Mr. Monk and the Badge - Recap
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Stottlemeyer and Disher are waiting for Monk at the station. When he arrives, Stottlemeyer tells him that he has important news and tells Monk that the review board had a private session and Stottlemeyer and Dr. Bell both testified. He informs Monk that they will no longer need his services as a private detective. Upset, Monk storms out and Natalie condemns Stottlemeyer for abandoning his friend before running after her boss. Stottlemeyer and Disher go after them and tell them the rest of the news; Monk has been reinstated as a detective with the San Francisco Police Department.
Later, Natalie is preparing Monk for his first day on the job. He's incredibly nervous but as he goes, he tells Natalie that he'll miss her now that he no longer needs her services. Natalie promises that they'll still talk from time to time, and informs him she has an interview for the position of assistant to concert promoter Jim Paxton. Monk insists that the promoter couldn't have a better assistant, and the two of them embrace.
Monk arrives at squad room and Stottlemeyer gives a brief speech congratulating him. They then settle down to business: capturing the Pickaxe Killer, who has murdered five victims. Monk tries to make sure the briefing papers are thoroughly sorted, and Stottlemeyer finally gets him to move on. Once the briefing is done, the custodian brings in Monk's old desk and sets it up. However, Stottlemeyer tells him that he's going to be riding a desk for a week or two to get settled in, and will handle the Pickaxe Killer hotline. After that he'll be moved to Sgt. Danny Weaver's squad. Stottlemeyer assures Monk that he can handle it and it's long overdue, and Monk reluctantly gives in. Sgt. Russell DiMarco comes in to set up Monk's computer and phones. DiMarco is a big fan of Monk's and helps him get set up, and Monk tries to figure out how the computer works. Finally someone calls on the hotline and Monk tries to figure out how to answer it and then log the call. He keeps putting the caller on hold until finally DiMarco runs in and tells Monk that they just caught the Pickaxe Killer.
The police hold a press conference and Stottlemeyer announces that the killer, Richard Mathis has been arrested thanks to the help of Mikhail Alvanov, a winder washer who was cleaning windows on the Burkman Building and spotted the killer's license plate as he got out of his car. Mikhail will receive the $500,000 reward. Monk is watching the broadcast with his boss, Weaver, and his new partner Doyle. Monk is eager to remind them that he's happy on the force and won't be going anywhere.
Natalie is running errands for her new boss, and he tells her to schedule dinner with Coldplay, and she'll be coming along.
Once Monk is back on the streets, he and Doyle respond to a call from an Edith Capriani. She wants them to deal with Mr. Barton, her roommate who is trying to smother her and has gone berserk. Monk goes in the front and finally gets the apartment door open, and discovers that Mr. Barton is Edith's cat. Monk notices the nearby Burkman Building and realizes that something is wrong about Mikhail's story. Later, he goes to the firing range to tell Weaver and Doyle what he's discovered. Mikhail couldn't have seen the license plate from that distance and looking into the sun. Doyle figures that Monk is jealous that someone else solved the case and Weaver tells him to let it go.
That night, Mikhail meets with... Sgt. DiMarco. He gives DiMarco a bag full of money. As the police officer checks it, Mikhail shoots him, takes the bag, and leaves.
The next day, Monk investigates DiMarco's crime scene and discovers that he's holding a piece of newspaper with a dog food coupon on it. Doyle and Weaver figure it was a mugging but Monk realizes the coupon is the size of a dollar bill and believes that somebody paid DiMarco fake money to distract him and set him up for murder. Weaver warns Monk that accusing a cop of a crime is a serious issue, and asks him if he's 110% sure. Monk drops the issue... for now.
That night, Edith calls Monk again with another complaint. He and Doyle arrive outside her apartment and listen as she complains about Mr. Lawrence, a crazy Burmese. Monk figures it's another cat, until Mr. Lawrence throws a chair through Edith's apartment window.
Monk calls Natalie to see how she's doing. He assures her that he loves his job, and Natalie assures him that she loves his job. Neither one of them are happy.
Stottlemeyer and Disher go to the DiMarco home, where the dead officer's wife Donna is having the wake. They find Monk in the bathroom, checking to make sure that DiMarco didn't have a job. He also finds a passport application for the Cayman Islands. Stottlemeyer warns Monk that accusing a cop of a crime is a serious business, but Monk insists on talking to Donna and asking if her husband had travel plans and any offshore Cayman bank accounts. Doyle takes offense and starts to attack Monk, and Stottlemeyer gets him out before a fight breaks out.
In therapy, Dr. Bell wonders if Monk is happy. Monk reacts suspiciously and wonders why Dr. Bell is asking, and finally admits that he's not happy. Dr. Bell understands and explains that it's not uncommon for people to realize that achieving their life's goal isn't what it's cracked up to be. He suggests that Monk quit but Monk insists that he can't.
That night, Monk is sitting at his desk alone and incessantly polishing his badge. The custodian comes in with DiMarco's personal belongings and Monk looks through them. He finds DiMarco's ticket book and realizes that the officer wrote down the license plate number that Mikhail claimed he saw from the Burkman Building.
The next day, Monk goes to see Mikhail where he's preparing to go up on a platform to clean windows. Mikhail informs Monk that he's still working for two weeks after he's given notice. Monk tells him that he's under arrest and explains that Mikhail and DiMarco knew each other from softball. Mikhail asks if Monk's partner is coming and Monk admits that he's waiting for Doyle to show up. Mikhail knocks him out, dumps him on the washer platform, and activates the motor to raise it up the building.
Doyle and Weaver are in a car and Doyle admits he isn't interested in meeting with Monk and hearing another of his crackpot theories.
Monk regains consciousness and discovers that he's three stories off the ground and rising fast, and Mikhail has taken his gun. Monk tries to confront Mikhail despite his fear of heights. Here's what happened: DiMarco spotted the killer's car but realized he couldn't collect the reward because he's a police officer. He approached his friend Mikhail and told him everything he needed to go to the police and tell them who the Pickaxe Killer was. Mikhail would collect the money and secretly share it with DiMarco. However, Mikhail got greedy and killed DiMarco, setting it up to make it look like a mugging gone wrong.
Mikhail prepares to set up an accident to eliminate Monk in a fatal fall. He puts on a safety harness and starts shaking the platform. Monk hangs on and Mikhail drops Monk's end of the platform. Monk slides down but manages to grab the platform controls and level it off. He climbs up and uses his badge to stab Mikhail in the leg, and then knocks the window washer off the platform. Monk then lowers the platform and finds Weaver and Doyle waiting for him. They congratulate him on the arrest, and Monk tells them that he's quitting.
Later, Monk turns in his badge and gun and fills out the paperwork. Stottlemeyer wonders if he has any regrets but Monk insists he's glad it didn't work out. As he starts to go, Stottlemeyer and Disher tell him to take the west exit where there's a surprise waiting for him. Monk discovers that it's Natalie, who has quit her job so she can work for Monk again. He offers her a new salary (with a pay cut), and admits that he was hoping the surprise would be Joey Heatherton.