Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 lays groundwork for future battles [Apple TV+ recap]


'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 -- Lee Shaw blows stuff up
Colonel Lee Shaw gets to blow stuff up in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7.
Photo: Apple TV+

TV+ ReviewMonarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 might not be the most exciting entry in the series, but it offers up important backstory for one of the best MonsterVerse films.

Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about the latest episode, plus some speculation about the show’s future.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode 7 review and things you might have overlooked

Monarch is a hit with both audiences and critics. It ranked No. 5 on ReelGood’s list of Top 10 TV Shows on streaming last week, and enjoys an 85% critics’ approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

I’m one of the many fans of the show that’s set in the MonsterVerse with classic kaiju, including Godzilla. I’ve done recaps of all six previous episodes, so it’s time for episode seven, “Will the Real May Please Stand Up?”

A backstory for the mysterious May

Previous episodes of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters dropped hints about the background of May Olowe-Hewitt (Kiersey Clemons), and episode 7 finally explains why she’s on the run.

In a flashback, we see her recruited and hired by AET where she dreams of joining the super-secretive Cybernetic Neuro-Interface Unit. She becomes curious enough to investigate the unit and discovers it’s doing animal experiments. She’s horrified so she destroys all their research and flees to Japan.

Oh yeah, we also discover her real name is Corah. But we won’t need to remember that — she still wants people to call her May.

Anyway, turns out AET is the sort of company that hires corporate thugs to kidnap people, and May gets dragged up in front of Brenda Holland (Dominique Tipper). But it turns out AET and Holland don’t want May in jail. They want her to tell them everything she’s learned about Godzilla and other kaiju.

The Godzilla vs. Kong connection

'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 Apex Cybernetics reference.
I hope you didn’t skip this part because the reference to Apex Cybernetics is important.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

This is why you read recaps like this one: because you might need an explanation about why Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode seven makes such a big deal out of AET changing its name to Apex Cybernetics.

It’s because it’s Apex Cybernetics that builds Mechagodzilla, the villain in Godzilla vs. Kong. Remember that film takes place in 2021, while this Apple TV+ series is (mostly) set in 2015.

Holland even learns the new corporate name from Walter Simmons, the CEO of Apex in the film.

That scene is critical. Without it, a significant chunk of episode seven is a pointless side story. With this reveal, we get important MonsterVerse worldbuilding.

In retrospect, the animal experiments that May discovers in AET’s Cybernetic Neuro-Interface Unit are clearly early prototypes of the system that will allow a human to control Mechagodzilla.

Some unlikely team-ups

'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 -- Cate and Kentaro Randa plus Tim
A team-up between Cate and Kentaro Randa with Tim has been coming all season.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

While all that May drama is going on, Cate Randa (played by Anna Sawai) and her half-brother Kentaro Randa (Ren Watabe) run into Tim (Joe Tippett), the Monarch analyst who kidnapped Cate and later captured both siblings in earlier episodes.

Despite this, they agree to team up. It’s not completely out of character. Tim idolized their father, Hiroshi Randa, and thinks the Randas are destined to work for Monarch. He has a point — they clearly have a knack for finding kaiju.

In exchange, the Randas get Monarch’s assistance in rescuing the kidnapped May. It’s pressure from Deputy Director Natalia Verdugo (Mirelly Taylor) that gets May freed by AET/Apex.

Or is it? In the episode, May leads her friends to believe he hasn’t agreed to work for AET. But in the conversation with Simmons, Holland says, “I think if she sticks to our agreement, it could be very fruitful.” That could be a reference to a secret deal with May.

And speaking of team-ups, episode seven continues to show a growing relationship between Cate and May. Here’s hoping things work out better than Cate’s last love affair in which her girlfriend ended up heartbroken and then dead.

Shaw and Duval take on Monarch

'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 --
Say goodbye.
Screenshot: Apple TV+

Wait, there’s another important team-up! Col. Lee Shaw (Kurt Russell) and rogue Monarch agent Michelle Duvall (Elisa Lasowski) lead a team on a raid on a Monarch base in Alaska where they steal a huge pile of explosives.

They use these to close the opening to the global network of tunnels that will play such a part in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The snowy tunnel mouth should look familiar — it’s in the series’ opening sequence.

Maybe they also try to kill the Frost Vark Titan from episode four. But kaiju don’t die easily — Godzilla took an H-bomb in the face and just came back bigger and stronger.

Why Shaw closed the tunnel isn’t clear. He said in episode six that he’s trying to help Godzilla. Does he think making it harder for kaiju to move around will do that? Chime in with your theories in the comments section.

Monarch is in the public eye

'Monarch: Legacy of Monsters' episode 7 -- Verdugo takes Monarch out of the shadows
Verdugo brings Monarch out of the shadows.
Photo: Apple TV+

At the end of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode seven, Verdugo goes on national TV and talked openly about the Monarch organization. 

Previously, the organization always worked from the shadows. In the 2014 Godzilla movie, no one knew about it. But Verdugo’s big reveal is necessary to fill in a plot hole, because in 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters Monarch is no longer a secret. 

Our mission is to protect you, the citizens around the world,” says Verdugo.  Notice that there’s no mention of studying the kaiju, which was the intention of the founders of Monarch.

Kaiju and half the usual cast are all missing

A brief glimpse of the Frost Vark Titan is it for kaiju in this episode. It really highlights that the Apple TV+ series isn’t about giant monster fights – it’s about people surviving in a world where giant monster fights occur.

But that’s not what everyone wants. The audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are full of complaints from people who expected a kaiju battle in every episode.

I, on the other hand, enjoy the story unfolding. I like all the main characters, Kurt Russell is great, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and subsequent ones.

My favorite part is the parallel story about the founding of the Monarch organization in the 1950s. Unfortunately, there’s none of that in episode seven.

Speculation on future episodes of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

There are three episodes left on season one, which is plenty of time to build to a big finish. There’s surely going to be a showdown between Monarch and Shaw and Duvall in the finale. I predict a big monster battle, too.

And we surely haven’t seen the last of Apex Cybernetics. The immoral company might not show up in the rest of season one, but could perhaps be a villain in season two.

Watch on Apple TV

We will find out more Friday, December 29 when the next episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is released. It’s named “Birthright,” and the Apple TV+ teaser description says, “The team goes back to where things all began to confront Shaw. On the brink of collapse, Monarch takes drastic measures.”


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.