|Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episodes|
|SPOILER WARNING: This section may contain major plot and/or ending details.|
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"Aftermath" (余波 is the first episode of Yoha)Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, directed by Matt Shakman and written by Chris Black. It was initially screened at the New York Comic Con on October 12, 2023, and premiered along with the second episode on Apple TV+ on November 17.
Snippets of footage shot by Monarch agent Bill Randa document his organization's ill-fated expedition to Skull Island in 1973, including their first violent encounter with the island's Titan ruler, Kong. In one segment, Randa turns the camera towards himself and apologizes to an unknown person for his mistakes, though he is hopeful that his legacy will vindicate them. He is cut off by an approaching Mother Longlegs, who pursues him out of a bamboo forest, shattering the lens of his camera after he drops it, and to the edge of a small cliff overlooking the ocean. Trapped, he withdraws a waterproof bag from his backpack and throws it into the sea. Before the giant spider can kill him, however, a crab-like Mantleclaw emerges from the ground and engages it in battle. Randa narrowly avoids their many thrashing limbs before they both tumble into the water.
In 2013, a fisherman discovers Randa's bag mixed in with his boat’s latest catch.
In 2015, one year after Godzilla slayed the MUTOs in San Francisco, Cate Randa's flight lands in Tokyo. Before the passengers depart, two people in hazmat suits spray them down to kill any parasites, which the man next to her dismisses as false comfort. Watching them, she briefly flashes back to an encounter with soldiers wearing similar masks. In the airport, she pauses at a sign on the floor that is part of the Godzilla Evacuation Route, this time recalling being on a school bus with her students as Godzilla attacked the Golden Gate Bridge. At customs, she explains to the official that she's come to Japan to settle her father Hiroshi's affairs. In Tokyo, she witnesses missile batteries and anti-Godzilla graffiti; her taxi driver, meanwhile, is convinced the Titans were all faked with CGI.
As Cate enters her father’s apartment building, she has a terse conversation with her mother Caroline, who pushed her to travel to Japan for answers. She enters the apartment using his keyring and finds a memorial to him, as well as a wall of photos showing him with a woman and a boy she doesn't recognize. She meets them moments later, the boy now fully grown, and both extremely alarmed to find her in their home. As she tries to defuse the situation, she realizes that Hiroshi had two families, one in the United States and one in Japan.
In 1959, Bill Randa drives a beat-up car through Kazakhstan with his wife and fellow doctor Keiko, along with another Monarch agent, Lee Shaw. Keiko's Geiger counter leads them towards a forest. As they don gas masks, Bill and Keiko voice hope that their destination will prove their theories about the "network." They soon come upon a young hunter; when he aims his rifle at them, Shaw draws a pistol, but Keiko talks the boy down, warning him that he’s in a restricted area and that the game he has caught is contaminated. He shares with them the local belief about the zone ahead of them: the government burned a hole straight to Hell there. Continuing their trek, they find an abandoned nuclear power plant. Keiko removes her mask, as against all reason, her Geiger counter is no longer detecting radiation.
Cate shows the mother and son, Emiko and Kentaro, pictures on her phone to prove that Hiroshi is her father. One shows him and her mother on their 30th wedding anniversary, prompting her to wonder who he cheated on first. Emiko asks her if she can tell them anything about what happened to Hiroshi; distressed, she excuses herself and leaves them the keys.
As Keiko, Bill, and Lee walk through the ruins of the nuclear power plant, she observes that every spike in radiation she's detecting soon fades, as though something was absorbing it. Shaw instead suggests that something is eating it, like the monsters they've encountered before. They set off a series of charges around the plant, and are delighted to find chambers in the bedrock beneath them—until a minor earthquake hits the area.
Caroline calls Cate again, but she tries to dodge her questions about what she found in the apartment. Their call is interrupted by an evacuation alert on her phone. Kentaro and Emiko lead her towards a subway shelter. Kentaro reassures her that the alert is likely a drill, though she would know better as a San Francisco survivor. Emiko asks if Hiroshi was with her then, and Cate replies that he wasn't before experiencing an extended flashback of the day Godzilla rose out of the bay. The Titan swiped at a tank, carving a chunk out of the Golden Gate Bridge and leaving her bus dangerously close to the edge. With the driver knocked unconscious by debris, she moved to evacuate her kids through the emergency exit. A missile struck Godzilla and he let out a roar, appearing to look straight at her. Moving past the bridge, he flung a large piece of debris in her direction, causing the bus to plummet into the bay with most of the kids still inside. Jolted back to the present, Cate tries to leave the shelter in a panic. A pair of soldiers approach, but Emiko holds her and calms her down.
Keiko, Bill, and Lee venture inside one of the buildings and find a pit with dozens of giant eggs at the bottom. They prepare to descend to take genetic samples of this new species despite Lee's reservations, although he limits them to five minutes.
