"Parallels and Interiors"
|Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episodes
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"Parallels and Interiors" (パラレルとインテリア is the fourth episode of Parareru to Interia)Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Directed by Julian Holmes and written by Milla Bell-Hart, it premiered on Apple TV+ on December 1, 2023.
2015: At Monarch Outpost 47 in the U.S. state of Utah—a travel trailer parked far from civilization—Dr. Barnes's sunbathing is interrupted by an alarming sound coming from one of her older machines. She attempts to call Monarch's Deputy Director, Natalia Verdugo, but is put on hold. In Alaska, the Frost Vark finishes dismantling Du-Ho's plane and turns its attention towards the craft's former occupants: Lee Shaw, Cate Randa, May Olowe-Hewitt, and Kentaro Randa. Kentaro notices a nearby flare gun and attempts to shoot it at the monster despite Lee's insistence on running. He misses, but the shot distracts the Frost Vark long enough for them all to flee into a cave. Lee and May reprimand him but go quiet upon hearing tremors from the Frost Vark investigating the cave's ceiling. The tremors quickly cause the ice May is standing on to break, soaking her legs in freezing water and leaving her on the ground barely keeping herself from screaming. After the Frost Vark leaves, the Kentaro helps May to her feet and asks if she's okay as the group exits the cave, but May angrily retorts that she's going to die of hypothermia.
2014: In Tokyo, Kentaro practices fielding questions for his art debut while standing in front of his work, five large sculptures of ever-shifting faces. His sponsor Kimi scolds him for not having a ready explanation of what inspired his art despite having months to prepare. Kentaro responds that art comes from a place that's difficult to speak about and to him it's just intuitive. Kimi states that while she respects his process, her buyers will be more interested in who they are buying from rather than the art itself, and tells him to come up with an answer in the two hours before the show starts. As Kimi leaves, Kentaro's mother Emiko Randa approaches her son, compliments him over a promotional poster's praise of his art, and affirms that she and his father Hiroshi Randa are proud of him when he shows doubt in his work. After Emiko confirms that Hiroshi will attend the show, Kentaro excuses himself and heads outside. May walks in front of another poster for the show as he tries to snap a photo of it, then confronts him, believing that he was taking her picture. He explains what he was doing and why, prompting May to read the show's name, "Parallels and Interiors." She states that it sounds pretentious, which Kentaro agrees with before deleting the picture. Kentaro asks May why she didn't like her picture being taken, calling it "a very nice picture." She's interested by his flirtation, but questions if this is the real him and if there will be wine at the show. Kentaro states the wine will be cheap and pretentious, and offers to show her to a place with expensive whiskey despite the looming deadline for the show.
2015: As the group marches, Kentaro asks May to slow down; she retorts that he needs to speed up. Lee agrees with Kentaro, saying that she needs to conserve her energy to fight off the hypothermia. Kentaro proposes drying May's legs, but Lee tells him that they have nothing to build a fire with and can't stay put with the Frost Vark on the hunt. He explains that his decades of experience with Monarch will be of little help against it, as no two Titans seem to be the same. Cate questions where the group is going with night approaching, and Lee clarifies that they are heading northwest, the most likely route to encounter people. Kentaro then mentions that he had seen a large round building from the plane, but finds that no one else in the party noticed it. Kentaro confronts May, as he assumes she had seen it too and was just lying because she was angry, but she snaps back that she had never seen it and that this is about her hypothermia.
2014: Kentaro brings May to a bar, but Sota, the manager, jokingly refuses to let him in. After finally doing so, he serves their whiskey as Kentaro introduces the two. Kentaro reveals that he had his own bottle because he designed the bar's lighting. Kentaro asks May what she does, but she deflects by saying it's just uninteresting computer stuff. May asks how long he has been making art, to which he reveals that this is his first big show and he's letting suspense build as part of the act. May questions whether the date is also part of the act and asks Sota if he has brought other girls to the bar. Sota cracks that as a bartender he isn't allowed to say. Kentaro tells May it isn't an act and brings her to his studio. Impressed, she asks why the art on his walls isn't in the gallery; he responds that they aren't for sale. She questions why he didn't tell Kimi what art he wanted in the show; he answers that it's Kimi's gallery and that she's taking a chance on him. May retorts that people don't give others chances unless there's something in it for them. Kentaro pushes back, calling hers a very cynical viewpoint. Hearing him receive a text, May tells him he better go to the gallery. Kentaro asks her to come with him, but May declines. She messes up his hair, recently cut by Kimi's stylist, and the two share a kiss.
2015: After climbing a hill, the group is unable to spot Kentaro's building. He asserts that it must be behind some nearby hills, while Cate spots a blue light in another direction. Kentaro argues that the lights might be too far away and that the building he saw was much closer. Lee agrees to split up when Kentaro won't budge, despite Cate's protests. At Monarch's headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Verdugo answers Barnes's call, and the agent shows her the gamma radiation she detected in Alaska: similar to those released by black holes, in amounts that haven't been seen since 2014. As a snowstorm blows through Alaska, Kentaro hallucinates May's voice before noticing that his bottled water has frozen solid. Elsewhere, Cate laments allowing Kentaro to leave, afraid that he won't survive, but Lee assures her that he just needs to live until they get help. Noticing May struggling, Lee offers to carry her bag, but she refuses, thinking he'll steal it. Lee realizes she's delirious and leaves Cate to help and comfort her for the moment. Elsewhere, Kentaro falls to the ground, lies on his back, and closes his eyes. As Cate, May, and Lee climb over a hill, they find themselves in the same valley the Frost Vark had attacked them in, with the light just behind a hill. Lee blames it on the Frost Vark, noting that Titans have "odd effects on their surroundings." Realizing May isn't going to make it if they keep going, Cate states they need to warm her up and refuses to leave her despite Lee's objections due to the nearby Titan. Unable to stand, Kentaro hallucinates May lying down beside him, shining a flashlight at the sky.
