Natalie Teeger

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Natalie Teeger
Howard 09.jpg
Production still of Traylor Howard in character in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"
First appearance"Mr. Monk and the Red Herring"
Last appearance"Mr. Monk and the End – Part II"
Created byDavid Hoberman
Portrayed byTraylor Howard (2005–2009)
Information
Aliases"Dirty Natalie"[1]
"The Eager Ms. Teeger"[2][3]
Natalie Teegerb[4]
GenderFemale
OccupationCurrent: Adrian Monk's personal assistant
Former: Bartender
FamilyBobby Davenport (father)
Peggy Davenport (mother)
Jonathan Davenport (brother)
Spouse(s)Mitch Teeger (deceased)
ChildrenJulie Teeger (daughter)
 
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Natalie Teeger
Howard 09.jpg
Production still of Traylor Howard in character in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert"
First appearance"Mr. Monk and the Red Herring"
Last appearance"Mr. Monk and the End – Part II"
Created byDavid Hoberman
Portrayed byTraylor Howard (2005–2009)
Information
Aliases"Dirty Natalie"[1]
"The Eager Ms. Teeger"[2][3]
Natalie Teegerb[4]
GenderFemale
OccupationCurrent: Adrian Monk's personal assistant
Former: Bartender
FamilyBobby Davenport (father)
Peggy Davenport (mother)
Jonathan Davenport (brother)
Spouse(s)Mitch Teeger (deceased)
ChildrenJulie Teeger (daughter)

Natalie Jane Teeger (née Davenport) is a fictional character on the American crime drama/comedy Monk. She becomes Adrian Monk's personal assistant midway through season three. She is portrayed by Traylor Howard.

Traylor Howard was introduced after USA Network released actress Bitty Schram, who portrayed Sharona Fleming, mid-way through the show's third season, stating they wanted to take the character in new directions.[5] Natalie was hence introduced in the role of Monk's assistant to fill in the void left by Schram's departure.

Relationship with Adrian Monk[edit]

Natalie first meets Monk in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring", after two men break into her house. The first man pretends to be a water meter inspector, but she catches him snooping in the living room. The second guy, Brian Lemmon, breaks in through a side window. Natalie happens to walk in on him and unintentionally kills him in self-defense with a pair of scissors. Captain Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Disher, baffled, suggest to Natalie to take her case to Monk. Monk's former assistant Sharona has just left, and Monk asks Natalie if she would become his new assistant. Initially, she refuses, but over the course of the investigation, Monk proves himself kind to Natalie's daughter Julie, which makes Natalie change her mind and accept the position (not to mention, an opportunity to get out of her current job as a bartender, which she admits to hating). That episode mostly served as a way of bringing both Natalie and Julie into the series.

However, the transition from Sharona to Natalie is not a very smooth transition, as Monk and Natalie's chemistry is shown to be uneasy until at least the end of the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic." In the novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, Natalie mentions that for a while, Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher frequently compared her to Sharona, but finally accepted her for who she was.

Since becoming Monk's assistant, Natalie has become an extremely devoted friend, as well as a devoted assistant. On several occasions, Natalie says explicitly that she loves him, though she might mean that in a platonic sense. Such an example of this is in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus".

There have been occasions where Natalie is the only person to support Monk's ideas (such as in "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective," when Monk suspects loser-private eye Marty Eels of cheating), and she hence proves a valuable ally in helping him gather the evidence needed to make an arrest. She is also shown to be rather cunning, and is able to trick other people into doing things that help Monk with a case. In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," when Monk suspects Linda Fusco of murdering her partner, Natalie lures Linda away from her house by pretending to look at an apartment listing, giving Monk time to search her place. Later, at Linda and Stottlemeyer's going away party, Monk and Natalie set up an ingenious sting operation to arrest Linda, where Monk pretends to talk to Natalie from Linda's house on a webcam (though in actuality, he is sitting in the back of an impounded rental truck that Linda had used to trick Monk, Natalie and Stottlemeyer into supplying her with an airtight alibi).[6] In the season seven episode "Mr. Monk and the Bully," when Monk and Natalie are trailing Roderick Brody's wife, Natalie tricks a businessman at a bar into taking a photo of their target. The episode also establishes that she has picked up some basic legal knowledge working with Monk, as evidenced in a scene where Natalie tries to withhold Roderick's name from Captain Stottlemeyer on the grounds of client confidentiality.

