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Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend

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Monk Season 6
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Season 5 Season 7


"Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend" is the fourth episode of the sixth season of the television series Monk, and is the 81st episode overall.

PlotEdit

Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger arrive at the police station at around 6:55 PM on a Friday night, looking for Captain Stottlemeyer, who has forgotten to sign some papers for them. Lieutenant Disher tells them that Stottlemeyer is in his office talking to Linda Fusco on his computer webcam.

Monk and Natalie head in, and give their regards to Linda, who is talking to them from her bedroom. She and Stottlemeyer are planning on a trip to Hawaii (which will be the first real vacation Stottlemeyer has had in several years) in a week's time. To give the full effect, she puts a hibiscus flower in her hair and then plays some Hawaiian-evoking music on her stereo. When Linda sees her watch, she realizes that it's 7:00 PM and she has to go. Stottlemeyer asks Linda about Sean Corcoran, her business partner, and she replies that he's up in Marin County giving a house tour. As soon as the webcam program closes, Stottlemeyer notes to Monk and Natalie that Linda and Sean have been business partners for seventeen years (which Natalie comments is longer than most marriages).

20 minutes later, at an open house in Novato, Sean Corcoran is finishing making some phone calls when a young couple, Richard and Carol Young show up for their appointment with him. As the homeowners are out of town, he tells them that they can take their time. But as the couple admires the foyer, a masked gunman suddenly bursts out of the bathroom, armed with a shotgun, and shoots Corcoran in the chest, blasting him backwards across the living room into a desk, and killing him instantly. The horrified couple immediately runs out of the house, afraid for their life.

The next morning, Linda is at her house, trying to talk to someone on her cell phone, but she can't hear the other person because a man is using a chainsaw to chop down a tree on her front lawn. She sees Stottlemeyer, who cheerfully tells her that he is taking her out to breakfast. After telling the man with the chainsaw to take a short break, he admits to Linda that he saw that the tree was dead and ordered it cut down because it would have destroyed half of Linda's roof if it fell over. As they embrace, a tow truck arrives to impound a box rental truck across the street. Stottlemeyer admits that the driver had illegally parked the vehicle in front of a fire hydrant. Just then, Linda receives a phone call about Sean Corcoran's death, and she becomes visibly shocked. Stottlemeyer gives her some comfort by working out an arrangement with the Marin County Sheriff's department.

With Linda not willing to let Stottlemeyer leave her, Stottlemeyer sends Monk and Natalie up to Novato to assist the local police. Arriving at the crime scene, they meet the primary investigator, Lieutenant Hendrix, who strictly gives them "observer status" only.

Inside the house, Hendrix finishes taking witness statements from a shaken Richard and Carol Young. They describe the killer as being approximately 5'7" in height. Both witnesses are baffled by the fact that the killer didn't even contemplate shooting them. Suddenly, Carol amends her statement: she thinks the killer was a woman. She remembers that the shooter wore coral peach-colored lips, and she mentions that one cosmetics company, Runway, produces such a shade of lipstick. Natalie makes a small comment about Runway, noting how their products are too expensive for someone on her salary, to some strong disapproval from Hendrix.

An officer informs Hendrix that they've found the shooter's point of entry. Monk, Natalie and Hendrix observe that the shooter entered the house by breaking in through the back door from the patio. Monk, however, is suspicious: the broken shards of glass from the door pane are all intact, yet if the killer broke in through that door, she would have had to step on the shards, cracking them, and there are no cracks present in any of the broken pieces. Hendrix suggests that the killer stepped over the broken glass shards, but Monk believes that the shooter is actually a person who has a key to the house.

Monk and Natalie interview Linda at her office about Sean Corcoran. When asked about people who may have had a key to the house, Linda mentions that the likely people would be the homeowners and possibly some close relatives. Natalie notes that there was a lockbox on the front door, meaning that it is possible someone from Linda's company is responsible, however Linda notes that all of their agents work together as a family. Asked about Sean's female enemies, Linda tells them that he did have one - a woman named Helen Hubbert, whom he sold a house to about a year earlier, and who sent some threatening letters to him. While they are in Linda's office, Monk notices a photo of a younger Linda next to her grandfather, who is holding a Remington 870 shotgun. He asks about it, and Linda confirms that she inherited a twelve-gauge from her grandfather when he died.

Monk, Natalie and Linda go to Sean's office to pick up the letters. Monk observes that many of Sean's belongings have been boxed up, and Linda confirms that he was starting his own company. She finds the letters in a box, then takes off to go home and have a nervous breakdown.

As Monk and Natalie leave the office, Natalie notices that Monk looks disturbed. He whispers to her that he knows Linda is the shooter and the evidence is overwhelming. She obviously owns a shotgun or at least knows how to use one. She also has a whopper of a motive: he was splitting off from her and starting his own company, and would have taken a lot of their clients with him. She's also the same height as the shooter and she had a house key. Natalie doesn't believe it, but as they get on the elevator, Monk produces a lipstick he palmed from Linda's purse. Natalie reads the label: it's the same brand of coral peach lipstick that the witnesses said the shooter was wearing.