2014: While in bed with Kentaro, May holds a flashlight that shines moving lights onto the ceiling and proclaims it beautiful. May asks Kentaro why he doesn't want to go to his gallery opening; he attempts to deflect, but she tells him he shouldn't be ashamed of his art. Kentaro attempts again to ask May what she does for work, as he has revealed a lot about himself while she has divulged little in return. May shares that she came from Tacoma, Washington, and moved to Japan because she thought her hometown was boring. The two exchange numbers as May receives a call from someone named Lyra. She refuses to answer it until Kentaro leaves, at which point she tells Lyra to stop calling her. May lies back down on the bed and looks at the lights again, again remarking on their beauty.
2015: After the others start a fire and set May within a tent, she recalls the same moment with Kentaro deliriously, then complains that her legs are hurting. Cate sees this as a good sign, meaning that she doesn't have frostbite yet. May asked Cate to call her sister Lyra if she dies here, and attempts to give Cate Lyra's number until Lee returns with research papers from Hiroshi. Lee asks whether Cate wants to burn the papers to stoke the fire or keep them to learn as much as they can about her father, but after looking at May shivering, Cate tells him to burn them. Lee obliges, only for the Frost Vark to appear, consume the fire while generating a blue glow, and leave again. At Monarch's headquarters, Verdugo shows a collection of experts Barnes's readings. As they debate this revelation, with one disapprovingly mentioning Monarch's new Titan warning system, Tim suggests that Bill Randa's files hold the answer to their questions, as there has to be a reason Lee is going after them. In Alaska, Lee realizes that the Frost Vark feeds on heat and will be attracted to something warmer than them. Using this information, he plans on creating a bonfire with aviation fuel and Du-Ho's corpse to distract it while they escape. Cate attempts to comfort May, but May tells Cate that she should be prepared to leave her and even Lee behind to survive. Kentaro hallucinates a visage of Hiroshi calling to him and walking past him. After the hallucination dissipates, he notices pencils shavings on the ground, similar to the ones his father created when working, leaving a trail he follows until he stumbles upon the spherical building. As he walks inside, he hallucinates being back at his art debut with his father, the center sculpture displaying Hiroshi's face. Kentaro tells that while he sold some of his pieces, Kimi dropped him anyway. Kentaro confronts Hiroshi about how he felt forced into the job by his father's encouragement, and that this show was the last time he saw him. The hallucination tells Kentaro that he's proud of him as Kentaro comes back to reality. Kentaro finds that the building's radio was still powered and that more of the pencil shavings are resting beside it.
As Lee pours the aviation fuel over Du-Ho's corpse, he reassures Cate that Du-Ho always wanted to go out in a blaze of glory and begins recounting the story of how the pair first met - a drinking competition in which Du-Ho cheated. Cate hears a helicopter nearby seconds before the Frost Vark bursts out of the ground right in front of Lee. The Titan chases May and Cate as Lee desperately attempts to light the fire. The women attempt to get the helicopter's attention until May trips, holding out her laptop so the beast can freeze it first. Lee finally lights the fire, distracting the Frost Vark and throwing him backwards. Cate helps May to her feet as the helicopter takes notice of them. It lands, revealing Kentaro already inside, and the three quickly join him as the Frost Vark finishes its meal and burrows towards them. The helicopter takes off and narrowly escapes the lunging Titan, but Lee notices a glowing hole in the Earth as the helicopter flies off. As they ride out, Cate thanks Kentaro, who reveals Hiroshi had been to the same building and fixed the radio, and so must still be alive. May thanks both of them and holds Cate's hand, to Kentaro's silent chagrin. Lee checks May's bag, but finds the Frost Vark destroyed the laptop. As the helicopter lands, the group is met by Tim, Duvall, and a group of armed Monarch guards.
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
- Joe Tippett as Tim
- Kurt Russell as Colonel Lee Shaw
- Elisa Lasowski as Michelle Duvall
- Takehiro Hira as Hiroshi Randa
- Mirelly Taylor as Deputy Director Natalia Verdugo
- Qyoko Kudo as Emiko Randa
- Bruce Baek as Du-Ho
- Jess Salgueiro as Dr. Barnes
- Shota Tsuji as Sota
- Kamilyn Kaneko as Kimi
- Camille Legg as Collins
- Sheyi Ryane as Major Alaba
- Babak Haleky as Dr. Bagheri
Weapons, vehicles, and organizations
- This episode was released the same day as Godzilla Minus One's North American theatrical release.
- The episode's title is taken from a piece of Kentaro Randa's art which includes the phrase in Japanese.
- "Parallels and Interiors" is the first episode of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters to not feature Godzilla in any capacity, as well as the first to not include flashbacks to the 1950s.
- The book Dr. Barnes is in the middle of reading at the start of the episode is Neuromancer by William Gibson; the song she is listening to is "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj. The outpost is littered with cans of a fictitious energy drink called Armageddon, bearing the image of a green mushroom cloud.
- Although May reads the name of Kentaro's show as "Parallels and Interiors", the English translation of the show's name on both posters is "Parallels and Interior Worlds."
- At the end of Kentaro's conversation with a hallucination of Hiroshi, the closed captions for Hiroshi's dialogue become fainter as his dialogue fades into radio static.
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