Adrian Monk and his nurse, Sharona Fleming, are examining a crime scene as the officers and detectives look on. Monk worries that he left the stove on at home, and Sharona assures him that he didn't. Once Monk concentrates on the murder victim --Nicole Vasques--on the floor, Monk tells her that it wasn't a burglary gone sour. He points out that the "burglar" wore slippers to avoid leaving footprints, and keeps touching a gooseneck lamp. Sharona gets him to focus, and Monk says that the killer was there at least an hour smoking before the victim came in. He identifies the cigarette from the residue odor on the curtain, and then says that he can smell gas. Monk questions Sharona about whether she really turned off the stove, and Sharona glares at him. Continuing, Monk says that the killer hung around after he killed Nicole, and checked something on her computer. He gives the killer's height and then asks Sharona about the pilot light,
As Sharona takes Monk aside and reminds him that he's a private consultant, and if he doesn't get reinstated then they will both be unemployed. The lead detective asks Monk how he figured it all out, and Monk points out that there are no fingerprints on the computer, even Nicole's, because the killer wiped them clean. As for the height, the chair is lowered almost all the way but Nicole is short. Monk then excuses himself, saying that he smells gas, and Sharona goes after him. When the unis say that that's Monk, the living legend, the lead detective wonders if that's living.
Monk goes about his daily routine and rehearses what he's going to tell his therapist, Dr. Kroeger. He then goes to Kroeger's office and tells him that he's going with the flow. Monk explains that he's doing some consulting for a second lieutenant in Santa Clara, and he feels great being called in. As they talk, Monk glances over at a pillow mislaid on a nearby couch. He says that's ready to go back on the force, and asks if Kroeger thinks that he's ready. Kroeger notices Monk glancing at the pillow, and tells him that he can fix it if he wants. He admits that he's still having dreams about his dead wife, Trudy, and then accuses Kroeger of leaving the pillow crooked on purpose. Monk finally goes over and adjusts the pillow, adjusts a nearby plant as well, and sits down.
A painter leaves a van and goes into a nearby building. The man goes to a room, locking the door behind him, and takes out a rifle. He wraps the blinds curtain around the barrel and aims at the candidate Warren St. Clare, holding a rally in the street below. Warren's wife Miranda sits in the crowd, unenthusiastically applauding, and Warren's campaign manger Gavin Lloyd, coordinates when the band should play. Gavin sits next to Miranda, who complains about having to smile constantly. He warns her that it's just the beginning, and he's going to make sure Warren gets elected and goes all the way to the White House.
Warren calls Miranda up to the podium and the crowd cheers. The band starts up and the balloons drop, and the sniper opens fire. He misses Warren and kills a nearby bodyguard, Jason Ronstadt, and everyone takes cover. Gavin points out the killer and the police head for the room.
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer is in his office when his lieutenant, Randy Deacon, comes in and says that and says that Warren is making rah-rah statements so far. Stottlemeyer figures that Warren will start blaming the police soon enough, and he insists on taking point with the price. Deputy Mayor Sheldon Burger comes in and says that the bodyguard didn't make it. Sheldon warns that they have to find the shooter, and tells Stottlemeyer that the mayor wants Stottlemeyer to bring Monk in.
Sharona drives a panicked Monk in, and she figures that it's his chance to get back on the force. They arrive at the city hall and Stottlemeyer shakes Monk's hand. Monk immediately asks for a wipe from Sharona, and Stottlemeyer warns Monk that he's a civilian with observer status only. He says that he wants to see Monk reinstated but figures that he's not ready. As he walks away, Monk says he's sure Stottlemeyer and his wife Karen will work things out. He's deduced that the couple has some problems, and Stottlemeyer denies it. However, he then asks Monk privately how he knew, and Monk points out the clues. Irritated, Stottlemeyer tells Monk not to say anything.
In the conference room, Gavin objects to Stottlemeyer's precautions. As Monk adjusts the boards and the papers, Miranda warns Stottlemeyer that her husband has a lot of enemies. Warren's senior vice president, Jesse Goodman, tells Warren that he doesn't have to go through with it but Warren insists. Monk starts adjusting the color-coded pins on a campaign board, and Stottlemeyer and Gavin both object. When Monk says that he can put them all back where they were originally, he and Gavin fight over the board. The pins go flying and Monk puts them all back where they were. Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer and Deacon explain that Monk was given a psychological discharge, and Sharona says that Monk is up for review the next week. She explains that Monk has a severe form of anxiety disorder, which occurred when his wife was killed in a car bomb four years ago. Much to everyone's surprise, Gavin Monks puts the pins back exactly where they were and asks to see where the shots were fired.