The next day, Randy is finishing up booking a ukelele band for Stottlemeyer's and Linda's send-off party when Monk and Natalie arrive to inform him of their suspicions about Linda. However, due to Natalie calling their suspicions "confidential," Randy interprets Natalie's words as meaning to say that she is in love with him, until Monk tells him the real news. Randy insists that Linda could not have possibly shot Corcoran. For one thing, she was talking to Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer on a webcam from her house in Richmond just 20 minutes before the shooting, and the timing would be very tight: to go the approximately 32.2 miles between Richmond and Novato in 20 minutes would involve driving at approximately 100 mph at the height of evening rush hour. The only reasonable way that Linda could have done that distance in that amount of time is if (as Natalie suggests) she had a working jetpack, like the ones in the James Bond movies. Randy suggests to them that they ask Linda themselves, and he hears a car pull in down below. However, when he goes to the window to check, he tells them that he just heard a motorcycle. Monk remembers that Stottlemeyer sold his motorcycle, but Randy notes that Linda has one as well. This gives Monk and Natalie an idea.

Sometime later, Monk is waiting outside Linda's house when Natalie rides up on a Harley motorcycle. After mentioning that she acquired it from a biker friend of hers who owed her a favor, she supplies Monk a motorcycle helmet. Monk reluctantly puts it on, and insists on accompanying Natalie while he times the route with a stopwatch, since he wants to be able to tell Stottlemeyer that he checked this lead out personally. Before they take off, Monk attempts to use weight-displacement to keep from falling off the seat, since he would prefer not to hold onto Natalie's shoulders. This only causes him to immediately fall off when Natalie speeds forward. He resorts to using wipes to grab Natalie's jacket.

After a long motorcycle ride, they eventually arrive at the crime scene. Monk checks his stopwatch, which shows that it took 65 minutes for them to travel the 32.2 mile distance (at approximately 30 MPH). Monk admits that he has never been happier to be wrong, but then he sees a small discarded hibiscus flower in a nearby bush, and they realize that they are stumped: Linda is definitely the killer, but the timing is impossbile.

Stottlemeyer is leaving the police station and walking to his car in the parking lot to meet Linda for lunch when Monk and Natalie intercept him. They inform him about their suspicions about Linda, and Stottlemeyer takes it that Monk is joking, until Natalie reminds him that Monk has no sense of humor. Monk produces the hibiscus flower he pulled out of the bush at the crime scene, and notes that the night of the murder, Linda put just such a flower in her hair. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence pointing to Linda, Stottlemeyer doesn't believe it, and suspects that Monk has an ulterior motive - that Monk is jealous at him having a real life, a badge, and a girl, though Monk insists that this is not true. Monk continues to elaborate on his suspicions, and Stottlemeyer promptly shoves Monk into the side of a marked police car, telling him that he'll forget about this meeting. He then gets into his car and peels out of the parking lot. As certain as Monk and Natalie are about Linda's guilt, they will have to find more solid evidence if they want to make an arrest.

Stottlemeyer brings in Helen Hubbert, the client who wrote Sean Corcoran the threatening letters, and has her interrogated. She admits that she was asleep at the time of the murder, having gone to bed early with a cold. She admits that she doesn't have an alibi and she hated Sean for lying to her about her house (noting that it has a terrible furnace, a leaky roof, and carpet-ant-infested bathrooms). She confirms that her father was a locksmith and she worked in his store. Monk and Natalie watch the interrogation from the observation room. When Stottlemeyer makes a set of window blinds askew, Monk takes evasive action and sabotages the interrogation by pressing the button for the speakers in the interrogation room. He pretends to be an FBI agent watching them on a video feed  - a story that Stottlemeyer fails to fall for, and irritates him into scuffing one of his shoes against the two-way mirror - and points out Helen's drinking problem and second night-job.

Later, Monk tries to convince Stottlemeyer to ignore his relationship with Linda and look at the murder the way any cop would, noting a few details about the crime that point to Linda. Among others, the night of the murder, the shooter hid in the bathroom. She could have shot Corcoran at any time she wanted, but she chose to wait until 7:20 PM when there were two witnesses in the house, before shooting him. That indicates one thing: the shooter needed witnesses to confirm the exact time of the shooting because she had an airtight alibi for that time. Unfortunately, Stottlemeyer mentions that Linda is his last chance, given his age, and he closes his office door.

Monk devises a brilliant way to allow him to search Linda's house for evidence. Natalie has Linda show her around a model apartment, while he looks around. As Monk looks around, he makes sure to leave no signs that he has been there - when he moves a sunflower from one vase to another so that a row of three vases each have two sunflowers in them, he reconsiders his action and puts it back the way it was. While searching a desk in the front hall, Monk finds a rental form for a moving truck from the same company as the one that was towed from Linda's street the day after the shooting, that is filled out under Linda's maiden name and address. He next observes the closet, where he finds a barrel cleaner and a bottle of gun lubricant, but no shotgun. Unfortunately, at that same moment, Linda comes in, having been told that Monk would be there. He grills her about the shotgun, and she admits that it was stolen recently. However, she has become aware that Monk has caught onto her, and she lures him up to her bedroom, where she pulls the last trick on Monk: she tries to seduce him! Nonetheless, Monk sets a pen down on the desk and observes the fact that it doesn't move at all before running out of the house, where Natalie has just pulled up. He informs her that Linda is definitely the killer and he can prove it and they speed off.

