Mr. Monk and the Nitpicker: Introduction and Episode One
My New Book Sneak Peek
I've finished my new book: Mr. Monk and the Nitpicker!
Just for my Hub Followers and guests, I am giving you a sneak peek right here on Hubpages.com! It will soon be on sale through Amazon as a hardback, and paperback. It will also be available for the Kindle, the nook, and other e-readers!
Please note that this guide is best used when read in tandem with watching the TV episodes, but is NOT required. Let me know if you see something that needs attention please.
I hope you enjoy it!
With Season One,1 Episode One, we are introduced to the oddly captivating character of Mr. Adrian Monk.
Mr. Monk is a sad, SAD anti-hero with whom we all can find some kind of affinity. All of us can see a small part2 of ourselves mirrored in and amongst the OCD’s and phobias of which Mr. Monk is inundated! But that’s what makes the series fun and Monk so loveable. We just want to root for the underdog I guess.
In this book, the two-part episode that begins Monk’s adventures is address as one episode, even though TV Guide and IMDB.com lists them separately.
On the DVD, it appears as a single episode, so, for time code reasons, they are now and forever more constituted as one—count them—ONE episode (except for the fact that I tell you where episode two starts; don’t try to understand it, just go with the flow and it will be reasonably painless3).
I will be listing those nasty, little OCD’s and Phobias when they are introduced. I won’t, for example, be repeating “fear of milk” every time it’s brought up (unless its position moves in Monk’s order of severity in that episode). This happens quite a bit when Monk is introduced to a new phobial foe.
I will then give a synopsis of the episode in the form of “Here’s what happened”.
This will be followed by a one-sided discussion4 of things which I felt made the episode of unique interest to me.
My continuity comments, the errors I found, and any special notes about production that I uncover which are not listed in my observations, will follow.
A special note on the time codes: I use “00:00:00” for the long episodes (hours, minutes, and seconds). On standard episodes that will show up as “00:00”. Unfortunately, depending on which “print” you are watching, the time codes will not always match. This is because the edits for Television, DVD, and Netflix are different. In fact, one DVD can be different from another depending on the release you have. What about Blueray? Blueray can stuff it! I’m not buying ANOTHER set of videos for this series (at least, not until I make a bit of cash from this book series and can afford to do so—so there!). Maybe I’ll do a revision at that time.
When I began, I was watching my recorded Television shows, but then turned to the Netflix copies since they were readily available and of better quality. I even found them to have some restored scenes which the DVD’s didn’t have. Then I found out that they were, sometimes, quite a bit different from the DVD’s and began comparing them. I have stuck with both of these sources for nit to pick, but have tried to bring all of my writing into line with the DVD time codes since they will be the most universally accessible by the general public.
If the time codes start to differ by a few to several seconds, you will want to remember that each source actually has different lengths of time for the cross fades and commercial cuts. Sometimes there will be up to two seconds of added “black” between scenes where advertisements formerly haunted us. It’s not always one medium that has the odd additions either. So take the time codes with a grain of salt and know they won’t be exact.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Series One, for our mates across The Pond.
 Hopefully VERY small.
 Like a root-canal.
 It’s a book, what do you expect?
Thankfully, the time codes are not cumulative, and so begin at zero for each episode (except episode two, of course). This means it will never be too hard to find the event or item of which I am writing, even if you are watching a different version than I was.
‘Nuff said! Let’s get on to…
Episode One: Mr. Monk and the Candidate
Written By: Andy Breckman
Directed By: Eric Laneuville, Dean Parisot
Original Airdate: July 12, 2002
OCD’s: Touching the lamp; unreasonable and unwarranted worrying—in this case, about the stove still being on and blowing up, even smelling “gas” from his apartment from clear across the city; needing to FEEL the “click” not just hearing the click when turning off the stove; counting—toothbrush strokes, although this particular instance might be more about good hygiene (hey, Monk, most dentists say to brush for at least 60 seconds, not 40 strokes); hand wiping after human contact (namely hand-shaking); needing things to be even (a phobia of things being uneven or an OCD needing things to be being level? You decide) which goes along with adjusting other things such as papers, pillows, and push pins; pole touching (yes, similar to lamp touching, but unique enough in itself).
Phobias: Germs; the dark; crowds; milk; bridges; elevators; and (by association) all enclosed spaces.
Here’s What Happened: Former police detective, turned independent consultant, Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), was hired by the San Francisco Police Department in order to help solve the murder of one Nicole Vasques (Michelle Addison). Shortly afterward, Monk got involved in finding a sneaky sniper, Ian Sykes (Shawn Reis), who attempted to assassinate a Mayoral Candidate, Warren St. Claire(Michael Hogan).
After Monk let the bad-guy get away because of his fear of heights, Sharona (Bitty Schram), his round-the-clock, on-call nurse/assistant, convinced the deputy mayor, Sheldon Burger (Rob LaBelle), to let him continue his investigation—against Captain Stottlemeyer’s5 well founded objections. Monk set up a re-creation of the crime scene and the shooter tried to take out his own accomplice, sealing both of their fates.
The shooter escaped to the sewers and Sharona bravely (and by “bravely,” I mean with great and unbelievable idiocy) followed him.