Despite their platonic relationship, there have been instances throughout the series where other characters believe that Natalie suppresses romantic feelings for Monk through gestures and comments, or even think they are a couple, though Natalie herself tends to be highly amused by the suggestion: for instance, in "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion", when Dianne Brooks (Cynthia Stevenson) first spots Monk and Natalie together, Dianne asks "Ahhh, oh, so you two aren't..." and points between them as if to indicate "dating"; Natalie grins and firmly replies "No!" In the season seven episode "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," when Natalie (as a lottery hostess) is signing autographs and Monk grabs some wipes from her, one of Natalie's fans asks her if Monk is her boyfriend, only for Natalie to correct her.

Usually, when the two deny these comments, the asker will look suspiciously at Natalie, as if he or she thought there was something more in her denial. There are even instances when Stottlemeyer and Disher will give each other looks as if they think they see something in Natalie's reactions to Monk's situation or how she talks about him. Natalie's family has also given similar reactions, as well as characters from various episodes. While this may be a coincidence of Traylor Howard's acting style, it is definitely a noteworthy aspect of Natalie's relationship with Monk.

In the season six episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Bank," when Monk goes undercover as a guard at his bank to determine which employee might be an inside man, Natalie is impressed enough that she spends several minutes complimenting Monk on his appearance while wearing the uniform. She asks if he will be allowed to keep it after he ends his assignment. While this adds to the ambiguity in any potential attraction, it could also be interpreted as being that Natalie is attracted to men in uniform.

Over the course of her relationship with Monk, Natalie is shown to also pick up a few detective instincts of her own on the way. In fact, in the novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space, Stottlemeyer asks Natalie to try to figure out what happened at one crime scene, and she makes an accurate guess of what happened (without making much of an effort, mostly because this particular murder happened to be a straightforward shooting). By the time of the novel Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop, Natalie has picked up enough skills to start asking herself questions about the case at hand. In the 2011 novel Mr. Monk on the Couch, a subplot has Natalie attempting to figure out the identity of a man found dead in a seedy hotel room with a phony ID. Monk and the police are not interested in pursuing the case, given that said man is determined to have died of natural causes. At the same time, Natalie helps Monk investigate a series of violent knifings occurring in the general vicinity of her neighborhood.

Biographic notes[edit]

Natalie's past is filled with instances of youthful devilry, in a seeming deviation from her strict posh upbringing. Certain elements of her backstory are revealed in a number of different novels and episodes:

Natalie has held several jobs, including bartending, which she quit to become Monk's assistant. The exact number of jobs Natalie held before meeting Monk (17 in all) is mentioned in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding" when Peggy asks her to sample a Bloody Mary, and Natalie has to remind her that she isn't bartending any more. It takes Peggy a few tries to get the current job right. During her tenure on the series, Natalie does temporarily take up several other careers:

Family[edit]

Natalie is more or less a pariah of the wealthy Davenport family, owners of Davenport Toothpaste, described in the episode "Mr. Monk, Private Eye" as being the third largest toothpaste company in the world after Colgate and Crest, which was started by Natalie's entrepreneur grandfather Neville Davenport, a former assistant pharmacist. The novel Mr. Monk in Outer Space also reveals that this business almost went under when it was discovered that the original formula for their toothpaste was laced with sugar—hastening to peoples' dental decay.

