|Mr. Monk and the Paperboy|
January 16, 2004
Jarrad Paul as Kevin Dorfman
|Monk Season 2|
|Season 1||Season 3|
When a local paperboy is murdered, Monk turns to the pages of the newspaper for clues to solve the baffling crime, solving a hit-and-run in San Francisco and a murder in Paris along the way. Monk is joined in his search by his neighbor, Kevin Dorfman.
In the small hours of the morning, the paper truck is driving through a neighborhood, run by cousins Jose and Nestor Alvarez, with Jose driving and Nestor throwing papers. At a corner house, Nestor prepares to throw when Jose reminds him that this is Adrian Monk's apartment they're at, and he likes his paper on the front stoop a certain way. Nestor places Monk’s paper on his doormat, but when he comes back a second later to replace it, it is gone. Confused, he drops another paper on the mat, and starts to leave, then notices a masked intruder trying to steal it. Nestor and the intruder fight, and Nestor is thrown over a railing and falls to his death.
That morning, Monk’s apartment is a crime scene, and he is going nuts with police swarming through the rooms. During the chaos, Monk’s annoying upstairs neighbor, Kevin Dorfman, comes down and offers to be interviewed as a witness, which includes rattling off every address he has lived at in the last decade. Disher is about to kick Kevin out, when Kevin’s girlfriend, Vickie Salinas, (Victoria as her birth-name) comes down and attaches herself to Kevin. Everyone is taken aback: not only is Vickie stunningly beautiful, but she appears slavishly devoted to Kevin, whose company no one else seems able to stand. She drags him back upstairs, and he is only too happy to go.
Finding no clues, the bulk of the police leave, except for Stottlemeyer and Disher. Monk theorizes that whoever killed Nestor was trying to prevent Monk from seeing the paper, because there must be some clue hidden there that would lead Monk to a crime. He, Sharona, Stottlemeyer, and Disher go through the news items carefully, and Monk incidentally solves two crimes.
First, he notices an article called "It Just Wasn't His Day." In the article, it is mentioned that a driver named Malcolm Cowley had two accidents in the course of ten minutes. First he hit a little tree, then drove another half mile and hit a lamppost. This would be a crime, Monk reasons, if Cowley was intentionally damaging his car to avoid having to explain the smashed in grille, since there is another article on the front page: "Hit-and-run driver kills a grandmother," in the same neighborhood at the same approximate time. When they confront Cowley at the body shop, Disher examines the grille before it is replaced, and finds traces of blood. Cowley is arrested, but Monk says he's not "the guy" who killed Nestor - if he was, he would have recognized Monk as soon as they entered the body shop, but he didn't.
Later, Monk, Sharona, Stottlemeyer and Disher are reading sections of the paper at Monk's apartment. In the international section, Stottlemeyer comes across the story of an unsolved murder in Paris, France. A certain Madame Beaudreau was found strangled and both of her hands were cut off. Sharona is horrified, and Disher explains that murderers frequently do that to prevent their victims from being identified through their fingerprints. The strange thing, Stottlemeyer notes, is that Madame Beaudreau's hands were found a short distance from her corpse, indicating that the killer had another motive for cutting them off. Monk solves the case when Stottlemeyer reads that Madame Beaudreau and her husband both worked as curators at a prison musuem. He calls the Surete in Paris and explains that her husband killed her, using antique handcuffs from the museum to restrain her. He cut her hands off because he lost the keys to the handcuffs, and needed to get them off her body.
Both stories, however, are unrelated to the paperboy, and Monk is still baffled.
At the same time, Monk is needled by the fact that Sharona seems to be physically stronger than he is, whether it comes to opening jars or stubborn doors. He confesses to Dr. Kroger that it is bothering him. Also bothering him is hearing Kevin and Vickie’s carnal activities in the apartment overhead, which seem to have been going on non-stop since that first night when Nestor was killed. Dr. Kroger also attempts to get Monk to talk about his own sex-life with Trudy, but Monk does not wish to mention it as it is personal. Dr. Kroger mentions that he still has an hour left in the session, so he can either sing showtunes or tell him about his sex-life. Monk goes with the latter.
