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Recap / Monk S 7 E 15 Mr Monk And The Magician

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Monk's neighbor, Kevin Dorfman, is murdered while filling in for another magician. Monk suspects the person he was subbing for, Karl Torini. However, Karl made a phone call from Nevada around the time Kevin was killed.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Back for the Dead: Kevin had been missing for a while since his last appearance. He returns in this episode, only to be killed in the opening segment.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Torini has been caught and arrested, thus avenging Kevin Dorfman. But Kevin is still dead. Nonetheless, Monk respectfully insists on watching Kevin's video-taped last will, having found a new appreciation for his neighbor's memory.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kevin makes mention of how the piano wires he uses to "levitate" a cane are painted black so that the casual observer can't see them. After Kevin is killed, and Randy mentions that he was apparently strangled with piano wire, Monk notices black paint traces, recalls Kevin's earlier comment about the wires, and realizes the killer is a magician.
  • He Knows Too Much: Kevin, who was working for Torini at the time, mentions something that makes Torini fear that Kevin could figure out or let information slip that would tell someone else that he's smuggling something (drugs), so he kills him to keep him quiet.
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  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Torini poses as a repairman to sneak into the Magic Castle theater and kill Kevin.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Monk's upstairs neighbor Kevin is killed by Karl Torini the night he debuts as an amateur magician = discrepancies in Torini's airline receipts that were evidence of Torini's involvement in a drug trafficking ring.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Natalie is livid when Torini speaks ill of Kevin's memory, saying that despite his chatterbox tendencies, he was still a decent and interesting person.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Monk only found out about Torini's smuggling due to investigating Kevin's death. Ironically, Torini had murdered Kevin only because he feared that someone would discover the smuggling.
  • Shared Family Quirks: It's shown that all of Kevin Dorfman's relatives are big talkers, just as Kevin himself was. Natalie is visibly disturbed to learn this.
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  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Torini mocks how talkative Kevin was in life, Natalie defends his memory, stating that as talkative as he was, Kevin was a remarkable and sensitive person who didn't deserve to die.
  • Sleight of Tongue: When Karl and his stage assistant Tanya are preparing to stuff Monk in the furnace, Tanya takes pity on him and tries to pass him the key to his handcuffs, which is in her mouth. Being Monk, though, the very thought of swapping a plot device orally freaks him out enough to alert his captor.
  • Video Will: Kevin made a video to be viewed in the case of his death (or by the person developing the film at the photo shop, etc), which Natalie and Monk view at the end of the episode.
  • We Need a Distraction: When Monk and Natalie go to Torini's loft apartment to question him, Torini makes his entrance using a classical magician's trick of misdirection: First, Monk notices one of Torini's gadgets, a Zig-Zag Cabinet. As he's noticing it, Torini's voice comes booming over hidden loudspeakers and instructs him to step away from the cabinet. At that point, fog machines emit colored fog in the room in front of them. Monk and Natalie's attention is drawn to the fog, thinking that Torini will make a dramatic entrance from the fog, but it turns out the machines are meant to keep them from noticing Torini walk up behind them until he clears his throat.
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