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Monk Season 7
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Season 6 Season 8

"Mr. Monk and the Bully" is the 14th episode of the seventh season of Monk, and the 107th episode overall.

PlotEdit

As Adrian Monk is cooking a chicken in his kitchen, Natalie Teeger is in the dining room, talking on the phone with a client. When she hangs up, she mentions to Monk that they've received their first client in weeks. He wouldn't mention what the job was, but he did say his name was Roderick Brody and he wants to meet Monk the next day. Monk remembers Roderick Brody very well as the bully who tortured him every day in middle school. He has a flashback to a memory of Roderick torturing him with a "swirly" (a bathroom prank where the victim's head is stuck into a toilet bowl and then flush it), and as a result, burns his hand on a hot oven tray.

Monk is nervous with meeting Roderick. The next day, he moves up his appointment with Dr. Bell to ask for some words of advice. Dr. Bell tells Monk that he had a bully in school as well and his father told him stand up to the bully in order to make him back down, but Monk complains that that advice is useless. Natalie refuses to let him back out, primarily because Roderick turns out to be their first paying client in weeks. He tries to get Dr. Bell to sign a note that he can show Natalie to back out of the situation. Dr. Bell suggests to Monk that he look at the meeting with Roderick as an opportunity to confront his most troubling fears. Monk contemplates on that idea, then asks for his note back. Dr. Bell agrees, but stops and warily hopes that Monk isn't planning to forge his signature. Monk says he isn't, then promptly lunges for the note.

Monk and Natalie are next seen pulling up in the driveway at the Brody house. As they climb out of the car, Monk is still nervous, but Natalie assures him that there is no harm in hearing Roderick out. They are greeted at the front door by Marilyn Brody, Roderick's young 35 year old wife. As she ushers them into the foyer, she and Natalie make small talk. Marilyn mentions that she and her husband are currently renovating the house for a party, being held in three weeks time. Natalie notices a wedding photo of Roderick and Marilyn in front of the house, and Marilyn admits that their wedding was small, since she didn't have much family, as she was adopted, apart from a single aunt in Texas. Marilyn then goes upstairs to fetch her husband. While Monk and Natalie wait, Natalie notes just by looking at the woodwork in the foyer that Roderick's checks must never bounce.

Monk panics when he hears a toilet flushing upstairs. At that point, Roderick comes back downstairs, angrily chewing someone out on his cell phone about a money dispute, but he hangs up and is delighted when he sees Monk.

Roderick invites Monk and Natalie into his private study, and after catching up with Monk's life since middle school, he explains to them his case: he thinks Marilyn is cheating on him. Two days ago, he says he was in a cab stopped at a red light and by chance, he saw her crossing the street, when she said she was out of town. Roderick believes she was meeting someone, judging from the way she walked and dressed. Roderick wants to know where she was going, and who she was meeting. Natalie starts to give Roderick the brush-off, pointing out that she and Monk don't deal in matrimonial cases (and offers to refer him to someone else who practices these types of cases), but Monk takes the job, intending to give Roderick the benefit of the doubt. As they leave the house, it becomes clear that Monk is all too happy to have revenge on Roderick.

The next day, Monk and Natalie are seen piecing together the route Marilyn might have taken. They have reached the point where Roderick said he lost track of her. Natalie suggests that Marilyn turned right, but Monk points out that that street heads uphill and she was wearing high-heels; she then suggests that Marilyn crossed the road, but Monk notes that there's nothing in that direction. Acting on a hunch, Monk and Natalie continue up the street they've been walking down. After Monk tries unsuccessfully to get information from a doorman, Natalie pulls Monk aside to warn him that if he's right, Roderick's marriage could be destroyed, but Monk doesn't show any signs of remorse. Monk notices a bar across the street and thinks it looks promising.

Monk and Natalie walk into an upscale bar, and after taking stools at the counter, Monk tries to ask the shady bartender if he has seen Marilyn. When the bartender claims that he hasn't, Monk makes a pathetic attempt at bribing him with "two General Washingtons", a $1 bill and a quarter. The attempt is so lame that Natalie is visibly embarrassed. The bartender walks away and Monk puts his money back into his wallet. A businessman sitting a few stools over motions them over to Marilyn, who is kissing a young, good-looking, virile man in the back, across the room. Monk pulls out a ridiculously old camera (with expired film to match), attaches a flash cube to it, and at first attempts to take a picture of the lovers in the act by using the reflection of a spoon. Since Monk and Natalie wince when the flash goes off, it is obvious that the photo is wasted. But noticing the businessman eyeing them, Natalie gets an idea: she tricks the businessman into taking a photo of Marilyn by making him think that he's taking a picture of Monk and Natalie (who both promptly duck out of view just as the flash fires).

