Season 5 Episode 12

Mr. Monk Is At Your Service

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 26, 2007 on USA
out of 10
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435 votes

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Episode Summary

When a wealthy couple is killed, Monk poses as a butler to investigate. Along the way, Monk discovers a fear of frogs and realizes that his obsessive-compulsiveness serves him well as a manservant.

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  • Who killed the butler? It was Sam the little sh....!

    Two monks for the price of one. A different and welcome change from the usual Monk style, with a problem for Monk! The PD is cuting back and wont hire him. What to do?

    While visiting Natalies "rich" parents the suspicious deaths of their neighbours proves to much of a lure and they investigate. While their he mistakening is interviewed by the son of the death couple who inherited, and is taken on as a butler! What started as undercover work changes as Monk shows a natural application for the role!

    The middle act is focused more on amusing and extruciating painful (for the staff) scenes littered with a few clues to explain the story of what happened (as we already know who the murder is)!

    The scenes with a "pregnant" Natalie and the family dinner are great and lead to a very tense ending, which endings in a suitable Monk way as Stolemeyer gets his man back!

    Watch just to see a brilliant performance by Sean "Sam" Astin.moreless
  • Monk at his best but a pretty haphazard plot.

    In this episode; There is a hiring freeze at the department meaning the Monk is basically unemployed but when he goes undercover as a butler for Natalie's parent's neighbour Paul Buchanan; it looks like he has a new career calling. If you're a fan of Monk's antics then this episode is perfect for you with the What if? scerario of him becoming a butler proving hilarious but if you like a good solid mystery and plot then maybe you should overlook this episode (or better yet the whole season). The mystery for this episode is so straightforward that it's more like "Blue's Clues" half the time and just like that show, we crack the case early on while Monk is having fun as the prim butler. We're given more insight into Natalie; we discover more about her childhood, her parents and a side of her that isn't just the sweet and innocent Natalie we've come to know and love.

    Tony Shaloub has pretty much shifted Monk from a tragic figure to a comedic one and this episode sees him stealing many scenes; watching him run the Buchanan household is funny but when he flips out at frogs and plays the dumb card it's not quite as good. Traylor Howard has made Natalie jump from a 2D assistant to a character just as intricate as Monk and she carries it wonderfully in this episode. Sean Astin stars as the hot - headed Paul Buchanan and while he adds another notch to his acting belt and avoids going into Samwise Gamgee - mode; he won't be remembered as an effective villain.

    Once again Jason Gray - Stanford and Ted Levine are given only cameo roles as the Liutenant and Captain; at this rate they'll no longer be needed at all by the finale.

    While this episode stuggles plot and mystery wise; the solid acting and some genuinely entertaining moments deem it a good episode.moreless
  • Mr. Monk finally gets his dream job as a butler

    Guest star Sean Astin{you know him as Samwise Gamgi in the lord of the rings} kills his butler and destroys all the evidence. When Mr. Monk arrives at Sean's mansion, he takes the job as butler and is in charge of cleaning the house and preparing for dinner. This is Mr. Monk's dream job since he gets to prepare dinner as he wants it, even if the entire staff is up until 3 am. The entire mansion is completely clean. Natalie discovers the wrecked car in the garage, which she believes is evidence that links Sean to the death of his father. When monk finds a magazine clip, he finally has solved the case. When Sean's father died of a heart attck, Sean knew that the kids on the mother's side would inherit the money and house. So Sean staged a wreck where the mother died first instead of the father.moreless
  • Were doing this the Monk way!

    Well in this episode Mr. Monk becomes a Butler for none other than Sean Aston. Good ole Paul(Sean Aston) had a crush on Natalie way back when. Now he has chnged. HHe found his dad dead in the arage becasue of a heart attack. So he new if his dad died bfore his stepmom he wouldn't get any money and his stepsisters would get t all but if his stepmom died before his dad he would inherit all the money. Sohe does but Monk is never far behind. Monk finds out what happens moments before Paul is about to kill Natalie but he got there just in time to save the day.moreless
  • Monk as a Man Servant! Show just gets better.

    What an inspired episode! Not only does it put Monk into his "dream job", but it gave the show a chance to really get Natalie into the action.

    The scenes with Monk running the household had me rolling on the floor. From his inspections to the centimeter placement of the silverware, it was OCD run wild. When Natalie came to dinner, I thought the scene was amazing. We got a chance to meet her family a little more and we also got to see a more agressive side to her. She wanted this solved and by god she was going to get it solved.

    My only real complaint is that the series seems to be giving less time to the mystery and more to everything around it.moreless
Sean Astin

Sean Astin

Paul Buchanan

Guest Star

Michael Cavanaugh

Michael Cavanaugh

Bobby Davenport

Guest Star

David St. James

David St. James


Guest Star

Stanley Kamel

Stanley Kamel

Dr. Charles Kroger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • From the scene in the dining room it can clearly be seen that a canvas is used as a backdrop through the door. This can be seen from the creases in the canvas and the fact the room does not fit the angles or dimensions of the scene portrayed.