Monk goes over the room where the shooter took up, and Stottlemeyer follows him. Smiling, Monk gestures to the curled-up drawstring and says that the sniper used it to steady his shot, and he's seen it in the Green Berets' field manual. He then has Stottlemeyer assume the same position and realizes that the killer was 5'11": just like the killer in Santa Clara. Stottlemeyer doesn't believe it, but Monk says that the odds of men of the same height being killers within two days are astronomical. He points out that the shooter also wore slippers and smokes the same cigarettes. Monk looks out the window and suffers an anxiety attack from the heights, and Sharona leads him away.
Monk and Sharona go to Warren's campaign office and have an assistant, Jake, look up Nicole's name. She's not listed as a volunteer or donor.
At Jason's funeral, Warren is giving a eulogy. Monk and Sharona are sitting in the balcony. Sharona figures that Warren did it for the publicity, and Monk says that he's sure the two murders are connected but he doesn't know how yet. He discovers that his keys are gone, and has a panic attack until he finally finds them... and drops them in the coffin. Warren calls for a moment of prayer, and Monk tells Sharona that it was Trudy's keychain. Monk ties a paper clip to his dental floss, and tries to snag the keys with it. He snags the corpse's sleeve instead and when Warren salutes him, Jason's arm goes up.
Afterwards, Jason's mother and Miranda berate Monk. Warren assures Monk that such things happen and has Jesse take Miranda home. Monk has a couple of questions for Miranda, but she points out that he has several fears and wonders how he can question anyone. He points out that he's been preoccupied with Nicole's murder and asks Miranda and Warren if he knew Nicole. Miranda tells Monk that if Warren is elected mayor then Monk will never work in San Francisco again. Monk and Sharona go back to the car and Sharona points out that Warren is worth $150 million. Jesse gets Miranda into their limo, and Monk notices her pat Jesse on the knee and smile.
At the station, Stottlemeyer tells Monk and Sharona that Miranda complained to the mayor. Deacon tells them that they got the forensic part back and one of the hollow-point bullets was intact. Monk recognizes the weapon that was used and asks Deacon to cross-check it against Nicole. Stottlemeyer insists that the cases weren't related and tells Monk to let it go. Monk tells Sharona that they're going to follow the money.
Miranda is reading a book to a kindergarten class for a photo op. One girl is coughing, and Monk covers his mouth as the other children cough as well. A nearby boy is picking his nose, and Monk panics when the kids eats his snot. Afterward, Miranda says that she has a fundraiser and they should get it over with. He asks about her finances and the state of her marriage, and fiddles with the kindergarten chair he's trying to sit in. Monk then asks if she's going to be seeing Jesse later, and asks her to have Jesse call him if she does see him. Miranda wonders if he's accusing her of something, and tells Monk that Warren is the first person in her life that never gave up on her. Once she leaves, Sharona figures that Miranda did it. Jake calls Monk and says that he found something. He offers to drop it at Monk's place in an hour, and Monk agrees.
As Jake drives to Monk's place, a man comes out to wash his window when Jake stops. The man then knocks Jake unconscious, shoves him over, gets in, and drives away.
Later, Monk and Sharona are called to the road where Jake's car when off the road. The preliminary shows that it was an accident. Sharona calls down and asks if there is a notebook in the room. Monk has Sharona yell down to have Stottlemeyer check Jake's hat because that's where he carried stuff, and Stottlemeyer reports that Jake isn't wearing a hat. When Stottlemeyer tells them to come down, Monk has Sharona say that he's not wearing the right shoes to come down. Stottlemeyer goes up and Monk points out that there are no skid marks on the road. He says that it was staged and Jake was killed somewhere else, and gives Stottlemeyer the address where Jake was killed.
Monk explains that Jake was heading to his house and was killed near a homeless shelter where people wash windows for spare change. The driver's side windshield is clean but the passenger side is dirty, and Stottlemeyer sends Deacon to check the windshield. Meanwhile, Sharona tells Monk that an officer will drive him home because she has a date. He thought that she was joking and Sharona takes offense. Monk points out that it's chicken pot pie night, and Sharona tells him to make his own.
That night, Monk is on the phone to Sharona's son Benjy getting the recipe for chicken pot pie. Sharona takes the phone and tells him to stop calling, and hangs up. She then goes to a restaurant and meets with her date, Carl. Sharona admits that it's the worst job that she ever has but also the best job she's ever had because she puts bad guys behind bars.
