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|Leland Francis Stottlemeyer|
|First appearance||"Mr. Monk and the Candidate"|
|Last appearance||"Mr. Monk and the End - Part II"|
|Created by||David Hoberman|
|Portrayed by||Ted Levine
|Occupation||SFPD Detective - Robbery & Homicide Division|
|Family||Trudy "T.K." Stottlemeyer (née Jensen)
(ex-wife. Divorced in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage.")
(son, with Karen)
(son, with Karen)
(brother) Mother, Father, Sister, Aunt.
Captain Leland Francis Stottlemeyer is a fictional police officer played by Ted Levine on the American crime drama Monk. He is Captain of the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD)'s Homicide Detail, and a longtime (even if long-suffering) friend of Adrian Monk from their days on the force together where he served as Monk's fourth partner and later watch commander. His partner, and source of much strife, is Lieutenant Randy Disher. He, like many of the characters in the show, can be viewed as a parallel to a Sherlock Holmes character (in this case, Inspector Lestrade).
Not much is known of Stottlemeyer's life before he joined the SFPD, though in an interview, Ted Levine stated it was his own belief that Stottlemeyer had served in the military and was later discharged, lived on the east coast, then moved to California as a young man, joining the police force. In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", it is implied that he has lived in the Bay Area since at least the 1970s, as when he is trying to get information from reunion guests about a homicide investigation, he is booed off the stage when the projectionist displays some embarrassing pictures of him wearing riot gear and violently attacking protesters at an anti-nuclear warfare demonstration at UC Berkeley (Monk and Natalie are mortified, while Stottlemeyer insists that the protestors' permit had expired). In "Mr. Monk Makes the Playoffs", it is mentioned that he hasn't lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years. The novel Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant reveals that Stottlemeyer's father was a bartender named Hamish.
Stottlemeyer mentions in "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever" that he was the youngest officer in the history of the SFPD to make detective, giving him at least a few years of seniority on Monk. As Stottlemeyer mentions in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival," when Monk was promoted to detective, he was partnered with Stottlemeyer, and right away, showed off his amazing abilities when he proved that a prostitute's apparent suicide was murder.
Somehow, the two men worked well together, even though Stottlemeyer was later promoted past Monk. At the time Trudy was murdered, Stottlemeyer reluctantly suspended Adrian from duty, though he still remained his friend. Stottlemeyer also looked up Sharona Fleming and hired her as Monk's practical nurse, which helped Monk to recover from a state of near-catatonia caused by the loss of Trudy.
Monk later calls Stottlemeyer "the best cop I know."
In the early episodes of the show especially, there is a certain degree of tension between Stottlemeyer and Monk. Stottlemeyer is somewhat antagonistic toward Monk, as he resents being forced (frequently by the higher-ups, such as the Mayor, the chiefs, or the commissioner) into calling on Monk's assistance, and is frequently exasperated by Monk's many quirks. Also inherent in this hostility is a certain degree of jealousy; Stottlemeyer appears only too aware that he is not nearly the detective that Monk is. Sometimes, this has led to some rather large consequences. For instance, in the novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, he starts to feel a little hostile towards Monk after taking a lot of ribbing from Paul Braddock (and at one time, Braddock actually insults Stottlemeyer, accusing him of using Monk as a metaphorical crutch). As a result, later in the story, upon learning that Monk's consultancy contract has been ripped up, Natalie takes her anger out on Stottlemeyer, suspecting that he is just using the latest round of budget cuts as an excuse to cut Monk (and her) loose as a result of Braddock attacking his abilities.
At the same time, Stottlemeyer is also skeptical of Monk's ability to perform as a police officer, aware that Monk's psychological problems are a very serious handicap to such a stressful and dangerous occupation; in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Carnival", he is forced to betray Monk by honestly revealing his misgivings about allowing Monk back into the police department to the panel evaluating Monk's request. Sharona calls him on his jealousy by telling Stottlemeyer "at least your friend Adam Kirk has the decency to stab people in the front," and noting that Stottlemeyer owes Monk that much since Monk does all the work and he takes all the credit.
