Season 3 Episode 15

Mr. Monk and the Election

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 25, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
448 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With her daughter's school about to be closed as a cost-cutting measure, Natalie becomes a candidate in the upcoming school board election despite Monk's fears that she'll desert him if she wins. Natalie's frustrations with a jammed photocopier and other defective equipment bought at a police auction are dwarfed by fear for her life when a sniper fires into her campaign headquarters, further damaging the equipment and killing a security guard. The only clues to the identity of the sniper are an oddly folded note demanding that "Natalie Teege" withdraw from the election and a bullet from a semiautomatic rifle made in Russia.moreless

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  • Mr. Monk and the Mirror Image

    The funniest part of the episode is Monk up against his rival and "nemesis," Harold Krenshaw. It's a battle of doughnuts and mirror smudges and we get an idea of how much worse Monk could be. Fortunately, Stottlemeyer is there to give Monk some support as well as know when it's best to step out.

    As to the episode itself, there's certainly a mystery, but not much of one. There is really only one suspect, and they openly telegraph what the motive is even before the opening credits. We don't really find out anything baout the murderer or see much personality from him, either.

    That really leaves us with the regulars. Natalie gets a bit of backstory with her deceased husband and has a part to play. The election angle seems a bit abrupt - we haven't heard about it before and bet we don't hear about it again. And there seems a little too much effort to make her better then Sharona, rather then different.

    Disher isn't the total idiot of recent episodes although obviously he's getting into his bodyguard/secret service role a bit too much.

    Ted Levine as Stottlemeyer is nice and solid, although he doesn't have a lot to do.

    This is pretty much a Monk-heavy episode, and it's an episode where they stick with a lot of little moments rather then big drawnout scenes. Only the voting scene really goes on a bit too long, and there are some long moments (like his remembering back to his competitive-keepaway days) that give us some insight into the character. As always, the longer stuff works better when it either tells us something about Monk or shows us how he's suffering from OCD.

    Monk also gets a lot of "noticing the little things" moments and putting together everything at the end. This is more like a Columbo episode when we know who the killer is and roughly why he or she is doing the killing, but we get to watch how Monk puts it all together.

    One advantage of having Harold on the show is that it brings out a different side of Monk - he actually gets aggressive. There's not many people he'll scream "Liar! Liar!" at.

    And finally, Monk gets to save the day thanks to his years of experience (on the receiving end) in keepaway. And we get another "change of pace" "here's how he did it" reveal at the end. Note to writers: if it's change-of-pace every episode, then it isn't change-of-pace.

    The guest cast is pretty much forgettable except for Harold - it's hard to imagine him running for anything, but it's amusing nonetheless. His little running battles with Monk don't really tell us much about him - they're more about giving us insights into Monk.

    Overall, this is a good "above-average" episode. There's nothing that really makes it a standout, and other then the revelation about Natalie's husband there isn't really any big plot moments. It's just a good, solid entertaining episode.moreless
  • Monk helps Natalie in her bid for election to the school board, despite dire threats that she should drop out.

    Found the episode to be enjoyable, especially the use of the \\\"keep-away\\\" sequences and the \\\"mommy loves me best\\\" angle involving Monk and the other patient/candidate.

    I am a little confused, I thought I remembered that they resolved the situation with Natalie and her possible coward husband. On the rerun which I recently Tivoed, nothing was resolved. Either my memory is faulty or there was some after-air editing.
Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman

Jack Whitman

Guest Star

Sue Cremin

Sue Cremin


Guest Star

Neil Giuntoli

Neil Giuntoli

First Attendant

Guest Star

Tim Bagley

Tim Bagley

Harold Krenshaw

Recurring Role

Emmy Clarke

Emmy Clarke

Julie Teeger

Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • On the rooftop scene when Monk takes a bullet and rolls it so that they can see where other bullets would've rolled into a slant, he rolls a large brown bullet. When it enters the crack, Randy lifts up the slab that it rolled under and it, along with a small golden bullet are laying there. Randy, however, picks up the one that Monk just rolled and not the newly found golden one, and talks about it as though it is not the one that Monk just rolled.

