It's Mr. Monk's birthday, but he has no time to celebrate. He has to solve a murder. Plus, he doesn't like to celebrate his birthdays after a tragic episode in his childhood.
First, let's get to the murder: a matenance man is killed one night as he is is compacted by a garbage disposal. Ouch!
The day after, Natalie tries to bring Monk to a surprise 50th Birthday Party. He suspects the party, and tells her he doesn't celebrate birthdays. He later reveals to her why: one birthday, he invited all these people over for a party. They came, and so did Cowboy Hank, who entertained everyone. After he left, the kids left. They didn't even stay for cake. Though amusing, it's not a horrible story, and Natilie knows this. She decided to throw him a party anyway, one that he won't suspect.
But back to the case... Monk sees the lights off in the warehouse, and comes to the conclusion that someone must have turned the lights off. The only other person in the building at that time was Richard Meckler, who is an attorney selling the automatic vacuum cleaner made by Kurt Pressman. Monk is amazed by the contraption. During a reception, Meckler and a few others take a sip of Diet Coke. Then Meckler dies.
At each place they go during the investigation, Monk suspects he's at a surprise party, amuzingly looking for people in the oddest spots. It was also revealed at the morgue where Monk was looking under the sheets for people that Meckler was poisoned with a fast acting toxin. But who did it and why?
The do a renactment. But Meckler didn't eat any food. The only thing he could have been poisoned with was a drink, but he shared his drink with others. The plot thickens...
Later, Monk cleans the vacuum's filter when you weren't supposed to, and breaks it. He takes it to Pressman to fix, though when Natalie tells him he can't because he has to see Dr. Bell, he suspects that his party would be at Dr. Bells and Natalie gives up. Pressman says he can't until after his friend's funeral. On their way home, someone opens fire on the two of them, and they run into a Port-a-John for cover. The assasin hauls them to... Monk's surprise party!!! And Monk admits he was surprised!
Pressman is also at the party, but takes his drink and slips it away. Unfortunately for him, Monk is very observant and notices his ice cubes are different from everyone elses. He peices this together, and solves the case.
Here's what happened: Bradley Foster invented the vacuum cleaner and took his idea to Meckler. Meckler killed Foster and had Pressman pretend to be the inventor. But Pressman got greedy and killed Meckler so he could have all the money. When Pressman points out he drank from the same glass, Monk looks at his own drinks and realizes that his ice cubes are square but everyone else's are round. The poison was in the ice cubes, and Pressman drank from the glass before the ice cubes with the poison melted. Cowboy Hank arrives to lasso Pressman and the police take the killer away.
After the incident, Cowboy Hank puts on a show, and no one leaves. He admit's it's a great birthday, and tells her not to do it again. Oh, and that TK Stollemeyer likes- her first name is Trudy.
A great funny episode this week, I quite enjoyed it. Next week's also loooks interesting. Sharona is back! Though I prefer Natalie, it'll be interesting to see what conspires.