    • The police department's "four-year hiring freeze" is not plausible. Government agencies usually associate hiring freezes with fiscal year budgets; there would usually be no reason to announce a freeze four budgets into the future. Even if the city government in general were subject to a hiring freeze, it would be extremely unusual for the police department to be subject to a freeze. Because police departments have relatively high turnover compared to other city departments, they are usually in a continuous state of hiring. As employees leave, a freeze would essentially reduce the number of positions in the department. For a department the size of the SFPD (with approximately 3,000 employees), this would result in a loss of hundreds of officers and other employees per year.

    • Near the end of this episode Adrian Monk looks at himself in the mirror in the butler's room. It had a very obvious smudge in the top right, yet Monk didn't clean it up - surely something that he really would have had to correct?

    • One of the leading advertisers for Monk, the fastidious character, is Swiffer dusting tools. Swiffer was mentioned and used in this episode.

    • Uncharacteristically, the usually meticulous Monk, in the guise of a butler, inspects his "master's" fireplace, finds a tiny piece of burned paper near the grill, picks it up with his bare hand, even though he was holding gloves, slips the paper into his suit pocket, even though there had to be a garbage pail, somewhere, and then puts the same hand on his face to cover his eyes, as if he were in pain. All this without having a fit about the filth, unless, the hand-over-the-eyes was a sudden realization of what he did.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Buchanan: I'm not going to ask you again.
      Monk: Thank you, sir.

    • (Monk sees a frog)
      Monk: Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog. Frog.
      Natalie: Are you afraid of frogs?
      Monk: I don't know; I've never been this close to one.
      (a frog hops on Monk's shoe)
      Monk: Yes, the answer is yes. Put frogs on the list. Where's the list?

    • Monk: There's never hope. I wish I drank. Is it wonderful?
      Peggy: Yeah, it's pretty great.

    • Dr. Kroeger: You can let this news completely depress you…
      Monk: Okay. Thank you.

    • Monk: What are you talking about? I'm not going in there alone. That would be like… me… going in someplace alone.

    • Natalie: You'll be able to look around. You're right there, you're in the belly of the beast.
      Monk: Natalie, it's not a good thing, it's a bad thing. Okay, it's a belly… and it's a beast. Now come and get me.

    • Monk: Symmetry. Sweet symmetry.

    • Monk: (asking about potential heirs) How much did they get?
      Murphy: Nothing.
      Monk: And they wanted more…?
      Murphy: Apparently they did.

    • Monk: From now on we're going to be cleaning the house my way. The Monk way.
      Suzie the Maid: Who's Monk?
      Monk: You see... I grew up in a monastery and the monks were very demanding. We were cleaning constantly, 18 hours a day. Mostly dusting. It was very dusty. Crypts, catacombs, it was holy dust. But still… you know… and that is the Monk way.

    • Monk: It's better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all.
      Buchanan: Do you believe that, Melville?
      Monk: I don't know, sir. It's a tough call.

    • (When Monk considers keeping his butler job instead of waiting for the police hiring freeze to end)
      Stottlemeyer: Look, Monk, I told you I am working on that, okay? Just give me a little more time.
      Monk: It's too late, Captain. I've moved on. It's a new dawn.
      Disher: What about Natalie?
      Monk: I'm hoping that Natalie will remain in my employ. There is a position opening up in the kitchen. Speaking of kitchens, I really must get back. I have a duck in the oven that's not going to braise itself and the master is very particular about that sort of thing. (leaves)
      Stottlemeyer: The master?!?

  • NOTES (4)

    • To hide Traylor Howard's pregnancy, Natalie is seen....
      - Sitting at a table with Monk and her parents
      - standing behind an open car door.
      - sitting behind the wheel of a car
      - sitting at a table
      - sitting behind Leland's desk
      - sitting in her bed under the covers
      - "pretending" to be pregnant
      - sitting behind Leland's desk, and then behind her jacket when she stood.

    • International air dates:
      Greece: Sunday 20th January 2008 at 18.45 on Star
      Finland: Saturday 14th February, 2009 at 19:45 on YLE TV1
      Slovakia: February 16, 2010 on Markiza

    • Traylor Howard gave birth a couple of months before this episode aired, so in all likelihood, her real-life pregnancy was built into the episode as a "pillow pregnancy."

    • Sean Astin and Holland Taylor are listed as Special Guest Stars.


    • Monk: For the want of a nail, Mrs. Murphy, the kingdom was lost.
      This is referencing a rhyme from medieval England, later abridged by Benjamin Franklin who removed all reference to the King for the American version:
      For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
      For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
      For want of a horse the rider was lost.
      For want of a rider the battle was lost.
      For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
      And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.