With each episode, the Monsterverse series Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters seems to excel in diversifying its narrative tone and structure, which adds on new layers to the central mystery in the process. While the first two episodes focused more on the buildup and integration of the Titans into the world, the third one delineated a critique of human impact on nature, and the fourth one simultaneously took an introspective look into the psyche of one of the main leads of the series and added a new spin by turning the episode into a survival thriller. The series format provides a chance for layered storytelling, and the way Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters capitalizes on that is something other Monsterverse ventures are going to have a tough time matching up to.
In the previous episode, in search of their father Hiroshi Randa, Cate and Kentaro agreed to help Lee Shaw (a friend of Hiroshi’s parents) break out of Monarch’s house arrest, and Kentaro’s old flame May gets involved in the situation as well. Shaw took the team to Pohang, South Korea, where he reunited with his friend, Du Ho, who helped the team search for Hiroshi by taking them to the Alaskan wilderness in his vintage bomber. Although proof of Hiroshi’s survival was found, the team was attacked by a subterranean, ice-powered Titan, Frost Vark, which resulted in Du Ho’s demise and the destruction of the bomber. Before the team gets to learn about Hiroshi’s fate and why his research is so important to Monarch, they need to survive the attack of a giant monstrosity in one of the most inhospitable terrains. Unlike the previous ones, the fourth episode, titled “Parallels and Interiors,” doesn’t highlight Titan tracking shenanigans of Keiko, Billy, and Shaw in the past; instead, it takes a very subjective approach to the theme of legacy while delving deeper into the father-son relationship between Hiroshi and Kentaro.
How Does Monarch Learn About The Situation In Alaska?
The episode begins in the series’ present timeline (2015) at Monarch outpost 47, where Agent Barnes notices massive gamma ray readings around Alaska, which are possibly the highest recorded since the fateful G-Day. Viewers know the source of the radiation to be a new Titan, Frost Vark, whose sudden appearance has hit Shaw and co. like a hurricane. Alarmed by her findings, Barnes immediately contacts Monarch HQ and requests to directly communicate with the organization’s chief, Verdugo. Barnes informs her that almost a pulsar-level radiation surge has been located in Alaska, something like what was previously observed in Yukon Flats and Janjira when the first Titans emerged. Series fans will surely remember the awakening of M.U.T.O.s during the events of “Godzilla” (2014) and how their radiation readings brought Godzilla out as well, which is the incident Barnes is referring to.
As Verdugo and other Monarch higher-ups discuss Barnes’ findings, the mention of G-Day raises signs of discord within the organization. The military knobheads consider the emergence an assault on humanity, while the most curious minds choose not to take a moral stance while dealing with something as unknown and unpredictable as prehistoric atomic-powered giants. Upon Verdugo’s request, Tim interferes in the midst of the squabble and duly reminds them about the importance of Bill Randa’s archives regarding the entire situation, which is also the reason why they need to pursue Lee Shaw, who possesses Randa’s findings at the moment. Irrespective of their stance regarding the Titans, the fact that G-Day was a tragic event is unanimously agreed. The potential repetition of a similar situation is the reason Monarch was founded in the first place and also what united the members for the greater good. However, it seems Tim might have an ulterior motive of his own, as he remains extremely fixated on the Bill Randa archives, and his personal motivation has been hinted at previously by Verdugo as well.
Did The Team Manage To Evade Frost Vark?
At Alaska, the reason behind the pulsar-level radiation, the Frost Vark, continues its rampage, which almost leads the rest of Shaw’s team to meet the same fate as Du Ho’s. While escaping, the team hides under an ice crevice, and May accidentally gets drenched by falling in an ice puddle, increasing her risk of getting affected by frostbite. Kentaro mentions noticing a possible shelter nearby, which he had noticed previously while Du Ho’s bomber flew over the area. Unfortunately, none of the others had noticed anything such, and they refused to follow directions solely based on hunches.
