March 3, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters “Will The Real May Please Stand Up?”

Season One, Episode Seven

Wait, another monster-free episode of the monster show?  How am I supposed to feel about that?

OK, there was a brief appearance of that thing in Alaska, but I think the point stands.

However, something did occur to me as I watched this episode:  there’s a lot going on here dependent on knowing the various Monsterverse movies.  While most of the monsters in the show, save Godzilla, are original creations for the show as near as I can make out, there are references to the movies, and this episode ends with what should feel like a major reveal but, well, fell flat for a reason I will explain.

The basic plot here is May isn’t really a May.  She’s Corah Mateo, ace programmer, hired by a cybernetics firm to do that sort of thing when she realized they were doing what looked like painful experimentation on animals, so she did some light sabotage and made a run for it.  “May” was just the first name that came to mind when she met Kentaro in Japan. So, as Cate and Kentaro, with Monarch drudge Tim along for the ride, go looking for May, a search that does still more globetrotting and an eventual change in Monarch policy, it comes out in the end that May’s employer, already working with Monarch, is going to rename the company Apex Cybernetics.

So, here’s the thing:  the ending makes that name sound ominous, like we in the audience should be like, “Oh crap!  Apex Cybernetics!  Not those guys!”

Instead, I was thinking, “I should know that name, shouldn’t I?”

One quick Wikipedia search later tells me Apex Cybernetics were the people who built Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs Kong.

Here’s my question:  how many of the people watching this show are going to make the connection?  I mean, maybe it’s supposed to be a hint for a later plot development, but since this show is theoretically taking place between movies and is maybe filling in the blanks since the 2014 Godzilla, and since I don’t think AppleTV has greenlit a second season yet, I can’t say if or when that revelation will even happen.  Monarch as an organization is maybe the good guys, maybe the bad, and Shaw is trying to blow up the portal to the Axis Mundi, another Godzilla vs Kong reference I actually remembered.  But these are the human characters, and that’s a problem because the giant monsters in the Monsterverse movies are much more memorable than anything any of the humans do.  I mean, I couldn’t tell you the character names of any of the human characters in the movies even if I could name all the recognizable actors who played them.

That may be the biggest weakness with Legacy of Monsters:  it’s trying to build a show out of the least interesting characters in many a kaiju movie, namely the humans.