Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mr. Monk and the Three Pies – Monk Episode Summary 2.11

Synopsis: After seven years, Adrian is reunited with his estranged brother Ambrose. Ambrose suspects his neighbor of killing his wife. Their investigation leads them to three pies that the late wife baked and sent to be raffled off to charity. Moreover, they establish a connection with this supposed murder and a carjacking case that Captain Stottlemeyer has been investigating.

Episode Summary: At a county fair, Pat van Ranken bets handful of tickets on a homemade cherry pie. Since at that time he was the only one who joined the raffle, it was a sure win. However, an elderly woman puts in a ticket at the last minute and wins the pie. He follows her to her car and forces the woman to give him the prize. The woman refuses and fights, but she is no match to the man who smashes her head on the steering wheel. Despite witnesses, he manages to drive away with the woman’s car and her dead body.  Continue reading...

The following morning, the police find the abandoned convertible near the Golden Gate Bridge. Quickly, they dismiss the case as a carjacking incident. Monk who arrives at the scene to claim a paycheck for a case he previously help solve disagrees with the police’s conclusion. Captain Stottlemeyer does not want Monk to get involved in the case and the surprising call from Adrian’s brother proves to be a successful distraction.

Ambrose Monk is Adrian’s younger brother. Believe it or not, between the two, Adrian appears normal. They haven’t spoken with each other for seven years. Ambrose who has agoraphobia has not left the house in thirty-two years, not even to attend Trudy’s funeral. In fact, he has not talked to Adrian after Trudy’s tragic death. He lives in the house where they grew up in and still waits for their father’s return. Sharona learns that their father went out one night to buy Chinese food and never came back. Like Adrian, he appears to have a brilliant mind. Ambrose speaks seven languages and is working towards his eighth. He makes a living as a technical writer of appliance manuals. However, Ambrose did not call Adrian to make amends or to chat about his career or family history. He called, because he suspects his neighbor of murdering his wife.

Ambrose narrates the events of the evening of the supposed homicide. According to him, the couple had a big fight that ended with four gunshots. The husband, Pat van Ranken, left the house with his pick-up truck and did not return until the next day. Ambrose becomes even more suspicious when Pat declares that his wife went on vacation and denies everything that Ambrose supposedly witnessed. Adrian puts no mind to his brother’s accusations, but this quickly changes when he notices van Ranken’s pick-up truck. Pat attests that the truck has been broken all summer and was never moved, which invalidates Ambrose’s claim of him driving off with it. However, Adrian finds evidence that it had in fact been moved.

Adrian decides to pay Pat a visit. He uses Ambrose’s bag of flour as an excuse. Pat’s wife borrowed it to make three pies for the town fair. In fact, that was the last time Ambrose saw Mrs. Van Ranken. Adrian makes several observations. One is the state park ticket permit he saw on the truck. Another is the recently bleached kitchen floor. Lastly, is one of Mrs. Van Ranken’s shoe that ended up in the trash. Sharona and Adrian follow Pat, who returns to the county fair to join a sack race. He ends up in second place and wins the pie. Later, they find him scouring the cherry pie. For what reason, Adrian has not a clue. However, Ambrose makes a connection after remembering reading something on the paper about a cherry pie. The news is about Captain Stottlemeyer’s carjacking case, which involved the death of a woman who had won the pie in the county fair. They believe that the woman was killed for the cherry pie.

They relay their theory to Stottlemeyer. However, Pat van Ranken’s statement checks out. His wife did board a plane to Buenos Aires. Without concrete evidence, the Captain could not hold an investigation against van Ranken. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to find the last of the three pies. Thanks to Sharona, she discovers that the pie is being raffled off at a bingo tournament. Lady Luck is not on Monk’s side, since Pat won the game. However, he did figure out what was in the pie that made it worth killing for.

The Captain and Lt. Disher arrive before van Ranken gets the chance to destroy the evidence. Adrian tells them what happened. Mrs. Van Ranken baked three pies for the town fair. She and Pat have a big fight, which ends with Pat shooting her four times. Right after her murder, a representative of the fair comes to collect the pies. Later, when he was cleaning up the kitchen he discovers that one of the shell casings is missing. He deduces that it must have landed on one of the pies that he handed over to the county fair. Since then, he is bent on winning all the three pies to retrieve the bullet that came from his registered gun. With the Captain’s blessing, Sharona scours the pie, but to everybody’s surprise finds nothing.

Given this new fact, Monk with the help of Sharona reenacts what had happened in the van Ranken’s kitchen and soon realizes that the last shell casing landed in Ambrose’s bag of flour. Unfortunately, Pat had also figured it out and is already harassing Ambrose for the flour. Unable to get what he wants, Pat resorts to putting the house on fire. Knowing that his agoraphobic brother would not leave the house, Adrian rushes to save him and successfully drags him outside.

After thirty-two years of seclusion, Ambrose now manages to step out into the world. Adrian learns that Ambrose had been blaming himself for Trudy’s death. He believes that Trudy would not have been in the garage where she died if he had not asked her to buy him cough medicine. Knowing very well that this could have not lead to his wife’s death, Adrian comforts his brother and alleviates his guilt. Together, they visit Trudy’s grave.

Next Monk Episode Summary: Mr. Monk and the TV Star
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