Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 3 review: Secrets and Lies

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters /

The third episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters definitely sends us back to that realm of monsters we love so much.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters really started with a bang – or, well, more of a roar. In the second episode, “Departure”,  we see Cate, Kentaro, and May meeting Lee Shaw in his miserable place of solitary confinement. He gives them an option: Help him get out of there so they can all search for Hitoshi Rada, Cate and Kentaro’s father, or leave him there and miss out on the chance to find him.

Guess which route these three unlikely musketeers picked? As they go on a wild goose chase to get out of there alive, our friends are able to slip right out of Monarch’s hands – right after Lee figures out how a push-to-start car works. That was actually really funny, and Kurt Russell totally sells the act.

Friendly neighborhood SPOILER WARNING here, reminding you that I will be going over the entirety of the episode and its ending.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters © 2023 Apple TV /

In a flashback to 1954, we see the military take an interest in funding Monarch, especially after our trio shows him a giant footprint made by a radiation-absorbing creature. The general doesn’t fail to flinch when he’s told Monarch needs 150lbs of Uranium. He also isn’t shy to bring up the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in front of Keiko, which just highlights the kind of person he is. But he is definitely interested in seeing what made such a huge footprint – so much that he agrees to the amount of uranium needed to bring this creature out into the open. Billy doesn’t deny how uncomfortable he is with involving the military – or, gun-toting Neanderthals – in his project.

Back to the present, we find Cate and crew in a car onboard a ferry out of Japan and into Korea. Here is where we see how everyone’s mental state has taken the entrance of Monarch into their lives. May, who is clearly – and very poorly – hiding who she really is, claims to have lost everything due to this and declared she made a digital copy of Randa’s files. Cate is having a hard time accepting that Monarch is their family legacy and business, while Kentaro is a little more accepting of everything. Lee says they had to go through Korea in order to reach one of his friends, who may be able to assist in the search.

Baaaack to 1954 we go, and this is where it all starts to look a little twisted. Keiko, Billy, and Lee find out that the military decided to help lure this monster out.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 3
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters © 2023 Apple TV /

We go back to the present, and see Lee try to play it cool with Korean immigration officers, only to get them all arrested for having no passports. Except… they weren’t arrested. Surprise, surprise, his friend turns out to be an immigration officer. How convenient.

We get a glimpse that Monarch isn’t all on the same page – a woman who I assume is the boss lady over at HQ shows up and starts barking orders. Tim and Duvall are sent after Lee and crew, and we see that boss lady doesn’t think the files are necessary. As Duvall brings up, crazy knows crazy – Tim understands why they’re so important, so maybe we all will soon.

And here is where the show decides to gut-punch us. Back in 1954, we see the setup for this highly classified bomb testing. Imagine being in the shoes of Keiko, who suffers the most in this scene. Not only does she have to watch a white, American man completely disregarding her wishes, she also gets to see the very same white man use 150lbs of uranium to make another bomb and use it. The utter pain of thinking the creature you’ve been looking for has been blown into smithereens by greedy men is only made worse by watching another A-bomb go off. I can’t imagine where her mind must have gone in those agonizing minutes, but I can only image that it must have been pretty painful.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 3
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters © 2023 Apple TV /

However – the way my children (and I) screamed as they saw Godzilla coming out of the water. He is so incredibly majestic, commanding all the attention, even if all he does is approach the bomb and go poof, supposedly.

Lee then drops another bomb – the military has granted them a blank check for them to go find more of these monsters. Yep. They just got paid to play the very first version of PokemonGO.

Back to Cate and Co, we see them arrive in Alaska in time for us all to meet the Quadrupetal Alaskan MUTO, just as they piece together that Hitoshi’s plane didn’t crash in Alaska – it landed safely. What happened to it was the same thing that happened to Lee’s old friend – the Alaskan MUTO attacked and destroyed it. Also, the way my heart hurt because I instantly found and lost my favorite character in this episode. RIP, Lee’s friend.

As the plot thickens, more and more secrets and lies are pouring out.

Tune into Apple TV next Friday, December 1st, for the next episode – “Parallels and Interiors”!

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