Season 4 Episode 14

Mr. Monk and the Astronaut

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2006 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
459 votes

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Episode Summary

Monk must solve an impossible murder when the author of an upcoming tell-all autobiography about a famous astronaut is found dead. The astronaut is the prime suspect...but he was in orbit above the Earth at the time of the murder.

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  • A throw-back to the early days of "Monk."

    A clever killer who we see is guilty from the outset, a game of cat-and-mouse where the detective knows his prey is guilty, but cannot prove it until the final act. It sounds like the formula for "Columbo," but in this case, it is a fourth season episode of "Monk" that hearkens back to the earlier days of the show.

    Steve Wagner is one of the most ruthless killers Monk has ever encountered. Only Monk sees through his story, and only Monk does not waiver in his pursuit. Like "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas," "Goes Back to School" and others, the killer and Monk face-off throughout the episode, each baiting and taunting the other. And, like a classic "Columbo," the murderer gracefully admits that he has been bested at the end.

    The goofy humor that has plagued later "Monk" episodes is minimized here. Even though the laser pointers flummox him, we never forget that Monk is a brilliant detective. And Dr. Kroeger says it best: even if Wagner claims to be afraid of nothing, if he is guilty, he is afraid of something - Monk.moreless
  • Can Mr. Monk overpower someone who is afraid of nothing?...

    of course he can. he's monk. i think that this epiosde was great and very this epiosde mink realizes that he is not a 'man' and not a 'wuss' he's a 'muss'. he has to figure out some one who is an astronaut and killed a local author. he made a specail drink , and monk seen this dronk at the crime seen. everybody thinks that monk is wrong and they all love the astronaut.but in the end , monk has to face his fears and be a 'man'. which even gets him the resept of Natalie's daughter. great. later.moreless
  • Steve Wagner tried to intimidate Monk by telling him that he didn’t have the spine to confront him, cause he was a “sad little man.”

    Monk is always seen as an O.C.D. detective that can’t hold his ground without Sharona/Natalie there hand him wipes. But this episode proved that he has what it takes to be reinstated back into the force. Steve Wagner tried to intimidate Monk by telling him that he didn’t have the spine to confront him, cause he was a “sad little man.” Mr. Monk stood in front of that jet and stood for what he believed in, that justice must be served, even at the risk of his own life. This is why I watch this show.moreless
  • Props!! to Randy. (spoilers)

    The show was a good show like many others

    Being awe-struck and all. The astronaut that tells monk he quit is kind of funny to those of us that remember him from “Touching Evil” not as good as monk, but still a great show that was canceled way before its prime.

    “Let’s pretend this globe represents the earth…” .. classic, Randy you rule.

    The entire cast is one of the very best ever brought together, it’s just a great accomplishment.

    “Then stop me!! For the love of god!”

    Monk has always been brave.

  • Excellent example of why this is one of the best on TV today!

    What a wonderful episode! Three incredible scenes that show Tony's wonderful versitility and comfort with Monk.

    The school room with the laser pointers was incredible, the scene at the Doctor where he is so down on himself, yet powerless to work on his phobias, and the climax on the runway where he stares the killer down and shows his inner strength and courage that everyone else knows he has.

    Super writing, and well played by all. Just what I expect from Monk!moreless
Bruno Amato

Bruno Amato

Crew Member

Guest Star

Tom Ohmer

Tom Ohmer


Guest Star

Natasha Pavlovich

Natasha Pavlovich

Nicole Wagner

Guest Star

Emmy Clarke

Emmy Clarke

Julie Teeger

Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Charles Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Why did the killer bother to put the transmitter in a doll? He was apparently planning for a scenario in which someone would open the box, but never look inside the doll or the house.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Monk: (to Natalie) Why don't you ask the captain?
      Stottlemeyer: Whatever it is, thank you for asking, but I can't do it.

    • Disher: Good work, sir!
      Stottlemeyer: You don't have to sound so surprised, Randy.
      Disher: Oh, I'm not surprised. Awestruck. (pause) Awestruck.
      Stottlemeyer: Don't be, and that's an order.
      Disher: You're ordering me not to be awestruck?
      Stottlemeyer: That's right. Stand over there and don't be awestruck.

