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Season 3 Episode 2

Mr. Monk and the Panic Room

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jun 25, 2004 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
234 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a big-league record producer is found dead in his panic room, Monk must help decide the guilt or innocence of a most unlikely suspect.

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  • Never act with children and monkeys....

    Famous words from W.C. Field and never more truly spoken. I found it physically painful watching Ted Levine try to incite Darwin into shooting the gun by jumping up and down, slamming a stuffed monkey into a table, and donning a shriner's hat (??).

    Tony Shalhoub does better, and his lack of reaction in the apartment scene is a credit to his stoicism and acting skills. Bitty Schram actually handles the monkey pretty well.

    The story? Well, there isn't much. Anybody remember the series Probe? The episode Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype Over You featured a monkey that killed a man, an eccentric genius/detective who doesn't want to get involved, and his female assistant persuading him to take the case. The monkey doesn't get killed in this episode of Monk, though. Darn. :(

    The mystery - it's mildly intriguing and at least we viewers get a chance it's a "whodunnit" and to a lesser degree a "how'd they do it?" Although again, the lack of suspects doesn't make it very mysterious.

    The characters? Sharona is spunky but determined, and doesn't embarass herself overly much. Adrian is for the most part okay, although yet once again they feel obliged to give Shalhoub a "go wild and overact" moment - the scene in the panic room. There's a right way and a wrong way to do an overly long "reaction" scene. The scene in the apartment is great - the one in the panic room, long and painful.

    We also find out Monk has a new quirk - having to look at who he's talking to. Although I'd have to go back and see if he does that in previous episodes.

    Ted Levine has the thankless role of playing opposite a monkey, and it hurts to watch him. And Disher is once again comedy relief. The other characters are mostly forgettable - Kroeger gets a few good moments and seems to have grown more comfortable with Adrian's quirks (and we see him out of the office!). Willie Garson is wasted in a brief post-Sex & The City bit to pay the bills. Carmen Electra also gets one fairly quick scene. The murderer is pretty much personality-free.

    Overall, I'd have to rate this a bit on the low side. Monkey episodes don't hold a great deal of appeal to me (check out the Probe episode if you can - the twist there makes it much more interesting). The main characters are...there, but there's no new insights and there's a few too many buffoon scenes. The mystery is okay but nothing great, and the supporting cast is forgettable.moreless
  • the captain interagates a monkey.

    this is one of my favourite episodes of monk. i laugh so much during one secene. this is not every one favourite but it is mine. and you should give it a go. a monkey is accused of murder. they think he killed his owner. the best secene in this episode is when the captain takes the monkey darwin to the interagation room. the captain doesnt know that he has been given a gun with live bullets in it. while there the captain pulls out of a bag all theses things to make the monkey talk. he pulls the gun on him and the monkey is screaming at him. at the end they find out who killed him and the monkey is set to a zoo.moreless
  • Mr. Monk & The Panic Room A monkey is accused of committing murder.

    Boy they are handing out some bad reviews for this one. I was entertained by the scene where Stottlemeyer takes the chimp into the interrogation. I mean really why do we watch this show. It supposed to be silly. So that’s what I expect it. This episode had me wondering who has committed the crime. When the chimp goes nuts over the bald guys it went right over my head. And to top it off it's got Carmen Electra. I say give this episode a try. It made me laugh out loud. Just from being plain silly. Enjoy!

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie

Male Control Officer

Guest Star

Tony Franchitto

Tony Franchitto

First Cop

Guest Star

Beau Dremann

Beau Dremann

Second Cop

Guest Star

Kane Ritchotte

Kane Ritchotte


Recurring Role

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • After the tape recorder is left in the panic room as bait, Stottlemeyer asks Wolff if it will be safe in there. Wolff padlocks the door and says, "Yes sir, safer than the Bank of England." He overlooks the large hole cut in the door.

    • Disher and Sharona both correct people who refer to Darwin as a "monkey," but when they are both with Stottlemeyer in the police office, he calls Darwin a monkey twice and neither corrects him. Moments later, Disher raises the theory of "suicide by monkey."

    • After Stottlemeyer avoided being shot by Darwin due to Disher's mistake, he wasn't even upset with Disher. All he said was "The case is closed."

    • When Disher, Sharona, and Monk run down to the interrogation room to save Stottlemeyer, they start banging on the door without even checking to see whether it's locked.

    • After cutting a hole in the panic room door, it's odd that the police officer knew exactly where the door open button would be--especially since there were two buttons side by side. It also wouldn't have been very smart to put his arm through a hole in a sliding door and then open it, which may be why Stottlemeyer only did that as a last resort later.

    • Benjy was fighting with another kid in school and Sharona got very angry with him. But in "Mr. Monk Goes to School" she didn't mind that Benjy hit a kid.

    • When Monk goes to the kitchen to get some juice, he takes a cup from the cabinet and then closes the cabinet door. After the chimp "contaminates" the juice bottle and the cup, Monk goes to the phone to call Dr. Kroger, and that same cabinet door is now open, allowing the chimp to get cups and breakable dishes from it.

    • As the chimpanzee is wrecking Monk's apartment, a picture is slanting to the left, but an umbrella is hanging from the picture's right side.

    • Wouldn't Disher have been able to find a pass key to get into the interrogation room when he realized that Stottlemeyer had given Darwin a loaded gun?

    • Why didn't the police check the gun for fingerprints? It's standard procedure.

    • Why does Stottlemeyer take forever to push the button in the panic room and let Monk out? Instead he just tells Monk to push it... and tells him... and tells him... And why doesn't Stottlemeyer automatically check the gun Disher hands him to be sure that it's really unloaded?

    • When the police called her trying to figure out a way to enter the panic room, Chloe said that her husband had probably killed himself. Why didn't Monk question this when nobody even knew for a fact that he was dead yet?

  • QUOTES (21)

  • NOTES (4)

    • Mowgli, the chimp who portrayed Darwin, is Dennis Miller's pet.

    • Despite being credited as a "Special Guest Star," Carmen Electra has only one scene in this episode.

    • The pendant worn by Brad Hawkins's character, Kurt Wolff, which doubles as a mace delivery system, is a clever in-joke referring to Hawkins's television debut in V.R. Troopers. The three heroes wore matching pendants called Virtualizers, which enabled them to transform themselves into cyborg heroes by holding the pendants and saying "We are V.R." Another possible reference is to the various Morphers from Power Rangers, for which Hawkins provided the voice of the Gold Ranger, Trey. Hawkins's presence in an episode about the music business is also an in-joke as he dabbled in country music for a time. I won't even go into the presence of a pivotal animal role . . . at least the chimpanzee didn't talk like Jeb the dog. . . .

    • One of the characters is named Leo Navarro; Special Guest Star Carmen Electra is married to Dave Navarro.


    • The chimp's name, Darwin, was also the name of the Thornberrys' pet chimp on the Nickelodeon cartoon The Wild Thornberrys, what appears to be a coincidence, but the name certainly refers to Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution suggests that apes and humans evolved from a common ancestor.

      The chimp's real name, Mowgli, is an allusion to a (human) character in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.