    • When Stottlemeyer pulls out the incriminating list from the copier machine, you can see that there is a color photo stuck on the paper with edges that stick out. Both the fact that the photo is colored and that it's sticking out of the paper suggest that the list is an original and not a copy. This is a mistake, because originals never make it this "deep" into the copying machine's mechanism, but can only get stuck in the feeder on top.

    • In the summary we can see that Whitman picks an AK-47 from the boot of his car, when he is aiming from the roof we can see that there is no scope attached to the rifle, yet the next scene shows a POV shot through a rifle scope.

    • Natalie says she is running for the Fairfield school board, but Fairfield is outside San Francisco (and therefore not in the SFPD's jurisdiction or where Natalie and Monk live). She also says the school board has 15 members and she is running for District Five, but the governing board of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District actually has five at-large members.

    • While Monk is folding flyers, he has one folded once, then when the weird guy pounds the table, it's folded twice, when the camera switches back to Monk, it's folded once again.

    • In "The Girl Who Cried Wolf," Monk and Krenshaw fight over the scheme for organizing magazines in Dr. Kroger's waiting room. Krenshaw wants to organize by title, while Monk wants to organize by number (same number of magazines per shelf.) The characters contradict these preferences in this episode, as Krenshaw wants to organize the donuts by number and Monk wants to organize by type of donut.

    • Natalie confides to Monk that her husband was killed in Kosovo in 1998 and that his reaction to a helicopter crash somehow led to his death, but to this day not a single U.S. fatality has occurred in Kosovo, either in combat or in a military-related accident.

    • After the Captain bites the coconut donut, Krenshaw tells him "Now you have to eat a sugar one," but there are no sugar donuts in the box. There are four glazed, two chocolate, and four coconut. Throughout the rest of the dialog, Krenshaw and Monk mention only glazed, chocolate, and coconut donuts.

    • At the rooftop crime scene, Disher picks up the shell casing without gloves. Shell casings are an excellent source of fingerprints. Also, Monk and Stottlemeyer handle the note bare-handed (although Stottlemeyer holds a rubber glove in his hand instead of putting it on).

    • Monk picks up the grenade with a handkerchief, then transfers the handkerchief to his left hand and holds the grenade in his right. Thanks to the slow motion, you can see that the handkerchief instantly disappears from his left hand as he starts his run for the refrigerator.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Monk: And for the record, it wasn't me. You didn't lose by just one vote.
      Natalie: Yeah, I know.
      Monk: You lost by a lot more than one vote. It was close to a landslide.
      Natalie: Yes, I know. Thank you, Mr. Monk.

    • Monk: [Dr.Kroger] would never give anyone his cell phone. Ever. Not ever.
      Stottlemeyer: Monk, I really don't care.
      Harold: I've been to his home.
      Monk: Have you no shame?
      Stottlemeyer: Excuse me-–a man died today!
      Harold: I've met his daughter.
      Monk: Liar! Liar!

    • Monk: (to reporter) For me, there's only one angle here. If Natalie wins, who will take care of me?

    • Reporter: Why did you decide to volunteer?
      Monk: I'm not a volunteer. I'm her boss.
      Reporter: Ah. That's an interesting angle. Not every boss would allow his employee time off to run for office.
      Monk: I didn't have a choice. She just said she was doing it.

    • Natalie: Do you have any money?
      Monk: No.
      Natalie: Do you ever have any money?

    • Natalie: All right. Let's go.
      Monk: I haven't voted yet.
      Natalie: What have you been doing?
      Monk: I'm still signing in. Almost done.

    • Monk: I can't go. You're on your own. Natalie's waiting for me downstairs. I have to go vote.
      Stottlemeyer: Well, that's good. You're doing your civic duty.
      Monk: There's that. Also, if I don't vote, Natalie will--you know.
      Stottlemeyer: I know.

