The globe-trotting mystery saga of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters continues with the third episode, “Secrets & Lies.” Now that the present-day crew has tracked down Lee Shaw, will Cate and Kentaro finally discover the truth about their father? Will they be able to find him before Monarch does? And what does the founding of Monarch have to do with all this?
Please keep in mind that there will be full spoilers for “Secrets and Lies,” so tread lightly if you haven’t seen it yet. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Monarch Episode 3 Plot
Picking up directly from where Episode 2 left off, “Secrets & Lies” opens with Kurt Russell’s Lee Shaw breaking himself and our main trio out of the Monarch facility he’s being held in so they can find answers about Hiroshi and hopefully Hiroshi himself. After losing several Monarch agents in a car chase, the four then smuggle themselves onto a boat bound for South Korea.
They use their time on the boat to reflect on how their lives have changed so much so quickly until they arrive in Korea and meet up with a Japanese pilot who’s old friends with Shaw and promises to take them all to Alaska: Hiroshi’s last known location. While Hiroshi himself is nowhere to be found, they do find his shockingly still intact plane and a fully stocked shelter.
In the shelter, Cate and Kentaro immediately recognize the ludicrous amount of leftover pencil shavings that were a trademark of their father, proving that he was here and may very well still be alive. However, their celebration is short-lived as a Titan who may or may not be the MonsterVerse version of Anguirus emerges from the ice; destroying the plane and killing the pilot.
All of this is intercut with a flashback storyline wherein Dr. Muira, William Randa, and the young Lee Shaw attempt to secure government funding for Monarch. Using a giant footprint as evidence of their findings, the government agrees to give them hundreds of pounds as uranium as requested to draw the creature out. Unfortunately, they provide that uranium in the form of a bomb.
The high levels of radiation draw the beast out of hiding in the ocean, with said beast turning out to be Godzilla himself. The military fires off the uranium bomb, seemingly killing him, much to the dismay of our main trio; who had both an academic curiosity and even a genuine admiration for the King of the Monsters.
Monarch Episode 3 Critique
Of the three episodes released so far, I would say “Secrets & Lies” is probably my favorite just because of how energetic and fast-paced it is. From the genuinely thrilling car chase/prison break at the beginning to the final reveal of Maybe Anguirus, the episode basically never lets go and makes for a very entertaining watch.
That isn’t to say the episode is without its more emotional moments, far from it. There’s a great scene between May and Kentaro on the boat that really helps flesh out May’s character and give Kiersey Clemons a chance to flex her acting muscles. And the genuine anguish felt by the Monarch trio after seemingly killing Godzilla was surprisingly palpable.
Speaking of the flashbacks, the back-and-forth between Anders Holm, Mari Yamamoto, and Wyatt Russell as the Monarch trio is once again a major highlight. I particularly love the moment when Holm’s Will Randa tries to bring up teleportation to a government official before being immediately and hilariously cut off by Lee Shaw. And the Godzilla action sequence on the beach was incredible; a brief but very much worthy showcase for the King of the Monsters.
If “Secrets & Lies” has anything holding it back, aside from characters like the army general or the Japanese pilot being arguably extraneous, it’s a lack of resolution. The Godzilla storyline in the flashbacks doesn’t really end, it just stops so it can presumably be picked back up in a later episode. And the cliffhanger ending especially makes the present day story mostly just feel like another piece in the puzzle rather than a strong story in its own right.
Even still, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters continues to deliver a compelling mystery and strong character work with a healthy dose of monster spectacle. And “Secrets & Lies” might be the best job the show has done at delivering all of those things so far.