Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Episode 3 review – best action and drama yet

Chris Tilly
The heroes of Monarch witness some monster action on the beach.Apple TV

Episode 3 of Monarch’s Legacy of Monsters is the best episode yet, with the stakes high, the action impressive, and multiple secrets and lies making it an emotional rollercoaster.

Which makes sense, as Episode 3 is actually called ‘Secrets and Lies.’ But before the drama, proceedings commence where Episode 2 left off, with old Lee Shaw – the one played by Kurt Russell – escaping from his retirement home/prison.

With Kentaro, Keiko, and May in tow, Shaw performs some (kind-of) precision driving to escape his captors. Before the show morphs his face into younger Lee Shaw, as played by Kurt’s real-life son Wyatt Russell.

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So once again we’re drifting back and forth in time, to witness Junior Lee Shaw becoming a part of the Monarch organisation. While Senior Lee Shaw tries to escape its clutches.

Secrets and Lies in the 1950s

In the 1950s storyline, Lee tells Bill and Cate that if they want to continue their “monster-hunting club,” they need the backing of the military. So the trio meets with General Pucket (Christopher Heyerdahl), and show him the giant footprint they found.

The scientists request 150 pounds of Uranium to lure the owner of that imprint out, hypothesising that the creature absorbs and feeds on radiation. But when talk turns to the monster being an “existential threat to global security,” the tone of the conversation changes.

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As turns out, they’ve made a deal with the devil, with the “gun-toting Neanderthals” of the US army deciding to destroy rather than assess that threat. So the military builds a bomb, fills it with Uranium, and takes a seat on the beach at Bikini-Atoll to watch the tragedy unfold.

And even though Cate tries to stop them from obliterating “something they don’t even understand,” she’s powerless to stop what looks like Godzilla, from being blown up. Though before the big explosion, there’s fantastic footage of the MUTO being filmed on a 1950s camera, that harks back to the original Toho movies.

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With that lie being told to them, Lee, Bill and Cate decide to keep secrets from the military, accepting the blank cheque the General writes them in exchange for information. But at the same time agreeing to keep him very much in the dark. Which puts the two parties on a collision course.

Monsters and mayhem him the 2010s

Meanwhile, approximately 60 years later, Monarch is chasing our heroes rather than monsters, underlining just how far the shady organisation has lost its way.

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Believing Hiro – Lee’s friend/Kentaro and Keiko’s father – to be alive, the gang heads to South Korea by boat, where Shaw has them purposely picked up by his buddy in customs. From where they take a vintage plane to Alaska, the location that their missing man was last seen.

Having narrowly missed crashing into a mountain, they land on the snow, and locate Hiro’s plane, but the corpse in the cockpit isn’t him. They then find a tent containing the character’s belongings – including Hiro’s trademark pencil shavings – but he’s nowhere to be seen.

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This is when we get our second monster moment of the episode, and it’s truly spectacular, with a new MUTO established, and the team in clear and very present danger. A fine way for Episode 3 to bow out.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Episode 3 review – 4/5

‘Secrets and Lies’ is the best Monarch: Legacy of Monsters yet, because it’s the first time that both the past and present storylines are interesting. With decent action matched by solid intrigue.

We also get an answer to how old Lee Shaw looks so young when he must be in his 90s. In response to the question, Kurt Russell flashes that movie star smile, and says: “What can I say… good genes!” A good gag, in the midst of a fun 45-minutes.

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Monarch, Legacy of Monsters is streaming on Apple TV+, while for more reviews, click on the below:

About The Author

Chris Tilly is the TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and over the last 20 years, he's worked for the likes of Time Out, IGN, and Fandom. Chris loves Star Wars, Marvel, DC, sci-fi, and especially horror, while he knows maybe too much about Alan Partridge. You can email him here: chris.tilly@dexerto.com.