Season 3 Episode 4

Mr. Monk Gets Fired

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 16, 2004 on USA

Episode Recap

The police commissioner shouts at the captain (on camera) for focusing on a routine arson fire in a wig factory and relying on Monk to solve a more newsworthy case involving a female victim whose body was cut up with a chainsaw. Monk is in even worse trouble. After presenting some useful leads involving the chainsaw victim's age and nationality, he accidentally erases several years' worth of crucial computer files, and the enraged commissioner revokes Monk's private practice license despite Stottlemeyer's protests that doing so will destroy him. With Sharona forced to return to her old job as a nurse, the devastated Monk sits in the hospital hallway all day waiting for her until, at her exasperated insistence, he finds a job with a magazine as a fact checker.

Meanwhile, having identified the victim based on Monk's information, the captain and Disher zero in on a suspect but are stymied by the absence of matching DNA and somewhat sidetracked by a more amusing case--someone keeps stealing the commissioner's hat. When Monk figures out that the murderer, the arsonist, and the hat snatcher are all the same person, Stottlemeyer risks his job by asking Monk to prove that the victim's hair was used to make the commissioner's toupee. When the commissioner denies that his hair is not his own, Stottlemeyer dares the unthinkable and attempts to pull off the toupee as his wife's camera rolls--but the hair remains attached. After the commissioner tells Stottlemeyer he's "finished, in every sense of the word," Sharona takes things into her own hands, jumping on him from behind and literally snatching him bald. When the humiliated commissioner asks if there's anything he can do to get that scene edited out, Stottlemeyer triumphantly puts his arm around Monk and presents him to the commissioner. Monk gets his license back, the perpetrator is arrested, and the documentary has a happy ending.