Season 1 Episode 13

Mr. Monk and the Airplane

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 18, 2002 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
262 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monk ends up having to travel cross-country with Sharona by plane, and Monk hates to fly. He's soon distracted when he realizes a rich Frenchman has murdered his wife and replaced her with an impostor.

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  • Mr. Monk meets his dirty little adversary, Brooke Adams.

    On the positive side, having an airplane ride cap off the first season of 'Monk' is a welcome creative choice: Very different, very busy, very sleek. It's a plus for this episode that Garry Marshall guest stars as positive salesman Warren Beach, who heartily boasts about his wires and electronic maintenance tools, including 'the Anaconda'.

    On the drawback side, this episode introduces an actress named Brooke Adams, who plays a snooty flight attendant with an acidic smile and a vengeful, sardonic attitude. The writers obviously didn't care about the flight attendant's professionalism either, where, in the heat of her being personally ticked off at Monk, almost destroys a crucial piece of evidence, which would ultimately mean that legally, Monk could have had her arrested for obstruction of justice. I mean, COME ON!

    As the series wears on, Brooke Adams pops in and out as different characters, almost as a running gag. It's as if she was stuck in the series just so she can antagonize Monk whenever she feels like it. The flight attendant's name is actually given in "Mr. Monk's 100th Case": Vivien Leigh. I'm sure to all the viewers out there who actually get annoyed with Monk's quirks, they'd cheer this smug gal on, but in reality, she really is quite annoying. Even so, to quote her: "SIT... DOWN... and see this episode! Or you will have to start back at the season beginning, that's just how it goes, Buster!"

    That's Brooke Adams for you. Best thing of all is when they land at the other airport and finish things up from there.

    Both amusing and annoying... but still good.

    By the way... I had NO idea Brook Adams was Tony Shalhoub's wife. I just noticed on this page. THAT explains a lot... her characters in Monk are still annoying though.moreless
  • Mr. Monk and the Long, Lonnngggg Drawn Out Trip

    This one's a very odd choice for a season finale, as noted elsewhere. Ted Levine is absent, although this gives Jason Gray-Stanford a little more of the limelight it establishes both that he's a competent (if mediocre) police officer in his own right rather then just comic relief, and shows that he has some faith in Monk too.

    Sharona is here mostly for comic relief and to get the ball rolling - her treatment of Monk here borders on malpractice. Other then the running gag of another failed relationship, she doesn't do a lot here.

    Given a relatively uncharismatic bad guy, that gives us the "stunt" guest stars - Brooke Adams (Shalhoub's wife) as a put-upon flight attendant, Tim Daly for his debateable value as a former Shalhoub guest-star, and Garry Marshall playing a reasonably likeable character. Mr. Marshall has played more obnoxious characters in recent years (see his gig on Murphy Brown) so he actually comes across as kinda sympathetic toward Monk here and with Sharona off doing her thing he's Monk's only ally for most of the show.

    So that means much of the story is on Monk and...well, it gets a bit tiresome after a while. If the producers, director, etc., wanted the audience to feel what it's like to be trapped in a plane with Monk for hours on end like the detective's fellow passengers, they succeeded. It's really, really annoying. A little of Monk's illness goes a long way, and while there are some funny moments (his being "trapped" by the little girl), for the most part the illness stuff here is portrayed as annoying mannerisms rather then lovable character insights.

    The crime itself is pretty straightforward and it's kinda interesting to see how Monk figures it out...the first couple of times. After that, it begins to get repetitive. We know who the guilty party is - Monk knows who the guilty party is. None of the evidence Monk comes up with "proves" anything to anyone else. So why do we have to sit through yet another revelatioin?

    And in the final act, Monk framing a pilot for drinking to get the murderer captured is...well, kinda criminal in its own right.

    Overall, some interesting bits and gags, but overall this one just seems to sit there - it'd be one of those USA website one-minute mysteries without the "special guest stars" and the overdone OCD jokes.moreless
  • A good episode...not the best...but fun to watch

    Arrrr....Thar be SPOILERS ahead, matey!!!

    Well, it was a good episode, but we saw many of the usual contrived plot conveniences this episode.

    Monk sitting next to an extension cord salesman was certainly fotunate when he needed a rope with a hook on it to get the French man's shoe.

    The salesman's lighter was a stroke of luck as well (how exactly did he get that on the plane?).

    It was certainly fotunate that the French man did not take the time to scrape off the concrete on the bottom of his shoes though he did get them shined. Couldn't he have washed them in a bathroom?

    The airport bathroom was miraculously empty when they killed the real wife. I've never been in an airport bathroom with fewer than 8 people in attendance.

    How did they get the body out of the airport bathroom in the first place? The fake wife didn't have a big enough suitcase to haul her out.

