A Harrowing Escape Leads To A Time Of Recollection
Episode 4 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premiered on December 1st. The episode takes us straight to the action when the Frost Vark attacked Lee Shaw, Cate, and the others. After their narrow escape, the party were forced to split up when Kentaro noticed several structures, while Cate and Shaw headed towards a mysterious light erupting from a crater.
Dangers in Alaska
The Frost Vark is the main threat of the episode. After its voracious introduction at the end of episode 3, it proceeds to menace our protagonists for the rest of this episode. The Frost Vark feeds on heat and is attracted to any sources of heat, from flares and fires to burning engines. When all natural sources of heat vanish, the beast becomes attracted to the natural body heat of humans, swiftly making it a dangerous predator.
The second half of the dangers presented in the episode is the environment as well. Alaska’s brutal weather brings a heavy toll to both May and Kentaro, both struggling to withstand the Alaskan wilderness. Much of the tension and danger presented in the episode is reminiscent of classic monster films such as The Thing, a film Kurt Russel has done in the past.
Kentaro’s Struggles and Development
There are no scenes in this episode that take place in the 1950s with young Lee Shaw, Bill Randa and Keiko. Instead, this episode focuses on Kentaro’s past and his relationship with May. Throughout the episode there are glimpses into their lives together, Kentaro’s attraction to May, and his internal conflicts and turmoils as a fledgling artist. Kentaro’s art consists of fascinating glass sculptures that seem to show the faces of people on them.
This episode certainly covered the personal developments of Kentaro and shows his relationship with both May and his father Hiroshi and the contrast of their interactions, between Hiroshi encouraging his son despite his anxieties and doubts to May being a liberator of his doubts and pressures. The lack of focus on the 1950s story means that we get a chance to focus on the present-day characters and their developments.
Cinematic Beauty In The Series
There are a lot of beautiful visual moments in this episode, from Kentaro’s art gallery to the stunning light show that’s erupting from a crater in Alaska. The light show in Alaska is revealed to be a part of a much bigger mystery. The phenomena is revealed to be connected to radiation and was a similar event to what occurred when the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms emerged in Janjira during the events of Godzilla 2014. What this means is currently unknown, but agents from Monarch are convinced that Lee Shaw can guide them to the answers before it’s too late.
Episode 4 was a nice break from the adventures of the 1950s and gave a glimpse into the backstory of the present-day characters. There is a basic understanding of Cate’s trauma concerning monsters like Godzilla along with her bitterness towards her father’s secret life. Yet Kentaro barely had much going on before this episode aside from being her half-brother, having a fond relationship with Hiroshi, and his strained relationship with May. This episode gave more input and contextual reflections into the lives of other characters. The secretive organization Monarch even has several moments with their agents trying to investigate the phenomena in Alaska, showing them to be more than a faceless enigmatic group antagonizing the main characters. Episode 4 is another positive recommendation and maintains the engaging action and character moments of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Episode 5 is bound to continue the complicated tension between Cate and Lee Shaw with the Monarch operatives that were searching for them.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023) Official Episode 4 Promo Trailer