Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1 – TV Series

About Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1 – TV Series

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is an American monster television series, based on Godzilla by Toho Co., Ltd, as the sixth installment and the second television series in the MonsterVerse franchise. It was created by Chris Black, and developed by Black and Matt Fraction for Apple TV+. Following the events of Godzilla (2014), the ten-episode series follows members of the Monarch organization as they encounter Godzilla and other monsters called Titans, across a half century.

The series stars Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamoto, Anders Holm, Joe Tippett and Elisa Lasowski, alongside Wyatt Russell and Kurt Russell in the shared role of Lee Shaw. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premiered on Apple TV+ on November 17, 2023, to positive critical reviews.

Monarch Legacy of Monsters 1

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1


Episodes 01


In 2015, one year after Godzilla’s battle with the MUTOs in San Francisco, traumatized schoolteacher Cate Randa travels to Tokyo to settle the affairs of her father, Hiroshi. She discovers that he had a second wife, Emiko, and a son, Kentaro, in Japan. Kentaro leads Cate to Hiroshi’s office, where she discovers a safe containing files belonging to their grandfather, Monarch researcher Bill Randa. Seeking answers about Monarch’s presence in San Francisco and Hiroshi’s connection to them, Cate and Kentaro recruit Kentaro’s ex-girlfriend May Olowe-Hewitt to decode the files. Monarch employee Tim is notified of their activity.

In 1959, Cate and Kentaro’s grandparents, Bill Randa and Keiko Miura, follow radiation in Kazakhstan with fellow Monarch official Colonel Leland Shaw. A boy claims that the radiation is a cover story for the government drilling a hole through the earth. Bill and Keiko discover that radiation levels drop to zero around a power plant, and that hollow caverns exist in the bedrock beneath. Venturing inside, they discover eggs belonging to insectoid Endoswarmers. Keiko and Shaw rappel down to collect genetic material from the eggs, but Endoswarmer larvae awaken from the eggs and drag Keiko into a deep pit.

Episodes 02


In 2015, Kentaro discovers Monarch files in Hiroshi’s office indicating that Shaw, his honorary great-uncle, moved to an assisted living facility in Japan. Tim and Monarch field operative Michelle Duvall track down Cate, Kentaro, and May in an attempt to find the decoded files, but they escape. Cate, Kentaro, and May go on the run and find Shaw, who reveals that the facility is a pretense for Monarch to keep him under house arrest. Shaw convinces them to escape from the facility and follow Hiroshi to his last known location in Alaska.

In 1952, Shaw is assigned as Keiko’s escort on an expedition following unusual radiation in the Philippines. They meet Bill in the jungle, who claims to be following folk tales of a fire-breathing dragon. Keiko recruits Bill against a skeptical Shaw’s advice, and Shaw departs. Continuing alone, Keiko and Bill discover the wreckage of the USS Lawton, a Navy ship that sank in 1943 from which Bill was the sole survivor. They discover corpses in the ship and are attacked by an Ion Dragon. Having seen the Ion Dragon’s radiation-based fire, Shaw returns to rescue them from the ship.

Episodes 03

“Secrets and Lies”

In 2015, Cate, Kentaro, May, and Shaw escape Japan on a ferry bound for Pohang, Korea. In Pohang, they are accosted by border guards before one of them, Du-Ho, reveals himself as Shaw’s old friend. Du-Ho transports them to Alaska by plane; on the way, May infers from Bill’s files that Hiroshi was likely following a list of coordinates identified by Monarch. In Alaska, they find the wreckage of Hiroshi’s plane as well as an encampment suggesting his survival. Du-Ho realizes that Hiroshi’s plane was attacked after landing; a Frost Vark kills him and destroys his plane.

In 1954, Shaw has joined Monarch in a command position. He, Bill, and Keiko present a cast of Godzilla’s footprint to Shaw’s superior officer, Gen. Puckett, to secure uranium for luring Godzilla out of hiding. In Bikini Atoll, Bill and Keiko are horrified to discover that Puckett has delivered the uranium in a nuclear bomb to kill Godzilla as part of the Castle Bravo test.[a] As Godzilla surfaces, Keiko attempts to halt the detonation, but Shaw restrains her and the bomb is detonated. In the aftermath, Shaw is given a blank check by Puckett for Monarch to research the Titans.

Episodes 04

“Parallels and Interiors”

In 2015, the Frost Vark’s emergence is detected by Monarch. Cate, Kentaro, May, and Shaw manage to escape from the Frost Vark, but May falls into a pool of water and quickly develops hypothermia as they try to find shelter. Kentaro splits off from the rest of the group and finds a building that he saw from the plane, which turns out to be an old radio station that had previously been repaired by Hiroshi. Having learned that the Frost Vark feeds on heat energy, Cate, May and Shaw create a bonfire to distract it, long enough for a helicopter that Kentaro contacted to arrive and rescue them. The group are taken to a Monarch outpost, where they are greeted by Tim and Duvall.

