‘Monarch’ Episode 8 Recap & Spoilers: Will Shaw Survive Inside The Hollow Earth?

Time might heal wounds of the past, but it is up to us to decide whether to let the hurt dictate our actions, misguide us, or to move beyond it and use it as a positive influence. The death of his Monarch colleague and old flame, Dr. Keiko Miura had affected Shaw’s perspective towards the entire Titan tracking ordeal of the shadowy organization, and as the last episode has shown, he is ready to take drastic measures to atone for her loss. Previously, the renegade team of Monarch operatives led by Shaw and Duvall seized Monarch’s Alaskan outpost, and the team destroyed the Titan Frost Vark and a Hollow Earth gateway by detonating charges around them. Shaw’s seemingly villainous turn was an unpredictable development, but the eighth episode, Birthright, adds much more emotional heft, which in some ways explains his actions in a new light.

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On the other hand, Monarch operative Tim works alongside Cate and Kentaro to learn the whereabouts of an abducted May, and upon his request, Duvall helps them earn May’s freedom from the clutches of her former employers at Applied Experimental Technologies, who are responsible for the creation of Apex cybernetics and, subsequently, Mechagodzilla. May decides to stick around the Randa siblings to help them find their father and uncover all the Monarch mystery, and the trio heads towards Monarch HQ as Cate needs to honor her end of the bargain by helping Duvall locate Shaw. The latest episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters moves back and forth in the past timeline to reveal new secrets, which prepares viewers for a seemingly eventful final two episodes.

Spoilers Ahead

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Why Did Shaw Ask His Team To Create A Titan Map?

In the past timeline, Shaw’s decision to go to Hateruma Island out of his concern for Keiko and leave all Monarch-related affairs behind had proved detrimental for the organization, as General Puckett had handed control over to the military in his absence. The current chief supervisor of the organization, Lieutenant Hatch, turns out to be a real piece of work, as he not only tries to discredit Monarch’s Titan tracking missions as a crackpot theory chasing wastage of government funds, he also makes racist remarks about Dr. Suzuki’s involvement in their mission and Keiko’s past. It was an age of nuclear aggression where Russia and the States were pitted against each other, and like any other paranoid military knobhead, Hatch considers prioritizing ‘national security’ over a much bigger, global problem.

The provocative statements of Hatch at once trigger Shaw, and especially Bill, who lashes out and swings at the Lieutenant at once. Needless to say, this act basically sounds the death knell for the organization as Hatch prepares a report for Puckett, which will ensure the organization’s end. In order to counter it, Shaw later proposes to the team letting Puckett know about the Godzilla sighting at Hateruma so that Monarch’s reason for existence can be re-justified. However, Keiko and Bill are adamant about their decision to not let the military know about Godzilla’s survival in the Castle Bravo incident, as they might double down on him with even more deadly atomic weapons. Desperate to bring at least something to Puckett to save the organization, Shaw asks his researcher friends to create a Titan map that lists all the locations where the primeval creatures were sighted across the world. In the course of creating such a map, Bill and Keiko grow closer, and as Billy almost confesses his feelings for Keiko, Shaw overhears them. This incident ought to have problematic repercussions, just like Shaw’s error in judgment while admixing personal and professional affairs had cost the team dearly as well. Also, the Titan map created by Bill and Keiko is the same which Hiroshi will follow, and which we later get to see in Godzilla: King of the Monsters as well. 

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Why Did Shaw And His Team Venture To Kazakhstan?

In the present timeline of the series, Shaw and his team head towards the abandoned nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan, where Keiko lost her life during an attack of the insectoid Titan swarm all those years ago, as seen in the first episode. Memories of the fateful day huddle in Shaw’s mind, and it is understandable that his remorse for not being able to save Keiko is driving him to do whatever it is he is doing. Reaching the site, Shaw and his crew rig the area with explosives.

