Season 3 Episode 13

Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 11, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
464 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monk, Natalie, and Julie are caught in a traffic jam... and Monk soon determines the reason for it is a murder made to look like a car accident.

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  • Mr. Monk and the Very Long Wait

    Although the episode involves folks waiting around in a traffic jam, the story itself moves along pretty quickly. We get another (overly vicious) murder in the first act. The killer is quickly introduced and motivated - it seems a bit excessive that he turns to murder so quickly, but oh well.

    Then we go to Monk, Julie, and Natalie. I'm not sure I buy them having only porta-potties at a field hockey field - I'm in a relatively small town and our soccer fields have actual structures, but oh well.

    In any case, the episode from that part on is put together pretty well. There's lot of examples of Monk's observational powers - the kind of "just one little things" that Columbo always picks up on on his show. That's been occasional forgotten or overlooked this season, but it's nice to see him putting together a lot of little things over the course of the episode, rather then one big deduction/clue.

    Natalie still a bit abrasive, but not in a good way. It's more of a "gripe at Monk" abrasiveness that really doesn't add much to the chemistry of the two characters. She still remains...okay. Yes, they reconcile by the end of the episode, but they seem to keep getting pissy and then reconciling each episode, so hopefully now they can move on to something else.

    Korn makes a purely promotional appearance and don't really add anything to the episode (conveniently and rather unbelievably knowing the murder victim doesn't really count).

    I did like the chemistry between Julie and Monk - less of a father-figure relationship then with Benjy, and she doesn't mind taking advantage of Monk. I'm not sure I like it, but at least it's different.

    Larry Wilson's character, Lawyer Garrett, might have been abrasive but he's thankfully balanced out by being sincerely admirable of Monk's talents and being inspired by them. The fact he can mock Natalie, who seems to deserve a little mocking, probably helps.

    The relatively big-name Steven Williams doesn't have much to do here although at least his character comes around in the end. The trucker/Krystal subplot is also kind of a waste.

    The last chase sequence seems a bit drawn out - why does Monk have to shoot the hydraulics before the cop can pull the truck over? Oh well - presumably it proves Monk "cares" for Natalie. Great. Moving along now...

    Overall I'd consider this an average or slightly better effort. It's a bit repetitive both with the Monk/Natalie relationship and a few past episodes, but it doesn't overplay the "Monkisms" and it gives the character a lot more detecting moments then he typically gets in recent episodes. There's a few misses but generally more hits.moreless
  • The Best!!!

    This episode was simplismente shining. I adore when the Historia happens in the Road.

    The Assassin needed to search the cellular one, the error of it was this, to have confused the cellular ones, if he did not go to be the perfect crime!

    Episode memoravel, the third season the Monk really seems that he is the best same one.
  • Mr. Monk does it again!

    I’m quite monkish when it comes to traffic, but Monk kept his cool. “The ink spilled all over,” said the panicked Monk. But in reality it was only a dot of ink. How funny is that, but I know where he’s coming from cause I once got a dot of ink on my dark blue sweatshirt and you could see the black dot. And that dot remains with you at the back of your mind; it can drive you up the wall. It was so sweet how Monk saved Natalie. It’s obvious that Monk cares more for Natalie than Sharona. And the lawyer, Garrett, was hilarious. “Mr. Monk you’re my hero.” Monk looks perplexed, “We just met today!”

  • This was an okay episode. It didn\'t keep me on the edge of my seat.

    Most Monk episodes keep me in suspense until the moment the end credits come on. But this episode was different, I could never give a Monk episode a \"horrible\" review because of my love for the show, but this was only average. It seemed as if it went on for quite some time and it wasn\'t really too amazingly interesting like most Monk episodes are. It did give Natalie a chance to shine, which is a good thing. The plot wasn\'t too overly interesting, but the characters did well and that\'s why I gave it a 6.4. Not such a special episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Monk first sees the female truck driver, she is wearing a baseball cap fit tightly onto her head. When she starts screaming about how when she finds out who did it she'll beat him up, she turns toward the other direction to scream; when she does this her cap is shown high on top of her head, with some of her hair and all of her forehead showing. When she turns back around, it is fitted back on her head tightly.

