Adrian Monk, a former policeman discharged for psychiatric reasons, hopes to get back into law enforcement. His efforts to prove himself get caught up in public politics when a bodyguard is killed during a mayoral campaign speech.
This episode includes examples of the following tropes:
- Absence of Evidence: Monk realizes that Sykes is lying about being paralyzed after seeing his and Stottlemeyer's shoes. They're both scuffed; if Sykes were paralyzed, his shoes wouldn't be used and would look like new.
- Act of True Love: Sharona manages to force official Sheldon Burger into promising her that he will give her anything she asks when she turns up on his doorstep to ask for it. She uses it by the end of the episode, not on anything for herself, but rather to ensure that Monk gets a chance to prove himself after having messed up in letting Sykes past him.
- Analogy Backfire: Monk reveals that mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire's campaign manager Gavin Lloyd was embezzling from the campaign and hired hitman Ian Sykes to kill bookkeeper Nicole Vasques (for discovering the embezzling) and bodyguard Jason Ronstadt (for turning down Lloyd's offer to kill Vasques). St. Claire confronts his traitorous campaign manager:Warren St. Claire: You said you were my Moses!Adrian Monk: And like the real Moses, he won't be joining you in the Promised Land.
- Brick Joke: When explaining why she likes her (very stressful) job, Sharona tells her date that she feels like Lois Lane. Later, Stottlemeyer asks who Sharona thinks she is. Monk answers with the same name.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- Gavin Lloyd pointed at the buildings after "assassination attempt" happened. Monk later realizes Lloyd was in on the plot because given the echoing effect from the buildings, he wouldn't have known otherwise the shots' origins.
- When Sheldon Burger approaches Sharona to beg her to go back to Monk so he can solve the case, Sharona wrangles a promise out of him that someday, she will appear to ask a favor and he'll say yes. Guess what Sharona uses to make sure Monk gets a chance to prove his case.
- Gavin Lloyd is said to have been suspected of embezzling money in a previous campaign, though he wasn't charged. Sure enough, the two murders in the episode are intended to cover up his more recent embezzling.
- Conspicuously Public Assassination: Ian Sykes, disguised as a painter, opens fire on a campaign rally with a Weatherby Fibermark rifle, supposedly trying to kill mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire. St. Claire survives, but his bodyguard Jason Ronstadt is fatally shot. Then it turns out Ronstadt was Sykes's target, not St. Claire at all, and Sykes's employer (the candidate's campaign manager, who had originally hired Sykes to kill a volunteer who had found evidence that Lloyd was embezzling money, and had originally solicited Ronstadt to commit that murder) wanted Ronstadt killed in public because it would look like an attempt on St. Claire's life, giving the guy extra publicity and an upswing in votes.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: A plot point; when Jason Ronstadt is shot, everyone assumes he was the victim of an assassination attempt on St. Claire. Actually, he was the intended target all along; he knew too much.
- He Knows Too Much: Two examples, both linked to each other. Volunteer Nicole Vasques finds missing money in the books. Lloyd tries to hire Jason Ronstadt to get rid of her, but Jason refuses, so Lloyd hires Sykes to kill both of them.
- Shout-Out: Sharona and Monk use the codenames Heckle and Jeckle when putting their plan to expose Lloyd into action.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Sharona quits after Monk ruins her first date by pointing out that the guy is lying about a number of things. Mr. Burger successfully begs her into going back shortly thereafter.