Season 3 Episode 16

Mr. Monk and the Kid

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 04, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
533 votes

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Episode Summary

After twenty-two-month-old Tommy Graser finds a severed finger and gives it to a policeman, Monk walks through the park with Tommy trying to retrace the child's steps. He finds no body or other incriminating evidence, but he does discover a surprising affection for the placid and intelligent toddler, who constantly repeats Monk's name and quietly submits to having his hands wiped when he touches "nature." A lab technician identifies the finger as that of a twenty-five-year-old man, and Monk deduces from a callus that the young man played the violin. After visiting the home of Daniel Carlyle, a musician who fits this description, Monk concludes that Daniel's mother and her other son, Jason, killed Daniel and that Jason is masquerading as his brother. Meanwhile, little Tommy is temporarily removed from the custody of his foster parents, and Monk surprises everyone, including himself, by volunteering to care for him for two weeks until his new adoptive parents can take him. With Tommy in tow, Monk and Natalie follow the Carlyles. After seeing them waiting for a pay phone to ring and Mrs. Carlyle crying on her son's shoulder, Monk arrives at a new conclusion, which is verified when he again talks to the Carlyles--Daniel has been kidnapped. Monk agrees to follow the kidnapper's bizarre instructions, which include delivering the $500,000 ransom fee in a garbage bag onto a rooftop while wearing only a bathrobe (and his shoes and socks). Unfortunately, Monk is distracted by a phone call from Julie, who is babysitting Tommy, and delivers the money to the wrong man. While Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher straighten out the mix-up, Monk resumes caring for Tommy. Controlled chaos and dirty diapers give way to more urgent matters when Monk realizes that Tommy has taken a tube of lipstick out of Natalie's purse--and inadvertently given Monk the clue that solves the case. After reading Tommy to sleep with a fairy tale about a heroic little prince who solves a mystery, Monk realizes that Tommy will never live happily ever after with Mr. Monk and sadly decides to give him up to his adoptive parents.moreless

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  • Mr. Monk and the Outer Child

    Mystery first - there isn't much of one. We're not really given anything to suggest who the kidnapper(s) is. As usual these days on "Monk," the only real clue is the lack of suspects and the almsot certain knowledge that the writers aren't going to throw a total stranger at us.

    Non-Monk regulars: Disher gets a little more personality and you'd think that he'd try something (and overreact at trying something) to come across as more professional. Stottlemeyer doesn't have much to do. Natalie is adequate and gets a few moments as a "mother"-type without beating us over the head with it.

    As with previous Monk season finales (and even half-season finales), this is realyl a Monk-centric episode. Tony Shalhoub rises to the challenge and the writers for the most part avoid going too overboard with the Monkisms. Only the locker room scene seems to go on a bit too long.

    The real "acting" here is from Preston and Trevor Shores, and the chemistry between them and Tony Shalhoub. They haven't appeared in anything else, but it'd be a pity if they don't. The chemistry between child-actors and the parent-figures they're appearing with is desperately needed - ask Traylor Howard, who fails to bond at all with the Falconer twins in her recent Son of the Mask. (In fairness, neither does Jaime Kennedy.) Obviously Shalhoub is comfortable with them and vice versa, and it's critical for this episode to work. It helps that the kids, despite their youth, are good actors as well and bring a lot of talent to the scenes with the chessboard, cleaning the house, wrestling outside with Shalhoub, etc.

    I think the "here's how they did it" wrap-up proves one point I've asserted before. When they do it every episode, it detracts from the individual ones. The storybook wrap-up here would have been much more effective if we hadn't seen similar "unique" wrap-ups in the last six episodes.

    So that brings us to the season as a whole. Unfortunately, it's hard to judge the "season" as a whole when they split it up into two parts so widely-divided. The first issue was Bitty Schram's abrupt departure and the writers and producers moving to cover for it by introducing Traylor Howard's Natalie. The episodes that focussed specifically on her ("Red Herring," "Cobra," "Election") tended to go a bit overboard - they didn't really show her as much different from her predecessor. I get the impression the character isn't as strong as Sharona (a bit of a whiner, IMO)...except in the episodes that seem to have been rewritten with Natalie and were originally intended for Schram. It's in the episodes that don't focus so strongly on Natalie that Howard gets a bit more chance to shine and work in some subtle differences to her predecessor.

    Overall I'd say Howard acquitted herself pretty well - hopefully the writers have gotten over their desire to "feed" her to the audience and can let her settle back a bit to get into the role. There are a few instances whent he writers didn't handle it very well, but then they didn't have much time to adjust, either.

    Stottlemeyer seemed to get a bit more depth with his concerns about where his career is going and his cutting loose in "Las Vegas." Disher is pretty much still the buffoon although "The Kid" might suggest a bit of a change for him. Hopefully they'll stick with it.

