Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty
|"Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty"|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Andrei Belgrader|
|Written by||Peter Wolk|
|Original air date||March 17, 2006|
"Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" is the sixteenth and final episode of the fourth season of the American comedy-drama detective television series Monk, and is the show's 61st episode overall. The series follows Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), a private detective with obsessive–compulsive disorder and multiple phobias, and his assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard). In this episode, Monk is requested to be part of a jury for a minor crime but discovers one of the jurors is involved in a bigger crime.
With influences from the film 12 Angry Men, the episode was written by Peter Wolk. It was mainly shot in Los Angeles and was directed by Andrei Belgrader. When "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" first aired in the United States on USA Network on March 17, 2006, it was watched by 5.4 million viewers.
Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) capture Miguel Escobar (Carlos Gómez), a drug lord who is on the FBI's Most Wanted List. They soon encounter FBI agent Lapides (Michael Weaver), who informs them that Escobar will be transferred to the federal government's custody. Stottlemeyer and Disher are to babysit Escobar until the extradition hearing.
Elsewhere, Monk (Tony Shalhoub) has been selected for jury duty; he finds himself sitting in on the case of a young man named Robert Perry (Edo Walker), accused of stabbing and robbing a man named Karl Pillemer (Blake Silver). The other jurors are convinced of the accused's guilt, but Monk is the lone holdout. He observed that the hole in the victim's jeans show that Pillemer was sitting, not standing (as Pillemer had claimed), when attacked. The wound, Monk figures, was self-inflicted and the knife placed in Perry's hand while he was sleeping so Pillemer could pocket the money.
Several of the jury members change their vote, but Monk is distracted by a dog sniffing around a dumpster outside. Monk asks Natalie (Traylor Howard), who is bringing Monk's lunch, to call Stottlemeyer and tell him there is a body in the dumpster. Disher finds the body of a woman with no I.D., and Monk remembers that she was in the assembly room when the jurors were selected. The following day, Monk shows the jurors evidence to prove Pillemer's guilt. The jurors are convinced, except for Juror No. 12, Pat (Emmanuelle Vaugier), who changes her vote to guilty before leaving for the bathroom. On Pat's jacket, Monk finds traces of lime, which was used on the dumpster to hide the body.
Monk deduces that Pat killed the woman to get on jury using her identity, and has changed her vote to delay the verdict and stay in the jury room. However, none of the jurors, not even Monk, know that 'Pat' is Escobar's girlfriend, and it is the day that Escobar will be transferred to federal custody. Monk asks the other jurors to help him reveal the woman's deception. When she returns, they switch their votes to guilty to see her reaction. She reacts by producing a gun, knocking the bailiff unconscious and leaving the jurors bound and gagged to their chairs. She draws the blinds down but leaves them uneven.
Meanwhile, Escobar is about to get on the federal courthouse elevator when his girlfriend comes over and shoots the guards. The two make their way up the elevator to the garbage chute, which is their escape route. Natalie, passing outside, sees the uneven blinds in the jury room window and knows something must be wrong. She frees Monk and they phone Stottlemeyer. When Escobar and his lover come down the chute, they land in the garbage dumpster, only to run into an assortment of waiting cops, who take them into custody.
"Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" was written by Peter Wolk and directed by Andrei Belgrader. While this marked Belgader's fourth credit in the series,[a] it was Wolk's second episode, after writing season three's "Mr. Monk Gets Fired". Wolk, who previously worked as a criminal defense attorney, had also written coutroom-themed works such as The Defenders and Fighting the Odds. The story was written by Wolk over a week in 2005 in Summit, New Jersey. The episode was filmed in Los Angeles, apart from the opening Chinatown chase scene, which was shot on-location in November 2005 in San Francisco. Because of the opportunity to film on-location, the opening scene was re-written.
The jury subplot was heavily inspired by the 1957 film 12 Angry Men. For example, Juror No. 4 Mr. Cobb was named after Lee J. Cobb (Juror No. 3 in the film), while the panning shot of the jury room was inspired by an identical shot toward the end of 12 Angry Men.
"Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" was first broadcast in the United States on the USA Network at 10 pm EST on March 17, 2006. According to Nielsen Media Research, the episode was viewed by an estimated number of 5.4 million viewers.
Adam Finley of TV Squad called the episode "decent," but later went on to say "[Monk's] interaction between the rest of the jurors was hysterical." A TV Guide's reviewer called it "a humdinger of an episode", praised the chemistry between Shalhoub and Howard, and said the "ID-idea" joke was "neo-screwball comedy at its best." The Digital Fix's Jon White praised the homage to 12 Angry Men, saying it shows the "obvious" care for the last four episodes of the season received. The Brazilian counterpart to Universal Channel, who broadcast Monk in the country, elected it as one of the ten best episodes of the series.
- Belgrader previously directed season three's "Mr. Monk Gets Fired" and "Mr. Monk and the Kid" and season four's "Mr. Monk Gets Drunk".
- "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty – Credits". USA Network. Archived from the original on July 26, 2007.
- "Andrei Belgrader". AllMovie. All Media Network. Archived from the original on February 5, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- Wolk, Peter (March 17, 2006). "Production Blog: Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty". USA Network. Archived from the original on June 10, 2007.
- "Shows A-Z – Monk on USA". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- "Development Update: March 23-24". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. March 24, 2006. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Finley, Adam (March 18, 2006). "Monk: "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty"". TV Squad. AOL. Archived from the original on June 3, 2007.
- "Monk The season finale already?..." TV Guide. CBS Interactive. March 20, 2006. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- White, John (November 8, 2006). "Monk Season 4". The Digital Fix. Poisonous Monkey. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- "Os 10 melhores episódios de Monk" [The 10 best episodes of Monk]. universal.globo.com (in Portuguese). Globosat. September 20, 2014. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015.