In defiance of his fear of germs—and whatever else might have been lurking down there in the dark—Monk followed. He used his, apparently, magical hand wipes to protect himself from the grime covered ladder and somehow avoided becoming comatose while he trudged through, and under, the heavily clichéd sewer water.
Blindly firing into the dark with a gun he dropped into, and then retrieved from, the cesspool at his feet, Monk saved Sharona from the bad guy and the day was won.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Ted Levine.
My Observations: This is a great first episode (or two). Although it began slowly, it was a good way to introduce the character of Adrian Monk. It gave us the feel of the oddly laid back, yet highly stressed, personality of the main character. It may have slapped us in the face a few times with “this is the main character and this is what he does” exposition, but as a first episode for such a unique character as Monk, it was done rather well.
Notes, Errors, and Nitpicks
- 00:00:00. Great fade-in from white. I liked the way the camera panned down, and into, the doorway. It was rather like coming out of a fog, which is really what Monk did shortly before Stottlemeyer brought him into the crime consulting business. We learn lots more about this very soon.
- We can see eight people as we enter the crime scene (one is hidden behind the police officer to the far left). The door is opened into the room so that it stands at about an 80° angle to the doorway. Notice the two Asian men; one to the left (he seems to look fairly Asian) and one to the right, with his back to us. Notice, also, that they both have plenty of hair. When we get to 00:00:24, the man once on the right is now very Caucasian and balding, and the man that used to be in his place seems to have moved to the back row and traded places with the man that was previously hiding in the back. The door is now opened as far as it can be—about 135° to the doorway.
- Inside the apartment, the actual crime scene is established. Perusing time code 00:01:26, we see a blood pool near the table leg, next to the victim, and two clear, bloody footprints. There is an evidence marker (number two) at the top left of the screen. At 00:01:48, the body has moved! We see the murder victim on top of the blood pool and with a single bloody footprint next to her elbow and one much farther away than before, almost out of the shot; her head is lying on the division of the kitchen and living room tile. No evidence marker can be seen. It also seems that one of her slippers has magically appeared on her left foot while the other has moved from under the chair to a spot next to the table.
- All-in-all, there are 14 people in that little crime scene once we also count all of the investigators that are squeezed into the kitchen, as well as Monk and Sharona.
- Time code 00:01:41, after Monk has been OCD-ing the lamp by touching it over and over, trying to get it right, he walks away. As he does, he reaches back to touch the lamp one more time; he misses the bell and touches the neck instead. I don’t think Monk could have left that alone. I’m sure it would have been easy enough to re-shoot it. Film isn’t that expensive. (Three-hundred takes and that’s the best we could do?!? Where’s my Bourbon?)
- Monk VERY quickly goes from one part of the apartment to another. One moment he is by the kitchen table, the next he is passing by the computer desk or the bedroom door. We can see that the kitchen is supposed to be in a different room (at least in a different part of the flat) than the shelves and the computer. I know Monk is a “Nervous Nelly”, but I didn’t think all that pent up nervousness could cause him to move so fast that he would actually be able to walk through walls. (Though I get that way with coffee at times. The world shakes around me so much that my molecules vibrate right through solid objects. Ah, pseudo-physics—they are one of the writer’s best friends!)
- As we first watch Monk examining the crime scene, we see that there is no “hand thing”. This could have been because he was not recreating the crime in his head but was only doing a preliminary scan of the area. He, instead, goes directly into “here’s what happened”, although he doesn’t actually say the words in this instance.
- The lieutenant in charge seems to have decided to take it easy on this case. Notice how he simply takes notes on what Monk tells him and even tries to get Monk to use his “telepethetic”6 abilities to magically divine what the killer was looking for. Sorry, officer, this isn’t Psych. That show won’t be around for a few years yet (neither will the Mentalist).
- At 00:02:49, we see a blurry number nine crime scene marker behind Monk. As the shot changes, we see the shelf which originally held the number nine is now bare. At 00:03:02, it’s back! AGAIN! What is this? A Beatles song?
- 00:03:30. Sharona chides Monk for allowing himself to be distracted by his OCD’s. Monk responds to Sharona’s chiding by nodding his head “yes” in this reverse shot. A second later his head is completely still and he begins to nod “yes” again.
- When 00:03:54 rolls around, we get a close up view of Miss Vasques’ computer. We see a pen behind and between a Day Planner to the left and the keyboard to the right. We see yellow discoloration on the keyboard and monitor and the number seven evidence marker is to the far left. The setup’s close, but no cigar. The pen used to be directly between the Day Planner and the keyboard with the thick, blue end pointing at the front corner of said keyboard.
- I also don’t get the yellow staining on the computer. I have been to a few crime scenes—after the fact, not during—and I don’t remember the fingerprinting dust being so well contained, nor yellow. Black is still the industry standard as far as I know. It appears that, after the police dusted the computer, they used a mini-vac on it to suck up the leavings. But, if they didn’t fingerprint the items, how could Monk say there were no fingerprints on them? There’s not a single sign that actual fingerprinting had actually been done on the actual evidence. Actually speaking, of course.
