"Knowing is everything. But your turn will come, Adrian Monk. You are next. Do not give up".
Samuel Waingaya is a Nigerian auto mechanic who came to America under the suspicions that a hit-and-run incident that killed his wife was not an accident.
Samuel Waingaya came to San Fransisco, Calafornia from Nigeria to commemorate the loss of his wife, Ansara Waingaya, who had been hit by a van and killed. Two weeks later Monk and Natalie are at his apartment when Monk smells a strange odor. Monk realizes the smell is coming from outside. He sees an African man sitting in front of the Pine Street Corner Store across the street, lighting candles and incense. Monk mistakes him for a hippie and from his window angrily advises him to move along. He thinks about calling the cops, but Natalie tells him there’s no need.
That night as Monk tries to sleep at 7:45pm, a haunting flute plays across the street. In his bathrobe and slippers Monk goes to confront the flute player. He offers the man five dollars to move along. Samuel responds “I can not leave,” Samuel tells him. "My wife was killed here. This is sacred ground.”Monk is immediately empathetic. No doubt because that’s exactly how he felt about the garage where Trudy was killed. Monk takes the man to his apartment and tells him to make himself comfortable. He offers him Orange Juice and "To make himself feel at home".
As they talk, Samuel reveals that he has some evidence, a van's tire tracks and headlight glass, but the police have told him they’re already doing all they can. He tells Monk that Ansara was in San Francisco for two weeks to attend a teaching conference. He then takes up Monk's offer to make himself feel at home, and he takes out a cigarette. Monk provides him with a smoking bag (a green garbage bag) that he advises him to breathe into. The smoking bag is the first of many “American” innovations to which Monk will introduce Samuel.
Samuel starts to leave and Monk offers to help him track down Ansara’s killer. Samuel wants to know why and Monk shows him the scrapbook filled with articles and evidence on Trudy’s killing. Samue
l understands and he reaches out to comfort Monk, placing his hand on Monk's shoulder, knowing he has found someone who understands his pain. Monk also reaches out to Samuel.
The next day in Stottlemeyer’s office, the Captain shows Monk and Samuel the security footage from a gas station near the corner where Ansara was killed. They spot the van with the broken headlight and then they see the same van again going the opposite direction. After Samuel is gone the captain warns Monk that the hit-and-run case is cold and he shouldn’t be getting Samuel’s hopes up. Which Monk proves definitively when he says, “He lost his wife, Leland. They ran Trudy over and then just kept on driving.” Stottlemeyer realizes Monk is identifying the case with Trudy’s murder. At this point, Samuel pulls out a cigarette, which shocks the room to a slight degree. Samuel then pulls out Monk's green garbage bags saying "It's okay, I brought my smoking bag". Captain stares at Monk and sends Randy to take Samuel to the staff lounge and open the wi
ndows. Natalie then says "He down to two bags a day", which Samuel finds hilarious.
Monk, Natalie and Samuel move on to the gas station to find witnesses. Trying to explain why the driver turned around, Natalie mentions that the killer might have felt guilty.They find a couple of slackers, one of whom saw the hit and run driver go towards the tunnel and turn around. He also saw the word “poison” on the side of the van and noticed the driver was hunched over. Monk concluded he was on a cell phone and wanted to avoid the tunnel that was ahead. Later, Monk shows Samuel the “American” way to do laundry which involves using all the washers, washing right and left socks separately, $200 and a pre-wash cleansing cycling. Samuel points out that they do their laundy differently on Friends. “We don’t get the African TV here,” Monk tells him. At the laundromat Samuel discovers a vital clue. A picture of a fisherman on the wall makes Samuel think that “poison” could be poisson, the French word for fish. Monk then says “He is going to pay for what he did to us.”
They follow the clue to Kenneth Nichols’ restaurant, Le Poisson Blue. Where they quickly determine, after finding a grain of rice stuck in the the car’s grill and watching him fire a dishwasher, that Nichols is the guy. Monk and Samuel go undercover as dishwashers at La Possion Blue, but Monk’s so persnickety that they only manage to clean one knife and one fork, "American style". The French chef doesn’t understand that or why the potatoes have been peeled down to dice size. They discover that Nichol’s buys fish from a market o
n Vinton Street near the wharf every Tuesday, which would put him only a few blocks from the hit and run site on that day. He then talks to the Buxtons and connects their case to Samuel's case. He returns to the kitchen and tells Samuel that he’s figured it out, but unfortunately Nichols has figured out what they’re up to and pulls a gun on them.
Nichols throws them in the back of the van with all the fish and drives over the Golden Gate bridge. Monk is handling all the stress and the smell unwell. “Sometimes you are like a big crying infant,” Samuel observes. He tries to calm Monk down by asking him to recount the “here’s-what-happened.” After Monk explains the case, Monk and Samuel feel the van turn off. Monk is convinced they will soon be killed. Samuel tries to give him courage, reminding him that their wives would want them to go on. "Trudy, Ansara, they are here with us now. Do you not feel it?" Monk replies to Samuel "Not anymore". Samuel says he's not giving up. “This is your final lesson. This is how we do things in America," Monk says with a look of determination on his face which implies he’s about to man up when in fact he’s going to do no such thing. "We cry a lot. We confuse our dead wife and other people’s dead wives and then we give up.”Samuel then has an idea. He has Monk take the lighter from his pocket and burn the rope from his hands. The van stops and Nichols takes a moment to imbibe alittle liquid courage. When he opens the van doors Monk and Samuel push a wall of fish onto him.
Samuel subdues the killer and pulls out a picture of Ansara, demanding that Nichols say her name, in effect admitting that this is the woman he killed. Monk then gets a picture of Trudy from his wallet and makes Nichols say her name, which he does even though he’s very confused. Monk is desperate to have someone take responsibility for Trudy’s death, so he makes him do the same with Trudy's picture.
In the final good bye scene Natalie gives Samuel a gift of comedy CDs (Monty Python, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby). He thanks her, but assures her she's funnier than all those guys. As Samuel prepares to get in a cab and leave, Monk wants to know, “What’s it like?”
“What is what like?”
“Knowing is everything, but your turn will come Adrian Monk. You are next. Do not give up.”
Samuel gives him the flute."No man is a greater friend than Adrian Monk."
"No man has a greater friend than Samuel Waingaya."