    • During the scene where Monk and the trooper chase down the dump trunk, in which Natalie is stuck, the police car and the truck are actually going very slowly. Watch the dotted white lines, and how slowly the scenery passes when they show the shot from behind both vehicles.

    • When the chain reaction accident first happened, Natalie slammed on the brakes as cars were scattered in front of her. But following the commercial break, nearly all the cars ahead of her had arranged themselves neatly in two lanes.

    • When Monk and the highway patrolman were chasing the dump truck, why didn't they use lights and/or siren, or ever attempt to pull over the truck?

    • When Monk and the highway patrolman were chasing the dump truck, Monk sees a sign and says "Left lane ends 2 miles! Left lane ends 2 miles!" because he wanted to move into the other lane. But they were in the right lane to start (our left) and they moved into the left lane (our right).

    • The reenactment of the cell phone mix-up reverses the order, with the murderer placing the victim's cell phone behind rather than in front of the one already on his belt.

    • Examining the crashed Volkswagen Beetle, Monk states, "The air conditioning is off and the windows were closed." Classic Beetles like this one did not have A/C.

    • Garrett said that cell phones couldn't be used because of the mountains, but a cell phone is used twice without problems from the same location.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Garrett Price: You're right. Wow. You could be a cop.
      Monk: I am. At least I used to be.
      Garrett: Then we have something in common. Two guys who used to be something.

    • Monk: I will give you ten dollars to hold it in.
      Julie: Really?
      Natalie: What are you doing? You can't pay a person not to pee.
      Monk: Best money I ever spent.
      Julie: Oh, sure he can. It's called the free market. I learned about it in school.

    • Monk: Well, that was really, you know, fun. Who knew that spending four hours in a car to watch a two-hour field hockey game could be so much fun? Thanks for inviting me.

    • Monk: Julie, go back to your mom. Tell her I was right about the paramedic. She'll know what I mean.
      Julie: Mr. Monk, she never knows what you mean. Nobody does.

    • Monk: Garrett, Garrett, you see this blood?
      Garrett: Great. You can't have too much blood.

    • Natalie: You know, Mr. Price, I wasn't aware of any mental anguish until I met you.

    • Monk: (to members of rock band Korn) Sorry, sorry to interrupt. You have a great sound. Very, very musical. Wish I could understand more of the words.

    • Natalie: Mr. Monk, this is a very dangerous job. What if I'm ever in real trouble? Are you going to be there for me?
      Monk: I'll be there.
      Natalie: See, I don't believe you. It's a two-way street, Mr. Monk. We have to look out for each other.
      Monk: I'll be there.

    • Garrett: Can I get my cards back from you? I want to pass them out to these people. I mean, you know, they've all been hurt, and I'm a lawyer, right? You've got a dead guy. This is great. We're on the comeback trail.

    • Natalie: You unbuckled your seatbelt?
      Monk: Two-way street.
      Natalie: Two-way street.

    • Garrett: You probably missed him. You can't remember every car on the highway. (Monk stares.) Can you?

    • Monk: But, Sergeant, there is something wrong here.
      Sgt. Parnell: You're absolutely right, sir, and it's you.

    • Natalie: You know, Mr. Monk, there'd be no crime in all of San Francisco if you never left your house.

    • Natalie: Hello, boss.
      Monk: Oh. Natalie.
      Natalie: And the next time we go someplace, I'm thinking we should leave a little early. You know, to factor in traffic problems, homicide investigations, you getting arrested. . . .

  • NOTES (4)

    • Neither Ted Levine nor Jason Gray-Stanford appears in this episode.

    • Fieldy Arvizu, Jonathan Davis, and James "Munky" Shaffer, all members of the rock band Korn appearing as themselves in this episode, appear in the end credits but not on the official site credits.

    • Keith Robinson's appearance as a traffic cop in this episode may be a sly in-joke. Keith is better known as Joel Rawlings, Green Lightspeed Rescue Ranger from Power Rangers.

    • The phony voice that Monk uses to prevent the truck driver from knowing that it was his fault she got fired is the same voice Tony Shalhoub used as Antonio in Wings.