- Why is the number seven evidence marker different from all the rest? It has a color bar on its face, but we don’t know why.
- Why would the police fingerprint the computer anyway? It wasn’t turned on. Why would that have been an item of interest at this stage of the investigation? That’s like going out to fingerprint her car just in case the murderer had been there earlier, or her toilet in case the murderer might have used the loo. Did the police turn the computer off? Is it standard procedure to tamper with evidence like that? You’re not even supposed to flip on a light switch in a known crime scene unless immediate safety is at risk. There is just no reason to have dusted the computer. Monk, himself, said the killer was methodical, wearing slippers to avoid leaving footprints.7 Why wouldn’t he have worn gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints? There would have been no reason to WIPE DOWN the keyboard after using it as is suggested, only Miss Vasques’ prints would have been on it. I guess the murderer could have turned it off himself, but he would have had no reason. You can’t tell if something has been deleted or copied to an external drive just by looking at the computer (on OR off).
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Yes, telepethetic, because his telepathic powers are pathetic.
 But weren’t there footprints by the body? Murderer, victim, police? Oops.
- The police don’t seem to have really done ANYTHING except trample all over the crime scene, put the murder weapon (a knife—remember that) into a baggie, and place some evidence markers, willy-nilly, around the room (numbers one, eight, and nine on the hutch), the numbers two and three on the floor (number two8 behind and to the right of Monk and number three to his left), and one by the keyboard of the computer (number seven). Lt. Gitomer (Dion Johnstone) says they had been there “all morning” when Monk tells him about the lowered computer chair clue. There are no markers on the chair, no crime scene tape, no visible fingerprint dust, and Monk is wearing no protective gear at all other than “slippers” (you know, to protect his shoes from the crime scene). There is no reason that Monk would have been called in to a case like this so soon. It just wasn’t that mysterious, nor was it a high enough profile case so as to need the added expense of a private consultant. A “Deus Ex Machina” oops!9
- Why were the mouse, CPU cabinet and Day Planner not dusted for fingerprints when the keyboard was dusted (IF fingerprinting had been done at all)? At least the mouse should have been rife with really good thumb and forefinger prints.
- In this scene, we are introduced to Monk’s magic pen. Not only does it jump from hand to hand throughout the scene, but it simply appears in his hand at about 00:01:51. He has just finished compulsively touching the lamp and was still talking to the lieutenant when we see that the pen is suddenly there in his right hand. I wouldn’t say anything about this, but there is no cut that shows him actually taking the pen out of his left breast pocket where he keeps it. Also, he’s not holding it in every cut. (I have a poser for you: Why will Monk poke and prod things with his pen which he wouldn’t touch directly with his skin and then handle the pen as if it were sterile? He never wipes it off nor throws it away. Well, maybe he does throw his pens away. He only uses umbrellas once and then has to have a new one. Hmm. Time to hoard stock in the companies Monk frequents.)
- I also noticed, at 00:04:09, that there is a large amount of what appears to be yellow “fingerprinting” dust on the back part of the chair seat. The front looks white, but there is a distinct yellow color near the back of the chair. Reflection or an attempt by the police to retrieve a buttocks print? Can you imagine providing that for the officers at the police office? “Drop your kecks, please, and park your bum on this ink pad...”10
- At 00:04:11 we see that the a china hutch door is open. But, back in 00:01:20 the opposite door was open. This changes several times.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Magically moved away from the bloody footprint.
 For those unfamiliar with the term, it basically means “god in the machine.” It’s a term which is used for an unexpected event which solves an impossible problem (in this case getting Monk involved in the case so he can connect it to other clues later).
 “Drop your pants and park your butt on this ink pad...” (I have to throw a few in there for our friends in the UK. After all, there’s a big audience for Monk there too!)
- How many tables does the victim have in her tiny apartment anyway? The last one we see looks an awful lot like the one the victim was under, but it can’t be since it was in an other room and this new one has a bunch of stuff on it. There is no evidence that the police ever went from the kitchen to the living area. The row of people we saw at the beginning of this scene are standing in the doorway of the only other room in the apartment (unless you count the bedroom doorway near the china hutch, but there’s no way the kitchen could have been in there since there was no obstruction to the view of the police officers when they were telling Monk where the stove was. Oh, and it was the BEDROOM!!!11
- Here (00:04:29) we see the opening credits. In the Netflix version, there is so much restored footage that it’s like I’d never seen the credits before. I was amazed to see the restored footage and to see the context given to some of the things we see in the “standard” opening credits. I’ll have more on that in the section: Opening Credits Gaffs.
- The DVD edition uses the original theme music, by Jeff Beal, for the credits, while the Netflix version uses “It’s a Jungle Out There”, by Randy Newman.
- I mention this in the Opening Credits Gaffs, but I need to mention it here too since I have found MORE restored footage in the DVD and Netflix. Monk is a VAMPIRE! The establishing shot of the view from his apartment shows reflections of all the room’s contents, yet, at 00:05:32, as Monk approaches the living room window, he casts NO reflection! And time code 00:05:39 shows us that even Monk’s “wipe” is a vampire; it also casts no reflection. They used chroma key to put these visual elements (Monk and the view) together. In fact, I think everything except Monk was added later, even...
