Monarch: Legacy of Monsters – S01E09 – Axis Mundi | Transcript

Shaw and May search for Cate and make a startling discovery. Kentaro struggles with his loss
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters - S01E09 - Axis Mundi

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Season 1 Episode 9
Episode Title: Axis Mundi
Original release date: January 5, 2024

Episode plot summary: The penultimate episode of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” titled “Axis Mundi,” explores a rushed, time-jumping narrative that follows Lee Shaw and his ties to the secretive Monarch agency. The episode unfolds with Operation Hourglass, a deep-earth exploration mission that sends Lee and others into Titan territory, resulting in disastrous consequences and Lee’s disappearance. Amidst the backdrop of Monarch’s tumultuous history and the loss of key figures, the episode also delves into the complex relationships and lineage of Hiroshi and his connections to the Monarch legacy. Lee’s unexpected return years later, coupled with the revelation of Keiko’s survival in a strange new world, sets the stage for a convoluted yet compelling twist.

* * *


[Billy] Well, it’s, uh-it’s a beautiful day.

[Lee] Yeah.

[Billy] Yeah.

[Billy] I’d say it’s, uh…

weather’s gonna take us to the weekend.

[Lee] Oh, yeah.

[Billy] So…


Hey, buddy, cereal. Come on.

I think it’s about that time, pal.

Yeah. Yeah, okay. Okay.

Uh, little man, we are off to work.


Now, your mimi is gonna be watching you today.

And, uh, well, me and your uncle Lee, we’ll see you when he gets back from his trip.

Where’s he going?

I’ll let your uncle Lee fill you in on that. Okay?

Come here.

[door opens]

[door closes]

You know that it’s top secret army-explorer stuff, right?

Is it dangerous?

Well, we’re doing it for the good of the world.

You know, trying to keep everybody safe.

I guess what we do is always a little dangerous.

Well, you know all about that, right?


What I can say is that there’s a lot of really smart, very careful people working as hard as they can to make this as safe as it can be.

Are you exploring far away?

That’s, um-That’s hard to explain, Hiro… but I’ll be back really soon.

In fact… my lucky pocketknife.

I know we said we were gonna look into getting you one when you were older, so I’m not actually giving this to you, okay?

But I want you-[sighs]

I want you to keep it safe for me, okay? Just until I’m back.


[Billy sighs]

How’d that go?

He’s fine. He’s a tough little kid.

[tech] Operation Hourglass commencing.


[tech] Personnel, standby.

Takes after his mother.



You did good, swab.

She’d be proud. It’s a shame she can’t be here to see it.

[chuckles] She’d miss all this.

Running around, doing nine jobs at once.


And doing all of them better than any nine of us could do one.

[chuckles] That woman.

She’d be late accepting her own Nobel Prize.

[tech] All stations, system check.

Well, we just have to make sure that you aren’t.

[soldier] Good morning, sir.


[exhales sharply]

You don’t have to do this.

There’s plenty of qualified candidates we can–

Ah, no, no. No, I’m not gonna ask anybody to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.

Well, it could be me.


Hey, did you ever manage to get that Jeep out of third?

[chuckles] Go to hell.


Don’t mind if I do.

[tech] All stations, commence rewind checks.

President is right, gentlemen.

Space is hard.

The moon’s a decade away. Two, if we do it right.

Operation Hourglass is the culmination of nearly two decades of Project Monarch’s work.

Human discovery and reconnaissance of the territory between us and them.

Watch your heads, gentlemen.

A place that will redefine our understanding of the entire planet and ensure the health and welfare of all humanity.

And if we don’t get there first, Senator, Comrade Khrushchev will.

Na zdorovye.

What you’re about to see is more than just a victory for American scientific know-how or our defense.

This mission is a matter of global security and the preservation of mankind, gentlemen.

Please, take a seat.

Well, Kennedy can have outer space and all the big rocks floating in it.

We’re about to plant our flag in under space.

[tech] Hourglass is a go. Securing.

Our operating theory, gentlemen, is that Titans get around underground in a kind of a-a king-sized rabbit warren.

[Suzuki] Gamma simulator activated.

Clear the space.

[Puckett] And Dr. Suzuki found a way in, right here in the heartland.

Now, the thing is, the tunnel is too unstable for us to enter.

The only thing which makes it passable is a Titan.

[radar beeping]

Doctor, we have positive response.

All stations, Titan lock.

Repeat, we have Titan lock.

As we did on Bikini Atoll, we lure the Titan with the promise of a meal.

Titan’s coming for our bait. But, Jesus, that’s a big one.

[tech] 5,000 feet to proximity. On my mark.

And that promise will be unfulfilled.


[automated voice] Ten, nine…

[tech] Titan at 4,000 feet.

[Puckett] But the tunnel between here and there stabilizes as they move through it.

[tech] 3,000 feet.

[Billy] Terminate gamma simulator.

[Puckett] So, rather than unleash hell in Kansas, we cut bait.

[Billy] There it goes. It’s going home.

And we sneak in behind them, drafting down in their wake.

[automated voice] …one.


[onlookers gasping]


[Billy] There they go.

Come on. Come on, come on, come on.

[antennas creaking]

[radio chatter]

[Lee] What the hell is going on up there? Billy, do you copy?

[yelps, grunts]

[spectators clamoring]

[tech] Evacuate the staging ground.

