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Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Monk.


At a city junkyard, homeless transient Gerald Vengal feeds his pet mouse, Devo, who is strangely not eating his food. Suddenly, Gerald hears two men arguing. He stands up to take a closer look and sees the two men arguing, with the second man telling the first that he's making everyone nervous. The argument takes a turn for the worst when the second man pulls out a stun gun and attacks the first man. A struggle ensues and, eventually, the first man is able to gain the upper hand but the second is eventually able to beat him to death.

Gerald panics and accidentally knocks a garbage can over, revealing his position. The killer chases him, but Gerald manages to get to the gate and onto the street, where he flags down a passing police car and then runs off.

About twenty minutes, Adrian Monk and Natalie Teeger meet Captain Stottlemeyer at the crime scene. He has to apologize to them six times for telling them that the crime scene was an appliance store to get them down there as fast as possible, but admits that this is a fresh crime scene and needed Monk's input. They have identified the victim as a small time drug dealer named Jimmy "Chicklet" Botsdale. He used to work for a suspected drug dealer and racketeer named Michael Karpov, and was scheduled to testify against Karpov as a witness in about a month. Monk also has Stottlemeyer shoot out a car headlight that is intact.

When Stottlemeyer gets a call on his cell phone from his wife, he hands Monk and Natalie over to Lieutenant Disher to continue filling them in. Monk notices that the victim was pistol-whipped and may have been attacked with a stun gun, judging from burn marks on the body and the fact that Chicklet's cell phone was erased completely.

A few feet away, Stottlemeyer has an argument with Karen over the phone, and hangs up in exasperation. A police sergeant, Ryan Sharkey, Jr., tells Stottlemeyer that he should be treating his wife better and, in a way, mentions that he is seeing Karen. Monk and Randy try to keep Stottlemeyer from going overhead but fail, and Stottlemeyer punches Sharkey in the face, knocking out one of his teeth, and then leaves in a huff.

Leland goes home and, after turning the heat down, confronts Karen about the incident. Karen openly denies having an affair, though Leland notes that it would explain why some of her habits have changed, but Karen merely says that they have marital problems.

At the police station, Randy is leading the homicide task force assigned to investigate Chicklet's death. Karpov is their primary suspect in the death. Leland comes in and tries to take over, but to his dismay, finds that Randy has been placed in charge of the case on the deputy chief's orders.

Later, Monk, Natalie, and Leland go out to a playground to talk to Michael Karpov, who is pushing his son on the swingset. He has the strongest motive for killing Chicklet, but he has an alibi - he was in bed at the time of the murder. As they are walking away, Leland asks Monk and Natalie to follow Karen that afternoon. He mentions that while he would like to do it, he can't because he has been ordered to take an anger management class, which is what irritates him most because all he did was knock out Sharkey's tooth. He's nonetheless pulled Sharkey's file and learned that he is a motorcycle cop recently transferred in from Mendocino. He has made several big arrests and had two commendations for bravery, and he is also a lady's man. Reluctantly, Monk agrees.

While Leland is held up in the anger management class, Monk and Natalie follow Karen through a mall. Monk tells Natalie that it's not surprising that Karen and Leland's marriage is on the rocks, as he observes that they have nothing in common. Case in point: Monk remembers a weekend where Leland went hunting while Karen stayed home and organized a rally for stronger gun control. They use several little techniques to avoid being noticed as they follow Karen through the mall, until of course they reach a fountain where Monk can't help but remove a few pennies to make the cash amount in it even. This, unfortunately, means that when they do see Karen sitting at a table with another man, Monk is unable to get good photos, because two security guards come and drag them away.

That night, across town, Gerald Vengal is holed up in another building when the killer from the junkyard comes in. He attacks Gerald with a stun gun, and then throws him and Devo out the window.

Unfortunately for the killer, a triple-corrugated refrigerator box conveniently breaks Gerald's fall, although he breaks his right arm. The next morning, Monk, Natalie, and Randy interview him at the hospital. While the trio work to keep Devo hidden from the hospital doctors, Gerald confirms that the man who killed Chicklet was his attacker. Monk also notices a pair of burn marks on the side of Gerald's neck, confirming that the attacker did use a stun gun. Randy informs Gerald that they want him to come down to the station later for a lineup.

Monk and Natalie go to the police station to show Leland the few photos they have. Monk tries to explain that it's probably not Ryan Sharkey, but Leland insists that it has to be the young sergeant, and storms out, looking for him. Meanwhile, Randy volunteers several detectives, as well as Michael Karpov and Sharkey, to participate in the lineup. Unfortunately, the lineup is busted when Stottlemeyer comes in just as Gerald is about to select the killer from the selected individuals. He shows Monk's photos to Sharkey, and it deteriorates from here, turning into a full-scale donnybrook, as Randy makes a futile attempt to control the volunteers.

Afterwards, Leland is shaken by what happened, and tells Randy to just do his job and write up his report describing the events as they happened. Karen arrives and Leland starts asking her about Sharkey, whom she denies having ever seen. While they are trying to get over the events from the lineup, Monk suddenly notices Sharkey eating an apple, and realizes something: Sharkey is chewing his apple on the left side of his mouth. Sharkey claims that this is because Leland struck him on the other side of his mouth at the junkyard, but Monk is quick to point out that Stottlemeyer, who is right-handed, would have hit Sharkey on the left side.

Plus, Monk remembers something interesting - Sharkey used to work in Mendocino, and he remembers that Michael Karpov's son was wearing a "Mendocino Day School" shirt when they were questioning Karpov in the park. Disher notes that that is where Karpov lives. Sharkey pretends ignorance, claiming that he doesn't know Karpov, but Monk reveals that in fact, he does: during the fight in the lineup, Sharkey was wearing the very clothes he is wearing right now, and Karpov addressed him saying, "Whoa, sergeant!". The inescapable conclusion - Sharkey works for Karpov. Leland suddenly realizes that Monk has confirmed their suspicions that Karpov had a cop on his payroll.

Monk accuses Sharkey of killing Chicklet. He mentions that that makes perfect sense - why else would a guy with a gun not shoot Chicklet? They didn't want the bullet to be traced back to their gun.

Here's What HappenedEdit

Sharkey had lured Chicklet to the junkyard to kill him. During the fight, Sharkey had the upper hand, but at one point, Chicklet managed to overpower Sharkey, and must have injured him to the point that he was bleeding. Sharkey didn't loose his tooth when Stottlemyer punched him. He actually lost it when Chicklet slammed his head against the roof of a car. Now Sharkey was in trouble - his DNA was all over the crime scene, and when he saw Gerald Vengal flee towards the street, he panicked, because with the cops on their way, he'd need to explain what it was doing there.

Then Sharkey saw Stottlemeyer arguing with Karen on the phone. He realized that if he provoked Stottlemeyer into punching him, he'd be home free. The police would then find his blood and his tooth and no one would ever question it.

Sharkey scoffs, and says that there is no proof, but Stottlemeyer points out that they will check his bank records and e-mails and finds connections to Karpov. Just then, Gerald Vengal comes back up, and positively selects Sharkey as the killer. Sharkey is arrested and led away.

Afterwards, Leland meets with Karen in his office. He then reluctantly admits to her about having Monk follow her and produces the photo Monk took of her in the mall. To his surprise, she admits that the man in question is a divorce lawyer. Karen then hands Leland the divorce papers.

Quotes Edit

Natalie:  Well, you know the old saying, whenever God closes a door.

Leland:  Yeah, when God closes the door, sometimes he breaks your heart.

Natalie:  That's not the old saying.

Leland:  It is today.