- Time code 00:05:34 which has us listening to the pigeons from the building across the street as Monk cleans. Those are the loudest pigeons I have ever encountered! They can be heard through closed windows at a great distance and, as we see later, there is no ledge at Monk’s window on which any other pigeons could sit.
- Monk’s Episode One apartment must be really high up. It looks down on a building which is at least two stories tall.12
- The picture of Monk and Trudy’s13 wedding day is odd in this series of scenes. Trudy has dark brown or black hair just like Monk; but Trudy’s supposed to be blond. There may be more additional elements, but my eyes grew tired looking for them.
- Monk brushes his teeth with 40 strokes. Although it kind of sounds like he’s saying, “twenty” instead of “thirty” as he talks with his mouth full. 00:05:53.
- What’s this? Yes! Monk has a different toothbrush from the one he was sterilizing just a moment before. In the Netflix version it is a far more glaring mistake since we see the toothbrushes back-to-back in the edit sequence.
- Monk has three standard patterns for the shirts he wears. We can see them at 00:05:59. Small checks, medium checks, and a “solid”, blue-gray (maybe tiny checks). This does not take into consideration his dress blues or standard uniform. Do we even see those here this time? No, but the final cut of the opening credits shows that Monk changes where he keeps his clothing. Same armoire, different contents.
- While looking at the contents of said armoire, we see that Monk keeps his shoes on the top shelf. Weird! Especially for a germophobe. Maybe they are brand new and waiting to be used when his current ones get dirty.
- At 00:06:28, Monk is taking out his dental floss. Why? He just finished brushing and would know that flossing should be done before you brush! Otherwise you are leaving all the recently dislodged bacterium floating around your mouth. Ew!
- Then he flosses, putting his fingers IN his mouth and then just walks away—NO wipe, NO concerns, NO NOTHING!
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 This is a very confusing crime scene.
 In the US, the first floor is the first story. In the UK, the level at the top of the first flight of stairs is the first “storey.” I love trivia. Who cares if it’s right or not?
 Stellina Rusich.
- Moving from Monk’s apartment, we go to Dr. Kroger’s office.14 Monk speaks of his old friend in the department; the one that called Monk into the case. So who is this Second Lieutenant that “called in” Monk? Lieutenant Gitomer? Nope, He barely seemed to know him. Why would this Second Lieutenant have the authority to call in a private consultant since it seemed that (First) Lieutenant Gitomer was in charge of the scene? Doesn’t seem kosher. (Oh, by the way, I’ve found no designation for Second Lieutenant in police ranks. This is confirmed by an ex-cop friend of mine from California. He told me that there is no such thing as a SECOND Lieutenant.)
- Dr. Kroger’s office window appears to be closed to the waterfall in the decorative landscaping outside, but we hear a waterfall. Is it the “white noise” machine making the sound that we hear? This machine isn’t first spoken of for a few seasons after this. Not only that, but does the white noise machine have a waterfall setting?15 I’m beginning to think that glass in Monk’s world had different characteristics than those of glass in our world. The glass in Monk’s world seems to amplify noises which are in the distance like the fountain in the courtyard beyond Dr. Kroger’s windows.
- Just a note about the political campaigning we see in this opening episode: The San Francisco election was held in 2003, not 2002 when this episode was written and aired.
- Also, the episode aired in July. Remember this when we start seeing Christmas decorations in the show.
- We now see the sniper for the first time. The window in which he stands seems very close to the ground when seen from the candidate’s staging area. I know it was a zoom shot, but I’d hire new bodyguards if they can’t see a shooter in a window that seems to be so close.
- Did you notice that the cord for the blinds was directly in front of the shooter’s scope for pretty much this whole sequence? I did. Remember this when Monk gets into the room and scans the scene.
- At about time code 00:09:53, the candidate is seen from above, but his voice is not accompanied by any jaw movement. A ventriloquist as a mayor? Cool! Let’s get Jeff Dunham to run! Peanut and his gang can fill his cabinet! (Ha-ha, get it? Ventriloquist’s cabine... oh never mind. Moving on.)
- From the shooters viewpoint, in room 1401, we can see NO balloons blocking the shot. From the grandstand point of view, we can see NO balloons EXCEPT at certain angles which show them placed about half-way back on both sides of the grandstand, or at the corner of the grandstand, depending on the cut. But even the length of the grandstand (or the position of the metal columns on it) seems to change from shot to shot. The columns are not always there when the camera is at street level, but they are there when we are at the sniper’s level. And still, those balloons keep moving all over the place! After the shooting, they still move from one spot on the grandstand to another. Think about this when we get to Monk’s re-creation of the crime later in this entry.
- As everyone on the stage dive for cover, the candidate and his wife are on the stage-right side of the podium, but they are on the opposite side when the bodyguards tackle them to the ground.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Stanley Kamel (we miss you).
 Maybe glass is just really thin in Monk’s world. A LOT of stuff can be heard through closed windows, except when the plot calls for it.