    How did the French man actually dump the body in the first place? The construction area was crawling with workers. The concrete was fresh when he dumped her so it had just been poured? Everyone went on a simultaneous coffee break that early in the morning?

    How did he know that there would be wet concrete there at all? What if a construction guy had called in sick and their schedule was delayed that day? Depending that the concrete would be freshly poured was a bit of a stretch, assuming he somehow knew that it would be there in the first place.

    I don't get the basis of the murder in the first place. The husband wants all his wife's money. Fine. But he has to find an identical accomplice to take her place (how impossible would taht actually be by the way?). Doesn't he have to split the money with her? So he now has only half the fortune that he had full access to before. Didn't he just screw himself?

    Oh well, I've grown used to these minor flaws. I think Monk is more about the character himself than the plot anyway. Every episode has so many lucky breaks that simply wouldn't happen in real life that it's plain laughable. but the show is still endearing and charming due to Adrian's quirks and idiosyncrasies.

    The appearance by Tim Daly was a nice surprise. And I love that they found a way to have the episode take place in an airport setting since he and Shalhoub were on Wings together and taht show, of course, took place in an airport. The low key look of surprise he gave Monk when he first saw him on the plane was classic.

    Overall, not the best episode ever, but lots of fun nonetheless.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep monk has t ofly becasue he does not want to be left alone so he takes the chance but is drving everyone crazy on the flite. but in the air port he thinks a man murderd his wife thinking this from what he saw in the air port and made a women replace his wife. monk knows this and trys to prove it so he calles back to the office and has them go check the air port and finds the body it was a great ep i thought. i also think this was a really good on that deserved a 8.5moreless
  • Monk is surprised to find out that their trip to the airport was to fly not to pick up anyone. This results in Monk's first flight, but Monk finds murder at 30,000 ft.moreless

    This episode had it all. Humor, drama, and a slight element of mystery. Monk gets on his first flight which happens to be cross country. The flight attendant(Shalhoub's wife), is quick to realize she will have her hands full with Monk. The laughs are plenty and come right after eachother. Even without Captain and alttle bit of Disher it is still great and a series classic. There is suspense in this episode which I will not describe as it may give away clues. This episode really is fun to watch and because the mystery element is small, you can easily watch this over and over again with enjoyment. reat season finale for a great season.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • If you look carefully at a close up of the face of the dead Frenchman on the plane, his nose twitches.

    • At the end of the episode, when the killer and the impostor wife are being escorted off the plane, they are walked right through the metal detector, and it doesn't go off, even though they are wearing handcuffs.

    • When Monk is on the phone with the Lieutenant, the Garry Marshall character, Beach, is sound asleep with a black blindfold. Then when Monk is off the phone, Beach, who continues to be sound asleep, no longer has the eye covering.

    • At the end when the couple are on the plane to Paris they both have a glass of wine but it has been established earlier that they cannot serve drinks until after the plane has taken off

    • When the impostor-wife shoots the woman in the airport bathroom, she was leaving a lot to chance. She shoots the other woman and then takes the time to apply lipstick before doing anything about the body.

    • When Monk is frantically pressing the "call" button, it dings every time. In an airplane, the button dings after one press and turns off on the second press; therefore, it should only "ding" every other time.

    • When Monk is examining the substance on Chabrol's shoe, he says it's cement. It's actually concrete. Cement is a component of concrete that holds everything together.

    • If Monk wanted to prove his status as an ex-detective to everyone aboard the flight, he could have had the pilot or a flight attendant call the SFPD, but that would have spoiled most of the plot.

    • Who plays Antonio in the Monk-world version of Wings? It can't be Tony Shalhoub, because nobody wonders why he looks just like Antonio.

    • When Stefan Chabrol spills his glass of wine over Monk`s pants, Monk is in the aisle seat and we see Sharona and Warren Beach sleeping in the other two seats. In the previous shots, Monk was sit between Warren and Sharona, and they were both sleeping. . . . So when did Monk change seats with Sharona, and how did he do it since she was asleep?

    • Chabrol and his "wife" are filthy rich. Why are they flying coach?

    • Barbara Chabrol asks for the turkey dinner while the flight attendant states that she ordered the vegetarian meal. Monk claims that people don't forget that they're vegetarians. However, some vegetarians will eat turkey, chicken, other poultry, and fish and still consider themselves vegetarians.

    • Monk notices that after hearing the wing flaps move, Stefan Chabrol lifts his glass to avoid spilling his wine. Monk concludes that Stefan Chabrol works for an airline. Perhaps Stefan Chabrol is just a frequent flier.

    • If Monk could hear the Frenchman and his "wife" conversing, couldn't they also hear him?