However, Natalie is not on good terms with her family. Her decision to marry a "common" man like Mitch estranged her from her parents Bobby and Peggy Davenport; for years, Peggy refuses to display Natalie and Mitch's wedding photograph at her house on top of the piano where all the other photos are kept, and considered Natalie's marriage "illegitimate" even though she and the rest of the family dote on Julie. To further keep herself from the rest of her family, Natalie is revealed to have adapted Mitch's surname as her own after his death. She keeps her family ties so secret that in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," Monk, Stottlemeyer and Disher are surprised to learn about Natalie being an outcast from her family.

Natalie has a brother, Jonathan, whom she and Monk rescue from his murderous new wife, Theresa, who has married him to get at the family fortune, in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding," after they prove that Theresa also tried running down Lieutenant Disher in the parking lot because Randy would have recognized her as Darlene Coolidge, a black widow bride Randy investigated when he was a sergeant in Philadelphia. Natalie subdues Theresa at the wedding, saving her brother's life. This seems to spark a reconciliation between Natalie and the rest of her family, as she and Monk are seen later having lunch with Natalie's parents during their next on-screen appearance, in the season five episode "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service."

Mitch was a Navy fighter pilot who was killed in Kosovo in 1998 ("Mr. Monk and the Election"). They have a daughter named Julie, a teenager (she is 11 when she is introduced in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring"). Julie has been taught to believe that her father died heroically, though in reality, the details of his death are very murky and unclear, and he may have been trying to desert when he was killed, as Natalie mentions in the season three episode "Mr. Monk and the Election" and in the novel Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii. Before he died, Mitch gave Julie a pet fish named "Mr. Henry," which Natalie has secretly replaced each year (as that is the lifespan of the fish, a crimson marble) so that Julie does not realize that the original fish died.[7]

In the episode when Monk first meets Natalie, he shows that the fish is more important to him than an actual moon rock, which is part of what causes Natalie to decide to work for Monk.[7]

She renews her old friendship with Mitch's old friend and comrade, Lieutenant Steven Albright (Casper Van Dien) in the season seven episode "Mr. Monk Is Underwater", and in the series finale, "Mr. Monk and the End," the two are dating steadily and Natalie is planning to introduce him to Julie for the first time.

Novel series[edit]

Lee Goldberg's series of novels based on Monk are written from Natalie's point of view. In a way, it likens her to being Monk's Dr. Watson, that is to say, his chronicler.

In the first few novels, Natalie has an on-again, off-again romance with a firefighter named Joe Cochran, whom she first meets when Julie asks Monk to investigate the killing of a beloved firehouse dog in Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse. The two are strongly attracted to each other, but Natalie decides not to grow too close to another man in a dangerous job. Cochran subsequently also appeared in Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants and Mr. Monk in Outer Space.

The novels also expand on Natalie's background prior to when she met Monk. In Mr. Monk is Miserable, it is known that she and Mitch went to Paris, and in Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii, it is revealed that they also once spent a weekend getaway in Mexico, and she is found to be very unnerved when hack psychic Dylan Swift somehow manages to get information on her past to create "messages" from Mitch's "spirit". It also establishes that Mitch was shot down two days before his 27th birthday.

In Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants, Natalie has an epiphany – she notes that with the exception of the fact that Monk has OCD, they are actually not that different – both have lost their spouses (Mitch and Trudy, respectively) to fiery deaths (plane crash and car bomb), and they were both heavily affected by their spouse's death (Monk more considerably than Natalie), and they were only saved thanks to someone close to them (Julie in Natalie's case; Stottlemeyer, Disher, and Dr. Kroger in Monk's case).

Background information and notes[edit]

Family tree[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Neville Davenport
 
Mrs. Davenport
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bobby Davenport
 
Peggy Davenport
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Theresa Scott/Darlene Coolidge
 
Jonathan Davenport
 
 
 
 
 
Natalie Teeger
 
Mitch Teeger
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Julie Teeger
 
 
 
 

References[edit]