    • Stottlemeyer: Don't you ever get tired of being right?
      Monk: I do feel tired. More fatigued, really. I don't know if it's from being right--
      Stottlemeyer: It was a rhetorical question, Monk.

    • Stottlemeyer: Disher told me that you put the grenade in the refrigerator.
      Monk: Oh. Yeah.
      Stottlemeyer: And then he said you went back and opened it again. You just had to straighten something out, didn't you?
      (Monk shrugs.)
      Stottlemeyer: I'm going to ask the mayor to give you a medal for what you did, and then I'm going to ask the mayor to take that medal back because you just had to open that door.
      Monk: It's a wash, isn't it?
      Stottlemeyer: It's a wash.

    • Disher: Excuse me. I thought I'd better try this. (Takes a bite of Natalie's lasagna.) A little too much oregano, but it's not poisoned.
      Jack Whitman: That's what every cook likes to know.

    • Natalie: I used to love tetherball.
      Monk: It wasn't really my game.
      Natalie: What was your game, Mr. Monk?
      Monk: Keepaway. I played a lot of keepaway.

    • Natalie: (watching children on the playground) Brings back memories, huh?
      Monk: Yeah, but what are you gonna do?

    • Stottlemeyer: And I'm assigning you a bodyguard. Lieutenant, thank you for volunteering.
      Natalie: He's my bodyguard?
      Stottlemeyer: Twenty-four/seven.
      Natalie: I'm still not dropping out. (Walks away.)
      Disher: That's not my job.
      Stottlemeyer: It is now.

    • Monk: I told you. He [Krenshaw] will drive you crazy.
      Disher: So is he the guy?
      Monk: No. I wish he was, but he's not the guy. He never would have misspelled Natalie's name on the note.
      Stottlemeyer: How do you know?
      Monk: Because--even I wouldn't have.

    • Monk: Captain. Captain! It's not me, is it? Am I him [Krenshaw]? Just tell me. Am I that guy? Am I--am I that far gone?
      Stottlemeyer: Relax, Monk. You are completely different. You put the chocolate donuts in the middle, which makes perfect sense because that way the different groups are together.

    • Stottlemeyer: (as Monk and Harold fight over a smudge on the two-way mirror) Hungry?
      Disher: Yeah.
      Stottlemeyer: Let's get something to eat.
      Disher: What about them?
      Stottlemeyer: They'll be fine.

    • Stottlemeyer: (to Disher) Are you seeing this? Kindergarten playground in there.

    • Harold Krenshaw: (after the captain bites into a coconut donut) Now you have to eat a sugar one.
      Stottlemeyer: Don't want a sugar one.
      Monk: Then you could take three more coconuts and two chocolate.
      Harold: Or two coconuts and two glazed.
      Monk: Or he could just eat all of them. That would be easier.
      Harold: That's a good idea.
      Stottlemeyer: Or--I could do this. (Mashes the box, folds it up, and pokes a hole in the middle.) There. Now there's one donut.

    • Monk: It's keepaway. Natalie, Natalie, stop! You're just embarrassing yourself. I'm coming in.

    • Monk: There were fourteen shots.
      Stottlemeyer: Are you sure? Well, of course you're sure. How did they come? Were they evenly spaced?
      Monk: Bang. Bang bang. Bang. Bang bang bang bang. [etc.]

  • NOTES (3)

    • Allison Liddi, Monk's first female director, is credited as Allison Liddi-Brown. She teams up with the series' second female writer, Nell Scovell. (The first is Siobhan Byrne O'Connor, who wrote "Carnival.")

    • Debi M. Cox (Voting Attendant) is credited as Debi Mayer Cox.

    • Tim Bagley, who played Dr. Kroger's neurotic patient Harold Krenshaw in "Girl Who Cried Wolf," reprises his role in this episode.