Kentaro continues pleading with the group, as he believes Hiroshi might have taken refuge in the shelter he had noticed previously. Eventually, Shaw asks him to venture out on his own and seek help if possible, while the rest of the team continues on a different path, which, according to Cate, might lead to a nearby locality. Kentaro separating from the group might not make much sense narratively, considering Shaw will knowingly let him go on an unknown, treacherous trail on his own, but it entails the symbolic significance of Kentaro going on his personal journey to find the much-needed resolve.
In the flashback sequence, it is shown how Kentaro’s constant yearning to excel as an artist, standing up to his father’s ideal, has been pitted against society’s importance for pretention, which commoditizes the value of an artist, ignoring the qualitative aspects throughout. A year ago, Kentaro had the opportunity of a lifetime as he was sponsored by an art gallery to showcase his artistic talents, but he chose to spend his night with May instead, whom he had met on the very day for the first time. The dichotomy between societal expectations and his own happiness eventually increased during Hiroshi’s absence from his son’s life, and Kentaro became even more disillusioned. In the present, as Kentaro moves on against a raging snowstorm, the past continues to make its presence felt, and he starts hallucinating before succumbing to the extreme weather conditions.
On the other hand, the rest of the team finds out that after wandering for a significantly long time, they have managed to return to the exact same location, where the crashed bomber is lying beside Du Ho’s frozen corpse. With May’s condition growing worse at night, Cate opines to set a camp for the time being.
Did Kentaro And May Survive At The End?
May doesn’t seem to be frostbitten just yet, but it becomes impossible for her to move on her own. In a delirious state, she mistakes the Aurora lights for Kentaro’s light-oriented crafts, and her mistrust of Shaw continues to grow. Realizing that she might meet Du Ho’s fate within a short span of time, May instructs Cate to communicate with Lyra, May’s sister, in the worst-case scenario and further asks her to take care of her own, even if it means ditching Shaw at the end. Their conversation is cut short when attracted by the heat of the campfire, the Frost Vark returns and launches a vicious attack on the team.
In a precarious state, an almost unconscious Kentaro’s memory starts getting convoluted, and he sees his father, Hiroshi, in his visions. The reassuring vision of Hiroshi instills confidence in Kentaro, and almost like magic working on him, he wakes up and starts hallucinating about his father’s presence around him. Eventually, he stumbles across a dilapidated research station, and there are visible signs of Hiroshi visiting the place as well. The communication system at the station seems to be barely working, for which Kentaro asks for help.
Meanwhile, using the heat-seeking trait of the Frost Vark, Shaw attempts a suicide mission to buy Cate and May some time, as he plans to attract the monster by igniting fuel packs. His plan works, and fortunately for him, his supposed sacrifice is halted due to a timely rescue operation by Kentaro, who has managed to call a helicopter to the location. The team is rescued from the Frost Vark’s assault, and as Shaw watches over the territory, he notices a mysterious chasm simmering with resplendent lights, which probably indicates Hollow Earth’s connection or the presence of other Titans, which might get highlighted in the upcoming episodes.
Later, May is given emergency medication, and she is seemingly out of danger as well. Kentaro gives details about the research station to Shaw and Cate and reveals that Hiroshi had visited the place and apparently fixed the communication system as well, which allowed Kentaro to call for help. Shaw laments the loss of Billy Randa’s archives, as May’s laptop, where the digitized version of the data was stored, seems to have been frozen to inactivity during the Snow Vark’s attack. But even more disappointment awaits the team when the chopper lands and they meet Monarch agents, Tim and Duvall greeting them. The episode ends with the team being introduced to the notorious Monarch operatives, and the upcoming episodes are likely to delineate the combined effort of the seemingly opposing teams in unearthing the Titans mysteries. Hiroshi’s whereabouts are still unknown; what Billy Randa’s archives contain about the Titan crisis and why it is so crucial to Monarch haven’t been revealed either. There is a chance that the appearance of a Titan might once again lure Godzilla out of his seclusion, and the upcoming episodes will shed light on these key issues and questions.