- Randy Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) sure is smart in the first few episodes, isn’t he? I don’t think they meant to keep the character though. They even credited the part as Lt. Randall Deacon in this two-part episode and his name wasn’t actually spoken in the first four episodes. We’ll keep tabs on just when Randall (Randy) Deacon (Disher) becomes a bumbling idiot (although ya’ gotta love ‘im). Here’s a little clue: The more he “likes” Sharona, the dumber he seems to get.16
- 00:11:09. Stottlemeyer acts surprised that the mayor is asking for Monk on the sniper case. The Netflix opening of this episode actually showed us that Monk is already working with the police. Why would Stottlemeyer so surprised?
- As Monk and Sharona are first seen driving the Volvo through the mean streets of San Francisco, they have their windshield-wipers on, but there’s not a drop of water hitting the windshield—even before they went under the overpass. In fact, the reflection on the windshield seems to show a large amount of what seems to be bluish sky. Maybe that dark cloud following Monk has something to do with the mystery rain in the show.
- Right afterward, at 00:11:42, the traffic signal that causes Monk to almost have a seizure couldn’t have been red since the cross-traffic light was red. The cross traffic was completely STOPPED. Truth be told, all the traffic was stopped except Indi Car driver, Sharona, who went zipping down the street like her brakes were out!
- The street onto which they turn is simply labeled as “Spear.”
- The car and semi-truck we see both appear to be half a block away from the intersection too. They couldn’t have posed a threat to anyone, even a worry-wart like Monk.
- Time code 00:11:47. Yes, Randy Disher truly dislikes both Monk AND Sharona in the beginning of the series. Little jabs such as this one come quite often: Disher/Deacon says, “Look who’s here; the defective detective.” By-the-by, why would he insult Monk like that in front of Captain Stottlemeyer? Stottlemeyer likes Monk, even if Disher/Deacon doesn’t.
- Going to meet with the candidate (00:12:14), Monk walks up the stairs sideways to avoid touching the handrail, but doesn’t seem bothered by the heights he’s attaining. Of course, it could be that he didn’t want to see OVER the GLASS BANISTER instead of it being the germs on the hand rails which were bothering him. More on this later.
- Arriving at the candidate’s boardroom, and time code 00:14:37, Monk can’t stand the apparent hodge-podge way voter demographics pins are laid out. He has to put them into some semblance of order according to his “unique” mind. The first pin Monk takes out of the voter-division map board is blue, but in the next shot, the first row of pins is red. He would have gone in descending order, row-wise, with his OCD for order. We know he wasn’t laying them out in the classic “ROY G BIV” pattern either. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue Indigo, Violet. Of course, those bored scientists have decided to remove Indigo as a separate and distinct color in the rainbow’s list of hues.17
- Monk gets 15 pins out of the map board before he is noticed. Unfortunately the pins don’t seem to want to stay where he puts them. We see several shots of the pins and in each of them the pins are aligned differently—in level and color order—than the previous shot.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Just like most guys when we fall for a gal.
 Why are these silly scientists always making trouble for us laypeople? First they remove indigo from the rainbow color list and then they remove Pluto from the planet category of heavenly bodies. Will it never end? (SCIENTIFIC PERSONS ALERT!!! Scientists around the world voted to remove humor writers from the HomoSapien category of nature. They are now classified as toe fungus.)
- When Gavin Lloyd (Ben Bass) tries to stop Monk from causing any more damage to the voter demographics map, he flips the map board over for the first time. On its back we see it is just a blank, white, dry-erase board. When the camera cuts away and then back, it is some kind of reddish board with a metal brace or SOMETHING covering most of its wood-grained reverse. It appears as such in two cuts and then disappears while Gavin and Monk fight over it. Monk lets go of the board as commanded and, again, we see the wood textured surface with the red structure on its converse side. Did they re-shoot this later with different props? I’ll bet that’s what happened. I sure hope that’s what happened!
- I liked the bit where Monk fixes the damage he had done to the voter demographics pins. They did it so well. Tony Shalhoub is filmed removing the pins from the map, but the film is run backwards to make it look as if he is deftly putting each pin exactly in its proper hole. It’s not easy to do this without making it look as if it HAD been filmed backwards. Bravo!
- Later, up in the abandoned sniper’s nest, at 00:16:47, we get to the first “Zen Sherlock Holmes Thing” scene. Monk looks between his hands a little bit like a director setting up a scene in his mind or a sculptor looking for the shape in a piece of marble. As some like to call it: Jazz Hands!
- 00:17:35 reveals that Stottlemeyer is 5’11” tall and the shooter is 6’3” or 6’4” tall. The bottom of the curl in the cord is about nine inches above the broom handle that Stottlemeyer holds as a makeshift gun barrel. The cord had to wrap around the rifle at least two times which means that either the cord had been moved (since it was too high to wrap around the rifle as we saw it) or the guy was actually 6’13”.18 Either way, Monk was really off with his hypothesis about the cord being used by the sniper to steady the his weapon. But we knew what he meant, right?
- Monk uses the name of a real cigarette company as he explains his theory of the killer being the smoker of the cigarette butts in the room. Did the cigarette company sneak some advertising dollars to the producers of Monk for this episode? In later episodes, it seems that fake cigarette company names are used. So why didn’t Monk think that it was an African-American man that was the shooter since they make up more than 49 percent of the evil brand’s users; the rest being divided among men AND women of various ethnicities. Remember: Cigarettes can, and probably will, kill you just like they did two of my uncles and two of my grandparents. But I digress (stupid cigarette companies!).
