Season 2 Episode 8

Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Aug 15, 2003 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
212 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Monk is hired to investigate the "accidental" death of a playboy/publisher but must make a tough decision when the primary suspect threatens to publish nude photos of Sharona taken during her shady past.

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  • "Mr. Monk Meets the Playboy" is in my opinion one of the best episodes around. It has a rather brilliant mix of both a mystery and comedy.

    An excellent episode!

    Dexter Larsen, the millionaire playboy behind Sapphire Magazine, is dismayed when his publisher Elliot D'Souza tells him that he has pulled the plug and decided to shut down the magazine. Somehow, Dexter gets his revenge and Elliot is soon strangled to death by his own weights in his private gym.

    When Monk is put on the case, he quickly finds evidence that Elliot's assistant might be right about there being foul play, and he quickly begins to home in on Dexter Larsen as his primary suspect. Of course, Dexter is a very smart man, and his research staff is top-notch, so he knows a bit about Sharona's past: she was a nude model! And now if Monk doesn't let him go, he plans on publishing these photos! Can Monk solve the mystery and stop Dex from ruining Sharona's life?

    This is a brilliant episode from start to finish, in plot, in comedy, in everything.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show monk monk must go and investgate the murder of a man that worked for a playboy magize well monks version of playboy and so he starts to investgate and thinks the man was murder and then start to ask question and realize there storys did not add up and then he goes looking around and get a treat aginst him if he does not stop investgating shernoia had photos in atlantic city and he was going to publish them and so he finds out that the guy had a magnict and killed the guy buy sucking down the weight on his throut this was good epmoreless
  • Mr Monk meets the playboy is pretty low on mystery but as you may guess; high on laughs.

    In it; Elliot D'Souza, chief financial officer of a publishing company, is working out when the barbell he is lifting falls on his throat. D'Souza's secretary, Diane Ludan, thinks that Dexter Larson somehow killed him since he was planning to shut down Larson's infamous Sapphire Mansion (picture a sugar - coated Playboy mansion), and asks Monk and Sharona to look into it but with the bulletproof fact that the gym was locked from the inside and the fact that Dexter Larsen has some comprimising photos of Sharona, it looks like Monk can't win them all.

    This episode firmly busts the who? question early but the why? hangs over our heads until Monk's summation which just stays behind the line of absurd but certainly crosses the line of obvious. When Larsen threatens to publish pictures from Sharona's dark past the episode quickly goes from mystery to soap opera until the end but by then it's too late. The humour is frequent though; the prude Monk inside Sapphire Mansion is the main source but the immature Randy Disher isn't anything to laugh off either. Although this episode features pornographic magazines heavily and spends much time inside of a Playboy - like mansion; it's so unbelievably coy. Bikini tops are kept firmly in place throughout and although there're a few nudge nudge bits it's nothing that'll have parents covering the kid's ears for. Gary Cole stars as the entrepreneurial Dexter Larsen who goes from sleazy tycoon mode to nerdy and dangerous mode very quickly and effectively and makes an overall memorable guest appearence. Monk has always managed to stay in control of his work life by having no trouble closing case after case but this time he may of met his match and Tony Shaloub plays the weak and powerless Monk suberbly and when he is out of his comfort zone in the mansion he is just as funny as ever. Bitty Schram plays Sharona well and gets to flex her dramatic bone as her life hangs in the balance of the evil Larsen and when she's giving the sad speech to her son and a tear begins to roll down her cheek, it'll take a heart of stone not to be a little stirred.

    Once again Ted Levine as Leland Stottlemeyer isn't given much to do but Jason Gray - Stanford is great as the goofy comic relief.

    A very good episode of Monk; while the plot stalls a little and the mystery talks down to the audience you can't discount its general appeal.moreless
  • Spoiler Warning

    Don't get me wrong- terrific villain- very sleazy. Monk episodes seem to come in a few variations- the mysteries are 'whodunnit', 'howdunnits', or 'whydunnits'- early on, we see the villain's motive and identity, leaving only the question of how he pulled it off- and sadly for this 'howdunnit' style episode, it was painfully obvious. During the introductory sequence one couldn't help but say to themselves, what's pulling that barbell down on that guy? Either its getting heavier or its being pulled by a magnet. While magnets that strong are not easy to come by, the very next scene establishes that electronics in the room are 'wiped' and that the clock is 'off'- yup magnet. If it weren't for the terrific relationship between the characters of Monk and Sharona and the new insights on them, I would not have been able to enjoy this episode at all. Thank goodness for small favors... when they revealed that the suspect was an former electronics wizard, I felt like I'd been hit over the head with a barbell.moreless
Jennifer Lyons

Jennifer Lyons

Bethany Daniels

Guest Star

Danny Bonaduce

Danny Bonaduce


Guest Star

Lisa Thornhill

Lisa Thornhill

Noelle Winters

Guest Star

Kane Ritchotte

Kane Ritchotte


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When Monk is talking to Dexter about the earring found in his bed, he says that Amber does not have pierced ears so the earring cannot be hers. Later in the episode when Amber is presented with her sapphire necklace and also when she is talking with Sharona about her daughter, her ears are clearly pierced.

    • When Dexter threatens Monk to release nude photos of Sharona while they are in the garage, one of the pictures can be clearly seen at one point and the face on the picture isn't Sharona.

    • As brilliant as the method of murder seems, it is physically impossible. Due to the fact that magnetic field-lines have to be closed, the force of a magnet decreases dramatically with the distance to the magnet. "Strong enough to lift a car" is always referring to the holding-force on contact with the magnet, but no man-made magnet (except maybe a superconducting magnet from high-energy physics) would be able to deliver a force as strong as shown in this episode over the distance of approximately 1m. The magnet in this episode wouldn't even be able to lift a weight of 1 kg at a distance of more than 5 cm.

    • When Randy was under the table with the electromagnetic, he lay on his back pointing the magnet upward at the underside of the table. A magnet that powerful would have lifted him off the ground and quite possibly have pulled the statue on the table straight through the table's wooden surface down onto Randy.

    • Trivia: Danny Bonaduce states that he had a couple of beers at the party Saturday night. In real life, Danny is a recovering alcoholic. He even had a show on VH1 detailing his recovery process. This is either a goof, or he is supposed to be in a period of relapse during this particular episode.

  • QUOTES (19)

  • NOTES (1)

    • Gary Cole (as Ed Mitchell) flew to the moon with Ted Levine (as Alan Shepard) in episode 9 of From the Earth to the Moon. Both were members of Chicago's now-defunct Remains Theatre troupe, which Cole founded with William Petersen in 1979.


    • Stottlemeyer: If you two wanna go tilting at windmills, be my guests. -- This is a reference to the oldest known novel Don Quixote de la Mancha in which a man with a few loose bolts upstairs fought windmills as a knight, thinking them to be enemies.

    • TV Cartoon
      Benji is watching Popeye on TV. Popeye is a cartoon about a sailor man who becomes super-strong when he eats spinach and has fights with his arch nemesis Bluto (though Bluto is sometimes referred to as Brutus in the cartoon).

    • Noelle has a statue of a big white dog in her apartment. The same statue is owned by Chandler and Joey (later by Chandler and Monica) in the TV series Friends