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USA Insider Monk

Magnets And Murder: These Are The Best Cases Monk Ever Solved

Adrian Monk solved a lot of difficult cases on "Monk" over the years. These are just some of his most interesting. 

By Tyler McCarthy
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Fans of the USA Network original series “Monk” know that each episode ended with the titular character solving yet another case that baffled his friends in law enforcement. But while all of the cases were good, some of them were more intriguing than others. 

After its premiere in 2002, fans were excited to tune in each week as the character fought against his mental health issues, namely a somewhat debilitating case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, to help people in need. At times, he even used his compulsions to exhibit an acute attention to detail that made his observations stand head-and-shoulders above lesser detectives. 

With the show streaming all episodes on Peacock, we thought it might be fun to go back and take a look at some of fans’ favorite obscure “Monk” case solves.

An Assassination In New York City

In the Season 3 episode “Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan,” the titular detective is forced to travel to one of the most crowded — and therefore messy cities in the world — in order to get more information about the death of his beloved wife. 

While there, he manages to cross paths with a Latvian ambassador who is quickly gunned down in the elevator of their hotel. Being who he is, Adrian Monk notices some things about the scene like the fact that the bodyguards were shot first, the ambassador’s coat was wet while everyone else’s was dry, and, most importantly, what the left ear of the assassin looked like as he fled past him in the lobby.  

After going a little bit crazy in the city that never sleeps, Monk manages to suss out the murderer and determines that foreign politics weren’t at play at all in his motive. 

Monk Dismantles The Best Alibi 

When the ex-lover of an astronaut with political ambitions dies by an apparent suicide just before her tell-all book is released, Monk thinks something fishy is happening in the Season 4 episode “Mr. Monk and the Astronaut.” 

Unfortunately for Monk’s hunch, the astronaut was literally in outer space at the time of the woman’s death, giving him perhaps the greatest alibi in history. Undeterred, Monk spends the episode unraveling a very complicated murder plot with key details only a man of his intellect and observance could put together. 

In the end, Monk discovers that a murder from space is possible provided a lot of planning takes place on the ground beforehand. 

Monk Blames A Coma Patient

The Season 2 episode “Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect” opens with a man seemingly trying to get himself arrested by ramming into a police car on purpose. In the ensuing chase, the suspect is hit by a truck and ends up in a coma. 

Months later, a series of targeted bombing attacks start plaguing the city of San Francisco with the postal service seemingly being the delivery mechanism of the explosives. Monk gets on the case and quickly suspects the coma patient. Obviously, that’s a tough sell to his friends in law enforcement. However, the detective is determined as ever and ends up enlisting the help of a dedicated mail carrier to figure out the coma patient’s master plan. 

Although it involved having an airtight alibi, his plan was to be in jail, not a coma when his timed bombs went off. Fortunately, his murder plot was no match for Monk’s hunch and the nefarious bomber was brought to justice. 

Monk The Playboy

In the Season 2 episode “Mr. Monk Meets The Playboy,” Adrian is forced to go into the seedy world of the glamour magazine “Sapphire and its owner’s illustrious party mansion to solve a very mysterious murder plot. 

When a man is crushed by his own weights during a workout with seemingly no one else around, Monk is forced to live every man’s dream (and his worst nightmare) by going to the party palace to figure out who may have wanted the person dead. 

Thanks to some clever detective work and a desire to get away from the scene as quickly as possible, Monk deduces the murderer employed the use of a high-powered magnet that allowed him to not only commit the crime from afar but do so without leaving any evidence. Fortunately, his desire to cover up the crime left a trail that led Monk right to him. 

Stopping A Murder Spree

In the Season 2 episode “Mr. Monk and the 12th Man,” 11  people end up dead at the hands of an unknown killer. The group is seemingly unrelated and the killer seems to be striking at random, which would make him or her impossible to find. 

That’s when Monk is brought on to see if he can find a connection between the murder victims. Sure enough, he does. 

It turns out they all served on a jury together, and one of the members of that jury discovered that the defendant was indeed guilty and decided to hatch a bribery scheme rather than bring him to justice. When the total cost of keeping it quiet was too great, the guilty party decided the only way to stop the unknown blackmailer was to simply kill off all the members who served on his jury, assuming that eventually, he’d get the right one. 

What he didn’t count on was the expertise of Monk cracking the case. 

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