|Monk Season 8|
|Season 7||THE END|
Monk is called to a crime scene where he first heard the news of his wife's murder. The first part ends with Monk watching a video recorded by his wife Trudy before her death. This video explains what he has been waiting twelve years to learn.
December 14, 1997Edit
Detective Adrian Monk dresses for work, humming a tune under his breath. Trudy apparently pressured him into going caroling the night before, and he admits to being surprised at how much fun he had. She packs his lunch and gives him a loving embrace. Trudy asks Adrian about the case he's currently investigating, the disappearance of a midwife named Wendy Stroud. He admits that Wendy has apparently been missing for three days and more than likely is dead, and he and Captain Stottlemeyer are on their way to her workplace to interview her boss. Adrian can't help but notice that Trudy seems somewhat nervous about something, but she passes it off as merely anxiety, as she's overwhelmed by having to pick up cough medicine for Ambrose, pay the bills, and proofread a few articles.
As Adrian prepares to leave, he notices a new present for him under the tree. Trudy makes him promise not to open it (or figure out what it is without opening it) until Christmas, and he promises.
Later that morning, Trudy is in a downtown parking garage, not noticing a six-fingered hand on the rail of the stairwell above her. When someone steps out of the shadows, she asks, "is that you?" But when she gets a good look at the person, she turns around in fear and runs for her car. Reaching what she thinks is safety, she quickly fits in the key and turns the ignition... and a bomb planted in the car promptly explodes, killing her. The camera follows the flames as they shoot out through the side of the parking garage.
Meanwhile, Adrian and Stottlemeyer are at the Palgrove Birthing Center and questioning Dr. Malcolm Nash, Wendy Stroud's boss. Dr. Nash has no idea about Wendy's whereabouts, and none of his other midwives have heard anything from her. He briefly is distracted when Adrian starts straightening out the umbilical cord on a small plastic baby. He protests that they aren't supposed to be straight. Stottlemeyer quips, "But his was!" As the two men chortle, Stottlemeyer's cell phone rings. He steps aside to take the call, and as he listens, his face turns pale. When he hangs up, Adrian notices Leland's alarmed expression and asks him if something's happened. All Stottlemeyer can reply with is, "It's Trudy."
Twelve years later, Monk's alarm clock goes off. He wakes to see a vision of Trudy, who tells him, "It won't be much longer." She also admonishes him for hanging on to her memory, to the point where he still leaves her side of the bed empty.
Later that day, Monk and Natalie meet Stottlemeyer and Disher at the same birthing center where Monk got the news of Trudy's death. While they're at the scene, Randy tells Natalie that he's been on vacation for two weeks. Natalie observes that he was in New York judging from his plane ticket.
Once again, they've come to see Dr. Nash, the doctor, Monk and Stottlemeyer questioned twelve years earlier during their investigation of Wendy Stroud's disappearance, only this time, Dr. Nash is dead. It appears that he was working late digitizing the center's records, scanning them into the computer, when someone snuck in and shot him twice - once in the back and once in the head - with a .22 caliber pistol, then stole some pills and fled. Monk notices a few clues: for one, none of the patients in the clinic heard anything, meaning the shooter used a silencer. Furthermore, the killer emptied the medical supply cabinet, but he didn't take any bottles or pills, indicating he staged it to make it look like a junkie was responsible. The killer also apparently sat down at the computer to erase some files and based on where he left the mouse afterwards, he is a left-handed person, since Monk recalls Dr. Nash was right-handed in 1997.
The four of them visit Judge Ethan Rickover at his home during a Sunday barbecue, asking him to sign a warrant that will allow them to hunt down a hitman named Joey Kazarinski. Kazarinski fits the shooter's M.O., is left-handed, his weapon of choice is a .22 caliber pistol with a silencer, and forensics has found a partial fingerprint matched to him at the crime scene. Rickover obliges cheerfully, and mentions that he is due in Sacramento next week for confirmation hearings, to be appointed to the state Supreme Court.
The police get a warrant to search Kazarinski's apartment and ransack it as they search for evidence, hoping to intimidate his alcoholic ex-wife Edie to give them information. At the minimum, they are able to coax Edie into supplying them with an up-to-date photograph of Kazarinski so they can identify him (since their only other photo is over ten years old).
That evening, Kazarinski is at a bar when he gets a phone call from his employer, who we immediately recognize as being Rickover. Rickover informs Kazarinski that the police have his name and are looking for him. Kazarinski assures Rickover that he knows how to drop off the radar, but Rickover asks him to, before he flees town, take out another target for him: Monk. When Kazarinski asks why, Rickover responds that Monk is all too likely to "put two and two together" and deduce that he killed Trudy.
The next day, Natalie is grocery shopping with her boyfriend, Lt. Steven Albright, in preparation for a dinner party where Albright will be meeting Julie for the first time, so she is naturally a little nervous. They are carrying two shopping carts, one with Natalie's stuff and one with Monk's stuff. Natalie and Albright do not notice that Kazarinski is following them. When Natalie and Albright inadvertently leave Monk's cart unattended for a few seconds to grab some honey mustard off a shelf, Kazarinski suddenly grabs it and walks away with it for a few seconds. Natalie notices him walking away and stops Kazarinski. He apologizes and continues on his way.