- We are now at the funeral for poor Jason, the bodyguard that was killed during the sniper’s attack. 00:19:40. We have firmly established Monk’s fear of heights. We did not really see it while he was climbing the stairs earlier and we don’t see it while he is sitting in the balcony of the church nor while leaning out OVER said balcony in the remainder of the sequence. Of course, in this case, the loss of Trudy’s keychain could easily have caused Monk to lose track of that which he should have been afraid. I guess we’ll give them that one. But why was he twirling his keys on his finger anyway? We don’t see him this careless with sentimental objects again outside of this episode.
- While Monk and Sharona are conversing about how the candidate is or isn’t “too good to be true,” the candidate says, “Jason used to have a saying... Jason USED to have a saying...” An error in sound mixing or was the candidate just trying to RE-emphasize the fact that Jason had a saying before he did the “mortal coils” shuffle? I dunno.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Yes, I know.
- I thought that there was something wrong with the way the body was positioned in the casket when I first watched this scene. (00:21:06) You know, hands a little too awkwardly place on his thighs? But a little research showed me that it is an option to place the hands of the deceased on the upper thigh/hip area. All of the services I’ve been to have had the deceased with their arms crossed against the chest or stomach. But the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, was buried like poor Jason. Still, why was the casket so far to the side of the dais instead of down in front like it should have been? It seemed very odd to have the speaker’s podium so far to one side of the pulpit and the deceased so far to the other. Wouldn’t that make viewing very difficult? Or, maybe, they were not going to have a viewing. After all, they said that in just a few minutes they were going to close the casket. If that were the case, why would the casket have been open in the first place?
- 00:24:16. A great line by Sharona comes as she and Monk leave the church; “I never vote. It only encourages them.” Oh, so true!
- Before this, while talking with St. Claire, neither Sharona nor Monk have an umbrella. When the scene cuts to them running to the Volvo, suddenly Sharona is carrying an open one and the weather has gone from dry to pouring down rain in what appears to be a split second.
- 00:24:25. Why is Monk carrying the keys to Sharona’s car on the key chain which Trudy gave him? Also, wouldn’t Sharona have been a little more eager for Monk to retrieve the lost keys if she knew they were the only way they could get home? In this episode, the car is Monk’s. This might have been a discarded premise in later episodes, but in this episode, they may have been using that very premise: Sharona drives Monk around in his own car so she doesn’t have the added expense of upkeep. But, just like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know if it was Monk’s Volvo or not.
- So the rain is coming down in buckets on our dysfunctional duo, but when we see the Candidate’s limo across the church lawn, it seems that there is only a slight drizzle. Until I saw the DVD, it appeared that the rain wasn’t falling on the limo at all. Mrs. St. Claire (Gail O’Grady) and Jesse Goodman(Vincent Gale) don’t even seem to notice the precipitation. They even sit there with the limo door wide open for several moments as if they aren’t concerned about getting the leather wet. Selective weather. We’ll see that quite a few times in the series.
- 00:24:40. Although we see no real evidence that much time has passed, both Monk and Sharona have changed when they next show up in the police station; it is not quite yet 10:00 AM and the funeral couldn’t have been too near the station. Plus, they each one would have had to go to their respective abodes to change. Now, unless the funeral was at 7 or 8:00 AM, there just wouldn’t have been enough time for them to show up dry AND in new clothes.
- At 00:24:42, Monk is again swinging his keys around nervously. I think this is the last time we see this—EVER!
- Monk thinks the two cases (the murder of Miss Vasques and the death of the bodyguard) are related. He is having some trouble getting Stottlemeyer to agree though. But Stottlemeyer isn’t in a reasonable frame of mind. As they argue their positions at 00:25:33, Stottlemeyer says, “...he was stabbed, she was shot!” But we all know that it was the opposite way around. Remember the knife I mentioned on Miss Vasques’ table? Either Stottlemeyer is wrong or it was one long, slow, knife-shaped bullet that killed the girl and a funky, tiny bullet-shaped knife that whacked poor, ol’ Jason.
- At 00:25:39, Monk uses bad language. I know he does this a few times in the series, but this time he did it as—what seemed to be—a matter of course. That particular, “Hell, no!” just didn’t seem to be Monk-like to me.
- Another great line: After Monk tells Sharona that they need to follow the money, he exclaims, “Mm! Ah! I’ve always wanted to say that!” He also seemed to enjoy saying it. I thought Monk couldn’t enjoy anything since Trudy died.
- 00:24:37. By the time Monk and Sharona show up to speak with Mrs. St. Claire at “story time”, Sharona has changed again and Monk has added a sweater to his outfit. Did they stop in wardrobe again by mistake? Weren’t they directly on their way from the police station to see Mrs. St. Claire? Yeeeeeesssss.
