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Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Episode 4 Recap

Monarch episode 4

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 4 reveals more kaiju action and provides us with insight behind the development of key personal relationships. 

AppleTV+ has itself a blockbuster series in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. The show fleshes out the larger-than-life Monsterverse franchise that started with 2014’s Godzilla, where monsters from the depths of the earth use our home as a battlefield; it also provides background in the universe’s story by focusing on those who locate and study these massive creatures. From its setting in a world with spider, crab, and ice-breathing monsters to its explosive action and special effects, Monarch proves to be an all-around success—one you’re gonna want to follow. See what’s going on and what you might’ve missed in this episode 4 recap.

As we jump between past and present timelines, we learn Monarch is the name of a huge organization of globally recognized scientists and Armed Forces members dedicated to studying and containing Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms (MUTOs), also known as Titans or “kaijus”.  Monarch: Legacy of Monsters follows newly discovered half-siblings Cate (Anna Sawai, of Ninja Assassin) and Kentaro (Ren Watabe, of 461 Days of Bento) as they work together to figure out more about their missing father, Hiroshi (Takehiro Hira, of Giri/Haji), who, they soon discover, was full of secrets and connected to Monarch.

In Hiroshi’s office, the siblings find some super top-secret files that once belonged to their grandfather, Bill Randa (played by Anders Holms, of Workaholics, and John Goodman, of The Big Lebowski, between the timelines), who witnessed the very first Titan emergence in the 1950s. When a series of clues takes the siblings down a MUTO rabbit hole, they’re ultimately lad to Army officer Lee Shaw, played by Wyatt Russell (Overlord) in the 1950s and by Kurt Russell (Tombstone) in present day. When Cate and Kentaro track down him down, he’s under a kind of house arrest by the Monarch Organization. Why? Simple: They are threatened by what he knows.

Lieutenant Shaw uses the opportunity to break out of the facility so he can lead Cate and Kentaro to the truth and help them find their father. As they set out on their search, the siblings learn that Shaw and their grandfather, Bill, not only knew about the MUTOs from day one and warned no one, but they also started the Monarch Organization. The end of Episode 3 sees the group, which also includes Kentaro’s ex-girlfriend, May (Kiersey Clemons, of The Flash), track Hiroshi to a remote area of Alaska, where they find his crashed plane and evidence he survived, and then are attacked by a gnarly ice-breathing Titan.

Episode 4 again jumps between past and present but doesn’t return to the 1950s. Instead, it picks up in present-day Utah (2015) with a new female character, Barnes (Jess Salgueiro, of The Boys), who’s stationed at an outpost in the middle of nowhere. She’s clearly there monitoring something and as it turns out, she’s a Monarch agent. When her equipment picks up a “pulsar” in Alaska, we learn the last time such readings were seen were in 2014, right before Godzilla’s attack. She quickly radios Monarch’s base, where everyone realizes the earth is getting ready to unleash the fury.

loud and clear reviews Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 4 recap
Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons and Kurt Russell in Episode 4 of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” now on Apple TV+ (Apple TV+)

As we jump over to Alaska, we find Lt. Shaw, Cate, May, and Kentaro running for their lives, searching for a place to hide and avoid being iced to death. While hiding in an ice cavern, the ice patch beneath May’s feet weakens and she falls through the surface. Now with wet legs, she risks hypothermia and frostbite, which further intensifies their urgent need for refuge.

As the four span out in search of shelter, Kentaro swears he saw something in one direction while the others decide to pursue strange, blue lights in another—lights that turn out to be the pulsar Barnes’s equipment picked up in Utah. As the four separate, we learn the environment is not what it appears to be, as their paths either lead right back to their starting point or induce visual and auditory hallucinations. That’s when Shaw reveals that not only are no two Titans the same, but also their presence has a peculiar effect on the environment around them.

Additionally, Episode 4 offers up the backstory between Kentaro and May to give us a better understanding of their relationship, which is strained in present day. The two meet in Japan in 2014 and instantly hit it off. Kentaro is a “provocative” hot-shot artist whose work has patrons “challenge the assumption of their identities”, and May, an American, is a hacker with a low profile. Through their brief interlude, we also learn Kentaro’s dad isn’t the only one with secrets; May has plenty of her own as well.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska, as Kentaro struggles through a snowstorm, he sees an image of his father that ultimately leads him to safety, where he radios for help. Cate, May, and Lt. Shaw take refuge in Hiroshi’s tent back at the site of the plane crash, where Shaw realizes the kaiju wasn’t hunting them but was seeking heat sources. So, he devises a plan (i.e., a massive bonfire) to trap the monster; however, before he can put his plan into action, the ice-breathing beast bursts through the surface, nearly killing him in the process.

As Cate and May run towards mysterious helicopters that have suddenly appeared, May trips and falls as the ice-breather creeps closer to her. To avoid being frozen, she holds up a satchel containing a Monarch computer, and, in turn, the laptop freezes instead of May. Now, it seems all of Monarch’s secrets have been destroyed. Along with Lt. Shaw, the girls narrowly escape the kaiju’s icy clutches by the skin of their teeth as a helicopter with Kentaro on board scoops down to pick them up before the monster reaches them.

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As the group catches their breath, Kentaro reveals to Cate their father is alive, and he has proof: he found the pencil shavings his father was known for leaving everywhere before he disappeared. This revelation incites hope in the group, but that hope quickly dissipates when the chopper they’re on lands and they’re greeted by Monarch agents. So now, they find themselves in the very hands of the organization they fought so hard to avoid.

In the first 4 episodes alone, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters proves itself to be a worthy adversary in the Monsterverse. While, at times, the story can get a tad clunky with all the time-hopping, it pales in comparison to the excitement playing out on screen amid massive, high-quality effects wrapped in non-stop sci-fi action.

Episode 4 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is now available to watch on Apple TV+.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Episode 5 Recap – Loud And Clear Reviews
Review: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Episode 5 returns to the site of Godzilla’s attack and explores trauma and survivor’s guilt.
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