|Monk Season 8|
|Season 7||THE END|
When stuck in the little town of Vintonville, Nevada, Monk sees a UFO and a dead woman shows up on a hiking trail nearby. Coincidence?
The episode opens with an old and dirty car driving through the countryside late at night. We see that Monk and Natalie are its occupants. Natalie is visibly unhappy at Monk and she berates him for even coming along with her to a friend's wedding out in Nevada. The argument is interrupted when suddenly the engine begins to sputter. Natalie pulls the car over on a converted railroad bridge and, while she tries to figure what the problem is, Monk walks along the bridge with a cell phone to try and get a signal, as they are in the middle of nowhere. He is interrupted, however, when he sees a UFO hover into the sky near him and then dart off into space.
The next morning, they take the car to a local repair shop. Monk asks the local mechanic, Boom-Boom, if he saw anything the night before. Boom-Boom admits that he didn't but he once saw a ghost in a barnhouse. Due to poor interpersonal skills, Monk ends up managing to insult Boom-Boom, who takes offense and raises his estimate. Natalie tries to convince him to show a little empathy but it doesn't go well. For now, they are stuck in the small town of Vintonville, Nevada.
Natalie calls Stottlemeyer and warns him they won't be making a training seminar. She tells him what Monk claims he saw. Meanwhile, Monk goes to the sheriff's office to report his sighting to the sheriff. He adjusts the blinds as a woman, Dolly, tells the sheriff that her neighbor Marge Larkin has been missing for four days. The sheriff doesn't take Dolly's report seriously, as Marge has been known to take unannounced vacations in the past, and this just might be another one of those, even though Dolly also mentions that Marge's lights have been out all this time.
Fletcher ushers Dolly out, assuring her that there's nothing to worry about regarding Marge. He turns his attention to Monk. Monk is reluctant to say he actually saw a UFO but is finally forced to admit he saw what he thinks he saw. The sheriff promises he'll investigate but is clearly skeptical, and seems more interested in Monk's UFO sighting than Dolly's missing neighbor.
As Monk and Natalie are reentering their hotel that night, Natalie mentions to Monk that swamp gas might be causing the imaginary UFO, but then Monk sees the UFO hovering over a tree. A previously skeptical Natalie also notices it. A hotel clerk nearby actually captures it on his cell phone.
The next morning, Monk wakes up, looks out the window, and sees a golden alien figure standing outside in the parking lot. Thinking he must be seeing things, he goes back to bed, wakes up again, looks out the window again, and sees that the golden figure has been joined by two others, and they are all closer to his window. It turns out that avid UFO watchers have arrived in the town, many of them dressed up as aliens like the ones Monk saw, as the hotel clerk posted his video on the web and it has gone viral. These UFO fans believe that the aliens apparently came to Earth on a Class IV Intergalactic Doomfreighter. The fans also take interest in Monk, as he was the "Alpha contact" or first person to see the UFO. They get interrupted though when an enthusiast on a Segway mentions that a "landing site" has been found.
Monk is very skeptical about the UFO being a real one. But when he and Natalie arrive at the "landing site" of the UFO, they see marks in the sand that look like the legs of a real craft. Monk holds out his hands and does his thing to conduct a rational investigation. However, this, and his asking Natalie for a wipe at one point, lead the UFO enthusiasts to think that Monk is an alien. They even demand to see his belly button, which Monk refuses to show.
Monk makes a hasty exit and he and Natalie go back to see Boom-Boom. He continues to feign stupidity and Monk half-heartedly tries to apologize.