After receiving the all-clear, Cate, Kentaro, and Emiko leave the shelter. Emiko invites her to the apartment for tea, but she brusquely declines, not wanting to spend any more time with her father's other wife. Reminding her that she's about to leave Tokyo with very few answers, Kentaro takes to Hiroshi's office, from which he allegedly programmed software for satellites. He hopes she'll see the good in him there, but she's only reminded of how consumed he was by work. Feeling her way across a large map on the wall, she suddenly tears it down, revealing a safe behind it. After several tries, she guesses the password by combining the birthdays of his children and wives. Inside, she finds Bill Randa's lost bag, still reeking of fish and containing numerous data storage tapes. She realizes she's seen the logo on the bag before: in San Francisco, on the uniforms and equipment of the mysterious soldiers and agents on the bridge. She asks Kentaro for help reading them, offering to get out of his life forever.
Kentaro takes Cate to his ex-girlfriend May Olowe-Hewitt, a coder and game designer who is less than pleased that he's contacted her for a technical favor after not speaking to her for months. He convinces her to help with his hope that something on the tapes will prove Cate a liar or explain why his father had two families. She takes them back to her apartment. Cate is surprised to find framed sci-fi artwork by Hiroshi on the wall, as she had assumed he became an engineer to please Hiroshi. May finds that the first tape is encrypted, but quickly cracks it, revealing scores of redacted Monarch documents. A Monarch agent in data culling immediately detects the breach and alerts Tim, her superior. Rather than loop in his superior, Verdugo, he quickly ushers her out of his office and contacts another agent to help him deal with the situation.
May's decryption continues, revealing more documents and several photographs of monsters—including, to Cate’s surprise, Bigfoot. Kentaro notices a map resembling the one in Hiroshi's office; after he reads the name "Monarch," Cate tells them about the agents she saw in San Francisco, and how they seemed to relish documenting the destruction as people were dying. She believes that Hiroshi was working for them, but Kentaro refuses to believe it. He fumes to May in Japanese that Hiroshi would still be alive if he had been in Tokyo instead of San Francisco when the Titans attacked. Speaking Japanese in front of him for the first time, Cate retorts that Hiroshi wasn't in San Francisco that day either. She remembers meeting him in the city days after the battle, where he handed her bus passes to head east to Reno with Caroline, before leaving to carry out a task he refused to elaborate on. Shortly thereafter, they heard from police in Fairbanks, Alaska, that his plane was lost in a storm. Kentaro insists he must have done everything for a reason, but Cate declares him unforgivable. She then spots a photo of a woman standing inside a monstrous footprint on one of May's screens: her and Kentaro's grandmother Keiko.
The earth splits again after Keiko and Lee reach the bottom of the pit. Keiko observes that the unhatched monsters are insect-like, and theorizes that they were drawn up from underground by the nuclear reactor. Tremors continue to rock the building as the eggs hatch and the newborn creatures, called Endoswarmers, rush towards them. Bill starts to pull up Keiko, with Lee climbing his own rope. One of the Endoswarmers grabs onto Keiko's leg, with countless more following as they pile onto each other. Lee empties his pistol into them, then tries to pull Keiko to safety, but Bill's grip slips and the monsters drag her back into the pit.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Anna Sawai as Cate Randa
- Kiersey Clemons as May Olowe-Hewitt
- Ren Watabe as Kentaro Randa
- Mari Yamamoto as Dr. Keiko Randa
- Anders Holm as young Bill Randa
- Joe Tippett as Tim
- Wyatt Russell as young Lee Shaw
- Takehiro Hira as Hiroshi Randa
- Qyoko Kudo as Emiko Randa
- Tamlyn Tomita as Caroline Randa (voice and photos)
- John Goodman as Assist. Prof. Bill Randa
- Hiroshi Ikushima as taxi driver
- Takeshi Kurokawa as male passenger
- Anton Markelov as young hunter
- Camille Legg as Collins
- Hiroko Yano as passport officer
- Kengo Hashimoto as Japanese fisherman
- Junichi Tajiri as Japanese trawler captain
Titans and superspecies
Weapons, vehicles, and organizations
- Camille Legg is the first known non-binary actor to appear in Godzilla media.
- In the 1959 flashback, Bill Randa wears a Kansas City Monarchs baseball hat.
- This episode somewhat retcons Godzilla's battle with the U.S. military at the Golden Gate Bridge, originally seen in Godzilla (2014), with him crashing through the bridge in a swift single motion in the film.
- The photograph of the Skull Devil in Bill Randa's files seemingly contradicts the events of Kong: Skull Island, as Randa was killed by a smaller Skullcrawler prior to anyone on the expedition seeing the Skull Devil.
- The company that operates Cate's plane is called WTA, in a possible reference to the fictitious World Travel Airlines from several Microsoft Flight Simulator games.
- A 2019 statue of Godzilla's DougheGoji design and a render of the design created for Godzilla vs. Kong tie-in media appear to be incorporated into certain Tokyo signage.
- A lengthy sneak peak of the episode was released by IGN on YouTube on November 3, Godzilla's birthday.
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