Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Finally Solved That Lee Shaw Mystery — and Then Set the Stage for a Wild Finale

The following recap, by the very definition of the word recap, contains spoilers from Episode 9 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, now streaming on Apple TV+.

We now know why Monarch: Legacy of Monsters‘ Colonel Lee Shaw looks pretty spry for a 90something guy.

The penultimate Season 1 episode, titled “Axis Mundi,” revealed that Lee, May and Cate — after toppling into the Kazakhstan rift — (gingerly?) landed in Hollow Earth aka the Titans’ subterranean realm. Lee saved May from getting zapped by the electrical currents that crackle across the ground after a portal is used, and the two then set out to find Cate. Along the way, Lee repeatedly hinted at “time” being of the essence, and when pressed by May, he detailed why….

In flashbacks set in Kansas circa 1962, we saw younger Lee suit up for Operation Hourglass, a mission aboard a spherical pod attached to one of the Titan “baits” developed by that kooky scientist from a few episodes back. Colonel Puckett ushered scores of VIPs to take seats and then watch, as the bait successfully lured a Titan up the nearby portal. The vessel holding Lee and his three fellow explorers then got violently yanked into the chasm, making a mess of the topside staging area in the process.

What happened next was a bit fuzzy for Lee. He remembers that one of his crewmates died in the underground crash, while at least one other got “pulled” from the crash site into the glowy, swirling, nearby aurora. Lee also got sucked into that vortex, and next found himself deposited into some woods back in our realm, dazed.

Lee wound up getting scooped up by some Monarch docs, and later came to in a hospital bed. Anxious and unable to get answers from those in radiation suits observing him, he overpowered a kindly nurse (Kentaro’s young mom, Emiko!) and then dragged her down the hall, demanding to see Bill Randa. Along the way, Lee glimpsed a TV broadcasting… a space shuttle takeoff? Finally, Dr. Hiroshi Randa — Keiko’s grown son — emerged to calm Lee and report that Bill is long-dead. And that the year is 1982!

Meaning, though Lee was in Hollow Earth for just a hot second (I don’t think we were given a semblance of just how long?), two decades had passed up top! And that, kids, is why Colonel Shaw looks plenty younger than he should. The question now is what it will take for 1982 Hiroshi to buy into his “uncle” Lee’s claims about the subterranean realm that claimed his mother’s life and then drove his father “mad”?

In the meantime, Lee was relocated to the Monarch “retirement home,” where years later — and after transitioning from Wyatt to Kurt Russell — a news broadcast about the Honolulu mayhem/tsunami caused by Godzilla in the 2014 feature film catches his attention and makes him forego popping his next Valium.

Back in the Titans’ realm circa 2015, we caught up with Cate as she came to after her own landing. Cate was nearly trampled by a spiny-backed, warthog-type Titan, but an arrow from behind her scared the beast away. Cate turned to see who saved her, and it was… a bow-wielding Dr. Keiko Randa, looking exactly the same as she did in 1959!

What did you think of this week’s episode? And what do you think will happen in the season finale as Keiko gets to know (her granddaughter!) Cate and possibly reunites with (a much older!) Lee?

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