    • When the impostor-wife pushes the beverage cart in front of the doors of the lavatory while Monk is in it, Monk is trapped because he can't push the doors open. However, airplane lavatory doors always open inward so that you don't whack someone with the doors while you're exiting.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • Little Girl: Pete and Repeat are in a boat. Pete falls out. Who is left?
      Monk: Repeat.

    • Monk: (to Sharona) Could you do it? Because if you did it, I didn't have to do it.

    • Warren: This is a flight I'll never forget. And I sure want to. Adrian, I've been thinking over your theory about the French couple and I've come to one conclusion--I'd like my card back.

    • Warren Beach: You know how they say your seat cushion floats? Not all of them do. I don't want to talk about it any more.

    • Ticket Clerk: I can assure you, Mr. Monk, this particular aircraft has a perfect safety record.
      Monk: Could I see it?

    • Monk: (trying to hook a shoe with an extension cord) It doesn't reach.
      Warren: Call Warren Beach. May I suggest . . . the Anaconda? I'll need it back. It's the prototype.

    • Little Girl: Do you like riddles?
      Monk: Yes.
      Little Girl: Good, I've got one for you.
      Monk: Did I say yes? I meant no.

    • Monk: Did you hear that? She forgot she was a vegetarian. That's like forgetting you're a Republican.

    • Ticket Clerk: I can assure you, Mr. Monk, this particular aircraft has a perfect safety record.
      Monk: Could I see it?

    • Warren: You know how they say your seat cushion floats? Not all of them do. I don't want to talk about it any more.

    • Foreman: Are you okay?
      Disher: (doing Monk's Zen Sherlock routine) I've seen Monk do this a hundred times.

    • Monk: Did you hear that? She forgot she was a vegetarian. That's like forgetting you're a Republican.

    • Warren Beach: Everyone takes extension cords for granted, but can you imagine what the world would be without them?
      Monk: (very long pause) I guess all the furniture would be a lot closer to the walls.
      Warren: Exactly. If it doesn't reach, call Warren Beach.

    • Sharona: Oh, my God!
      Monk: What?
      Sharona: That's Tim Daly. I love him
      Monk: What is he, some kind of actor?
      Sharona: Well, he was in that show, Wings.
      Monk: I never saw it. Was it good?
      Sharona: Well, he was.

    • Sharona: Why don't you go back to your seat--count the clouds?
      Monk: I already did. Twenty-three.

    • Warren Beach: (seeing Monk wipe his hands) I'm not sick.
      Sharona: No, he is.

    • Security Guard: You didn't have to put your money in a baggie, sir.
      Sharona: Yes, he did.

    • Monk: I'm gonna stay here.
      Sharona: By yourself?
      Monk: No, I'm gonna come with you.
      Sharona: On the plane?
      (Monk alternately nods and shakes his head.)
      Sharona: Are you sure?

    • Little Girl: You sure complain a lot.
      Monk: Thank you.

    • Tim Daly: I can't believe it. He's a freakin' tattletale.
      Monk: (to flight attendant) He called me a freakin' tattletale.

    • Sharona: (to Tim Daly) If I go to a movie and I see you chop off a guy's foot, I'm gonna want my money back.

    • Warren: You really think that man killed his wife?
      Sharona: He always thinks people are killing each other.
      Monk: That's true and I'll tell you why. Because they are.

    • Bernard: To our wives and lovers. May they never meet.

    • Monk: He spilled his wine. It's staining. I can feel it.

    • Disher: (on the phone) Are you really up there in an airplane?
      Monk: It's better than being up here not in an airplane.

    • Warren: Where's your friend? I want to show you something.
      Monk: She's in the bathroom.
      Warren: No, she's not. The sign says "unoccupied".
      Monk: I hope she didn't leave.
      Warren: Where can she go? It's an airplane.

    • Monk: When they kissed in the terminal, she had to stand on tiptoe. She's grown at least two inches.

    • Flight attendant: May I help you?
      Monk: I was just testing the call button.
      Flight attendant: It seems to be working. (Pause) So you can stop now.

    • Monk: How can we tell that we have the best people sitting near the exits?

    • Flight attendant: Let me guess. First time on a plane?
      Monk: Oh, no, no. I've been on a plane before.
      Flight attendant: Where did you go?
      Monk: I didn't actually go anywhere. Before we took off, I was crying so much that they asked my mother and me to leave the plane.
      Sharona: Tell her how old you were.
      Monk: I was twenty - (pause) seven.

    • Monk: (watching a plane take off) How can they fly? They're made of metal. They weigh two hundred tons. Plus now you're adding all those magazines.

    • Monk: And the last time the plane was disinfected was when did you say?

  • NOTES (5)


    • Sharona tells Tim Daly that two of his best performances were in Wings (which also starred Tony Shalhoub) and From the Earth to the Moon (which also starred Ted Levine).