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Recap / Monk S 4 E 2 Mr Monk Goes Home Again

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Monk's Halloween starts off far too atmospheric when an armored car driver is shot multiple times outside a store, but he's quickly distracted by far more personal problems when his brother Ambrose calls to tell him that their father is coming home. Monk goes back to their childhood home to wait. But why is a mysterious Frankenstein's monster trying to steal candy?

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

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  • Celebrity Paradox: When Stottlemeyer and Disher are going over the police sketch of the gunman created based on the eyewitnesses' description, Randy comments that the sketch has an uncanny resemblance to Kiefer Sutherland.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When Monk takes Julie trick-or-treating, they meet Mrs. Gilstrap, who tells them that she always eats a Neptune bar before bed. This ultimately becomes an important clue to the mystery.
    • Ambrose mentions that thanks to how carefully he calculates how much candy to buy, he only had one candy bar left over from last year. It turns out that the Neptune bar he ate is that one, not a poisoned one.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • An example where the "gunman" is an animal; the same pigeon that Stottlemeyer shooed away from the crime scene turns up later, poisoned. It turns out to be the last clue to the puzzle.
    • The Frankenstein's monster who attacked Ambrose and stole candy from trick-or-treaters was Mr. Gilstrap, trying to get back the last poisoned Neptune bar.
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  • Continuity Nod: Monk mentions that the last time Ambrose left his house was because it was on fire, and Monk had to pull him out, which happened in the earlier episode "Mr Monk and the Three Pies."
  • Cry into Chest: Monk sobs and leans on Ambrose's chest during the ambulance ride.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Ambrose has kept their father's study exactly as he left it for thirty years. After he has seemingly failed to show up, Monk begins cleaning out the study in a rage.
  • Halloween Episode: The events of the episode, which include a murder and attempted murder, take place on Halloween. Randy suggests this Halloween is starting a new tradition of something nasty happening on that day.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: After getting into an argument with Monk about their father, Ambrose indulges in the Halloween candy he bought. However, one of the candies he eats is a Neptune bar.
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  • I Am Not Shazam: The tendency for people to call the monster "Frankenstein" is brought up. Stottlemeyer and Monk just call him Frankenstein, leading Monk's brother Ambrose to repeatedly correct the both of them each time they make the mistake. Ambrose doesn't seem aware this is a common mistake; he warns Stottlemeyer that calling the monster "Frankenstein" will just confuse everyone.
  • It's All My Fault: Both Ambrose and Adrian Monk blame themselves for their dad leaving.
  • Maybe Ever After: Natalie gently turns Ambrose down when he asks her on a date because dating her boss' brother could get messy. However, she tells him "maybe" if someday she has another job. Then, at the end of the episode, Natalie asks about the date, apparently due to something she said to him when they thought he had eaten a poisoned Neptune bar.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Ambrose asks Monk if he and Natalie are together because it's been almost a decade since Trudy's death and because he thinks Monk is the "ladies' man" of the family. Monk tells him it isn't like that.
  • Noodle Incident: Monk threatens to tell his and Ambrose's dad about an incident with the electric shaver.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Ambrose tells Monk he loves him during the ambulance ride. Given that they think he consumed a poisoned Neptune bar, it overlaps with Dying Declaration of Love.
  • Razor Apples: Paul Gilstrap planned to use poisoned Neptune candy bars to cover the murder of his wife. Unfortunately, his employer caught him putting the poison back, which meant that the police would connect him to any tetrachlorodrine poisoning deaths, and he had to get all of the candy bars he had poisoned out of circulation.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Paul Gilstrap had been plotting to kill several people with poisoned candy bars to cover up the murder of his wife. However, he was forced to abort the mission and get all the poisoned candy bars back. One of them was taken by the armored car driver. Seeing that the driver has already taken a bite, Gilstrap knows that he has to act fact because if the driver simply collapses in the parking lot, the police would have the body autopsied. So he catches up to the driver at his truck, and after the poison hits the driver and he collapses, Gilstrap grabs the driver's pistol and shoots him five times, on the thought that the police won't look for evidence of poisoning in the body of a shooting victim.
  • Skewed Priorities: Ambrose, after being attacked by someone trying to steal candy from him, is more worried about whether or not the attacker took more then one candy bar.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": It's revealed that Ambrose was named after a pet tortoise.
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