Mr. Monk and the Candidate (1) - Recap

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At a murder scene in a Santa Clara apartment, the police watch as consultant Adrian Monk quietly scans the body and everything around it. However, he is more concerned about whether the left the stove on at home. His personal assistant, Nurse Sharona Fleming, assures him that she turned everything off. Monk then redirects his attention to the crime and informs the police that the killer tried to make the murder look like a robbery. He wore the victim's slippers to avoid leaving his own shoeprints. As he keeps touching the lamp, Sharona finally gets his attention back. Monk concludes that the killer was there at least for an hour and he was smoking menthols, and the victim was a Dutch Calvinist who didn't smoke. He then loses his train of thought thinking about the gas from his stove, but finally informs the police that after the killer disposes of the victim, Nicole Vasques, he stayed to look for something. Monk continues to obsess about the gas and Sharona finally tells him he needs to focus, or he'll never be reinstated with the San Francisco police.

Monk returns to the crime scene and explains his deductions: the murderer was taller than the victim because he adjusted the computer chair, and he searched the computer and then wiped all of the prints, including the victim's. He then runs off to check the gas at home, leaving admiring and pitying cops in his wake.

Monk is preparing for a visit to his psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Kroger, by brushing his teeth precisely a hundred times, flossing, and putting on one of his many identical suits of clothing. In therapy, Monk admits that he was called in by a friend to investigate a murder in Santa Clara, and he thinks he's ready to go back to work as a police detective. However, he can't stop looking at the unbalanced pillows on Kroger's couch. Kroger asks if Monk is still having dreams about his dead wife Trudy, and Monk wonders if it's a test. Before he answers, he goes over to fix the pillows, and the table display. Then he comes back and tries to go back to therapy.

An assassin disguises himself as a painter, sneaks into an empty apartment building, and prepares to shoot Warren St. Claire, who is announcing his candidacy for mayor. Warren's assistant Gavin sits next to Warren's wife, Miranda, and says that he's going to take Warren all the way to the top. As Warren calls Miranda up, the assassin shoots, seemingly misses, and kills a nearby bodyguard. Gavin points out the killer and the police move in.

Captain Leland Stottlemeyer is in his office when his assistant, Lt. Randy Deacon, informs him that Warren is making another statement, but so far isn't blaming the police. The bodyguard didn't make it. Stottlemeyer prepares to talk to the press to assure people he's on the top of the case. Deputy Mayer Sheldon Burger comes in and insists they need to close the case. He tells Stottlemeyer to bring in his old friend, Adrian Monk.

Sharona drives Monk to the crime scene where Stottlemeyer and Deacon are there to greet him. Stottlemeyer is glad to have Monk back even though he took his badge three years ago. However, he warns Monk not to say anything and insists that his friend still isn't ready to rejoin the force. As they go up, Monk asks if Stottlemeyer is having marital problems. The captain denies it, but then asks privately how Monk knew. Monk points out that he missed a spot, didn't tie his tie correctly, and is drinking from a hotel room cup… and then suggests Stottlemeyer send roses.

In the board room, Gavin insists that he won't limit Warren's public appearances. Warren understands and Stottlemeyer asks if anyone might mean him harm. While Miranda notes they have plenty of enemies, Monk is busy adjusting the display boards. Jesse Goodman, a senior VP with Warren's company, is also concerned. As Miranda starts drinking, Monk rearranges the pins on a political display. Miranda notices and Gavin comes over and objects. Monk offers to put them back where they were and fights over the board with Gavin. When they fall off, Monk starts putting them back while Stottlemeyer explains that Monk was discharged for what Sharona insists was a temporary review. She explains that Monk is suffering from anxiety disorder brought on by the death of his wife Trudy four years ago in a car bomb. Monk finishes his work, and Gavin realizes that he perfectly placed every pin.