Monk is invited to the party. Conversation is awkward at first, when Monk starts feeling dizzy and his vision blurs. Steven, a medical officer, examines Monk and decides to rush him to the hospital. When examined, hematologist Dr. Matthew Shuler tells Monk that he has been poisoned with a synthetic toxin that has managed to infiltrate his bloodstream. They can only create an antidote if they identify the exact source of the poison. Without it, Monk will be dead in the next two or three days.
A hazmat team searches both Monk's apartment and Natalie's house with a fine-toothed comb, but are unable to find the source of the poison. But while at the hospital, Natalie suddenly notices a newspaper clipping in Stottlemeyer's hand. It's a photo of Kazarinski underneath an article about the shooting of Dr. Nash, and she immediately recognizes him as the man who took her shopping cart. Dr. Shuler concludes that in the 10 to 20 seconds he had the cart, Kazarinski tampered with something in the cart. Now they know who is responsible for the poisoning, and where the poison may have been introduced, they can narrow down the search by only searching the items that were in the cart to identify the agent used to administer the poison.
Without official sanction from the commissioner, Stottlemeyer convenes an impromptu task force to apprehend Kazarinski and/or identify the source of the poison. He divides the task force into two teams: Randy will lead a team that will investigate the shooting and look for the individual who hired Kazarinski to kill Dr. Nash, while Stottlemeyer will lead a team that will carry out a statewide manhunt for Kazarinski to try and identify the poison he used on Monk. He warns the team assigned to hunt Kazarinski that the man is armed and extremely dangerous, and may be carrying chemical agents with him. He also sternly gives them one rule: if they get a lead, they are to call it in, and they are to keep their guns holstered at all times. He wants Kazarinski captured alive, since Monk will die if Kazarinski dies first.
Stottlemeyer interrogates Kazarinski's known associates. He interrogates Ronnie, a forger who recently sold Kazarinski some fake IDs. The forger, however, doesn't give Stottlemeyer the new alias name until Stottlemeyer beats him over the head with Randy's laptop (due to the forger unwisely gloating about how hitting him with a book were "old school").
With the name, the police set up a stakeout at the train station, with undercover officers disguised as passengers, janitors, and other personnel. Before entering, Stottlemeyer gives strict orders that Kazarinski must be taken alive, so everyone is to keep their sidearms holstered. Kazarinski arrives wearing a blonde wig and sunglasses, but realizes the police are present when he hears feedback and sees an undercover female officer adjusting her earpiece. He immediately changes his plans and heads for the control tower.
The first indication that something is wrong is when Stottlemeyer and Disher suddenly see a crowd of people coming in from one of the platforms. Stottlemeyer notices that that was the 5:32 p.m. train from San Jose, but the announcer hasn't said anything. Fearing the worst, Randy rushes up to the control tower, where he finds that Kazarinski has shot the announcer in the back and in the head, in the same way he killed Dr. Nash, and stole his jacket and ID (as he's left behind the blonde wig and jacket he'd previously been wearing). Randy calls it in to Stottlemeyer, but Kazarinski has turned on the microphone, so he inadvertently announces what happened to the entire station. At the mention that Kazarinski is armed and won't be hesitating to kill again, most of the crowd immediately scurries.
Amidst the chaos, Stottlemeyer sees Kazarinski striding confidently towards the exit and immediately runs towards him, forcing Kazarinski to make a break for it. Stottlemeyer gives chase across the train yard, before he finally runs out of breath. It looks like Kazarinski will get away - before he stumbles straight into the path of an oncoming train that sends him flying and kills him instantly.
With Kazarinski dead, Monk's last hope is gone. The police are able to locate a rented motel room that Kazarinski was living out of and have found some chemicals in a dumpster nearby, but they are not able to identify which of the items Kazarinski may have used to make the poison. He cancels his remaining appointments with Dr. Bell, and starts putting his affairs in order. Natalie says she won't give up, but he says it's time to open Trudy's present - a final acknowledgment that his time is over.
When Monk opens the box, inside is the last thing he expected to find, a cassette from a video camera. On the tape is a message Trudy recorded for him in the event of her death. She confesses that she has kept a terrible secret from him. Years ago, before the two of them met, she begins...
To Be Continued...
- According to "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," Joe Christie was Monk's partner at the time of Trudy's murder, and was present when he got the news.
- Casper Van Dien reappears from Season Seven's "Mr. Monk Is Underwater."
- After the camera pans up into the sky, following the flames from Trudy's exploding car, the camera pans down onto the Palgrove Birthing Center. The scene is set in 1997, but as the camera pans onto the center, you can clearly see a 2003-2008 Toyota Prius drive past the clinic.
- When Randy tells Stottlemeyer that Kazarinski shot the train station announcer and took his jacket and ID, the microphone in the room is still active and everyone in the station hears Randy's conversation. If that's the case, then why didn't everyone in the station hear the gunshot? Even if we are to believe that Kazarinski used a silencer, he would have made noise taking the announcer's jacket and changing his disguise, which would sound like a struggle over the open mic anyway, and there was no reason to turn it on anyways.
- At 4 and 1/2 minutes, the opening sequence of this episode is perhaps the longest in the series. It is in fact 2 seconds longer than the opening sequence of the first episode in the series, possibly the second longest.
- When Natalie looks at the newspaper with Joey Kazarinski's picture, there is an article to the right of the picture reading "Suspect Sought in Birthing Center Murder," but the article text underneath it appears to be about the March 21, 2009 murders of four Oakland police officers at the hands of Lovelle Mixon.