Season 1 Episode 9

Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 13, 2002 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
233 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A woman is murdered but her married lover and the prime suspect, Trevor McDowell, has an ironclad alibi: he was running in the San Francisco marathon at the time of death.

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  • An exhilrating adventure! The first sports-related episode.

    "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man" is one of the better episodes from the first season of 'Monk'. A racer Monk admires, Tillie, becomes the target suspect in a murder that occurred during his track run, and Monk has to clear his name. The only annoying thing that happens is when Monk shakes hands with a paranoid black man, who misinterprets Adrian's fear of germs as some racist statement. "You don't want to shake your brother's hand, you just say so!", and "I saw what I saw!", yeah, yeah, yeah. Enter the social roadblocks Monk encounters on his journey.

    Still more introduction involved, as it shows that even Adrian Monk has people he looks up to, and Tillie's closing statement at the end "Life is a big race... you must hold on. Hold on to it" turn out to be words of wisdom that Monk takes away from this particular case.

    In running terms, the 'Monk' series is picking up the pace... little by little.moreless
  • Running at High Speed

    Got a chance to watch this during one of the marathons (ironically enough). The ninth episode of the first season, it still has a lot of "introductory" stuff. The writers take some time to show Stottlemeyer asking Monk for help, when in later episodes we just start with Monk already on the scene and working for the police.

    Stottlemeyer seems a lot less respectful of Monk's quirks and a little more argumentative with him. On the other hand, Disher is more of a suck-up then the clueless buffoon they've made of him in later seasons. Take that for improvement or not, as you will.

    Most of the other elements of the show are still here. This episode has an early example of Monk's "blow it with someone he likes because of OCD" - the same thing that cost him a duet with Willie Nelson in the studio. As with that episode, we get a "redemption" of sorts here - Monk later connects with his idol in a much more personal level - he misses getting the photo of his idol Tonday but meets with him in person and gets some words of wisdom and a parting gift. In the same manner he didn't get the studio duet with Willie Nelson but he gets to perform with him privately over Trudy's grave at the end of "...Red-Headed Stranger."

    One thing that is really annoying is the scene where Monk is mistaken for a racist for refusing to shake a man's hand. It's something that certainly could and would happen in "real life," but here it seems a bit too unpleasantly much for a show that trends more toward light comedy. It makes the marathon workers out to be ununderstanding jerks, and you'd think Sharona would have a bit more practice at explaining things in public.

    The mystery itself is fairly challenging - like most Columbo episodes, we know who the murderer is. What we don't know is the "how-he-did-it," which is fairly clever here. This is Mitch Markowitz's only Monk episode through the end of the third season, but he has a pretty pedigree on other shows like Benson, Buffalo Bill, and M*A*S*H. The OCD aspects aren't overdone, and we get a flashback of the first manifestation of Monk's condition. Even if the actor playing young Monk doesn't look much like Tony Shalhoub...

    Overall I'd give this episode strong marks - it's one that's held up well three years later.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep its the marithon and a women gets thrown off the a building durning the marithon. and monk must find out what happen he is at the marithon due to the fact one of his most famous idles is running the marthon . and this ep involes the find out that a man that had a big furnisher business had been cheating on his wife and monk belives he some how did not run the race and made people belive he did. it was a great ep and we find out more info on monks past . and this ep was funny because one of the guys thought monk was rasit due to the fact he wiped his hands right after he shook his hand.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Sharona screams "Go Adrian" while on the fence you can see from her face that she isn't saying anything.

    • At the beginning of the episode, Monk views the corpse just before they load it into the ambulance. He and Stottlemeyer and everyone else then head up to her apartment to look around. In the next scene, while Lt. Disher is still putting on his rubber gloves and before Monk even has a chance to ask questions about the scene, Stottlemeyer hangs up the phone and announces that the medical examiner has determined that the victim was strangled before she went over the edge and declares the apartment a crime scene. That was the world's fastest ambulance ride and autopsy in recorded history.

    • The camera that Monk is holding at the beginning of the episode (one of two he bought) is a Fujifilm Quick Snap Single Use Camera that sells for about twelve dollars. To zoom in on the man with the uneven buttons as he does he would need a reflex camera with a zoom lens. A throw-away wouldn't do it.

    • When the victim is in her apartment, she has cotton between her toes. When they show her to Monk in the next scene, the cotton is gone.

    • The viewer comment asking how Monk could have beome a detective when he's had OCD all his life has been moved to the main Forum for general discussion.

    • As Stottlemeyer is ordering the cops not to touch or lean on anything, a cop in the background can be seen leaning with bare elbows against the balcony.

    • The USA Network website originally listed Hy Conrad as the writer. This doesn't match the on-screen credit of Mitch Markowitz.

    • At the very end of the episode when Tonday gives Adrian the headband, you'll notice a rather large Grand and Toy truck drive past them. Grand and Toy is only available in Canada--it's a stationery store.
      The truck reveals the filming location Toronto and was obviously missed during the editing.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Sharona: (about to run a race with Monk) This should be easy for you. You're good at touching poles.

    • Monk: (to Tonday) I've admired you ever since I was a strong child.
      Sharona: Young child.

    • Stottlemeyer: The smudge stays. You go.

    • Monk: How's it going in there?
      Stottlemeyer: It's going great. Except he (the suspect) wants to know what that little squeaky noise behind the mirror is.

    • McDowell: I screwed up big time.
      Stottlemeyer: How long have you been screwing up?

    • Monk: I had a life before we met.
      Sharona: I know you had a life. I just didn't know it involved gym shorts and showering with other guys.
      Monk: I didn't shower with other guys. I had a note from my doctor.
      Sharona: I bet you had lots of notes from your doctor.
      Monk: As a matter of fact, I did. I had a whole, separate binder.

    • Monk: (about to shake hands with five people) It's a stampede. Get a wipe ready.

    • Sharona: You should have ignored the stupid sweater.
      Monk: It was askew.
      Sharona: So what? So what? Why can't you just let people be askew? I mean, what are you, the Askew Police?
      Monk: Yes, I'm the Askew Police.

    • Sharona: You couldn't tell me over the phone?
      Monk: I wanted to see your face light up when I told you. (Sharona glares) Okay, I'll take a rain check on that lighting up thing.

    • Sharona: You're in great shape.
      Monk: No. If I can't find the remote, I just watch whatever's on.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: "Start The Watch" by Jeff Beal

    • No new episodes were aired August 30 or September 6 because of the U.S. Open coverage. This is the first original episode to be shown since "Mr. Monk and the Other Woman" on August 23.

    • The sunglasses hanging from the neck of Captain Stottlemeyer's undershirt reflect a real-life habit of Ted Levine's, which may have begun when he played Alan Shepard in From the Earth to the Moon.