Some of the UFO fans, meanwhile, discover the dead body of the missing Marge Larkin while hiking through the hills looking for the craft. As Monk and Natalie are leaving Boom-Boom, Sheriff Fletcher drives by in his jeep and he mentions that as Marge was an important person in Vintonville, it is important that they figure what happened to the woman. They go to the local coroner's office and examine the corpse of Marge Larkin. The coroner, Dr. Garcia confirms she's been dead for five days and Fletcher explains that Marge came into money and dabbled in various hobbies, including hiking. Garcia says that Marge seems to have fallen off a cliff and died on impact, while hiking. However, the body was found miles from the nearest cliff, and her face has been totally cleared of any facial features, meaning coyotes dragged the body for a few miles. Monk examines the body and realizes that she's wearing new clothes that don't fit. Also, they still have their tags on them. There is also a silicon packet in her boot, meaning that someone may have dressed her after she was killed.
They go to see Marge's brother, Kyle, who shows them her house, full of a variety of knick-knacks. He admits that he wasn't close to his sister. His shop, which sold model toy train sets and airplane kits, went under a year ago and he's now looking for work. Meanwhile, Monk finds a piece of a tag from Marge's shirt and signs that a rug has been taken from the house. Monk figures that this is where Marge was killed. They're interrupted when UFO fanatics show up to watch Monk. When he comes out, they try to swarm him.
Monk, Natalie and Sheriff Fletcher go to the site in the desert where Marge's body was found. There, he realizes that coyotes dragged Marge's body several miles from its original location. Suddenly, someone shoots at them from above, hitting Sheriff Fletcher in the leg. The sniper shoots out the tires in the Sheriff's jeep, and drives away, leaving Monk, Natalie, and the Sheriff to die in the harsh environment. Natalie stays with the sheriff and sends Monk to find help. Thirty feet later, he begins to flag. After using most of his water to wash his hands, Monk continues on. Natalie, meanwhile, tends to the Sheriff, and when they hear a coyote, Natalie asks for Fletcher to assure her that it wasn't a coyote. Finally, he admits that it really was one. En route, Monk finds an abandoned campsite with a lot of metal debris around it, where it seems that someone was building a model aircraft, along with the same eyeglass wipes he saw Kyle Larkin use earlier. He collects the evidence and continues to trudge his way through the desert. Finally, the UFO enthusiasts find him. Monk, exhausted and chagrinned at being found by the annoying UFO enthusiasts, collapses.
Here's What HappenedEdit
The Sheriff is now walking with a cane, but he and the coroner have shown up at Monk's hotel room. Monk explains that the eyeglass wipes are from Kyle Larkin and he explains what happened.
Kyle killed Marge for the money, then put her body in a hiking outfit, rolled it into a rug, and then rolled the body off a cliff, to make it look like she'd died from an accidental fall near the main road. Then Kyle went home and waited for a call to come in that his sister's body had been found. But when the call never came, Kyle realized that the coyotes had dragged the body from its original site. He was getting impatient, so he improvised a plan to get people to find the body because if Kyle found the body himself, people would be suspicious.
Monk remembers that Kyle owned a store that sold kits for model trains and airplanes. Using a modeling kit, he constructed a remote controlled UFO and created a fake landing site. He knew that soon, the UFO fans would be crawling through the desert and would find the body.
Sheriff Fletcher is relieved and goes to arrest Kyle while Monk goes to talk to his fans. He goes outside and tells them it was a simple murder, and that they should go home and stop wasting their time. Natalie is impressed at how empathic he is, but the crowd insists he's lying and Monk is covering things up. Monk gives in and he manages to fake a story about how he came to Earth on a Class IV Intergalactic Doomfreighter to "observe" things on the planet. This is enough to please them.
Later, back in Monk's apartment, Natalie informs Monk that Kyle confessed to the hoax and murder. Some of the UFO fanatics are still outside his door. As Monk cleans, Natalie tries to ask Monk if he has a belly button. Monk refuses to show her and when she insists, he is forced to take refuge in the bathroom. When Natalie tries to plead with Monk from behind the bathroom door, Monk opens the door and tells her that if she doesn't leave him alone, he's going to destroy the entire planet.
Randy Disher does not appear in this episode.
Background Information and NotesEdit
- One of the UFO scanning devices seen outside of the hotel at the end of the episode is actually a Cold War-era geiger counter, from the Department of Civil Defense.