Why Does May Betray Her Friends in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters?

Summary

  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters explores anti-establishment as the protagonists try to uncover dangerous secrets held by the secret organization.
  • The importance of unity plays a key role in the anti-authority alliance formed by the main characters.
  • A main character’s betrayal in Episode 5 delivers a devastating blow to Cate and Kentaro in an effort to clear up a problematic past.


One of the main themes in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters has centered on anti-establishment. The show’s protagonists — Cate, her half-brother Kentaro, and Kentaro’s ex-girlfriend, May — have been ducking and dodging Monarch as they try to unearth dangerous secrets kept by the shady organization.

Luckily, they have former Monarch employee, Lee Shaw, to help learn more about the discoveries at hand, and exactly how these secrets have impacted and continue to impact all their lives. As Cate, Kentaro, May, and Lee forge this anti-authority alliance, a key component has been unity. Despite coming from different walks of life, they all have each other’s backs. That is, until Episode 5. At this critical juncture, Legacy of Monsters has a devastating betrayal occur, albeit one due to desperation.


Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Reveals May Is a Traitor

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“The Way Out” finds the entire crew, except for Lee, being released by Monarch after they were rescued from the Frost Vark monster in Alaska. However, Monarch is manipulating them, hoping they will solve the whereabouts of Cate and Kentaro’s father, Hiroshi. Monarch knows Hiroshi has data on the Titans that was never disclosed, so the plan is to let his children do the dirty work for the American and Japanese joint venture. The lead characters are cynical but still relieved to be free.

Cate, Kentaro, and May head to San Francisco, which was the site of “G-Day” from Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla in 2014. A year later, the area is a military zone, due to the radiation, carnage and the army not wanting anyone to find information that will make the government look bad. The series dances in between flashbacks of Cate’s past as a teacher before she lost students in the Golden Gate Bridge attack, while her mother, Caroline, wrestles with the notion that Hiroshi hid Kentaro’s family back in Japan. As all this drama unfolds, they realize they could unlock more intelligence at Hiroshi’s office and learn what was his motivation for living a double life all these years.

They eventually sneak into the zone, and thankfully, locate a map that reveals the Hollow Earth. Apparently, Hiroshi found various locations where holes exist, which act as gateways to the surface for Titans to exploit. These indicate where old Monarch outposts are, such as the Philippines, and where potential ones will be made down the line, like Africa. Of course, at this point in 2015, many have been undiscovered and undocumented, which means, this is the trail that can be followed to find Hiroshi, and which Monarch will need down the line. Unfortunately, May sneaks off to call Monarch operative, Duvall, to let her know she is willing to sell the team out for a favor.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Makes May a Tragic Villain

Kentaro, Cate and May hide in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

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May’s betrayal is a bitter blow because she has been through so much in these few days with strangers she just met. While she has a turbulent history due to her failed romance with Kentaro, she did warm to Cate, who ironically helped save May from hypothermia in Alaska. There’s a trust and sisterhood there and a selfless Lee who has looked after May like a daughter. Regardless of their circumstances, Kentaro still loves May and will do anything for her. But May has skeletons in her own closet, revolving around her sister, Lyra.

The series is yet to fully reveal what shady backstory they have, but during the interrogation, Duvall does hint she could clear up whatever trouble both women landed in. This idea of a clean slate impressed May, although it’s uncertain if Duvall co-opted May before, or if this is just May in a knee-jerk reaction. Either way, May has wanted a change for some time, away from her mysterious crimes. It doesn’t help that she lived as a hacker in Japan; a life that was upended and made even worse when Kentaro had her gather information and hack into Hiroshi’s data.

May has been adamant that whatever semblance of her life remained has been destroyed due to Kentaro, so it’s quite tragic she looks to Monarch to put it back together. But it is very understandable because no one has power, influence and resources like this organization. This further plays on the theme of monstrous legacies. Legacy of Monsters’ Cate and Kentaro inherited this Monarch curse from their father, while May inherits it from them. Plus, she gained a lot of baggage from whatever Lyra did. However, it’s hard to see anyone holding this against May, despite the trouble to come. Cate won’t be a hypocrite, because as much as she hates Hiroshi for cheating on Catherine, Cate hid her own murky secrets when Godzilla struck.

Cate was cheating on her girlfriend at the time, and has been racked with guilt since. As the show implies both women died in the catastrophe. Kentaro is also steeped in blame, hating himself for placing May’s life in Monarch’s hands. As for Lee, he won’t hold this against May because he knows how Monarch can trick people into doing their bidding, dangling rewards to seduce and corrupt them. May’s flaws aside, however, this sympathetic situation could get tenuous soon enough, according to what Monarch does when they revamp their pursuit of this Hollow Earth map. It will leave May with a crucial decision to make: remain a traitor, or redeem herself for this mistake. Fans are hoping she looks towards any ray of hope that will present itself, because at the end of the day, May is an integral part of the team and a very likable character who wants to crack the full truth about Hiroshi.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Needs the Heroes to Solve Another Puzzle

Lee Shaw looks for his friends in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

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Coincidentally, Legacy of Monsters needs a united front now, more than ever. There is another mystery arising that will need solving. Earlier in the episode, Monarch’s Tim and Duvall have a conversation while Lee remains their prisoner, referencing why he doesn’t look his age. He should be in his 90s, which is something fans online thought was a plot hole all along due to how good Kurt Russell looks as Lee. Little did everyone know, this is a plot puzzle Tim addresses. He references a mission that went badly, teasing this changed Lee’s life.

As vague as Tim keeps it, it could explain why Monarch didn’t kill Lee when he turned on them years back, and why he was kept in a retirement home all this time before Cate’s squad rescued him. It may well be that Lee was being studied. Social media theorists believe maybe all the radioactive sites Lee, Bill Randa (Hiroshi’s father) and Keiko explored might have altered his physiology. Other speculation posits maybe Lee found something like the fountain of youth, or a pocket in the Earth that augmented his human genetics. Given the MonsterVerse has been leaning into sci-fi and technology, this development hints at a foray further into escapism and fantasy. One thing that’s certain is that once a valuable Lee breaks free and returns to help the heroes, he will either have to reveal the truth to them or use them to figure out what exactly happened to him.

This may well be why Lee wants to learn everything Hiroshi found. The series has established that Hiroshi is the person with all the secrets passed down from Lee’s former colleague in Bill. Such a direction keeps the series linked to the films, but it gives these 10 episodes their own essence and overall narrative. This is a smart way to differentiate the brands, keep Legacy of Monster’s human element super-intriguing, and make whatever Apple TV+ is doing here must-watch television. Ultimately, Episode 5 proves Legacy of Monsters, while juggling many arcs, knows how to balance everything and keep audiences vested in the journey of the Titans, as well as these inquisitive, daring humans.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters debuts new episodes on Fridays.

Monarch Legacy of Monsters TV Show Poster

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Release Date
November 17, 2023

Cast
Christopher Heyerdahl , Mari Yamamoto , Kurt Russell , Qyoko Kudo

Main Genre
Sci-Fi

Genres
Sci-Fi , Action , Adventure

Seasons
1

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