    The mysteries were a bit of a mixed bag - James Brolin was really the only killer who seemed a worthy match for Monk. They managed to avoid the more embarassing parts of the first half of the season ("The Panic Room" with both Monk and Stottlemeyer). Monk matured a bit, overcoming the adversity of losing his trusted assistant and gaining a new one.

    So overall, the third half-season was a bit of a mixed bag, but overall the cast and crew managed to weather the loss of Schram and move on.moreless
  • A REally good episode! I loved how attached Monk got to the kid. Soo Cute! I even cried (kinda) when he had to leave the kid!

    Awww.. this episode was soo cute. It was really good because Monk was really getting attached and bonding with this kid. It was really cute how he was just like Monk! I could watch this episode 100 times, and not get bored! this was a really great episode that shows Monk's "emotional" side. (besides when he talks about Trudy)It was really good how he did the story thing. Also, I was sad becasue when he realizes Tommy shouldn't live with him it was soo sad. Also I really liked how at the end, Monk got on the ground and was running around wiht Tommy. Monk really reaches and branches out in this episode. you can tell he is really improving!moreless
  • Monk takes temporary custody of a small boy who finds a human finger.

    I really don't like this episode very well. Monk finds a little boy caught up in the social services world. This child is staying with a foster family that clearly doesn't care for him, but keeps these unwanted children for the money.

    This little boy and Monk care for each other. Somehow, in this awful world, two people who don't have anyone have found each other. But no one wants Monk to keep this little boy. Heaven forbid he not be the world's most perfect parent, now he is undeserving. Um, do the writers of this show know how some children live? And how immature some parents are? Poor boys. Sometimes they are so dumb. On another episode Monk says Trudie wanted children but he wasn't ready. Probably if they had children, he would have been okay after her death. I think it's like people and dogs... sometimes broken people need each other, and children have a healing power for the right person. I also think they kept things the same just to keep the sitcom status quo.But real life isn't a sitcom, and people don't stay the same. Um, sitcoms don't have to, either.moreless
  • I think this is one of my favourite episodes. I was really moved by the way the main character attached himself to the kid. We all know Mr. Monk and what happened in this episode clearly shows that he is improving his state. I am proud of him. :)moreless

    I think this is one of my favourite episodes. I was really moved by the way the main character attached himself to the kid. We all know Mr. Monk and what happened in this episode clearly shows that he is improving his state. I am proud of him. :)


    --- --- I think this is one of my favourite episodes. I was really moved by the way the main character attached himself to the kid. We all know Mr. Monk and what happened in this episode clearly shows that he is improving his state. I am proud of him. :)moreless
  • With the help of a little boy, whom Monk grows very attached to. Monk is able to solve a missing persons case.

    At the end of this episode I felt sorry for Monk when he had to give up Tommy, but he had good reason to. I thought that if things were diffrent with him then he would have made a great father. I liked how after days of telling Tommy that "getting dirty was bad" he tells him that its okay to get dirty and how he played with him at the park in the last scene. It was heart breaking how Monk was reading Tommy the story about the little prince. it just wanted to make you cry.moreless
Noora Albright

Noora Albright

Adopting Mom

Guest Star

Daniel Quinn

Daniel Quinn

Raymond Novak

Guest Star

Kyle Bornheimer

Kyle Bornheimer

Uniform Cop

Guest Star

Emmy Clarke

Emmy Clarke

Julie Teeger

Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The medical examiner tells us that the severed finger is a left pinkie, and we see Daniel's left hand bandaged in the rescue scene. But in Monk's storybook recap, the fiddler's pinkie is pointing to the right with the other fingers curling downward, an orientation that is possible only for the right hand.

    • When Julie pulls up Tommy's pant leg, she's kneeling next to Tommy. When the shot changes to a back shot, she's rising and standing, but then when it returns to her with Tommy, she's in the same kneeling position as initially.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Monk: . . . And then the most wonderful and surprising thing of all happened. Mr. Monk discovered that he loved that little prince. But he also realized that the little prince could never live happily ever after if he stayed at Mr. Monk's house (pause) because Mr. Monk can barely take care of himself. And so they're going to have to say goodbye. (Kisses the sleeping Tommy.) The end.

    • Monk: ("reading" to Tommy) Once upon a time in a kingdom called San Francisco, there lived a brave little prince, and his name was Tommy Graser. . . .

    • Monk: I'm tired of apologizing for him because he--he cares about putting things away--and--and how he looks. That's a good thing.
      Natalie: Mr. Monk, he's not even two years old.
      Monk: Well, then, he's in the vanguard, isn't he? He's a new breed. A new breed.

