodes, she plays two different characters, but for her cameo appearance on "Mr. Monk's 100th Case," she reprises her role as the flight attendant from this episode, having apparently been driven to drinking and joining Alcoholics Anonymous due to the antics on the flight.
  • Tim Daly co-starred with Shalhoub on Wings, Shalhoub's first well-known television role. Their fellow co-star Steven Weber appeared in the later episode "Mr. Monk Is on the Air."
  • This is the first in a very short list of Monk episodes which lack the signature "summation-scene.
  • Considering the post-9/11 setting of the show, it's very likely that many of the things Monk does on the plane would probably get him in trouble with the authorities, like interfering with a flight attendant's duties.

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