Monarch: Legacy of Monsters: The Way Out
December 8, 2023 11:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Cate's painful memories of G-Day come flooding back as she treks through the ruins of San Francisco with Kentaro and May.
posted by ShooBoo (17 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't be the only one who was gobsmacked that the Handa's kids and May--after everything they've experienced so far--didn't immediately bin the cell phones Monarch gave them. That shit has tracking all over it. The Handa kids I can kinda sorta give a pass to, but May? Multiple passports May? C'mon the fuck on.
posted by Kitteh at 5:04 PM on December 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

The phone thing was dumb, but I guess you could say May is the likeliest to object and she already was already weighing working with Monarch?

I really liked making Cate a cheater! I never like making any character a cheater, but it works so well with the reveal of her father's secret family.

The pic for next episode has the 1950s crew back, and I'm so desperate I could die. I missed those characters so much!
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:26 PM on December 8, 2023 [3 favorites]

Really disappointing. Why are the kids written to be so foolish? After almost getting caught by soldiers in SF, they start singing and shouting - and get caught again?
posted by adrianhon at 2:37 AM on December 9, 2023 [4 favorites]

This episode - and the last one too - were very lacklustre for me. Where has the 1950s plotline gone? I didn’t feel like this episode did very much, apart from show the trauma response of Cate. And also if another episode goes by talking about how colonel snake plisken isn’t old, rather than just… showing us… 😤
posted by The River Ivel at 3:31 AM on December 9, 2023 [2 favorites]

I told Shepherd that I want the next TWO episodes to focus only on our scrappy team in the 1950s to make up for the previous two. Listen, at the end of the day, I am really enjoying this show, but I am riveted by how Monarch began and how that started with our polycule back in the day. I am okay with it being in the present, but LBR, those parts coast on Kurt Russell's charisma. When he's involved, it's more interesting.
posted by Kitteh at 5:03 AM on December 9, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yeah, for as much as this show's yee-haw kaiju and Kurt Russel's charisma are driving things along, the Randa kids are kind of the worst.

My question was, ... ok maybe it was a private school, but the whole "hey let's evacuate the kids in a bus over a very exposed bridge" seems like sloppy writing just to provoke an emotional response from Cate. "Hey we were on a field trip to (something on the other side of the bridge)" would've worked as well, but wouldn't have had the buildup of Kaiju coming onshore and attacking.. Uh. Santa Cruz first, let's say?

And discovering that Monarch is a kind of quasi-secret NGO makes some of their reactions in Tokyo weird. I dunno, it felt like they were hiding their old man's secrets from the guys that said they were associated with their old man? And then a whole episode and a half later they end up caught by them anyway. Well done, guys.
posted by Kyol at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

I am also fully with the scrappy founders story-line being the best. The Randa kids are just boring, when they aren't being the worst. The only parts in the 2015 story line that were any fun was when Kurt Russel was running around dumping gasoline on the plot.

The Randa family conspiracy isn't really falling into place for me. The wall map has left me thinking that the big reveal will be about the hollow earth but that, on its own, would make no sense. Monarch has known about the hollow earth since the 1970s and the guy who's name is really attached to the theory, Dr. Brooks, was (a) not Randa and so presumably has his own files, and (b) survived Skull island and remained employed by Monarch until at least Godzilla King of the Monsters (he makes a cameo). The only other thing I have on my massive conspiracy wall connected with yarn is perhaps the locations of the other titans? In Godzilla, the only titans Monarch appears to be monitoring are the MUTOs and they generally know of Godzilla's existence (but not where he is), and I suppose Kong on Skull Island. But by Godzilla KotM, only a few years later, they have all the titans mapped out with monitoring stations set up and everything. They have already told us, in the 1950s, that the Randas were going to keep details of the titans secret from Shaw so as to protect them from another Castle Bravo, so it is the only thing on the table that they would know and he wouldn't.
posted by selenized at 7:46 PM on December 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

the whole "hey let's evacuate the kids in a bus over a very exposed bridge" seems like sloppy writing just to provoke an emotional response from Cate

This actually comes from the Godzilla movie (I'm re-watching it right now). It wasn't just Cate's school, other schools evacuated across the bridge, as did patients from hospitals. They were evacuating away from the MUTO coming from Nevada, I don't think anybody in the city had any awareness at that point that Godzilla (and the other MUTO) were coming from the Pacific, and the military's plan at that time was still to lure them all away from San Francisco (and nuke them in the face).
posted by selenized at 9:52 PM on December 9, 2023 [4 favorites]

Just got back from Godzilla Minus Zero, a movie with at least a reasonable monster:drama ratio (and both good monster and good drama, which helps). I'm retroactively liking this episode even less than I did when watching it.