Monk goes to the apartment and realizes that the sniper used the drawstring to steady his shot, meaning he's a Green Beret. Studying the twist in the cord, he realizes the killer was the same height as the one in Santa Clara, and smoked the same cigarettes. Monk insists that the odds of two killers in the same city being the same height are astronomical, but Stottlemeyer doesn't believe it.

Monk and Sharona go to Warren's campaign headquarters to see if he had any connection to Nicole. An assistant, Jake, doesn't turn up anything. He takes Monk's card and put it in his hat, and assures him he'll call if he thinks of anything.

At the funeral for the bodyguard, Jason, Monk and Sharona visit as Warren gives a speech. Monk insists that the two murders are connected while Sharona wonders if Warren arranged the murder to get publicity for his campaign. Monk panics and looks for his keys, finds them, but then drops them into the coffin atop Jason's arm. Since the key chain belonged to Trudy, he lowers a paper clip on dental floss to hook it. He accidentally hooks Jason's sleeve and lifts it up into the air, much to the shock of the funeral attendees.

Afterward, Miranda gets increasingly angry with Monk for his odd behavior. He asks her if she knew Nicole Vasques, and she claims she doesn't. After she threatens to make sure he never works in San Francisco again if Warren is elected, she leaves and gets in a limo with Jesse, and Monk notices that the two are very close. Sharona confirms that Miranda is worth $150 million.

At the station, Deacon confirms that the killer used hollow-point bullets to kill Jason, and the one bullet that wasn't destroy matches with a British sniper rifle used by professionals. When Monk suggests they connect it to Nicole Vasques, Stottlemeyer refuses, insisting there's no connection. Monk decides to follow the money and goes to where Miranda is reading to a kindergarten class. When a boy picks his nose, he panics. Afterward, Miranda agrees to talk to them and Monk asks her some questions about her finances and her marriage. Finally he asks if she'll be seeing Jesse, and asks her to tell him to call Monk. She wonders if she's accusing him of something and insists that Warren has never given up on her, and she would have taken the bullet for Warren. Monk doesn't believe her and she leaves, and Sharona figures she's responsible. Jake calls from campaign headquarters and tells Monk that he found something. He says he'll drop off what he's learned at Monk's place.

As Jake drives to Monk's place, he's forced to stop when a homeless window washer dumps water on the windshield and starts cleaning it. However, the "homeless man" then knocks Jake out and drives away in his car.

When Jake turns up dead, the victim of a seeming accident, Monk and Sharona go to the road where he apparently went off the road. Stottlemeyer insists it was an accident but Monk tells him exactly where Jake was killed. He points out that part of the windshield was clean, Jake passed by a homeless shelter on his way to Monk's house, and there's a homeless shelter where the men wash windows. Jake's hat is missing and there's no other documentation on the body. As Stottlemeyer goes to confirm Monk's deduction, Sharona leaves, saying she has a date. When Monk reminds her it's Chicken Pot Pie Night, she tells him that he can make it on her son, and even her son Benjy can do it.

That night, Monk is at home trying to make chicken pot pie and calling Benjy for instructions. Sharona hangs up on him and goes on her date. She admits to her date that she likes the adventure and how she gets to fight crime like Lois Lane. Meanwhile, Monk counts out peas and watches a broadcast of the video from Warren's shooting, and Monk realizes something is wrong. He goes to see Sharona on her date and Carl invites him to join them. Sharona describes everything Carl as told her about himself. Monk admits that he's not sure what to do, and finally points out that Carl is lying to Sharona. He points out the flaws in Carl's claim and then says he'll shut up.

Afterward, Sharona stalks off and complains that she can't handle his honesty, and everyone embellishes themselves on their first date. She informs Monk that he's quitting and this time it's for real. Sharona explains she has responsibilities now that she has a kid, and she has to find a normal job before she goes crazy. She takes a car and Monk walks home to his apartment, the walls covered with photos of his wife Trudy. He then pulls out files and photos relating to her death and unceasingly goes over them, trying to figure out who killed her and why. As he does, he remembers waking up next to her. Finally, Monk dozes off and wakes up the next morning.