Monarch: Legacy of Monsters – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

In the past, back in Skull Island, Bill Randa records a message to a friend, saying it’s something fundamental. He runs from a spider monster and throws a bag into the sea. Another creature appears and starts fighting the other, giving him time to escape. In 2013, a member of a fish crew realizes a strange packet in the middle of their latest catch. 

In the present, Cate waits for her airplane to land. When she is about to leave, the man beside her says she needs to stay in her seat longer. Then, people in hazmat suits start disinfecting the plane. The man argues it’s all an act, as it won’t help avoid any monster attacks. She has glimpses of soldiers with similar suits ignoring her while she cries in the rain. 

There’s a sign in the airport warning everyone who arrives about evacuation routes in case of a Godzilla attack, which distresses her. Before entering the country, she explains her purpose for visiting Japan is to settle some affairs of her late father.

She isn’t on good terms with her mother, as when they talk on the phone, Cate is rude and impatient. She arrives at her father’s apartment, and, when she finds out one of her keys to the place works, she hangs up on her mom. The place is filled with pictures of her father, but some of them have him with another family.

A strange woman appears and both of them start arguing, confused as they don’t understand each other languages. Kentaro, the woman’s son, knows English and asks what Cate is doing there. She surprises him when she says she has the keys to the apartment and that the man in the pictures is her father too.

In 1959, Lee Shaw, Dr. Keiko Miura, and her husband, the younger Bill Randa, are driving to a mysterious place. Bill asks if they are on the right road, and Keiko confirms it after seeing the radiation levels keep on getting higher. We also learn they have a kid called Monarch.

Bill and Keiko put on gas masks and say they’ll finally be able to prove their theories aren’t mere fantasies. Lee isn’t involved in their research, only being there to protect them. They enter a restricted area, but a boy is already hunting there, without any protection. He says the stories about radiation are all lies to scare away curious people. When the group goes further, they find an uninhabited area with many facilities and zero radiation.

Back to Cate, she talks with the family and shows pictures of her father, Hiroshi, with her. Emiko, Kentaro’s mother, asks her if she knows what happened to Hiroshi. Cate looks sad, apologizes, and leaves. 

Keiko, Bill, and Lee set up explosives. After using them, they find out there’s something under the area. When everything starts to collapse, Keiko says they’re in the right place.

Cate explains to her mom that there’s nothing there for them. Suddenly, a loud alarm interrupts the call and people start to run, making Cate fall. Kentaro and Emiko appear and take her to a safe zone, where they will be protected from a Godzilla attack. Then, we finally learn what happened to her in the past.

Cate was in San Francisco when Godzilla attacked. She was in a school bus, and she tried to help people get out of it. When she and only a few more kids were out, part of the floor broke. The bus, full of kids, fell right in front of her. After remembering that, she gets desperate and tries to leave the safe zone. However, Emiko stops her and calms her down.

Keiko and the others find hundreds or more eggs underground. She says it must be a new form of M.U.T.O. Even though Lee says they should go back as it’s dangerous, the other two want to go near the creatures. Keiko starts climbing down before they realize it, and Lee says he’ll go to help her.

A new message warns people that they are safe and can get out of the safe zone. Kentaro takes Cate to where their father used to work. Behind a strange map, they find a safe. Cate manages to open it and finds the same packet shown i the start of the episode. It has the same symbol Cate saw on the soldiers’ clothes when Godzilla attacked San Francisco.

Kentaro takes the packet to May, a friend who can access the files stored in it. Although she’s reluctant at first, she accepts helping him after he explains the situation. It’s encrypted, but she can easily access it. When she does that, someone realizes that and warns her superior, saying the files have a Monarch symbol. The girl can only get the place it was accessed in, and her superior calls another person.

May finds many files she doesn’t understand. However, Cate and Kentaro recognize one of them, as it’s similar to the map in her father’s workplace. Cate explains to Kentaro why she doesn’t like her father so much.

A few days after Godzilla’s attack, he found her. She was relieved to see him, but he only said he was sorry, gave her some puzzling instructions, and abandoned her. A while later, she and her mom received a call saying the plane he was on disappeared.

When they get back to checking the files, they find another thing they recognize. One of them shows a huge footprint and someone in it. That person is Keiko, who’s actually their grandmother.

Back in 1959, Keiko starts collecting a sample from the eggs. However, the building they are in starts to collapse too, which wakes up some of the insectoid creatures. Lee and Keiko run, but there are a lot of monsters. Keiko can’t climb because the creatures are pulling her down, and, even though Lee starts shooting at them, it doesn’t work. Keiko ends up falling, apparently to her death.

The Episode Review

Let’s start with the best part: Godzilla attacking San Francisco is incredible. The scene perfectly conveys how traumatic the event is to Cate, with the help of the atmosphere and her amazing acting. Seeing more of him will always be a highlight of the show, for sure. And we can expect that to happen, as the series already covers the way he’s affecting people’s daily lives.

It’s a side effect of being a very introductory episode, but the back and forth between past and present and all the characters involved can be a bit much. Mainly with the 1959 plot having almost no explanation of the character’s motives and their relation.

However, when we find out Keiko is Cate and Kentaro’s grandmother and we see her dying, everything’s worth it. It’s another great scene that shows the character’s despair superbly.

When all the pieces start falling into place, Monarch will most likely get even more interesting. Of course, they also have to find a way to show how our civilian characters will deal with the monster threat.


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You can read our full season review for Monarch here!

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