Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Season One of Monk begins with this first episode of a two-part story (originally telecast as a single two-hour "TV" movie). On psychiatric leave from the San Francisco PD since the unsolved 1997 murder of his wife Trudy, former police detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) returns as a private eye to help the department solve two seemingly unconnected murders. The first victim is a woman named Nicole Vasquez; the second is a professional bodyguard killed during an assassination attempt on mayoral candidate Warren St. Claire (Michael Hogan). Monk determines that the link between the two murders may well by St. Claire's wife Miranda (Gail O'Grady), but his efforts to solve the crimes are impeded every inch of the way by the emotional "tics" he has developed since his wife's death: Namely, an obsessive-compulsive streak to end all obsessive-compulsive streaks, and a veritable laundry list of phobias including fear of the dark, of heights, of crowds, and especially of milk! Although most of the Monk trademarks are established in this opening episode (the lead character's obsessive-compulsiveness, his photographic memory, et.al.), there are a few significant departures from the weekly series proper: For one, the character played by Jason Gray-Stanford is named Lt. Deacon rather than Lt. Disher; and for another, the role of Sharona's son Benjy is played by Kane Ritchotte instead of Max Morrow.