Character development takes center stage in this episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters!
Monarch legacy of monsters episode 4 - still 3

Note: The following review contains spoilers for Episode 4 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters‘ plot slows down dramatically in Episode 4 to further develop Kentaro and May’s romantic background. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is the MonsterVerse’s latest foray into streaming television, currently available on Apple TV+.

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The MonsterVerse film franchise is a shared universe inhabited by Godzilla and King Kong. The franchise began with 2014’s Godzilla. Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire is the MonsterVerse’s next installment, releasing on April 12th, 2024.

The Frost Vark Terrorizes Cate’s Group In Alaska

Following on from the previous episode’s cliffhanger, Cate, May, Kentaro, and older Lee Shaw encounter the Frost Vark, a giant monster that can freeze anything. The situation gets worse when May gets frost on her legs, risking her chances of getting frostbite and pneumonia. Shaw realizes the creature is drawn to heat and can distort reality, hence why it freezes things and makes the characters feel like they’re walking in circles.

The group eventually split up, with Kentaro heading to an old Monarch base. At the base, Kentaro discovers evidence of his father’s survival and contacts Monarch personnel to pick the group up with helicopters.

The Frost Vark’s capabilities and great design make a confrontation with Godzilla in the last couple of episodes feel inevitable. The detail that this giant monster and others can disrupt reality opens up a new angle to explore through the characters. Godzilla: King of the Monsters has the closest example of when this was previously alluded to. Specifically, regarding the way King Ghidorah’s powers affected the weather around him in that film.

The History Behind Kentaro and May’s Relationship

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Throughout May and Kentaro’s struggles to get through the Alaskan cold, flashbacks occur depicting their relationship’s beginnings back in Japan. Kentaro’s dissatisfaction with his artistic career is shown in these flashbacks. While he stands outside of the building that houses his art installation, he meets May and immediately forms a connection with her, leaving the art installation to hang out with her instead.

Dedicating a massive portion of this episode to developing this relationship takes advantage of the character development opportunities in the prolonged television format, compared to a movie’s length constraints. The only downside is that between his clear daddy issues and relationship troubles, Kentaro isn’t as interesting of a character compared to May. The show consistently heavily implies she has an incredibly shady background, based on her skills. I have no doubt her backstory will be fully fleshed out by the season’s conclusion.

Outpost’s Readings and The Tease of A Much Larger Threat

Meanwhile, in Monarch’s Utah-based Outpost 47, an agent named Barnes discovers strange gamma radiation readings coming from below the surface somewhere in Alaska, reminiscent of those that were present in the Janjira incident from decades prior. This is yet another reference in the series to Godzilla (2014). Clearly shocked, she reports back to the Monarch agents from previous episodes in Arlington, Virginia about her discovery. The agents there become alarmed by the mystery of Barnes’ findings.

This whole section of the episode continues the corrupt Monarch personnel plotline from previous episodes. Besides the episode’s conclusion and Kentaro’s finding of evidence of his father’s survival in the old Monarch base, these scenes are one of the only instances of plot movement in the whole episode. Similar to what I mentioned earlier, the presence of highly radioactive activity implies the final episodes will conclude with a massive battle between Godzilla and this creature. The glow the main characters see from a distance might be where this radiation is coming from.

RELATED: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters New Story Details and First Look at Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell in War With Godzilla

Ultimately, in its attempt to balance character development with plot movement, Episode 4 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is more like a 7/10.

About Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch Legacy of Monsters key art

Release Date: November 17, 2023
Executive Producers: Chris Black, Matt Fraction, Matt Shakman, Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Andy Goddard, Brad Van Arragon, Andrew Colville, Hiro Matsuoka, Takemasa Arita
Cast: Kurt Russell, Wyatt Russell, Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, Joe Tippett, Elisa Lasowski

Synopsis: Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” tracks two siblings following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch. Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army officer Lee Shaw (played by Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later when Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows. The dramatic saga — spanning three generations — reveals buried secrets and the ways that epic, earth-shattering events can reverberate through our lives.

What are your thoughts on Monarch: Legacy of Monsters‘ fourth episode? What do you think about the Frost Vark? What do you think is the secret behind the gamma radiation in Alaska? Let us know by giving The Illuminerdi a shout-out on our social media, we’re always watching. 



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Valenti Govantes

Valenti Govantes is his name, entertainment journalism is his game. Growing up with a burning desire to grow and express his knowledge, Valenti decided it was best to start writing about his passions for film and comics. After success writing for the university newspaper and film blog, Valenti now muses about the important things in life, like which Friday the 13th movie is the best, through his articles on Medium. Horror is his ride or die film genre, but he loves to watch anything weird, over the top and just pure cult classic material. He is always up to talk about beloved comic runs or the complexities of DC Comics’ many reboots on his Twitter and Instagram.