Season 7 Episode 13

Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jan 30, 2009 on USA

Episode Recap

David Gitelson, back-up quarterback for the Condors, comes out from a club and gets into a limo with his girlfriend. She notices a classified playbook and he takes it away from her. Gitelson orders the limo driver, Shawn Metzger, to take them to another club hosting an after party Once Gitelson is inside, Metzger calls someone and says he has the playbook and they have one hour. Metzger takes the playbook to the Condor' team's opposing coach for the Wildcats and gets paid off.

The next day, Gitelson is in the locker room and notices something wrong with the playbook. He goes outside and confronts Metzger, who grabs a tire iron and hits him over the head.

Three Days Earlier

Stottlemeyer is at the station discussing the playoffs with Disher and the others. Monk and Natalie are there and Natalie prods Monk into discussing football. She wonders why they're not inviting Monk to their game party and Monk reveals he's going to be at the game. He admits he promised Bob Costas to go when he helped him out of a jam ten years ago. Costas has given him two press box tickets along with an all-access past. Stottlemeyer asks Monk who he plans to take and Monk suggests Natalie. Natalie convinces her boss to take Stottlemeyer instead.

The Present

Monk and Stottlemeyer arrive at the game and find tailgaters in the parking lot. They spot one man who has passed out in his lounge chair. Meanwhile, Disher is at the station when Natalie calls and admits he's the only one there. Unable to watch the game on his handheld, he pulls a big-screen TV out of the evidence room and tries to haul it down the stairs.

At the stadium parking lot, Metzger siphons off gasoline from the limo. He secretly dumps it of the tailgater's barbeque grills. Meanwhile, Stottlemeyer gets into the spirit of tailgating while Monk is less than enthused. As they go in and Monk tries to get his ticket envelope open, the tailgaters open up the grill and it explodes. Stottlemeyer tries to get Monk into the stadium but Monk insists on investigating.

The paramedics tend to the injuries from the explosion and Monk examines the grill. He insists that a charcoal grill wouldn't have exploded but Stottlemeyer insists it's nothing to worry about. Monk determines that gasoline was poured into the grille and convinces a disappointed Stottlemeyer that something is wrong. While the tailgaters complain that the backup quarterback, Gitelson, isn't playing, Monk talks to the grill owner, Chet Walsh, who mentions seeing Gitelson earlier. Chet figures that a Wildcat fan named Cory sabotaged the grill and Stottlemeyer agrees. However, he talks to the Wildcat fans, who recognize Stottlemeyer from high school. They ask him to take care of a speeding ticket, and the time stamp confirms they weren't at the stadium when the grill exploded.

Natalie arrives at the station with pizza and discovers that Randy has rigged up an extension cord to watch the game on the big-screen TV… on the stairway, since he can't get it all the way down. They settle down to watch the game at an angle.

Monk obsesses about the explosion, insisting it was deliberate. Stottlemeyer thinks he wants it to be a crime because that's all Monk ever thinks about. He says they can deal with it later and Monk admits he might be over thinking things. They go into the stadium but Monk notices a poster of a championship ring. He remembers seeing the ring on the fan who was passed out on the lounge chair and goes to investigate. Stottlemeyer reluctantly follows and they discover that the "fan" is dead… and it's Gitelson, made up to look like a fan.

Chet doesn't remember mentioning that he saw Gitelson earlier. Stottlemeyer calls in Disher and they find the team playbook with the corpse. They talk to Metzger who says he dropped off Gitelson in the morning. Monk notices he has a smudge on his jacket and notices an odor. When Stottlemeyer lets him go, Monk points out that Metzger smelled like gasoline and the smudge was from charcoal. Disher tells them to go in while he deals with the local authorities who have jurisdiction. Monk still wants to investigate and talk to Chet about seeing Gitelson. Stottlemeyer finally gives up and asks for his ticket, then goes in on his own.

Metzger is blocked in and while he's stopped, Monk examines the limo and notices he's been siphoning gas. Monk accuses him of trying to kill Chet but Metzger denies everything. He drives away despite Monk's warning that justice will catch up to him. Monk finds Chet and confirms that Gitelson kept yelling something over and over. Chet finally remembers that Gitelson said "Out of order." Monk uses his all-access pass to get inside and takes Chet inside with him.

Stottlemeyer is enjoying himself in the press pass with Bob Costas, who wonders where Monk is. Costas talks about how Monk helped him with a cat salesman with psychotic cats. Stottlemeyer is less than interested. Meanwhile, Monk explores the stadium and tries to figure out what was out of order. The game continues and Monk notices that the Wildcat coach, Binsack, is anticipating all of the Condors' plays. Monk realizes the team playbook was out of order. When he saw the playbook on Gitelson's corpse, the pages were mixed up.

Here's what happened: Metzger stole the Condors' playbook, made photocopies, and put the pages back in the wrong order. He sold the copies to Binsack but Gitelson found the out-of-order pages. Metzger saw Gitelson go past Chet, and then murdered Gitelson in a panic. He disguised Gitelson's corpse as a fan, then realized he had to eliminate Chet.

It's half -time and Stottlemeyer starts to feel guilty about abandoning his friend. Meanwhile, Chet figure that Gitelson's playbook is in the locker room. He and Monk sneak into the Wildcat locker room and steal the stolen playbook while the team is praying. However, they notice Monk, who explains he's a police officer. When they're not convinced, Monk and Chet make a run for it.

Stottlemeyer goes to find Monk, who passes the playbook to him. They toss it back and forth to avoid security, and Disher arrives to make the winning catch.

Later back in the press box, Costas announces that the Condors won and interviews Stottlemeyer and Monk. Stottlemeyer confirms that Binsack and Metzger have been arrested, while Monk cleans up. Natalie watches from the police station stairwell.