    • Dr. Kroger: In your heart of hearts, I think you know you're not ready for this.
      Monk: I'm not giving him up.

    • Monk: (to big man in YMCA locker room) Could you--could you do me a favor and go away?

    • Monk: (on the phone with Julie) Listen very carefully. There are cleaning supplies in the hall closet. They're arranged alphabetically, then by height, then by date of purchase.

    • Natalie: Mrs. Carlyle, you can't go. They're expecting a man.
      Monk: She's right. We'll have to find a man. (Everyone stares at him.) Or--or I could do it.

    • Abigail Carlyle: Do you have children?
      Monk: Yes. I have a son. (Natalie stares.)
      Abigail: Well, then, you know how I feel. Wouldn't you do anything for him? Wouldn't you die for him?
      Monk: Yes. I would.

    • Natalie: What is this? Why is he wearing a helmet?
      Monk: To protect his head.
      Natalie: It must be so uncomfortable.
      Monk: Oh, he'll get used to it. I used to wear one all the time.
      Natalie: Your parents made you wear a helmet?
      Monk: (Pause.) No.

    • Operator: Okay, sir, all right. Do you have any wipes?
      Monk: Yes, I've got about two thousand!
      Operator: That should be fine.
      Monk: Not going to be enough!
      Operator: Sir, you're gonna have to wipe your son's bottom. (Sound of screaming from the phone.) Sir, is the boy all right?
      Monk: He's fine. That was me.

    • 911 Operator: Sir, what is the nature of your emergency?
      Monk: It's everywhere. B.M. It's B.M. B.M. B.M. It's B.M.
      Operator: Sir, you have to stop saying "B.M." now. Do you mean your child is soiling his diaper?
      Monk: Yes! Yes, he's soiling his--his diaper!
      Operator: You mean you've never changed a diaper?
      Monk: Hurry!

    • Teresa: Now before I go, do you have any questions for me?
      Monk: Yes, yes. I have a couple of questions. What does he eat?
      Teresa: He--eats food. (Pause.) He eats whatever you eat, only smaller portions.
      Monk: So he's like a person.
      Teresa: Exactly.

    • Teresa Crane: (referring to Monk's signature) It doesn't have to be perfect. (Pause.) Maybe it does.

    • Disher: Tree sap. Lumberjack. Missing nine-fingered lumberjack.
      Stottlemeyer: Who plays the violin.
      Disher: Should I put a list together?
      Stottlemeyer: Absolutely. Make sure you don't run out of paper.

    • Tommy: Nature dirty.
      Monk: That's what I'm saying.

    • Monk: Oh, no, no, no, no. Tommy, don't put that [stick] in your mouth. No. See, that is nature. See, we never put that in our mouths. Nature is dirty. See. Nature. Dirty. Nature. Dirty.

    • Stottlemeyer: Looks like Monk finally found a friend.

    • Monk: Hello. My name is Adrian Monk.
      Tommy: Munch!
      Monk: That's right. I'm working with the police department as a consultant. Do you understand "consultant"?
      Natalie: Mr. Monk, he's not gonna get that.
      Monk: Um, an adviser. Sort of an adjunct.
      Stottlemeyer: Monk, I don't know what an adjunct is.
      Tommy: Much Monk!

    • Janet Novak: You're pretty good with kids.
      Natalie: (looking at Monk) It's sorta my job.

    • Stottlemeyer: The boy's not talking.
      Monk: Maybe he hates cops.
      Stottlemeyer: Maybe he's two years old.

    • Stottlemeyer: (to Monk) There is a two-year-old boy named Tommy Graser--
      Disher: Uh, not two years. Twenty-two months. Not quite two.
      Stottlemeyer: Whatever. Anyway, he was, um, separated from his mother--
      Disher: No, uh, guardian. She's not actually his mother. She, uh, runs a foster home. For the record.
      Stottlemeyer: For the record, stand over there.

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode is rare, in that no one dies.

    • The light piano music at the end of the episode is a remix of the first season theme song.

    • Tommy is played by twin toddlers Preston and Trevor Shores.

    • Pia Artesona (Woman in Park) is listed on the official Monk site but does not appear in the end credits. Kyle Bornheimer is credited on the IMDb as playing Officer Roberts in this episode, but both the end credits and the official site list him as Uniform Cop. Troy Cephers, oddly credited as SWAT Team on both the official site and the end credits, is listed on the IMDb as Troy A. Cephers.

    • Brooke Adams, who played the irascible flight attendant in season one's "Airplane," guest stars as Abigail Carlyle, the wealthy mother of the kidnap victim. Ms. Adams is, of course, Tony Shalhoub's wife.

    • This episode is the third-season finale. Production resumes this month, with the first of the fourth-season episodes to air in summer, probably June 17 or 24.