After May’s revelations that she had made a deal with Monarch, she leaves her travelling companions behind, though Cate and Kentaro quickly realise it might not have been of her own free will. When it becomes clear that one of their pursuers (and Monarch employee) has survived the crashing helicopter, it also becomes clear how little they know of May’s true past.
While Shaw makes plans of his own, the Monarch organisation makes a key decision, but will the deal they make come back to haunt them?
This might be a May-centric episode in theme, but less so in execution as we spend equal time elsewhere and when and with many of the other interested parties. The main thrust of
Cate and Kentaro have parted ways with May after she revealed she was blackmailed by Monarch into spying on them, but they cross paths with Joe Tippett’s Tim the lone survivor of the helicopter that crashed after encountering Godzilla. He’s as pissed as they are but realises he’s caught between opposing forces that would be much more effective if they were working with rather than against each other. Tim subsequently tells them what little he knows about May – that her actual name is Corah and she’s originally a hacker from Seattle, but when they travel there, it’s clear that May/Corah’s history is complicated and she’s had run-ins with powerful people before – such as shady tech group AET …. taking action against her then-employer’s experiments of controlling animals cybernetically and which forced her to disappear and run to hide in Tokyo.
Usually, the show deftly manages to differentiate the time-lines, but here there’s possibly some initial confusion as to when things are happening – Corah’s ‘reunion’ with her ex-management is modern-day and Tim/Cate/Kentaro’s intervention is semi-successful, though (once again) there’s so many deals and counter-deals going on that I’m still not entirely sure whose motivations are now free and clear.
By episode’s end there haven’t been any active monsters, but their shadow looms large and two important things have legitimately moved the story forward – though the full implications aren’t clear. Firstly, Monarch is emerging from the shadows – going ‘public’ with their existence and (some of) their agenda and remit. It’s little more than a pragmatic charm-offensive but it does delineate some of their activities – though newcomer AET and ‘Apex Cybernetics’ seem more than suitably nefarious to take their place as the boogeyman nipping at everyone’s heels. If you watched 2021 movie Godzilla vs. Kong you’ll know that company is headed by billionaire CEO Walter Simmons (Demián Bichir) and that their machinations could become mechinations.
The second is Shaw taking control of ‘Outpost 88’ in Alaska and using their resources to detonate several bombs around the Alaska Rift, the multicoloured portal we glimpsed in earlier episodes. Shaw appears to hope that this will block entrance of more Titans, but one suspects that though he appears to be successful, it’s probably not going to end as well as he hoped.
Once again the story and character dynamics are narrative cat-nip and any quibbles are minor. (Travel over vast distances is still conveniently quicker than likely and timelines need close scrutiny. May’s ‘kidnappers’ take her but leave her jacket and passport behind on the restroom floor? And, really, no-one else comes into the restroom in the thirty-minutes-plus since that incident and finds them ahead of Cate? That seems unlikely.
However, the monster-free entry still works well and there’s enough connective tissue to the rest of the series and beyond to keep all the plates spinning…
- Production Design / VFX8