Last week’s episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters showed Cate, Lee Shaw, May, and Kentaro traveling all the way from Japan to South Korea and then to Alaska in search of Hiroshi Randa while being pursued by Monarch operatives Tim and Duvall. This brought them face-to-face with a deadly Titan that had the power to freeze anything with its breath. The plane and its pilot perished in the process, while the heroes’ fate hung in the balance. In the ‘50s half of the show, we saw Shaw, Keiko, and Randa getting the green light from General Puckett to go ahead with the search for Titans. When they realized that Godzilla was around Bikini Atoll, the army put up the uranium that the scientists needed to lure in Godzilla. However, it was in the form of a nuclear bomb because Puckett didn’t want to analyze Godzilla; he wanted to kill him. Keiko tried to stop the army from detonating the nuclear bomb, but Shaw didn’t let her interrupt the explosion, thereby leading everyone to believe that they had killed Godzilla. The upside of that incident was that the newly-formed Monarch got Puckett’s approval to continue searching for Titans.
Kentaro, Cate, May, and Shaw Begin To Come Apart At The Seams
In Utah, a Monarch scientist named Barnes notices some anomalies on an old device that used to track Titan activity. But it has somehow been restarted due to some specified reason. So, she calls up Monarch to inform them about this. Given how the third episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters cuts to Cate, May, Kentaro, and Shaw facing off with the Alaskan Titan, I think that there’s something massive happening on a global level that is causing that old device to go insane. The Titan chases the heroes into a cave. The tremors caused by the creature’s footsteps cause the ice underneath May’s feet to break, and she falls into the cold water, thereby making her susceptible to hypothermia. As the group begins to bicker with each other because their chances of getting out of this treacherous place have been reduced to zero, the episode turns back the clocks by one year. A side note: I would’ve loved this style of storytelling, where the narrative kept going back and forth between the past and the present, if I liked the characters. I don’t like any of the characters. So far, they seem like exposition machines or hollow pieces that are moving the plot forward to a destination that is uninteresting as well.
Anyway, we see that Kentaro used to be an installation artist. He wasn’t really confident about his work, but Emiko was very proud of what he had done with his life. While taking a picture of his exhibition, he met May, and they almost instantly fell in love. Kentaro ditched his exhibition and went on a date with May. It cuts to present-day events where Kentaro breaks up with the rest of the group to search for a settlement that he saw while landing in Alaska, while May, Cate, and Shaw head in the direction of a bright light, assuming that it’s an oil rig or something. The to-and-fro between the inception of May and Kentaro’s relationship and the current state of May and Kentaro’s relationship is supposed to show how emotionally distant they’ve become. At the cost of sounding repetitive, I would’ve found this interesting if Kiersey Clemons and Ren Watabe had any chemistry. They are good actors, but they don’t have what it takes to make their characters’ relationships the beating heart of the show.
The Alaskan Titan Consumes Shaw, May, and Cate’s Shelter
Barnes informs the Monarch boss (played by Mirelly Taylor) that the readings on her device show that something like a black hole has appeared in Alaska, thereby confirming that May, Cate, and Shaw aren’t heading towards an oil rig; they’re heading towards a type of black hole. Why is there a kind of black hole on the planet, yet the planet is intact? Well, based on what I’ve seen in Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s not actually a black hole but a portal into the Hollow Earth, a subterranean ecosystem where the Titans live. Since Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is a prequel to that movie, the characters are unaware of what it is, but the audience is one step ahead of them, thereby making an attempt at mystifying the “black hole” a little redundant. Or I can be wrong, and that’s not a passage to the Hollow Earth, thereby making the mystery completely necessary. Barnes also warns Monarch of an emergence much like the one that happened on G-Day, which means that Godzilla is about to arrive in the 2010s yet again, I suppose. Kentaro gets lost in the blizzard, and since his bottled water turns to ice, he faints due to thirst. Cate, May, and Shaw circle back to the tent, i.e., the place they were trying to get away from. Shaw says something intriguing. He posits that certain Titans are capable of messing with one’s sense of geography and direction, much like the Blair Witch from The Blair Witch Project.