In 2013, Kentaro meets May while waiting for his first art show at a prestigious gallery. He chooses to spend the evening with her instead of preparing for the show, and they bond. Kentaro ultimately decides to present his art before he is ready to do so, out of a desire to make his father proud. The night of the gallery is the last time he sees Hiroshi before the latter’s disappearance.

Episodes 05

“The Way Out”

In 2015, Monarch deputy director Natalia Verdugo is frustrated to learn that Shaw has kept Cate, Kentaro, and May in the dark about Hiroshi’s activities in Alaska. Duvall suggests releasing the three to track their movements. After returning to San Francisco, Cate convinces her mother, Caroline, and Caroline’s colleague James to smuggle them towards Hiroshi’s office in a restricted zone of the city’s ruins. Evading military patrols and dealing with Cate’s PTSD, they eventually reach Hiroshi’s office. While they fail to find further hidden files, Kentaro concludes from Hiroshi’s maps that he likely headed to Africa in search of Titans. May secretly contacts Duvall, asking to go home in exchange for her cooperation.

In 2014, two days before Godzilla’s emergence, Cate is in a relationship with fellow teacher Dani. On G-Day, feeling guilt over having cheated on Dani, Cate chooses to leave her behind to chaperone a bus of children across the Golden Gate Bridge. Many of the children are killed when Godzilla crashes through the bridge during his clash with the military.

Episodes 06

“Terrifying Miracles”

In 2015, Duvall breaks Shaw out of captivity, revealing that she joined Monarch after her sister died in the Janjira power plant disaster but has become disillusioned. They take Cate, Kentaro, and May to the Algerian Sahara, where they find Hiroshi using a Titan lure. He warns them to escape before fleeing. Tim and other Monarch agents find the team in Algeria; Godzilla emerges and causes their helicopter to crash. Shaw and Duvall reveal their intent to follow and help Godzilla, but Cate, Kentaro, and May leave to find Hiroshi. Cate and Kentaro are angered when May reveals that she allowed Monarch to track them.

In 1955, Shaw and Keiko attend a defense industry ball, where they bond. Bill recalls them to Monarch headquarters. They learn that Suzuki, a Japanese scientist, has captured isotopic signatures with his Titan lure. As Bill and Keiko travel to meet Suzuki, Shaw reluctantly stays behind to present a budget proposal, but he eventually abandons the meeting and joins them in Japan due to his feelings for Keiko. Godzilla destroys the lure. Returning to the United States to inform Puckett of Godzilla’s survival, they learn that he has transferred Monarch’s command in Shaw’s absence.

Episodes 07

“Will the Real May Please Stand Up?”

In 2015, May is kidnapped at the airport in Tindouf, Algeria by her former employer, Applied Experimental Technologies, who gives her the choice of spying on Monarch or being prosecuted. Cate accosts Tim when he arrives at the airport and asks him to help locate May. Tim, Cate, and Kentaro find May’s family in Tacoma, Washington and learn about her past from her sister, Lyra. They trigger a false Titan alert to rescue May from AET, but she chooses not to spy on Monarch and stay behind. Verdugo is convinced by Cate to secure May’s release in exchange for help understanding Shaw’s plans, and by Tim to take Monarch public to explain the alert. After reaching an agreement with Monarch, AET rebrands to Apex Cybernetics. Shaw and Duvall take over the Alaskan Monarch outpost and detonate a rift to the Hollow Earth to seal it.

In 2012, May – then known as Corah Mateo – is recruited by AET. Dissatisfied with the secrecy around her work, she hacks into AET’s systems and discovers that they are a front for Monarch’s cybernetic animal experimentation. She destroys AET’s research and flees to Japan under a false identity.

Episodes 08


In 2015, Shaw and Duvall return to the Kazakh power plant where Keiko was killed in 1959, now enclosed in a containment facility. Cate, Kentaro, May, and Tim infer that Shaw is trying to rectify the past. Verdugo sends them after Shaw with a small team. Inside, Shaw and Duvall confront the team. Speaking with Cate alone, Shaw explains that he intends to help Godzilla maintain order by separating the Hollow Earth from the surface world. As Shaw primes explosive charges around a rift to the Hollow Earth inside the pit, an adult Endoswarmer emerges. May, Cate, Shaw, and the Endoswarmer fall back into the rift shortly before its destruction.

In 1955, Monarch’s new head Lt. Cmdr. Hatch questions Shaw, Keiko, and Bill’s evidence of the Titans’ existence. Bill assaults Hatch while defending Keiko from a racist remark. With Monarch’s existence under jeopardy, Shaw convinces Keiko and Bill to compile their research. Bill realizes that the Titans evade detection through the Hollow Earth. While sharing his findings with Keiko, he learns that she is a widow raising Hiroshi alone. Bill offers to adopt Hiroshi. As a last resort, Shaw reveals Godzilla’s survival while presenting Keiko and Bill’s findings to Puckett.