At Stottlemeyer and Linda's sendoff party the following day, Linda tells Stottlemeyer about Monk's visit. However, she tells a different version and claims that Monk threatened to frame her for the shooting if she didn't sleep with him. Stottlemeyer, however, has known Monk longer than Linda has and immediately becomes suspicious because that is the kind of behavior Monk would never engage in. Natalie comes in during the party, and momentarily flirts with Randy, who tells her that Monk hasn't been invited, but Natalie lies and pretends that she's alone, and she heads into Stottlemeyer's office. What she doesn't tell others is that she and Monk are actually executing a sting operation.

A few minutes later, Natalie comes out and tells Stottlemeyer and Linda that she has a surprise for them. Everyone piles into the office, where Natalie has switched on Stottlemeyer's webcam to show Monk, speaking to everyone from Linda's bedroom (or at least, that's what everyone but Natalie thinks). Monk explains that Linda put some music on her stereo on the night of the murder, and plays the music in question. Midway through, Linda switches off the webcam, telling Stottlemeyer that she wants to leave town as soon as possible, while Natalie goes over to the windows and opens them, revealing that the music is still playing despite the webcam being switched off. She tells them that it seems to be coming from the impound lot. Everyone files down to the impound lot, where the music is coming from the business rental truck towed from Linda's street the morning after the murder. Stottlemeyer pushes up the back door... revealing Monk, sitting in a recreation of Linda's bedroom. He switches off the music, and gives his summation.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Linda rented the truck under her maiden name, and then spent months duplicating her bedroom right down to the last detail. She also began talking to Stottlemeyer at 6:30 PM every night to give her an alibi. She always did it from her bedroom, except on the night of the murder, when she was actually talking to him on a wireless connection from a parking lot in Novato. She chatted with him, Monk, and Natalie like normal. After she signed off, she snuck into the house, having known that Sean Corcoran had an appointment there at 7:20 PM, and she just had to hide and wait in the bathroom.

It would have been the perfect murder if it hadn't been for the truck getting towed. Caught, Linda asks Monk how he figured it out. Monk picks up a pen, and reveals that on the night of the murder, Linda put a pen down on the table and it rolled away, yet when he was in her real bedroom and he set a pen down on the same table, it didn't roll. It means that Linda had parked her rental truck on a hill. Linda confesses, and Stottlemeyer reluctantly arrests her.

Later, Stottlemeyer takes Randy to Hawaii, both of them unable to answer one question: was Linda's relationship with him for real, or was it so because she thought a police captain would be the perfect alibi? Stottlemeyer then throws a small ring into the water. Randy asks him about it, and Stottlemeyer says that it was just a rock, indicating that he would have planned on proposing to Linda in Hawaii.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Production stills indicated that Monk's confrontation with Linda Fusco late into the episode was originally going to happen on her front lawn instead of in her bedroom.

GoofsEdit

  • The barrel cleaner that Monk finds in Linda's closet appears to be for a .22 caliber rifle, not for a shotgun.
  • The brush that Monk picks up is initially straight, but a few angle changes later, is bent.
  • When Monk and Natalie are using the motorcycle to determine how long it would have taken for Linda to get from her house to the crime scene, they drive along several main roads and at one point they drive through a downtown area. They are never seen using main highways. In reality, to go from Richmond (where Linda's house is located) to Novato (where the crime scene is), one drives across the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge on Interstate 580 to San Rafael, and then north on U.S. Highway 101 to Novato.
  • The police cars at the crime scene read 'Marin County Police'. Marin County's police force is actually known as the Marin County Sheriff's Department, although many towns in the county actually have their own forces.
  • Stottlemeyer would not be able to handle any element of the Sean Corcoran homicide case, because the murder was committed in Marin County, which is outside the SFPD's jurisdiction. Under most normal circumstances, Lt. Hendrix, the detective that Monk and Natalie meet at the crime scene, would be in charge of the investigation.
  • When Natalie opens the windows in Stottlemeyer's office to reveal that the music is coming from the parking lot, everyone files out and heads down to the parking lot. When we cut to them finding the truck, the music hasn't skipped a beat.
  • When the murder is shown being committed, it is 7:20 PM and it is dark out. At this point in the summer, it gets darker much later in the Bay Area.
  • Stottlemeyer refuses to talk to Monk about the investigation, so how could Monk have known about the impounded rental truck? The answer is never explained on-screen, but Monk and Natalie most likely learned about the truck through someone else. One possibility is that Monk had seen the impounded rental truck before, may have known what day it was impounded on, and made the connection when he saw the rental form in Linda's house.

SourcesEdit

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