I haven’t seen or heard about this before in the history of Godzilla movies, or maybe I’ve missed it. If not, this is a new and kind of interesting addition to the lore. Kentaro hallucinates about his time with May, and we get a bit of information about May’s mysterious caller: her name is Lyra. We see that May has always refused to talk to Lyra in front of people. The person always checks on what May is doing. So, it’s not like May is doing something suspicious, unless the simple words they exchange have a coded meaning. Well, maybe we’ll get to learn about May’s secret friend later. For now, we can appreciate the cool transition from a shot of May staring at a simulation of the Northern Lights from the comfort of Kentaro’s room to a shot of May looking at the actual Northern Lights while she is on the brink of death. They’ve apparently given up on going towards the strange light and taken shelter in Hiroshi’s old tent. Given how the fire is dying out, Shaw suggests that they should use Hiroshi’s old files from the tent to keep it going. He says that he doesn’t want it to fall into the hands of Monarch, but that’s only to keep his and Cate’s conscience clean about destroying Hiroshi’s work to keep themselves warm. This relatively calm moment is disrupted by the ice-breathing Titan, who destroys the tent. Cate, May, and Shaw manage to get out of their way at the last moment, only to realize that they’re stranded in the cold desert with nothing to protect themselves and a Titan on their tails.
Did Kentaro find Hiroshi?
The Monarch boss (played by Mirelly Taylor) holds a meeting based on Barnes’s readings. Tim and Duvall interrupt it to urge their boss to let them go to Alaska and nab Shaw because Tim thinks he’s the key to unlocking everything that’s going on with the Titans. Meanwhile, in Alaska, Shaw realizes that the Titan is attracted to heat and absorbs it for sustenance. So, he plans to use the aviation fuel from one of the planes to ignite a massive fire, and while the Titan feeds on it, they can run away. Elsewhere, Kentaro follows a trail of Hiroshi’s pencil shavings to the facility that he was looking for. He hallucinates about meeting his father at the art gallery and blaming him for giving him the false hope that he’s a good artist. The apparition of Hiroshi assures him that he and his art are both loved by everyone, and he should be proud of that. There’s a pretty neat effect that’s used with the subtitles here, which begins to fade as Hiroshi’s voice becomes more and more unintelligible. This kind of reminded me of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, which I believe is the best Godzilla movie of all time because of its use of hallucinatory visuals. Of course, this show doesn’t go as hard as that movie. So, if you have the time and access to that film, please check it out.
Anyway, at the end of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 4, Kentaro finds a working phone and more of Hiroshi’s pencil shavings. He manages to call for help and arrives with a helicopter to save Cate, May, and Shaw. The 100-year-old guy tries to distract the Titan by igniting the fire, and he takes a massive chunk of the explosion to his face and walks it off. While the Titan is eating that fire, Shaw catches up to Cate and May (don’t ask how), boards the helicopter, and flies away before the Titan can take a bite out of the chopper. Kentaro theorizes that Hiroshi did the same and is alive somewhere in Alaska. Weirdly enough, May thanks Cate for sticking around instead of Kentaro, i.e., the guy who literally saved them from turning into popsicles. Going by Kentaro’s reaction to this “sweet” moment, he is a little unhappy that his actions have gone unappreciated. Shaw notices that May’s laptop has frozen and is unusable because May had used it to shield herself from the Titan’s attack. That means Hiroshi’s files are totally gone now. Maybe that is a blessing because when the helicopter lands, they are greeted by Tim. Now, Shaw and the rest don’t have to lie about having anything that belongs to Hiroshi. They actually don’t have anything that Monarch can use. Tim and Duvall are probably not going to believe them, and Tim is going to probe them until they give him something that they can use. I don’t know how long Tim has to interrogate the gang because there’s an open portal to the Hollow Earth right there. If Godzilla or some other Titan decides to emerge from there that’s bigger than that snow-breathing Titan, they’ve to evacuate or perish.