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Recap / Monk S 2 E 3 Mr Monk Goes To The Ball Game

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The aftermath of one of Benjy's baseball games is interrupted because of the murder of millionaire executive Lawrence Hammond and his wife Erin. Stottlemeyer thinks Hammond himself was the target, but Monk suspects that the killer really wanted Erin. During the investigation, he meets Scott Gregorio, who was connected to Mrs. Hammond, and following through with this case may just allow the detective to win the game on both the professional and the home front.

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This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • All for Nothing: Walker Browning attempts to assault Scott Gregorio and then kills Mrs. Hammond, all so Gregorio wouldn't break the record and the price on the record-breaking ball Browning caught wouldn't drop...only for all that to go out the window when his dog, Toby, gets ahold of the ball and chews it to a ragged pulp.
  • Batter Up!: Walker Browning attacked Scott Gregorio with a baseball bat trying to keep him from breaking the record.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: Browning's dog, Toby, a Dobermann, keeps growling and barking throughout the proceedings, and when Monk asks if he's hazardous, his owner answers that he isn't to him.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: When Monk and Sharona walk into the Hammonds' house, Monk quips that he and Trudy considered buying the same house, which is not likely on a San Francisco cop's salary. Sharona initially asks him if he's serious and then asks if he's feeling okay when she realizes he was joking.
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  • Cringe Comedy: Monk becoming the replacement umpire is played for awkward comedy up until Benjy comes to bat.
  • Crisis Makes Perfect: Benjy fails most attempts at hitting the ball throughout the episode. During the final game (and after some coaching from a professional player), he manages to hit the winning run.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Sharona's tone and phrasing indicate how petty she finds it that Walker Browning was willing to kill two people just so he would be able to sell a baseball.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Monk realizes the meaning of Lawrence Hammond's last words when Gregorio explains the acronym HELP to Benjy, giving Monk the realization that the seemingly nonsensical sentence stood for the killer's license plate number.
    • When Stottlemeyer gives the game-winning ball back to Benjy, he advises him to keep it as once he gets to the big time, it'll be worth a lot. This cues Monk in to the motive and culprit.
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  • Gory Discretion Shot: When the shooter steps up to the car in which the Hammonds are waiting, the moment he opens fire, we cut to an external view of the shooter firing into the car.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Stottlemeyer says he can't discuss the baseball game during a homicide investigation...and then gives Randy a complete rundown.
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: Scott asks if there's anything he can do for Monk. Monk ponders it a moment...and then the scene cuts to Gregorio coaching Benjy.
  • Nice to the Waiter: The housekeeper tells Monk that Lawrence Hammond never forgot the birthdays of his staff, or their kids. She actually tears up during the interview about the case.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Subverted; the trucker who discovered Mr. Hammond thought he was talking gibberish, but his last sentence was actually a mnemonic to remember the license number of the car that hit him.
  • Rasputinian Death: Mr. Hammond was shot and run over...and still lived to give a Dying Clue about his murderer.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Monk tries to clean off a smudge on a basketball, unaware that it was an autograph from Michael Jordan. The owner says it's okay; he'll just get Michael to re-sign the ball. Sharona has to tell Monk that he's not serious.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In the opening, after Erin Hammond brings up the possibility of criminal charges raised by one of the reporters, her husband tries to reassure her and tells her he'll let her know when she should start being concerned. This is right before both of them are killed by the perp of the week.
    • When Dr. Kroger asks Monk about whether he and Trudy ever considered children, Monk says he kept putting it off, convinced they had time. It's obvious that in retrospect he recognizes the irony.
  • Who Dun It: An unconventional example in that the culprit isn't actually introduced until Monk catches him.
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