Monk is busy counting out peas when he sees a news report about the shooting. They run a video replay of the attempt and notices something. Monk goes to the restaurant and tells Sharona that something doesn't add up. Carl invites him to join them, and Monk quickly sits down and adjusts the shakers. When Sharona says that Carl said he lived in England and was a Rhodes Scholar, and now he's an entertainment lawyer, Monk says that he's not good at it. He finally tells Sharona that Carl is lying to her. He points out Carl's lies, and Sharona glares at Monk.
Afterward, Sharona walks home with Monk and tells Monk that he should have let Carl lie to her because it's a first date. She says that she can't do it anymore and quits, and tells Monk that she has responsibilities and has to find a normal job before she goes crazy. Monk wonders if she means like him. She hails a taxi and leaves.
Monk walks home, depressed. He then takes out the files on Trudy's murder and obsessively goes through them, remembering what it was like to wake up next to her.
Stottlemeyer goes to the impound lot and Deacon tells him that they found something in Jake's hat. It's a piece of paper with Nicole's address on it. Nicole was a part-time volunteer who quit two months ago, which is why her name didn't come up. Stottlemeyer wonders how Monk sees what he never does, and Deacon dismisses what Monk does is a parlor trick. He assures Stottlemeyer that Monk isn't half the cop that Stottlemeyer is, but Stottlemeyer says that they need him. Deacon tells him that Monk isn't home and Sharona quit.
Sheldon goes to Sharona's house and tells her that San Francisco would be grateful if she went back to working for Monk. Sharona wonders how grateful the city would be, and says that she'll find Monk and bring him back. Then Sheldon will owe her one, and he'll have to say yes no matter what she wants.
Monk is playing the clarinet at Trudy's grave when Sharona finds him. When he's done, Monk says that it was their song. He welcomes Sharona back, and she tells him that he was right about the cases being connected. As they go back, Sharona claims that she did ballroom dancing in New Jersey.
Back at Monk's apartment, Monk runs the video of the shooting over and over. He wonders why Gavin set the rally there in the financial district in the middle of the business day. Sharona says that he was a hotshot political genius but the national parties won't touch him because the word is that some campaign contributions that Gavin collected in a North Carolina Senate ace mysteriously disappeared.
Later, Monk goes down the street touching parking meters. The killer tries to run him down and misses when Adrian turns back to touch a post. The car comes back at Adrian, who runs down an alley while touching posts. When the car gets caught on a dumpster, Monk gets away. He finds Sharona and tells her that he had the moves, and figures that they're making someone nervous. They go to the campaign office and talk to Gavin. He doesn't remember Nicole and says that she was a floater. One of the workers remembers Gavin talking to Flo privately, and Monk notices a pile of shredded paper next to Gavin's desk. As he puts the pieces together, Monk asks why Gavin staged the rally where he did. Gavin says that they wanted to assure the businessmen that Warren was their friend. Meanwhile, Monk finds a memo about Miranda traveling to Chicago. Gavin notices, says that it's confidential, and takes the pieces away. He then leads Monk and Fleming out.
Monk and Sharona visit Jesse and admire his paintings. Jesse says that he's worked for Warren for nine years but Warren never made him partner. There is a suitcase nearby, and Jesse says that he was out of town at his family's cabin. Monk tells him that he was nowhere the cabin, pointing out that Jesse's wristwatch is set two hours ahead. He figures that Jesse was in Chicago with Miranda, and Jesse swears them to secrecy. Jesse then admits that he and Miranda have been together twice, and they ended it the night before. He did it to hurt Warren because he was sick of being his key chain. Jesse says that he wanted to hurt Warren, but not kill him. Sharona gets a call and tells Monk that they got the killer.
As they go into an apartment building, Stottlemeyer explains that the FBI has a file on an Ex-Special Forces man, Ian Sykes. He purchased a scope for a rifle that matches the one that fired the hollow point, and he matched the height Monk deduced. Stottlemeyer tells Monk and Sharona to stay behind, and then breaks into Ian's apartment with his men. Ian comes out... in a wheelchair.
Monk comes in and apologizes, and Ian says that he bought the scope for his father because he hunts. Stottlemeyer and his men go, and Monk leaves with them. Outside, he looks at Stottlemeyer's shoes and points out that they're scuffed up and have creases in them. Ian's were as well, and Stottlemeyer tells Monk to get in his car while he calls up SWAT.
In his apartment, Ian walks to the window and sees the SWAT officers gathering.
Monk and Sharona go across the street, and Sharona drives to find a phone to check on Benjy because her phone is dead. As she drives off, Monk sees Ian climbing down the fire escape. Monk is unable to get the SWAT team's attention, and chases after Ian. Monk climbs up a dirty fire escape and panics when he looks down. Ian calmly climbs down past him and walks off.