    • Natalie: You can't just take mail from somebody's porch.
      Darrell Cain: Yeah, you can if it's fruit. The law doesn't apply to fruit because it's perishable.
      Stottlemeyer: Actually, sir, the law does apply to fruit. (to Disher) Are you eating one?
      Disher: Nope. I was just putting that (nectarine) back.

    • Disher: (to Steve Wagner) Congratulations on your flight. And congratulations on the crash landing four years ago. And on marrying a figure skater.
      Stottlemeyer: Yeah. Congratulations on your whole life.

    • Stottlemeyer: Okay, maybe you found a motive. Maybe. But it doesn't matter, and I'll tell you why. Because your suspect, Monk, was in outer space. He wasn't on this planet.

    • Stottlemeyer: Now maybe we should take a minute and see if we can think of a better alibi.

    • Disher: Here's the ship. And let's pretend this globe represents the earth.
      Stottlemeyer: It's a globe. It does represent the earth.

    • Disher: It's just a theory.
      Stottlemeyer: No, I don't think so. I've heard theories before, and, uh, they don't sound like that.

    • Natalie: (referring to Monk and Steve Wagner) You're both coming? I'm going to be class mom of the year!

    • Monk: (to Julie's class) Who wants to be a detective when they grow up? (several kids raise their hands.) What about you? No? Everybody in your row has their hand up. If you put your hand up, it will be a perfect row. Put your hand up!

    • Monk: (to Julie's class) A killer has to be perfect. And nobody's perfect.

    • Monk: I am such a... what do you call it?
      Natalie: Wuss. No, Mr. Monk, you are not a wuss.
      Monk: Well, I'm not a man. I know that. I'm a mutant. Half man, half wuss. I'm a muss.

    • Steve: (to Monk) I hear you've been checking up on me, calling Joanne's family, her publisher, turning over rocks. If you want to talk to me, let's talk right now, man to muss.

    • Monk: He killed his girlfriend.
      Dr. Kroger: Which I do not condone--it's indefensible, of course.

    • Dr. Kroger: Which of your fears would you like to work on first?
      Monk: Glaciers.
      Dr. Kroger: Glaciers.
      Monk: No. Rodeos. Nah. Glaciers.

    • Monk: (to Dr. Kroger) Why don't we sit here and name really tall things? I'll go first.

    • Monk: (to Steve) Could we come, too? I'm a big aviation buff . . . fan.
      Natalie: So true.
      Monk: Fan or buff. I love airplanes.
      Natalie: Just crazy about the--
      Monk: Can't get enough of them.
      Natalie: --the takeoff.
      Monk: And the wings and all.
      Natalie: And, uh, the . . . the--
      Monk: --the rudder.
      Natalie: --the landing. You wouldn't mind if we come, do you?

    • Natalie: Mr. Monk, what are you doing?
      Monk: I don't know.
      Captain Savo's voice: They're at Ramp Two. He's handling a missile.
      Natalie: No, no, no, no! These are missiles. They could be nuclear weapons!
      Monk: Then stop me, for the love of God.

    • Monk: (to Julie, who's trying to pin a Courage badge on him) That can puncture--the skin. People get infected. I'll just hold it, how about that? That's just as good.

    • Monk: (as Natalie prepares to take a photograph) No flash. No flash. Retinal scarring.

    • Monk: I can't speak in public.
      Natalie: See, that's not true. Remember when I first started working for you and you made that list with all of your fears and phobias, there were one hundred and three things, public speaking wasn't one of them.
      Monk: Actually, there were a couple of things I didn't mention; I didn't want you to think I was weird.

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Air Dates:
      Greece: Sunday, October 7, 2007, at 18.45 on Star

    • Tom Ohmer, who played the Sergeant in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective," reprises his role in this episode. There's an interesting interview with Tom, a former real-life cop, in which he talks about working with Ted Levine and other members of the cast and crew.

    • Timothy Taule (NCO) is credited as Tim Taule.


    • Steve Wagner: You're a sad little man.
      This line nearly duplicates a remark by another spaceman, toy Buzz Lightyear to the cowboy doll Woody in the animated film Toy Story (1995), "You are a sad, strange little man."