|Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month|
August 6, 2004
Enrico Colantoni as Joe Christie
|Monk Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Early in the morning, Edna Coruthers arrives to open her day at Mega Mart. She sees a note asking her to meet someone in the loading dock. When she arrives there, someone starts up a forklift and charges at her. Edna screams and runs away, and is thrust into a pallet, causing a television to fall on her.
Monk and Sharona are called to the scene, which Stottlemeyer dismisses as a routine accident. The store’s security chief, Joe Christie, called the police in because he was suspicious, but Stottlemeyer and Monk are not inclined to give Christie the time of day, much less believe his suspicions. They explain to Sharona that Christie was once a detective with the force, and Monk’s former partner, but was accused of stealing confiscated cocaine from the evidence room. As a result, an arrested drug dealer was set free, and later shot and killed two police officers in a routine traffic stop. Stottlemeyer does not hide his contempt for Christie, and Monk agrees that he can’t work with the man.
Disher reports that, according to the manager, Edna was Employee of the Month for almost a whole year running, and had no enemies, though she received three anonymous complaints in the last month. All of them, however, agree to let the case go.
However, one month later, Monk is putting together a jigsaw puzzle and remembers something he noticed about the complaint letters: they were mailed from different addresses, but the stamps on them fit together, indicating they were torn from the same roll, meaning the same person sent them. Someone was out to get Edna.
Monk reluctantly returns to Christie, who offers to hire him to investigate. Monk says he can’t nose around without causing suspicion, so Christie has him go undercover as an employee. Christie fills him in on the other employees: Jennie Silverman, their best employee after Edna, who turned down a promotion to stay at the store; Morris and Ronnie, two dimwitted friends; and Mr. Donovan, the store manager.
As they talk, Christie continues to insist that he didn’t steal the drugs, but Monk doesn’t believe him. In session with Dr. Kroger, Monk reveals that he has some misgivings, and Dr. Kroger tells him that, ultimately, Monk has to decide whether or not to trust someone.
One day, Monk notices Jennie ringing up a pair of men buying shovels and drill bits, entering their information into the register before it is given, indicating that she knows them. Ronnie mentions that those same men beat him up a week earlier when they caught him outside the store.
Though he is uncomfortable at first, Monk’s natural perfectionism soon makes him another model employee. Noticing the performance chart, Mr. Donovan tells Jennie that she may have some competition soon.
That night, as Adrian is left in the store stocking shoeboxes, someone knocks him unconscious from behind. When he wakes up, the store has been closed, and a vicious guard dog is growling at him.
Sharona meets Christie in a diner, where he has been expecting Monk. They exchange some anecdotes about Monk, wondering what is keeping him.
As Monk flees from the guard dog through the aisles of the store, he manages to pen himself in one of the register’s booths, and dials Sharona’s cell phone. Before he can speak, the dog jumps over the pen. But hearing it barking, Christie and Sharona rush to the store.
Just as Monk trips and the dog pounces on him, Christie appears and distracts it, wrestling it into a locked door.
Now willing to believe Joe is innocent, Monk asks to examine the evidence. Looking at photos of the empty evidence locker where the drugs were supposed to be, Monk notices a bicycle that has an extra component attached to it. The records show that the bicycle was sold the next day, at a police auction – to the evidence clerk, Clara Toplyn.
The police raid Clara's house, and find traces of the cocaine inside the bicycle frame. Clara, a sweet old lady, is arrested, and Stottlemeyer offers Joe his very humble apologies. Joe thanks Monk, who tells him they still have a case to solve.
At the next Mega Mart staff meeting, Jennie is named Employee of the Month. Monk notices the performance chart, and sees that Edna would have been Employee of the Month again, had she not been killed. As incredible as it seems, that is the reason Jennie killed Edna.
Monk and Christie examine the token prizes Jennie gets, none of which seem worth killing for. The only other thing, Joe remembers, is a special parking space. Going outside to look at it, Monk remembers that Jennie’s van always scrapes the speed bump at the end of the day, not the beginning. Then Joe remembers that there’s a sewer grate beneath the parking space, and realize that Jennie and her two accomplices are tunneling into the vault of the mini-mall’s bank.
Just then, they hear a muffled explosion as the vault is blown. Joe calls the police, while Monk runs inside and grabs a hunting rifle from the sporting goods department. As Jennie starts to pull out of the parking lot, Monk tosses the rifle to Joe, who punctures her tire with a well-aimed shot. The police arrive and arrest the thieves.
Joe is reinstated to the police department. He thanks Monk, and he and Sharona assure him that Monk’s turn will come soon.
Throughout the episode, Randy has made repeated references to his new girlfriend, Crystal, whom no one has ever seen. Sharona assumes the girl is imaginary. During Christie’s reinstatement, Randy rushes in, telling everyone to look out the window, Crystal is waving goodbye to him from a cab. They humor him and look, but nothing can be seen through the cab’s window. Giving Randy up as a pathetic loser, they all walk out of the room.
Unknown to any of them, Crystal is real, and she is indeed calling loving goodbyes to Randy from the cab.
- Monk goes undercover in a store named Mega-Mart to investagate a mureder.
- Monk's old partner is introduced and Monk works with him in the case, despite the fact he was acused of getting two people killed and stealing drugs.
- Randy says he has a girlfriend named Crystal who is a wallet model. Nobody belives him even though she really does exist.
- Monk's old partners name is cleared when Monk proves him inoccent.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- On the Monk Cast Favorites Marathon, this episode was listed as one of Stanley Kamel's favorites.
- In order of production, this was the last episode made with Bitty Schram as Sharona, though "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" was the last one aired.
Disher: She was killed instantly.
Sharona: Oh, that’s terrible. Does the TV still work?
Stottlemeyer: ...Sharona, the TV just killed a woman.
Sharona: What are you gonna do, lock it up?
Joe Christie: As employee of the month, she gets a coffee mug, dinner for two at the world-famous Lobster Barrel, this plastic commemorative plaque...
Monk: And of course, the thanks of a grateful nation.
Joe Christie: (indicating the coffee mug) What do you think?
Monk: I think Edna was obviously killed for this mug.
Joe Christie: Really?
Joe Christie: Well, maybe it’s made out of gold and painted over.
(He taps the mug with his pen, indicating it's obviously not made out of gold)
Joe Christie: Hey, you said try 300 theories until one fits.
Monk: I said that?
Joe Christie: Yeah. I remember everything you ever said, God help me.
Joe Christie: 89-cent plastic commemorative plaque. Would you kill someone to get this?
Monk: I’d kill someone not to get it.