- The book which Mrs. St. Claire reads is entitled, “The Tearful Bride”, by Julie Breckman. Julie is producer Andy Breckman’s third child from his first marriage. I couldn’t find the book on the Internet, but it might be for sale by the time this book is published. Did she really write it for publication? The lines Mrs. St. Clair read are actually in the book. You can read the text when we see the reverse shot over her shoulder.
- Knowing that it’s called “The Tearful Bride”, why was the main character always referred to as “the princess” and not “the bride”?
- 00:26:50. Near Monk, he little, sick boy begins to pick his little, sick nose, much to Monk’s chagrin. The reaction Monk gives as the boy begins putting his booger-laden finger in his mouth is wonderful. Booger jokes ARE funny (sometimes, other times they’re just icky—this time FUNNY)!
- Monk is settling in to speak with Mrs. St. Claire. (00:27:04) He puts his handkerchief into his right front pocket. As we cut to the next point of view, he passes it from his left hand and to his right and pockets it again. A second ‘kerchief? Well, after all, he does have two nostrils...
- At 00:27:54, Monk has just fallen off of the junior sized chair, but as the cut passes, he is standing up! Another odd thing is that Mrs. St. Claire is looking down and to her left as if speaking to someone there. Is she being polite by not looking at Monk during his predicament or is she trying not to laugh?
- 00:28:08: Monk has just successfully sat down in the junior chair. Except there is a “but” to this scene. Monk’s butt. It is still in the air in the next point of view. Some may say it was his shoulder, but look carefully and you can see the button for his right, butt pocket.
- 00:28:50 Mrs. St. Claire has a great line: “Oh, Mr. Monk, you seem like an intelligent person...on occasion.”
- 00:29:22. After Mrs. St. Claire leaves and Monk takes the phone from Sharona, he holds it directly to his ear with no handkerchief or anything as a buffer against the germs. And that was a big phone. It almost looked like a cordless LANDLINE phone with those large charger contacts on the base and all. In fact, after multiple looks, I’m sure it’s an AT&T landline, cordless phone. It looks quite a bit like mine! Did no one have a cell phone they could use for that scene? I’m just saying...19
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 Don’t you hate that phrase by now? “I’m just saying...” Saying what? That you don’t know how to finish a sentence? Lordy!
- 00:29:44. Jake (Fred Ewanuick) must possess that aggressive, male gene which stops guys from seeing dirt unless it has already evolved into new life forms (thanks to Dave Barry for proving it’s not our fault!). When the bum (the bad guy in disguise) begins to wash Jake’s windshield at the intersection,20 Jake tells him not to and says he’s just cleaned it; but it is so dirty that I can’t believe he could legally be driving his car! The bad guy left it cleaner than when Jake stopped. Even Monk later says that the passenger side windshield is filthy as he looks at Jake’s crashed car. (Remember that that side hadn’t been touched by the bad guy.)
- As the bad guy drives Jake’s car away, we find a bit of added footage on Netflix again: We actually get to see his car turn left as the bad guy takes it to the dumping spot at...
- 00:31:14. Jake’s car is found halfway down a wooded slope and Monk is called in to take a look. Poor Monk can’t seem to bring himself to walk down the wet, muddy hillside. So Sharona tells Stottlemeyer that Monk isn’t wearing the right shoes to make the hike to the crime scene. That’s an excuse if I EVER heard one. From the opening of this episode, we know that Monk only has ONE kind of shoe. They were all there on the armoire shelf, as I noted.
- 00:31:43 shows us that Jake’s killer must be able to change the laws of physics. To hit a “curve at 85/90 miles an hour” and wind up nose down and with only enough damage to indicate a 20 mph accident is amazing. Sorry Captain Stottlemeyer, your writers really went face first into the Gazpacho soup on THAT one.
- Monk says he believes the murder took place on Cole and 17th Street. This intersection DOES exist and there IS a stop sign, although the scene was NOT filmed there. REMEMBER, Jake stopped in the MIDDLE of the street and not at the STOP sign. OH, there is NO homeless shelter at the location EITHER. ALRIGHT, YOU’RE CORRECT! FAR LESS ALL-CAPS IN THE FUTURE.
- Monk has better eyes than I do. He can see through the reflection AND the dirt on the side windows of Jake’s car, AND discern the difference between the clean and dirty halves of the windshield. Stottlemeyer even has to send Disher back down to the car to verify if what Monk said was correct. Someone might need an optometrist appointment. I think it could be me.
- 00:31:48. Sharona has just gotten an officer to drive Monk home from Jake’s “accident” scene. As she makes her escape—I mean—makes her way to the Volvo, she says to Monk, “Behave yourself. He’s armed.” Guffaw!
- Right after Sharona gives Monk the slip, we find him on the phone with Benjy.21 He sure seems like a punk while talking to Monk on the phone. I’m glad they changed his look and demeanor in later episodes. Gah! What a jerk!
- 00:34:25. Monk is now back at home and he is attempting to make chicken pot pie by himself. He is first seen carefully counting out the peas needed for the pie. Each pea is counted and dropped, making a little ticking sound in the pan. The tenth pea that Monk puts into the pie doesn’t make any sound although he apparently picks it up. You see, he counts it, but he is not holding it after he stops counting.