One night later, Vickie is walking back from an ATM with her real boyfriend, Boz Harrelson, who works with her at the same convenience store. They discuss their "plan," but Vickie turns on Boz and stabs him to death with a bottle. The next day, Monk investigates the crime scene with the police, and realizes that the killer must be a woman.
At Sharona’s apartment, Monk throws down the gauntlet and challenges Sharona to an arm wrestling match. It is a close thing, but Monk seems to win (but then Sharona throws a wink to Benjy, sending Monk into anxious confusion again).
Monk is about to give up and throw the paper out, when he sees the front page and realizes what has been going on.
Here’s What HappenedEdit
Monk rushes Sharona to City Hall, while explaining what happened: the paper printed the winning numbers for the lottery over the front page headline, which match the address numbers Kevin rattled off the day of the murder. Kevin won the lottery, only he doesn’t know it! Kevin played the same numbers every week, and Vickie and Boz recognized them when they were announced on the evening news. They immediately hatched a plan: Vickie went over to Kevin’s apartment on some pretext, and quickly seduced him, while Boz stole the newspapers from the porch, killing Nestor in the process. Their goal was the same: to prevent Kevin from seeing any news report, printed or on television or the radio, that would clue him in. Vickie then later killed Boz so she could keep all the money for herself.
Monk has realized that Kevin is in danger; Vickie couldn’t just steal the ticket, because the time-stamp on the ticket would match the time on the store's security camera footage showing Kevin buying the ticket. So, after a whirlwind courtship, she’s tricked him into marrying her. Sure enough, when Monk and Sharona find the Justice of the Peace, they find that Kevin and Vickie were just married, and have left on their honeymoon. Monk notices a group of disturbed brochures in the lobby, and deduces where they must have gone.
At a vacation spot outside the city, Vickie has just drugged Kevin, parked his car on a railroad crossing, extracted the ticket from his wallet, and locked him in his car. She leaves just as the gates begin to come down and the lights start flashing. Monk and Sharona arrive and find Kevin in the car. Unable to get into the car or rouse Kevin, they rush to the track switch, struggling to pull it before the train arrives. Vickie comes back and tackles Sharona. As they wrestle, Vickie forces Sharona’s head onto the train tracks. Monk, pulling desperately, manages to throw the switch, diverting the train to the other track at the last minute, and saving both Kevin and Sharona, who manages to pin Vickie. His faith in his manhood restored, Monk strikes a macho pose.
A few days later, Kevin, in his new guise as a "player," drops by Monk’s apartment before leaving for his new ski lodge in Aspen. He thanks them in an offhand way for saving his life, and gives Sharona a check in gratitude. After he’s gone, Sharona is infuriated to see that Kevin, now a multi-millionaire, only considers his life worth $400. Likewise, Sharona also crushes Monk's newly restored faith in his manhood by claiming that she "loosened" the switch for him.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- Kevin appears in the subsequent episodes "Mr. Monk and the Game Show," "Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk," "Mr. Monk Is on the Air," "Mr. Monk's 100th Case" and "Mr. Monk and the Magician." In "Game Show," he is back to his old self, and explains to Monk and Dwight that his fortune evaporated thanks to a gambling addiction, a dishonest accountant, and at least two gold-digging wives.
- It is a running gag of the series that every police force in the world seems to feature a pair of cops like Stottlemeyer and Disher: the homicide captain and his eager but clueless assistant (See "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico").
- Monk's solving of the murder in France is referenced in the later novel "Mr. Monk is Miserable" by Lee Goldberg.
- This is the first time in the series that Monk says, "Oh, the humanity!" in response to a particularly horrifying mess. The second is "Mr. Monk and the Kid" when he has to change a baby’s diaper. Both are tributes to the famous line spoken in response to the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
Monk: Why do you torture me like this?
Sharona: Because I can.