That night, Monk and Natalie have a secret rendezvous with Roderick in a remote corner of a deserted parking lot. Monk explains to him that the man they saw was a guy named Douglas J. Fendle. Roderick claims never to have heard of Fendle. Monk notes that they have managed to track down Fendle to a nearby hotel. Unfortunately, Roderick is having second thoughts, and mentions that he thinks the woman he saw was not Marilyn - he admits that his eyesight isn't perfect, and the photos are too grainy for him to make a positive facial identification. Plus he confides that they just celebrated their wedding anniversary and Marilyn bought them cruise tickets. For Monk and Natalie's troubles, he gives them their paycheck, although Monk offers to dig a little deeper and get a digital camera to find more proof. As Roderick pulls the money out of his car’s glove compartment, Monk momentarily becomes unnerved upon seeing a revolver stashed there, but Roderick reassures him that the weapon is registered and he is licensed.

Natalie arrives at Monk's apartment the next morning with a new digital camera. When Monk brings up the case again, Natalie, visibly uncomfortable, admits that she no longer wishes to continue helping Monk in following Marilyn, believing that Monk's obsession with the case is bordering onto the lines of stalking. When Monk refuses to budge, Natalie explodes with rage and angrily insists he drop the case. She is interrupted when she receives a very disturbing call on her cell phone.

The scene cuts to Monk and Natalie looking down at Fendle, who has been found stabbed and killed in his hotel room. Lieutenant Disher notes that Fendle was from Chicago, 37 years old, and was an attorney at a law firm that handled family issues (primarily wills and adoptions). Randy notes that Fendle was on vacation, and checked in three days ago. The medical examiner has determined that Fendle was killed sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 PM the night before, when someone stabbed him three times with a steak knife taken off a room service tray. Nothing has been taken or searched, indicating that the killer wasn't after money, and a lack of forced entry seems to suggest the killer and victim knew each other.

Natalie quickly becomes frustrated with Monk's inattentiveness, and quickly pulls him aside. She asks him if he thinks Roderick Brody might be involved, and he seems to believe so. Before Natalie can berate Monk any further, Captain Stottlemeyer enters, having just gone dumpster diving for the knife with no success. He believes the killer must still be in possession of the knife. When Stottlemeyer learns that Monk and Natalie know Fendle, Monk eagerly gives him Roderick's name and address, despite Natalie's efforts not to reveal it.

Stottlemeyer and Disher have Roderick brought to the police station to be questioned. When asked to supply an alibi for the murder, he claims that he was at home with Marilyn watching a movie. He still sticks to his story that the woman that Monk and Natalie saw in the bar wasn't his wife. Just then, Marilyn walks in, the police having notified her about the situation. She gives a very shocking story contradictory to Roderick's story: she says she admitted to Roderick that she was having an affair with Fendle. She says he got furious, said he was going to kill Fendle, and he stormed out of the house. When he came back a few hours later, she says, he was carrying a bloody steak knife in his hands. She presents said knife, wrapped in a piece of cloth. As she is giving her story, Roderick angrily tries to insist that Marilyn is lying, and Stottlemeyer has to restrain him.

Monk excuses himself and leaves the police station. Natalie finds him meditating in a nearby park. His revenge fulfilled, Monk plans on doing a cartwheel, but as he's trying to do so, he finds that he can't bring himself to do such a thing as he begins to feel sorry for Roderick. He eventually tries to get Natalie to do the cartwheel for him. She refuses, and Monk suddenly notices a nearby police officer's holstered pistol. Natalie asks Monk what is wrong, and Monk mentions that Roderick had a gun.

Monk and Natalie return to the Brody house to question her again. Marilyn tries to convince them that she is busy, but they manage to bluff their way in. Curiously, Marilyn seems to have forgotten Natalie's name. As they wait in the foyer, a banker finishes up some work setting up a new bank account, and then leaves the house.

After the banker leaves, Monk tells Marilyn that there are several holes in her story that he's noticed: for one thing, she told the police that Roderick was upset and that he stormed out of the house, but he was driving his own car. This doesn't make any sense at all to Monk. He remembers that Roderick keeps a revolver in his car's glovebox, so if it had been Roderick, wouldn't Fendle have been shot, not stabbed? And how could Roderick possibly know that there would be a steak knife at the scene if he hadn't been there before? Marilyn suggests that perhaps Roderick took the gun and realized at the last minute that shooting Fendle would make too much noise. She admits that she can't be more helpful. Natalie asks Marilyn if she'll be fine, and Marilyn assures her that she's okay, as her aunt will be flying in the next day.

Monk and Natalie leave, and Marilyn closes the door behind them. As soon as they are gone, she goes into the living room, picks up an envelope, and then goes downstairs to the basement. She clicks on the lights, revealing to us that Monk and Natalie were not talking to Marilyn, but were actually talking to Marilyn's identical twin sister. The real Marilyn is tied up to a chair. The sister regretfully informs Marilyn that, with Monk and Natalie having caught on to her trail, she will have to accelerate the schedule of her plan.

