The largest garbage strike in San Francisco history has just begun. Trash is piling up everywhere, and the sanitation union's boss, Jimmy Cusack, is promising a prolonged work stoppage. It's a nightmare scenario for Monk, and it's only made worse when Jimmy Cusack is found dead in his office of an apparent suicide. Suspecting foul play, the sanitation union suspends all negotiations with the city, and hires Monk to look into Cusack's death. If Monk agrees with the police that Cusack's death was a suicide, the union promises to return to the bargaining table.