Episodes 09

“Axis Mundi”

In 2015, Monarch rescues Kentaro and Tim. Verdugo informs a despondent Kentaro of Cate, May, and Shaw’s losses. His mother, Emiko, inspires him to continue searching. When Hiroshi returns to his office, Kentaro confronts him. Meanwhile, Shaw and May awaken in an intermediate realm between the surface and the Hollow Earth, Axis Mundi, and search for Cate. Elsewhere, Cate is attacked by a Bramble Boar but is rescued by an unaged Keiko.

In 1962, Shaw volunteers to lead Operation Hourglass, an expedition into the Hollow Earth. Suzuki’s Titan lure is used to induce a partial Titan emergence and stabilize a rift. During the launch, the rift abruptly destabilizes and closes. Puckett informs Bill that Monarch’s funding has been cut due to the outcome of Operation Hourglass. Meanwhile, Shaw’s stranded team is killed by an Ion Dragon while he is sucked back through the rift.

In 1982, Shaw awakens in a Monarch medical facility. Holding a nurse—Emiko—hostage and demanding to see Bill, Shaw is met by an adult Hiroshi. Hiroshi informs him that Bill has died and that Monarch intends to abandon their mission in favor of leaving the Titans undisturbed. Shaw is placed under house arrest. In 2014, he sees the news of Godzilla and the male MUTO fighting in Hawaii.[a]

Episodes 10

“Beyond Logic”

In 2015, Keiko explains to Cate that she rigged the Titan lure from Operation Hourglass to send a distress signal from the Hollow Earth. They reunite with May and Shaw; Keiko is devastated to learn that decades have passed, and that Bill never returned from his expedition to Skull Island.[b] Tim leaves Monarch after clashing with Verdugo over her refusal to investigate Keiko’s signal, and instead notifies Kentaro and Hiroshi. As Shaw and Keiko reconnect the lure to the Operation Hourglass launch vehicle, she reveals her intention to remain behind, but Cate persuades her otherwise. Shaw activates the vehicle, but inadvertently lures an Ion Dragon already present in Axis Mundi. Shaw exits the vehicle to reconnect a cable dislodged by the Dragon. Godzilla emerges through a rift and battles the Ion Dragon, eventually throwing it back through the rift and activating the vehicle. As Keiko struggles to bring Shaw back into the vehicle, he sacrifices himself to allow their escape.

In 2017, at an Apex Cybernetics research station on Skull Island, Hiroshi successfully returns the vehicle to the surface; he, Kentaro, and Tim reunite with Keiko, Cate, and May. However, the trio are shocked to learn that two years have passed and that Tim has joined hands with Apex Cybernetics. They and the other staff evacuate as Kong approaches.


  • Anna Sawai as Cate Randa: A San Francisco schoolteacher coping with PTSD whose search for her missing father leads her to uncover his involvement with Monarch.
  • Kiersey Clemons as May: A former employee of Applied Experimental Technologies (later Apex Cybernetics) who later escaped to Japan under the alias ‘May’ after discovering that her company was using her code for nefarious means.
  • Ren Watabe as Kentaro: An artist and Cate’s half-brother who joins her on a journey to find their mysterious father.
  • Mari Yamamoto as Keiko: A scientist who investigates monsters with Lee Shaw and Bill Randa in the 1950s.
  • Anders Holm as Bill Randa: A cryptozoologist who becomes a leading researcher for Monarch.
    • John Goodman as an older Bill Randa, reprising his role from Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  • Joe Tippett as Tim: An overzealous Monarch office worker who goes into the field to track down the organization’s lost documents.
  • Wyatt and Kurt Russell as Lee Shaw: a former U.S. Army colonel who joins Keiko and Bill in their investigations of monsters and subsequently becomes involved with Monarch. Kurt portrays the older version of Shaw, encountered by Cate and Kentaro, while Wyatt plays the younger version, responsible for founding Monarch.
  • Elisa Lasowski as Duvall: Sandra Brody’s sister and a skilled Monarch operative partnered with Tim.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters



Following the success of Godzilla vs. Kong, discussions commenced on ways that the MonsterVerse could be expanded beyond feature films. Legendary proposed a live-action series, and among the potential investors, Apple TV+ expressed immediate interest and negotiated a deal and green-lit the series in January 2022. It is a joint venture between Legendary Television, Safehouse Pictures, and Toho, although Warner Bros. still owns the rights for the MonsterVerse franchise alongside Legendary. Chris Black is creator and showrunner.

In May, Matt Shakman was hired to direct the first two episodes in addition to executive producing. In addition to Black and Matt Fraction, writers include Andrew Colville, Milla Bell-Hart, Amanda Overton, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Mariko Tamaki, and Al Letson.


November 17, 2023


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