Season Three Episode Thirteen
Written by: Tom Scharpling and Joe Toplyn
Directed by: Jerry Levine
Original Air Date: February 11, 2005
We’ll Need Some Help: Ray Garaldi, of Garaldi Construction, meets privately with environmental activist Steve Marriott. Garaldi wants to build a strip mall, but Marriott represents a group fearful of the endangered Alameda Whipsnake. The good-natured talks fail, as does bribes so Garaldi does the only thing he can; searches for a pipe the right size so that it looks like Marriott got hit with a steering wheel and Marriott is out.
Natalie is driving Julie from a field hockey game ad Monk is accompanying. They get cut off by a truck and Monk calls the ‘How am I Driving’ number to report. Natalie notes that those calls rarely work out, especially when Monk gets involved, but in this case, there were prior calls, and they will take disciplinary measures.
Garaldi poses Marriott’s body and loads the car into his truck. He blasts through traffic, including Natalie’s car and drops Marriott when out of sight, leading to a nine-car pileup, eight not counting Marriott. Further down the road, Garaldi gets a call but finds out that he accidentally switched phones with Marriott, causing him to turn back.
After getting stuck, Natalie asks Monk to investigate. A lawyer named Garrett Price accompanies and Monk wonders why they did not see Marriott’s car pass them. Plus, there are no brake marks on the road and the car is in neutral. The sergeant on scene will have none of it, even as Monk explains some inconsistencies with an accident. Garaldi has managed to infiltrate the scene and nervously overhears some of Monk’s arguments. The sergeant finally realizes that he should cordon off the area, though why he did not do so earlier is an exercise for the viewer.
Monk and Price are found by Julie, on an errand to find a restroom. They come across the trucker who cut them off earlier to find out she was fired. She wants to beat the daylights out of the person who caused her to lose her job and can recognize the voice. Price says he does not advocate violence but asks her to give his card to the victim if that happens. They later go to Natalie who hurt her wrist in the accident.
Garaldi accosts a uniformed paramedic to swap outfits.
Price is interested in getting medical aid to Natalie along with documenting the accident. They get a medic over who just happens to be Garaldi. Monk quickly finds things amiss with Garaldi from wearing construction boots to not knowing how to open has bag and not checking Natalie’s pulse. Julie brings ice and word of the band Korn with their tour bus. It certainly has a bathroom, so Monk is ‘encouraged’ to take Julie. While there, they recognize Marriott’s name having performed for them earlier. Marriott is part of the Environmental Guerilla Group, which showed up on Garaldi’s caller ID.
Having sent Julie back to Natalie, Monk informs Price but is within earshot of the truck driver, Crystal. They try calling in a retraction of the radio, but it does not work. Monk confronts Garaldi but is soon arrested while trying to prevent the scene from being cleared. Natalie visits a handcuffed-to-the-cruiser Monk and takes a look at Garaldi’s truck. Garaldi is unable to get his phone back as the ambulance takes off to the morgue, so he follows with Natalie in tow.
The sergeant is in disbelief until they find the paramedic’s body. After upping the swear counter, they are off. Natalie’s attempt to get attention only alarms Garaldi who raised the cabin. Monk takes aim and, after leaning out the window, gets the shot. Garaldi is arrested. Natalie is impressed that Monk went out of his way for her protection.
Price thanks Monk for helping reinvigorate a practice while Julie gets to use the restroom on Korn’s bus and gets a temporary tattoo to freak out Natalie.
This Week’s Compulsion: Monk plays the number game. He says a number and someone else says a different number.
White Courtesy Phone: After spending two hours driving and another two hours watching a field hockey game with Monk, Natalie says that is the last one. The viewer realizes this is not true.
The Innocence of Youth: When Julie needs to pee on the ride home, Monk pays her ten dollars not to.
Let’s Up the Rating: Natalie tries to pass the time by getting attention of truckers. This being prime time tv, it does not involve flashing.
Here’s What Happened: We get no formal ‘here’s what happened’ sequence.
One More Time: “There’s going to be a party in our car in ten minutes, pass it on.” “OK. [To an elderly couple] There’s going to be a party in that 1962 turquoise convertible in ten minutes, pass it on.”
Monk getting an invitation from some babes and doing a poor job of spreading the word.
Dear Genre: Steven Williams played the one lettered character X on The X-Files and is Sergeant, Parnell, though that name comes from the script.
Trivial Matters: The Alameda whipsnake is an actual protected species in California.
“How am I Driving?” stickers have a ten precent call-in rate. While they can result in termination, many of the complaints are minor. A small percentage are complementary.
While hanging out with Korn, Monk references his time with Willie Nelson.
After the series premiere, this is the second time Monk has fired a weapon that does not have water as ammo.
When disguising his voice, Shaloub uses an accent similar to the one he used in Wings.
Ted Levine and Jason Gary-Stanford do not appear, for the second time this season.
It’s a Jungle Out There: “I picked up your laundry this morning, it’s in the back.” “I hope it didn’t get wrinkled in the accident.” After an episode reading the paper, spending time stuck in traffic is the next logical step. Like the ‘predecessor,’ this is not in traffic for the whole time. We do not see a lot of that ‘action’ due to constraints, but it says something where one of the random cars throws a better party than Korn. For people stuck on the freeway, they had a lot of beer at the ready. The Korn cameo (Kormeo?) is fair, and they get to interact with Monk, though it is a shadow of Willie Nelson who got an entire episode. The trucker subplot does not really go anywhere but allows Shaloub to have some fun moments.
Larry Miller’s Garret Price is the biggest guest here. He leaves no bit of scenery unchewed as he is resurrected career-wise passing out business cards left and right. Writers Tom Schapline and Joe Toplun gave him plenty of room to work with and he took everything they gave. He even wants Monk to be hit because there are witnesses around. He will be chasing ambulances for some time.
This episode also lets Natalie shine a bit. She is sidelined due to her wrist, though that magically goes away when she is trapped in the truck. Plus, the chase goes on for at least ten percent longer than it needs to. Still, we have a good Natalie/Monk dynamic where she is ready to write him off but he goes after her in the end. We never saw Sharona getting connected with Monk and this lets us see a relationship develop. Natalie was part of the cast before but now she is welcomed with open arms and part of the family.