At Monarch HQ, Cate, Kentaro, and May visit Duvall, and it is revealed that after Shaw’s antics in Alaska, the gamma radiation across all the Titan sites in the world has increased to match that of the G-Day. If Shaw isn’t stopped from carrying out his plan, a global disaster is imminent. In order to find a possible clue as to Shaw’s destination, the trio of friends and Tim start looking into older Monarch files. Cate especially feels responsible, as their search for Hiroshi resulted in Shaw’s involvement in the Titan crisis all over again. As she stumbles across her grandmother, Keiko Randa’s death report, Cate gets a hunch that Shaw might visit the same Titan site in Kazakhstan, given the fact that she realized Shaw’s feelings for Keiko during their conversation. Her assumption is also backed up by Tim’s conviction, as he remembers the site to be on Hiroshi’s map as well and notices increased gamma radiation like other Titan sites. As they inform Verdugo about this discovery, she prepares to send a small group of people to apprehend Shaw. Cate, who wants to reason with Shaw, volunteers to join the group and decides to take May and Kentaro along with him. For Tim, it’s another chance for a Titan sighting, and he joins the group as well. Kentaro doesn’t approve of Cate getting overly involved in Monarch business, as he is still dejected by his father’s apparent abandonment and reasonably doesn’t think highly of the organization, which indirectly contributed to their grandparents’ deaths as well. However, upon Cate’s request, he accompanies the group on their mission to find Shaw.

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What Did Bill Find About The Titans’ Dwelling Place? What Secret Did Keiko Keep From Her Monarch Teammates?

In the past timeline, one of the major questions Hatch had presented to the Monarch research team was how Titans lived and moved undetected across the globe—a question Bill and Keiko couldn’t answer at the time. Later, as Bill ponders the prospect of the secretive dwelling place of the Titans by analyzing the map he and Keiko have created, a realization dawns upon him. Seeing an ant move to the other side of the map through a hole, Bill speculates about a secretive world beneath the surface of our own, with its unique geology, atmosphere, and ecosystem, where through multiple gateways scattered across the world, the Titans can move freely and emerge to the surface world. In Monsterverse, this is the inception of the hollow earth theory, which dictates the existence of a world in subterranean depths, surrounding Earth’s core, and which we have seen in its full glory in Godzilla vs. Kong. Unable to contain his excitement, Bill goes to Keiko’s residence to let her know about his theory and discovers her ‘secret’ that Lieutenant Hatch was previously referring to. Bill learns that Keiko is a widow, and unbeknownst to the rest of the world, she is living with her son, Hiroshi, whom she has brought with her from post-war Japan to have a chance at a better life. As a woman, living in a politically turbulent foreign land has already been challenging for her, and she feared that the knowledge of her personal life would be used by others in exploitative ways, which is why she didn’t reveal her secret. Bill understands Keiko’s plight and proposes to her that he is willing to share her burden. The like-minded researchers are a better match than Shaw and Keiko anyway, and possibly none of them ultimately revealed Hiroshi’s parentage to Shaw.

Shaw, on the other hand, goes to General Puckett, and aside from providing him the Titan map, in his desperate attempt to save Monarch, he reveals the update about Godzilla’s survival to him, betraying the trust of Bill and Keiko. Shaw’s continual mistakes have brought Monarch into an ineffectual, miserable state, and it is evident from his actions showcased through each of the episodes.


Will Cate, May, And Shaw Survive Inside The Hollow Earth?

Back in the present timeline, Monarch’s team reaches the nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan and finds evidence of the existence of the insectoid Titan. The group also finds out about another portal to Hollow Earth at the subterranean depths of the plant, which further validates Bill Randa’s claims of the Hollow Earth. However, they are ambushed by Shaw’s crew, and adhering to Cate’s request, Shaw expresses his willingness to discuss the situation with her. Shaw reveals that he has been to the other side—to the Hollow Earth—and has learned about Godzilla’s unique role in the human-Titan situation. Shaw believes Godzilla is trying to maintain the balance between the human and Titan worlds on the Hollow Earth, keeping the emerging Titans in check by asserting his dominance. In his mind, Shaw is helping Godzilla by destroying the portals, and he is unwilling to believe Monarch’s hoax of an impending global crisis triggered by the destruction of the portals.

However, Cate rightly surmises that more than any noble mission to protect the world from the Titanic crisis, what Shaw is really doing right now is atoning for Keiko’s death, for which he still blames himself. Shaw wants to honor his friends by continuing their work in his own way—by sealing off all the portals on Earth. Their conversation is cut short by the rumbling caused by the sudden appearance of a giant Titan insectoid, which causes May to fall down the portal, and eventually Cate almost gets pulled down by the Titan, but Shaw comes to her rescue at the last moment. It seems that by saving Keiko’s granddaughter, Shaw will be able to absolve himself, but both of them eventually fall into the portal along with the Titan. As the episode ends, Kentaro and the rest of the team helplessly wonder about the predicament, and the charges explode, caving in the entire plant in the process. Like a major number of the episodes, Birthright ends on a cliffhanger, leaving viewers expecting a Hollow Earth adventure in the final two episodes of the series.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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