Later after Sharona returns, Monk tells Stottlemeyer and Deacon what happened. He figures that Ian didn't recognize him, which means that Ian isn't the guy who tried to run him down. Stottlemeyer angrily tells Monk that other cops can't depend on him and he's off the case. Monk figures that it's about the two of them, but Stottlemeyer says that it's not personal and the most wanted man got away because Monk was dizzy. He and Deacon walk off.
Later, Sharona and Benjy find Monk at the parking garage where Trudy was killed. They walk over and Monk figures that Trudy was meeting someone. He doesn't know if it was someone connected to a story that Trudy was working on, and blames himself for not seeing it. Sharona tells him that he's too close to it, just as Benjy skates into a garbage can and falls down. As Sharona makes sure that her son is okay, Monk tests the echoes and then tells Sharona that he knows who did it. However, he says that it doesn't matter because no one will listen to him.
That night, Sharona goes to Sheldon's house and asks to come in.
The next day, everyone gathers at the rally spot. He has everyone stand where they were on the day of the shooting, and says that they're looking for Ian's accomplice. Monk says that shooter was aiming for Jason all along. He tells Gavin that he was dipping into the war chest again, and explains that Nicole was going over the books and found Gavin's theft. Gavin brushed her off and then hired Ian to kill her. He asked Jason, but Jason refused. When Gavin tries to leave, Stottlemeyer insists that he stay.
Monk continues and explains that Gavin then hired Ian to kill Nicole and then Jason. Everyone assumed it was an assassination, and Warren looked heroic. When Gavin points out that Monk has no proof, Monk takes out a photograph of Gavin pointing at the sniper. Gavin is the only one pointing, and Monk asks how he knew where the sniper was. There were 400 balloons blocking the line of sight on the day of the rally. Gavin claims that he heard the shots, and Monk says that he should be able to find Sharona. Sharona is in one of the buildings with a starter pistol, and Monk calls her on the radio to tell her to do it.
Sharona fires a shot, and the echoes make it impossible for anyone to identify where she is. Stottlemeyer smiles as Monk has Sharona fire again. Gavin points randomly, and Warren and Miranda realize that Gavin lied to them. The campaign manager breaks down and confesses, and the St. Clair's walk away. Another shot rings out, and Gavin clutches at his wounded arm. Everyone takes cover as Ian continues firing. Sharona sees Ian in a nearby building and radios to Monk and Stottlemeyer. Ian leaves and Sharona says that she's going to follow him.
Ian stashes the rifle in a dumpster and goes down the stairs to the boiler room. Sharona follows him, and Stottlemeyer has his men surround the building. Monk tells Stottlemeyer that Ian has a plan and another escape route. Meanwhile, Ian enters a tunnel into the sewers. In the lobby, Deacon tells Monk to stay there while he and the men go after Ian.
Sharona climbs down into the sewers and Sharona follows him. She radios to Monk, who has lost contact with her.
Covering his hands, Monk goes down into the sewers.
Ian doubles back and gets behind Sharona. He grabs her, figuring that he has a hostage.
Monk covers the rungs with paper towels and climbs down the ladder. He hears Sharona scream and reluctantly drops into the sewer water.
As Stottlemeyer and Deacon search the building, Deacon tells the captain that Monk has his gun.
Monk follows Sharona's screams and stops to adjust a sign. It falls off, alerting Ian, who goes back. Meanwhile, a rat drops on Monk and he screams. Sharona manages to break free and run away, and Monk draws the gun and tells Ian to hold it. He grabs Sharona as she tries to climb out, and swage water shoots out of a side pipe and sprays all over Monk. Monk drops the gun, and Sharona yells at him to shoot Ian. Bracing himself, Monk reaches into the sewage and gets the gun. Ian knocks out the lights, and Monk fires into the darkness.
As they crawl out of the sewer, Sharona complains that Monk shot at her. He says that Ian was so much taller than her that he couldn't have hit her since he aimed high. Sharona points out that the bullet could have ricocheted, and Monk admits that he didn't think of that. When Stottlemeyer finds them and brings them over, Warren thanks Monk and hugs him in full view of the press, nudging Stottlemeyer aside.
Later in therapy, Kroeger tells Monk that his son wants Monk's autograph. He points out that that the cops at the scene and they didn't do what Monk did, and figures that it's time to talk to the department about Monks' reinstatement. Monk admits that he would like that, and Kroeger warns that there will be more testing. As he goes to the elevator, a coughing woman is inside and Monk looks nervous. Kroeger tells him that he'll see him next week.
Monk finds Sharona at the harbor reading and admits that it didn't go so well. She tells him that it will go better next time and jokingly suggests that they try something different than chicken pot pie as they walk off together.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 10, 2017