Episode 5 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters takes the main characters back to the ruins of San Francisco!
Monarch Legacy of Monsters - Episode 5

The deeper exploration of the MonsterVerse continues. Episode 5 of Apple TV and Legendary Entertainment’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters outlines significant world-building regarding what happened to San Francisco, a year after the events of Godzilla (2014).

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Monarch: Legacy of Monsters can be streamed on Apple TV+ and is another television installment of the MonsterVerse. The MonsterVerse film franchise is a shared universe inhabited by Godzilla and King Kong. The franchise began with Godzilla. The MonsterVerse will return to the big screen with Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire coming out on Apr. 12, 2024.

Monarch Agents Interrogate Cate’s Group After Last Episode’s Cliffhanger

The episode begins with Cate’s group being interrogated about what they know of Monarch’s secrets. While May is being interrogated, the French Monarch agent gives May her card. The organization’s members let the group go, reasoning that they will keep a loose leash on them. Monarch keeps Shaw captive to interrogate him further, questioning his motives and the information he has. Shaw’s role in the episode ends when the agents begin moving him to another undisclosed location.

Kurt Russell in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Besides adding more to May’s shady background, this whole section of the episode is an excuse for Kurt Russell to flex his acting chops. This is obvious when Shaw criticizes Monarch’s actions during the Battle of San Francisco. It was also cool to see him reference Dr. Serizawa’s iconic “Let them fight” line from Godzilla. While it’s frustrating that Shaw and Cate’s group splitting up seems to be a running gag, at least it served a purpose here to explain older Shaw’s perspective about Monarch’s approach to the Titans.

Cate’s Group Return To San Francisco After Godzilla’s Battle With The M.U.T.Os

While the group doesn’t have the important files anymore, they decide to go back to Cate and Kentaro’s father’s lab in San Francisco. This plan’s only issue is the government’s quarantine of San Francisco after G-Day happened. G-Day is the in-universe name for the day Godzilla and the M.U.T.Os fought. Now near the city, Cate takes the opportunity to introduce Kentaro to her mother. Using her FEMA connections, Cate’s mother gets the group inside San Francisco at night. In Cate and Kentaro’s father’s office, the group uses sunlight to uncover his path and where he is headed next.

This part of the episode was definitely a great way of progressing the story through a combination of franchise references and world-building. I always thought it was weird how Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla Vs. Kong never brought up what happened to San Francisco after G-Day. Finally answering that and showing how the government believably handled the aftermath adds more to Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island‘s somewhat realistic tones.

The Story Behind Cate’s Troubled G-Day Flashbacks

Similar to previous episodes, Cate experiences flashbacks to G-Day when her group traverses around the now-abandoned and ruined buildings. In one of them, Cate reassures her frightened students at school that the footage of Godzilla and the M.U.T.Os on the internet is fake, only for one of her colleagues to hint about Godzilla’s incoming arrival.

These flashbacks also show that Cate is a lesbian, having a troubled relationship with another school faculty member while also in an affair with another woman. The flashbacks end with Cate having one last look at her lover before the bus she’s on drives toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

RELATED: Apple TV+ Unveils Trailer for its Highly Anticipated Series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters at New York Comic Con

Though these flashbacks add more context to Cate’s trauma, they also portray her with more character flaws, like cheating on her lover. The addition of these flaws are to give Cate more depth, beyond her issues with her father. It does feel like a characterization payoff since prior episodes heavily teased G-Day from her perspective.

I’m surprised what happened to Cate’s lover after G-Day wasn’t shown. Perhaps, details about her fate are being saved for the season’s conclusion or another season. Judging the episode by its great character moments, world-building, and plot progression, I’m rating Episode 5 a 9/10.

About Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

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‘ fifth episode? What’s your favorite world-building detail in the episode? Do you think we will continue to see G-Day from different points of view as the series progresses? Let us know by giving The Illuminerdi a shout-out on our social media, and make sure to follow us for more reviews like this, 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.