Despite these tensions, however, Stottlemeyer also has a great deal of sympathy and respect for Monk; even Stottlemeyer cannot deny Monk's abilities. Once convinced of the validity of one of Monk's theories, Stottlemeyer always proves a staunch ally in apprehending Monk's primary suspects. A turning point for the character came in the second season episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", when Stottlemeyer's own wife Karen is seriously injured in a car accident and put in a coma. Though she recovers, Stottlemeyer is left with a taste of the kind of pain Monk bears from Trudy and becomes far more sympathetic and respectful to him, if still easily exasperated by Monk's more extreme idiosyncrasies.
In "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend," Monk apparently makes a friend out of Hal Tucker, who is revealed later to have just been using him, but Stottlemeyer saves him, identifying Monk as his friend when he stops Hal. Another example of Stottlemeyer's loyalty as a friend came in "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan", when he helps in Monk's continuing investigation of Trudy's murder. He goes with Monk to New York City to follow up on a lead, and harshly confronts New York City police captain Walter Cage for concealing information about Warrick Tennyson that is essential to Monk to solving the murder of his "friend's wife," remarking that that was the only thing he cared about at the time. In "Mr. Monk Is On the Run", when Monk is framed for murder by corrupt sheriff John Rollins, Stottlemeyer proves his loyalty to Monk by helping him fake his own death, risking his own career and freedom.
Stottlemeyer begins to comes to terms with Monk's quirky behavior after the first few episodes, as demonstrated, for example, in "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month." In one scene, Stottlemeyer asks Monk if he is going to pop all the bubbles on a piece of bubble wrap. When Monk says yes, Stottlemeyer begins to help him, and also has two police officers assist him. When one of them asks whether there is any reason why they are doing this, Stottlemeyer tells them, "Nope, just keep popping."
It is mentioned in "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" that Stottlemeyer was Monk's fourth partner on the force, and this came two weeks after Monk made detective (Monk says that his first three partners were good enough guys but their professional chemistry did not work).
Stottlemeyer's relationship with Randy Disher borders from amused tolerance to frustration. He puts up with his idiosyncrasies and even barely resists laughing at some of his outlandish theories and quirks. It is such that he sometimes prefers to talk to Monk instead of him (such as in "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist", when Randy is complaining about an excruciating toothache). However, he appreciates Randy's abilities and even harbors some affection for him, especially in dangerous situations. He even goes out to help Randy win his money back in "Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas". In "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever", he offers to pay off Randy's college loans when he thinks he has won the lottery.
Romantic relationships and family
Stottlemeyer's recurring problems with his romantic relationships are a frequent running gag of the show.
Leland married Karen (Glenne Headly) in 1985. They were married for twenty years. Leland states that they have known each other since their childhood in "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife". They have two sons, Jared and Max.
Leland and Karen have recurring marital problems and are known to have separated twice. In "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," Monk explains to Natalie that the couple have practically nothing in common (case in point: he recalls one weekend when Leland went on a hunting trip, while Karen stayed behind to organize a rally for stronger gun control).
In the season 2 episode "Mr. Monk and the Very Very Old Man", Karen has to beg Leland to investigate the murder of Miles Holling, the world's oldest man (115 years of age). Leland promises to her that he will investigate if Monk believes that there has been foul play in Miles Holling's death. Because Leland never watched her documentary Miles Holling: The Human Time Machine, Karen kicks him out of the house and Leland is forced to temporarily room with Monk.
In the season 2 episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife", Karen is badly injured after when a sniper lethally shoots a tow truck driver, sending the truck into a head-on collision with Karen's car. Leland is left with the same type of pain that Monk has learned to deal with.
In the season 3 episode "Mr. Monk Gets Fired", Karen is seen filming a documentary about life behind-the-scenes in the SFPD, capturing several moments of the new commissioner's anger as well as Leland and Disher arresting Paul Harley for a premeditated murder and an arson.
In the season 4 episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage," when Leland is working on the murder of Jimmy "Chicklet" Botsdale, one of the cops on the scene, Sergeant Ryan Sharkey Jr. claims to be having an affair with Karen. Leland punches him and afterwards, he decides to ask Karen if she knows Sharkey. Karen suspiciously denies it, but Leland suspect that it might prove why she's taken to sleeping in the guest room (which she claims is because of his snoring) and her forgetting their anniversary.
