Monk's irritation at a man camping out on the street corner inadvertently leads him into a new case when it turns out the man is mourning his wife, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident. Monk agrees to help him, and may very well catch the man responsible, though not before his own past leaks into the investigation...
This episode includes examples of the following tropes:
- Bittersweet Ending: Monk solves the case, giving Samuel closure. But both men (who became good friends to an extent) have to say goodbye shortly thereafter, as Samuel only meant to be in the United States for a short while.
- Bowdlerise: Natalie gives some Samuel some comedy CDs including one by Bill Cosby. When the episode airs on the Hallmark Channel, Cosby's name is muted due to the sexual assault scandal that occurred several years after the episode was made.
- Close to Home: Monk takes the case of an African man whose wife was killed in a hit-and-run incident because, as a grieving widower himself, he understands the man's pain. As the episode progresses, it becomes clear that he's letting his emotions about Trudy's death get too close to the case (Stottlemeyer even warns him about this).
- Gilligan Cut: Monk is distracted by Samuel Waingaya burning incense outside the apartment. Natalie gets a call about a murder case. Monk is thankful for it, saying he should be able to breathe. Cut to him covering his mouth and saying he can't breathe as he enters a house with a corpse that's been dead for a few weeks.
- Say My Name: A third-person variation. Monk is helping his new Nigerian friend Samuel figure out who killed his wife. In the process, he frequently confuses her with Trudy. When Samuel and Monk apprehend the killer, they proceed to beat the tar out of him. They then shove pictures of their wives in his face and demand, "Say her name!"
- Super-Speed Reading: While reading a magazine with Natalie, Monk rapidly flips through it and then gets chewed out by Natalie for giving her no time to read the articles. Monk, of course, makes fun of her "slow" reading speed by claiming they'll have a new President in office by the time she's finished. Of course, speed-reading is justified for Monk due to his Hyper-Awareness.