TV Shows

Monarch Episode 2 Mini-Review

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Following on the heels of the first episode, Apple TV’s Monarch continues to explore several mysteries.  This is a review of the episode and contains spoilers.


Unlike most shows where the characters are trying to figure out one big answer, Monarch has our two teams of three (May, Kentaro, Cate / Bill, Keiko, Lee) learning what questions to ask. Unlike the viewers, who are assuming Monarch is involved with Gozilla, I don’t believe Cate, May, and Kentaro are on to that yet, at least not fully, and we don’t yet know whether Keiko (Mari Yamamoto) is part of that organization (we haven’t been told yet who was really behind her assignment).

What is Monarch? How was Cate and Kentaro’s father involved? What is the 1950s team attempting to uncover? Why is Tim (Joe Tippett) so intense about his job?

Given the very beginning of episode 1 took place on Skull Island, and in this episode young Lee Shaw (Wyatt Russell) sees a mysterious circle in the sky, is some sort of portal or dimensional rift involved? 

If you couldn’t tell by my many questions, I’ve grown rather fascinated by Monarch the more I watch. This particular episode moved at a quicker pace than the first, including an exciting kidnapping chase, a monster attack, and a young Lee Shaw embarrassingly inserting his foot into his mouth.

The episode also included one of my favourite movie tropes, which is a derelict ship! The subsequent monster attack also felt like something out of Jurassic Park, and I appreciated the “Oh no, a fallen beam has trapped me” scene, as it was more realistic than what we usually get in action movies. 

I’m also wondering whether Bill Randa (Anders Holm) is involved in Monarch. I’m still very much enjoying the show’s generational split and hope it continues.

We also finally see the promised Kurt Russell. He’s as charming as ever, and it appears the next episode will be an escape, though I’m not sure it will be as wild as Escape from New York. Unless, of course, Godzilla decides to emerge from the sea yet again. 


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    T. S. Beier is obsessed with science fiction, the ruins of industry, and Fallout. She is the author of What Branches Grow, a post-apocalyptic novel (which was a Top 5 Finalist in the 2020 Kindle Book Awards and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Self-Published Science Fiction Competition) and the Burnt Ship Trilogy (space opera). She is a book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two feral children, and a Shepherd-Mastiff.

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