I'm just not that into the Monarch intrigue; I like the early-days stuff, but the travails of the character I can only think of as "Bill Pullman with a COVID beard" and French Ninja just don't matter to me, the kids are aggravating and one-note, and I don't know if anything will be "discovered" that I as an audience member don't know already.

Or -- equally terrifying -- they will uncover something novel, but also appallingly stupid, like "the government created MUTOs by splicing space alien DNA" or some horsepuckey.

I want monsters! Monsters! Eat the humans! Give me monsters!
posted by Shepherd at 1:08 PM on December 10, 2023 [8 favorites]

This actually comes from the Godzilla movie (I'm re-watching it right now).

Ah, ok, so they're winding it into the current mythos, fair enough, even though I've seen all of them I couldn't tell you much more than STOMP STOMP KAIJU about any of 'em at this point.
posted by Kyol at 6:14 PM on December 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

I feel like this is maybe a 4 hour story being stretched to 8 or 10 just because. No Kaiju in this episode, no real plot movement, the kids just seem to be circling without getting anywhere and the Monarch people are just NPC's at this point. What is this show even about?
I also saw Godzilla Minus One today and it's great.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:14 PM on December 10, 2023 [1 favorite]

If I were watching this alone, I'd have pulled the plug by now. My wife says she's enjoying it, though I the amount of knitting that's being done suggests that she's not really engrossed in the show. :-)

I'm pretty disappointed. Way too much talking and boring plot, barely any monsters. When the series was announced I sort of expected a "monster battle of the week" format, but it's been extremely anemic on the monster front.
posted by jzb at 6:31 AM on December 11, 2023 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed the episode, but yeah, it sunk down to near the bottom of the rankings of all the episodes together. As someone mentioned, the Randa kids and May were definitely not the best infiltrators out there when it came to trying NOT to be noticed, especially after the near miss. If Kurt Russell had been there, we could have had some nice snappy, snarky, grouchy, "Shut the hell up!" commentary. Alas. He was stuck in a room at Monarch. I appreciated that they did give Cate's mom some time to be something other than a voice on the phone criticizing Cate.

And I think I'm team Cheating Cate, too. If only because it kind of gave Cate another reason to run away from S.F., besides the trauma of her kids' on the bridge. The added complexity of wanting to criticize your father for cheating...but also, seeing yourself in his behavior. If Cate is embodying that aspect of Hiroshi, what is Kentaro? Is Kentaro's two lives representative? Of Artist and whatever his day job was? Or is it perspective into trying to see something beyond what you first encounter?

The mystery around Russell's character is weird. This is where the 50s crew would help so much, understanding why Monarch wants to essentially bury him. I suspect it's probably for something that happens after Keiko's death?
posted by Atreides at 7:50 AM on December 11, 2023

Bring back the polycule! The Randa children aren't interesting as you think!

edited to add: also taking bets that Shaw is likely one or both of the Randa kids' real grandfather and Hiroshi's real dad
posted by Kitteh at 8:29 AM on December 11, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yeah, and weirdly it sort of feels specifically like the Randa kids? Like, I'm almost sure I could deal with a Kaiju-adjacent show about the emotional impacts of living in a city that was devastated by Kaiju blah blah and etc - the whole Cate dealing with her duplicity and guilt surrounding the attack was the most compelling part of this episode. And even wandering through the wreckage was ok when they weren't being dumb about it. But "let's sing silly commercials that our dad used to sing to us while the security teams are looking for looters?" May's not _wrong_ about them, y'know?
posted by Kyol at 10:15 AM on December 11, 2023 [2 favorites]

I'm not fond of how indiscriminately they seem to toss out flashbacks in this show. Does Cate see an abandoned bicycle? There's a flashback for that! Does a reflection in a puddle remind her of a reflection she saw in the bus window moments before it plunged off the Golden Gate Bridge? There's a flashback for that too!

If the flashbacks served a better narrative purpose (Pacific Rim, for example, did this well, IMO), and it's not that this show doesn't make some narrative use of them, but they're far too overutilized and I find myself picking up my phone when they're on and I'm sure that I've missed some fascinating detail.
posted by vverse23 at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2023 [2 favorites]

This episode had exactly one interesting reveal in a flashback - that Cate was cheating on her girlfriend. This is something that probably doesn't tie into the plot but informs her complicated relationship with her father.

The rest of it was, to use technical film lingo, tedious as all hell. And for people sneaking into a restricted zone they sure liked splashing their high-powered flashlight beams around.

I am not sure I can sit through another episode like this one.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2023 [1 favorite]

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