Because Leland is taking an anger management class, he has to ask Monk and Natalie to follow Karen for him. They are able to take a picture of Karen meeting someone, but they can't get a good one because of an incident a few minutes earlier where Monk insists on making Natalie take three pennies from a fountain to make the amount of money in it 'an even $10', so Monk is taking the photos even while being dragged away by mall security guards.
At the end of the episode, when Leland shows the picture to Karen, she says she is seeing a divorce lawyer, as she has decided to end their marriage.
In the season 8 episode "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man," it is mentioned that Karen was Leland's second wife, and he was married once before, but that marriage was annulled after only five days.
In "Mr. Monk, Private Eye," Stottlemeyer meets and falls for a local city realtor, Linda Fusco (Sharon Lawrence), after Linda hires Monk and Natalie to investigate a fender bender involving her purple 2006 Buick Lucerne. By the end of the episode, Linda even sets up Stottlemeyer with an apartment just across the street from her own.
Despite being acquainted, Stottlemeyer's dates with Linda are usually interrupted or cancelled as a result of his duties. In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan", Linda is forced to participate in a bachelor auction and pay $2000 to buy Stottlemeyer for six hours of her time (at the same auction, Monk gets "bought" by Marci Maven). However, their date is interrupted when Stottlemeyer realizes that Marci's neighbor John Ringel murdered his wife Debbie and framed Marci's dead dog.
Linda and Stottlemeyer continue dating until the season 6 episode "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend", when Stottlemeyer is planning to propose to her during their shared trip to Hawaii. However, shortly before they leave, Linda's former business partner Sean Corcoran is shot and killed by a shotgun-wielding assailant while showing off a house to a couple. Monk and Natalie take the case, but they are both alarmed when they uncover a large amount of evidence that leads them to suspect Linda is the killer: from a photo of her in her office posing with her late grandfather with a twelve-gauge shotgun, they realize she owns a weapon similar to that used in the murder. They also discover that she has an obvious motive - that Sean was preparing to start his own company taking a lot of Linda's clients with him - and she is the same height as the killer, has a key to the house, and even wears the same shade of lipstick that a witness described the shooter as wearing. Unfortunately, they have a hard time convincing anyone else, especially Stottlemeyer, that Linda killed her partner.
To prove Linda guilty, Monk and Natalie carefully set up a sting operation that exposes how Linda created her airtight alibi for the murder (she talked to Stottlemeyer from a duplicate of her bedroom constructed in the back of a box rental truck that she had rented using her maiden name and previous address). Stottlemeyer reluctantly arrests her, and is left to ask himself whether his relationship with Linda was the real deal, or she just conceived it because she needed a cop to be her alibi for the murder, one question that will never be answered. Taking Disher to accompany him to Hawaii, he secretly throws the engagement ring into the ocean. When Randy asks what he did, Stottlemeyer responds, "That was nothing. That was just a rock," which indicates that he planned to propose to Linda while in Hawaii.
Trudy "T.K." Jensen
In the eighth and final season, Stottlemeyer meets and starts dating journalist Trudy "T.K." Jensen (Virginia Madsen), beginning in the episode "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk". When Sharona sees T.K.'s picture in Stottlemeyer's office in the season 8 episode "Mr. Monk and Sharona", she says Stottlemeyer must feel like he won the lottery, and he heartily agrees (it's worth noting that when Stottlemeyer won the lottery in the season 7 episode "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," he was accused of having schemed with Natalie to rig the machine).
In the episode "Mr. Monk Is the Best Man", Leland marries T.K. However, as the days count down until their wedding, someone starts making threats against Leland and T.K. - including ransacking his house, blowing up his car, making threatening phone calls to T.K., and setting off a bomb at the wedding rehearsal. Monk eventually finds out that these acts were the work of T.K.'s friend and maid of honor, Stephanie Briggs (Teri Polo), who was trying to recover a gun she had used earlier that week to kill fellow ecoterrorist Martin Kettering (Stephanie and Kettering were members of an ecoterrorist group based in Denver called the Earth Avengers).