Read our review/recap for Godzilla-size spoilers about episode ten, plus loads of speculation about the show’s second season.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season finale review and things you might have overlooked
Starting with its premiere in November, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters tells the story of the Monarch organization studying titans — Godzilla and other giant kaiju. The series moves between the group founding Monarch in the 1950s/1960s and a later generation in 2015 affected by the battle between kaiju that destroyed so much of San Francisco.
I’ve done recaps of all nine previous episodes, so it’s time for episode ten, the season finale, “Beyond Logic.”
Shaw and Keiko reunited after all these years/weeks
The action starts where episode nine left off. Cate Randa (played by Anna Sawai) has just been rescued from a kaiju by Dr. Keiko Randa, (Mari Yamamoto). This was a heck of a shock because Keiko has supposedly been dead since 1959. Also, she hasn’t aged any over the previous 56 years.
Cate doesn’t explain the whole strange situation to the woman who’s her grandmother (although they are close in biological age). She waits for Lee Shaw (Kurt Russell) to show up and take on that complex task.
It’s understandably hard on Keiko. Shaw has to tell her that her husband has been dead for decades and her son is now older than she is. But she has to believe him — Shaw himself has aged decades.
It’s a real blow because, from her perspective, the scientist has only been trapped in the center of the Earth a few weeks. But time moves differently in Hollow Earth — also called Axis Mundi. But more on this later.
Kentaro, Hiroshi and Tim team up … eventually
Meanwhile, back in Tokyo, Cate’s half brother Kentaro Randa (played by Ren Watabe) has a confrontation with his estranged father Hiroshi Randa (Takehiro Hira). Hiroshi has made a lot of terrible decisions, including having two separate families but ignoring both of them to constantly chase after kaiju.
Two men yelling at each other in Japanese isn’t the most gripping action in season one of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, but it’s necessary for the plot. Someone has to call out Hiroshi for being such a garbage person.
It takes Tim (Joe Tippett) showing up to persuade father and son to cooperate. Tim has quit Monarch because he can’t interest Deputy Director Natalia Verdugo (Mirelly Taylor) in rescuing people from Hollow Earth.
Monarch has picked up signals coming from Axis Mundi and Tim think that means Cate, Shaw and May are still alive down there. He needs help with the rescue though and turns to Hiroshi and Kentaro. More on this later.
A kaiju fight! Finally!
In Hollow Earth, Shaw has a plan to get the group home. The signals Monarch has been picking are coming from a gamma-ray emitter Keiko reprogrammed. If you’re wondering where it came from, the emitter is from Operation Hourglass, as seen in episode nine.
Another legacy of Operation Hourglass is the crew capsule in which Shaw travelled to Axis Mundi back in 1962. He was there only a short time and obviously never ran into Keiko Randa. If he had, this would be a very different TV series.
The group totes the emitter to where the capsule is, which is next to the opening back to the surface of the Earth. If you don’t remember from last episode, the only way to use the titan tunnels between the surface and Axis Mundi is to ride along with a kaiju — not a safe form of transportation.
The team uses the emitter to draw the attention of a kaiju, but the first one that shows up is the Ion Dragon, first seen in episode two. It’s going to be no help getting to the surface. Fortunately, another titan also shows up: the big guy himself, Godzilla.
The two kaiju attack each other on sight. That’s what titans always do. Keiko explains that this is because the monsters are intensely territorial. But who cares because we’re finally getting the kaiju battle we’ve been waiting for all season.
The Ion Dragon loses the fight — no one beats Big G — and might or might not survive. But it’s very hard to kill a kaiju, so who knows?
What matters though is that Godzilla goes back through the titan tunnel, enabling the crew capsule to go with him.
Problem is, the Ion Dragon had damaged the gamma-ray emitter equipment before Godzilla showed up and Shaw had to leave the capsule to fix it. And he gets left behind.
A very unusual family reunion
The capsule arrives back on the surface, and Kentaro is waiting for it. So is Hiroshi, who has a tearful/awkward reunion with his mother, who is now much younger than him.
For the first time in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season one, all three generations of Randas are together: Keiko, Hiroshi, Cate and Kentaro. This is the end of the season finale, so everyone people have been looking for all along have been found. Too bad they lost Shaw … but more on that later.
Another thing they lost is two years. As discussed, time moves more slowly in Hollow Earth, and it’s now 2017.
Also waiting to meet the team is Brenda Holland (Dominique Tipper) the head of Apex Cybernetics. We first learned about this company in episode seven, when May Olowe-Hewitt (Kiersey Clemons) briefly worked there.
In the missing two years, Kentaro, Hiroshi and Tim teamed up with this very dubious company, which is how they were able to help retrieve the capsule with Cate, Keiko and May.
And it turns out they are all on Skull Island, the setting for Kong: Skull Island. That is, of course, the home of Kong, and the big ape shows up for a cameo.
Speculation about season two of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters on Apple TV+
Apple TV+ has not yet committed to a second season of the kaiju-enhanced series, but it is a virtual certainty. The first season was very popular, staying in the top ten streaming series for most of its run.
And the season one finale definitely sets up more episodes. We viewers know Apex Cybernetics is an extremely unethical company that’s secretly building Mechagodzilla that’ll be the villain in Godzilla vs. Kong. There’s no doubt they’ll be the villains in future episodes.
Besides, they have to rescue Lee Shaw out of Axis Mundi. This show spent much of its time chasing missing people — usually Hiroshi — and Shaw will surely now take on that role. And there’s no way Apple TV+ is leaving Kurt Russell out of the show.
Also, we learned in Kong: Skull Island that the titualar island is jam-packed with kaiju. It’s a setting for Keiko, Cate, Kentaro, etc. to encounter plenty of titans without having to roam the Earth. And because Kong is there, he’s can keep popping up in season two the same way Godzilla did in the first season.
With the premiere of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episode ten, the complete first season is read to watch. If you’re reading this, you’ve seen all the episodes, but now is a good time to tell your friends about the show. They can bingewatch all of it.
Access comes with a $9.99-per-month subscription to Apple TV+. That’s a lower price than all of its larger rivals for a service with no commercial interruptions.