Back at the police station, Monk enters the interrogation room where Roderick is being held. He openly confesses to having pretended to help Roderick and admits to having felt glad when Roderick was arrested, figuring it was payback for Roderick's swirlies, and mentions that he's decided to clear Roderick's name. Monk agrees with Roderick that Marilyn is lying about the events of the previous night. Roderick again insists that he didn't kill Fendle, and points out that Marilyn couldn't have been responsible either because she never left the house during the night.

This puzzles Monk: if neither Roderick nor Marilyn left the house at all during the night, then how did the murder knife end up in Marilyn's possession? Monk then sees a reflection of himself in the interrogation room's two-way mirror, and deduces that it was Marilyn who killed Fendle. Roderick is confused, reminding Monk that Marilyn was at home with him, but Monk reveals that Marilyn was in both places - she was with Roderick, and she was also at the hotel at that same time: Marilyn has a twin sister.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Back at the Brody house, the evil twin is filling the bathtub with water. Marilyn is lying on the floor, her hands bound with duct tape. The sister admits that she didn’t even know about Marilyn until Fendle showed up, because it turns out that the firm he worked for also represented their adoptions 35 years ago. She pulls out a knife and cuts open a bag of sea salt, which she dumps into the tub. She is planning to kill Marilyn by drowning her and then dumping her in the bay, intending to pass her death off as a suicide.

Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer and Disher screech to a halt in front of the house and meet Monk and Natalie at the door. They’ve confirmed that Marilyn has a twin sister, a Patrice Gesner from Milwaukee. Randy notes that they were adopted by different families 35 years ago and never knew each other because the papers were confidential. Monk figures that both sisters are inside, but they have to go by the standard protocol and wait for backup to arrive with a search warrant. While they’re waiting, Stottlemeyer asks Monk to explain how he figured everything out.

Monk explains that when he and Natalie first met Marilyn, she mentioned her aunt in Texas, and pronounced the word with a Southern accent. However, two days later, she pronounced it with a British accent. Additionally, Monk remembers that in their first meeting, Marilyn had been biting on her fingernails. Yet, two days later, her nails were suddenly perfectly manicured.

Marilyn was never cheating on Roderick at all. The woman Roderick had seen in the square, and whom Monk and Natalie saw in the bar, was actually his sister-in-law. Monk believes that Patrice was planning to kill Roderick and Marilyn to get to their money, but when the police arrested Roderick, Patrice's work got cut out for her. That morning, as Roderick was being questioned at the police station, Patrice showed up at Roderick's house. When Marilyn opened the door, Patrice drugged her. She was the one who answered the phone when the police called to say that Roderick was being detained, and she was the one who produced the knife to frame Roderick for the murder, since she had not gotten rid of it.

When Disher asks why Douglas Fendle was killed, Monk explains that he was Patrice’s partner in the matter, but she didn’t want to cut him a share of the money. Plus, Natalie points out that the banker they saw when they returned to question "Marilyn" was moving Roderick's money to offshore bank accounts. They figure that Patrice will kill Marilyn and then skip town with the money.

Inside the house, Patrice shoves Marilyn into the bathtub and starts to drown her while holding her by the legs, but Marilyn is able to fight back against her twin to the point that Patrice slips on the tile. As the twin tries to regain her footing, Marilyn yells for help. Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher hear her screams for help. This is enough probable cause to enter the house without a warrant. The door is locked, forcing Stottlemeyer to break the glass, reach in and open the door. In the bathroom, the twin has managed to climb back up and regain control on Marilyn, but just as she is about to finish Marilyn off, Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher burst in and arrest her. While Monk and Natalie provide first aid to Marilyn, Randy suggests that they try to tell the sisters apart by having Marilyn (who is coughing up salt water) say “aunt,” but Stottlemeyer suggests that the simpler way to tell them apart would be to just arrest the twin that was not drowning.

Later that day, Roderick is dropped off in a police car. As Monk and Natalie watch, Marilyn runs in Roderick's arms and they kiss lovingly. It becomes apparent to Monk that although his 'pro bono comeuppance' didn't last, he has gotten the satisfaction of putting a murderer behind bars. Monk and Roderick exchange parting words. As Roderick and Marilyn head back into the house, Roderick explains to Marilyn what "swirlies" are, and Marilyn sounds visibly disgusted. Monk and Natalie walk back to their car, and Monk asks to have his shower cap back.

Background information and notesEdit

  • During the flashback at the beginning, Monk offers his bike to Roderick. Yet, it was established in "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad" that Monk never learned to ride a bike. Except that it is possible that, if the flashbacks in "Mr. Monk and Little Monk" are taken for granted, Monk may have owned a bike just to 'fit in' with the other students.
  • This is one of the few episodes in which one actor plays multiple characters. In this case, Julie Bowen plays both Marilyn Brody and her evil twin.
  • Stottlemeyer is never addressed by name or rank at all here. Randy is only referred to by name twice, and both times at the Brody house (when Stottlemeyer is telling him that he always says twins, and then when he suggests that they arrest the twin that was not drowning).

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