- Although we’ve covered the balloons on the grandstand before, I need to reiterate some facts about them here. While Monk is watching the news clip on his kitchen TV,22 you will notice that there are no balloons to the fore part of the stage on the side where the shooter was stationed. The only balloons we see now are all behind the front stanchions of the grandstand. And the stanchions seem to have moved again too. Remarkable! 00:34:40.
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 The middle of the block.
 Kane Richotte, in this episode and Seasons two and three.
 I don’t believe we ever see this again either.
- At the approximate time stamp of 00:36:55, Monk again uses “hell” as if he does it all the time. It’s just something I didn’t notice in later episodes. Sigh. What would Monk think about having a “potty mouth”? Seriously! What do you think he’d do if you made the “potty mouth” reference to him? It would be hilarious, I’m sure! He couldn’t get to the mouthwash fast enough. Ha, ha, ha! Ahhh! Good times.
- When Monk and Sharona leave the “swank” restaurant,23 how far do they walk to get to the Chinese market district? It seems an incongruous shift. And WHY are they walking? Where is the Volvo?
- At 00:38:05, Sharona gets into the cab that she hails from the curb. The cab is soaking wet, as if it had just been in the rain, but its window is already rolled halfway down. I know this was to keep the dialogue and action going, but it just stood out as something which could have been handled better. (I know, I know—just wait till I have to handle continuity on a long running, very popular TV show. I look forward to it!) By the way, why didn’t she just DRIVE? Since you brought it up: How DID Monk get there? Does this tie in with the possible dropped premise that Monk owns the Volvo?
- Sharona lives at Valencia and 28th. This location does NOT exist, but it’s probably for the best. They wouldn’t want every Tom, Dick and Monk fanatic showing up to see if Sharona’s house is really there.24
- I don’t know where the Volvo went, but if Monk had driven to the restaurant, we wouldn’t have that fantastic image of him walking across the street with the foggy night skyline laid out behind him. I just love that scene! It’s most dreamlike.
- Monk lives on a hill in these beginning episodes.
- The view through Monk’s window at the beginning of the show is impossible, especially if the street on which he is walking at this point in the show is supposed to the one on which he lives. Even the building we saw across the street is gone and the Transamerica Pyramid is nowhere to be seen—even in silhouette—from this street.
- Monk is home again. Trudy’s pictures are on the wall by the front door in this episode, and a table with some wooden boxes sits beneath them. Not so later on.25 Why would Monk replace Trudy’s photos with umbrellas? Where did the pictures go?
- 00:39:55. At his desk, Monk is going through the evidence he has about Trudy’s murder. The parking garage we see in the pictures here seems to be used over and over in the series (and not just as the place where Trudy was murdered).
- Trudy’s police case number is 57745YRT and was opened on January 11, 1997. The incident happened at 3:47pm and was reported at 3:51pm. In most of the Monk series, it is an accepted fact that Trudy was killed at 9am. Not so according to the police reports. Odd.
- On Monk’s desk are also news clippings about the murder. One article is entitled “Monk Murder Still Unsolved”, but is actually a financial column report. It starts off, “Financial markets seemed to have regained their comfort zone. After a period of volatility...” Yadda-yadda. You know the story. The one just before it, “Detective’s Wife Slain”, is the same article, but begins with the “volatility” portion of the paragraph. I didn’t know the Stock Market relied so heavily on Trudy’s case being solved.
- Two of the articles, including “Explosion Rips Through Parkade Killing One”, were written by the same “Times Reporter”, Chris Lessely.26 The other article was written by (something) “resciata”. No, wait. That’s the end of the word “Associate”. My mistake. Maybe the possibly androgynous Chris wrote that one too. But of whom would s/he be an associate?
- “Blast Kills Award Winning Journalist” is another article. This one, however, is by a Ross Vanderbilt. The follow up article on page A3 could be by anybody. It’s entitled, “No Links To Other Car Bombing Suspected”.27
- 00:30:28. A picture of Trudy holding a lobster is on the desk near Monk and he looks at it soulfully. I know Trudy wouldn’t be afraid of lobster, but I’m pretty sure this picture would continuously and majorly FREAK OUT Mr. Monk. He can’t stand to be around creepy-crawlies. How could he look at his wife holding one? How could he sleep at the desk, next to such a picture? Why did the DVD not have the lobster picture in the episode?
- At this point, we get a “To Be Continued” message and the credits on Netflix.
- In the credits, we see an interesting thing. I think it’s interesting, in any case. There is a credit for Best Girl Grip—Shauna Hanna. Until this, I’d never seen that before. How could they make that unisex? Best Child Grip?
FOOTNOTES FOR THIS PAGE
 It didn’t seem to be a Chinese restaurant, although there were a few people of the Asian persuasion cooking there—and a lot of them eating there.
 It happens. Believe me! At least, I assume. Conclusions are easy to jump to.
 Or, if you’ll remember, in the opening credits where Monk adjusts one of the umbrellas which were where Trudy’s pictures now seem to be. Are they different doors? Fat chance!
 This may not be an accurate spelling. It is hard to read on a low def TV.
 Keep track of these things. We’ll review Trudy’s murder in one season or another. (Which ever one has few enough nits to pick.)