"What are you looking at? My eyes are up here!"
|Monk Season 3|
|Season 2||Season 4|
Sharona believes she is losing her sanity after she begins to suffer hallucinations.
Sharona Fleming drops Adrian Monk at the entrance to a parking garage, then parks her Volvo inside. She is on her way to pick up money at her bank, since she's apparently lost her checkbook and ATM card. As Sharona is parking, she gets the shock of her life when she is approached by a staggering, blood-soaked man with a knife in his chest and a screwdriver sticking out of his right ear, who is saying, "Douglas is worried about you!" Sharona rushes out to grab Monk. But by the time Monk arrives, the man has vanished completely.
The police are unable to find any evidence that suggests anything out of the ordinary - except Sharona's behavior. Captain Stottlemeyer encourages Monk to give Sharona a few days off to relax: clearly she's overworked.
A few days later, Sharona attends her evening creative writing course, where she eagerly awaits a grade on a paper she wrote. Strangely, her professor, Meredith Preminger, claims Sharona never handed the paper in. Confused, Sharona leaves and heads for home. On the way, she stops at a gas station - and again comes face to face with the blood-soaked man from the parking garage. Sharona is so thoroughly caught up in the sheer terror of this encounter, that she forgets to get the license plate or physical description of the man's pickup truck.
Desperate and looking for answers, Sharona takes a big step and decides to pay a visit to Dr. Kroger. She confesses that her late father, Douglas Fleming, had a mental breakdown shortly before his death, and she is worried that it runs in their family - though she is equally sure that if she is cracking up, the stress of working for Monk is the trigger.
After her session she goes to freshen up in the bathroom - and sees the blood soaked man again! She runs to get Monk, and when they return, again there's no sign of anything amiss, other than a message written with lipstick reading "Help Me" in a toilet stall. That's the last straw: Sharona decides she needs more time off and suggests Varla Davis, a nurse from her writing class, to help Monk in her absence. She also calls her ex-husband, Trevor, to take custody of Benjy, fearing that she's now a danger to her son.
The next day, Monk meets Varla, whose no-nonsense attitude is too much for him. Faced with her abrasive ways, Monk becomes determined to prove that there is something or someone behind all these incidents befalling Sharona. He decides to start at the beginning and drags Varla back to the parking garage, where they discover the first indication that someone was present: a broken metal cowboy boot tip. Monk remembers that the mystery man Sharona claimed to have seen was wearing cowboy boots.
That evening, Sharona's professor, Mrs. Preminger, sits down to dinner with her husband. As they talk, her husband Max says the tomato soup tastes funny. As he begins to gasp for breath, his wife calmly informs him that it has been spiked with carbolic acid, which will kill him in a few seconds with symptoms virtually indistinguishable from a natural heart seizure. No sooner has she finished speaking than her husband face plants into his bowl. Meredith gets up from the table and starts to clear the dishes away, and a man steps out of the hallway - the man Sharona has been seeing - and the two embrace as lovers.
Here's What HappenedEdit
The next morning, Sharona is packing her car when Monk arrives with Varla. He excitedly informs her that she's not crazy: he's found that on the afternoon of the original blood-soaked man incident, a shoe repair shop near the parking garage repaired a cowboy boot tip. The customer was a guy named Denny Graf, who happens to be a security guard at Sharona's community college. Things become stranger when they learn that Meredith has cancelled her class due to her husband's untimely death. When they share the details of his death with Sharona, she soon realizes what is going on: her story "The Fatal Recipe" - about a woman who murders her husband by poisoning him with carbolic acid-laced tomato soup and makes it look like a heart attack - has just been used as a blueprint for murder.
Monk determines what has happened: Meredith had wanted to kill her husband, and Sharona unwittingly handed her a blueprint for the perfect murder. But Meredith first had to discredit Sharona, in case she recognized the similarities between the story and the real murder. First, Meredith denied that Sharona had ever turned in the original story, and then she and the lover graduated to more advanced practices, namely "hallucinations" with the blood-soaked man (who was actually the lover wearing tomato ketchup and props). They also made copies of Sharona's house keys, broke in at times when she or Benjy were not home, and rearranged little things. The intended mission was that Sharona's credibility had to be wrecked, regardless of whether or not she was actually going crazy.
Monk and company confront Meredith at her home, where she is holding a wake for her husband. She denies it, knowing that the police don't have enough proof to order an autopsy on her husband's remains. It appears that she has won, but then Varla remembers something: Meredith taught her students to hand-write their rough drafts before finishing a typed version. In a pile of scrap paper that Sharona has saved, they find the original draft of the murder mystery, in Sharona's handwriting. That is enough to convict Meredith. As Stottlemeyer and Disher march back to the house, Varla immediately hands off her assistant duties to Sharona, now that they all know she is perfectly sane - or as sane as any person working for Monk can be.