I’ll say it again, evacuate the staging–

[Lee] Damn it, Billy, can you hear us? Billy. Goddamn it. Billy, can you–

[tech] I repeat, evacuate the staging ground.

[people clamoring, shouting]


[Lee] Mayday, mayday. Billy, do you–

[alarm blaring]

[Lee] Mayday, mayday the hourglass is imploding on us.

[breathes heavily]

What happened?

What the hell happened?

I don’t know. [breathes heavily]

[monitor beeping]

Where-Where am I?

[Verdugo] Tokyo. We had to airlift you out of Kazakhstan.

What happened?


Everything at the reactor plant…

[stammers] …it went terribly wrong.

What does that mean?

[Tim] Shaw.

He imploded the rifts and the whole thing collapsed down on itself.


[panting, grunts]

[grunts, breathes heavily]

[crowd clamoring]

[Tim] Then the locals showed up.

I’m lucky I didn’t end up in a Kazakh prison.

[Verdugo] A lot of good people didn’t make it out.




I’m sorry.

[breathes heavily] Okay.

So where do we start looking for them?

[Verdugo] Kentaro… they didn’t make it.

[stammers] We finish Shaw’s work–

Lee Shaw died doing what he loved, pouring gasoline on fires he doesn’t understand.

He augmented a moment of global crisis for this organization that we have barely begun dealing with, and he got your sister and friend killed doing it.

I’m sorry, Kentaro.

Thank you for your help, but your time in our world has come to an end.


Wait, wait. No, they ca–

[stammers] We can-They’re my family.

There has to be something I can do, something we can do.

[Verdugo] There is.



[in Japanese] I’m okay.

[groaning, grunting]


[in English] Cate?




[muffled] Cate!


[electricity crackling]


May! All right, all right. Come on.


We can’t stay here.


We gotta get out of this place. We gotta move fast.

You gotta hold my hand and move exactly where I move, okay?


Now. Come on. Come on.

We gotta avoid the lights.

No. This way, this way. Come on.


Come on. Keep moving!

[May panting, whimpering]

[Lee breathes heavily]

[May grunts]

[Lee grunting] This way.

[May] Shaw. Shaw.

Come on, come on.

[May whimpering]

This way.

[both panting]

What the hell?

We’re all right.

What is going on?

We’re all right. We made it across the field.

After a rift closes, it leaves some kind of electrical charge or something.

It affects your vision. It affects the ground.

[stammers] It goes off like a lethal static shock.

How do you know that?

Because I’ve been down here, May.

On a recon mission. Same thing happened to my eyes.

[breathing heavily] Recon mission?

Where are we?

We’re in it, May.

We’re in their world. The Titans’. This is just another part of their realm.

[breathes heavily] How did I get here?

I cleared the space, and then I hit the timer.

She must have turned around and come back inside.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God. She followed me back.

Whoa. No, no. Listen to me.

Oh, my God, no.

No. She started to fall.

No, I gotta find her.

I caught her. Hey, we fell together.

May, she’s down here somewhere.


I know that.

Is she alive?

Did you see her when she–

We’re gonna find her, May.

But you gotta do everything exactly as I say, and I can keep you safe.

Do you understand?

[breathes shakily]

Yeah, I just wanna find Cate.

We will.

We will. Come on.

[Lee echoing] Cate!

[May echoing] Cate!

[Lee] Cate!

[May] Cate!




[buzzer sounds]

[assistant] Dr. Randa? General Puckett is here.

“As a result of the catastrophic loss of life in the undertaking of Operation Hourglass and the inability of Project Monarch to ascertain the cause of the catastrophe, the Department of Defense has ordered no further funds be allocated to Project Monarch going forward.”

There’s more, but you get the point.


It’s over, Bill.

I’m sorry.

[Billy sighs]

How are we supposed to ascertain the cause of the catastrophe if they’re shutting us down?

Our DOD isn’t big on theories when proving them costs lives.

They really think NASA’s getting to space without losing some people?

Space they understand.

A network of portals connecting to a hidden realm of monsters? It sounds…


In a word.

And without an imminent threat like our friend on Bikini Atoll…

Well, we could just bring one up, right?

Show ’em what a real catastrophe looks like.

And what then?

Hope it’s smaller than Godzilla and listens to reason?

[sighs] I-I could’ve stopped it.

[Puckett] I could’ve stopped it.

“Older men declare war, but it is youth that must fight and die.”

I assure you, it’s harder when you know the youth in question.

He was my friend, too.

I can’t let it go, Puck.

I won’t.

Now, your boy’s already lost a mother.

Now an uncle.

Do not take his father away too.

We’re never gonna find her.

Come on, May.


Time isn’t on our side.

The longer we’re down here, the longer we’re down here.

[sighs] What do you mean?

[sighs] Well, I’m not a science guy, so it’s, uh, a little difficult to explain.

Well, I got time.

Actually, you don’t.

What are you talking about?

I told you.

I’ve been here before and I made it back.

[monitor beeping]

Do you know what your name is?


Leland Lafayette Shaw III.

What is your rank and serial number?

Do you know where you are?

What happened? What is Project Monarch?

How did you get here?

What is Operation Hourglass?

Do you know where you are?

[agent] What monster were you hunting?

Get m-Get me Bill Randa.

[nurse, in Japanese] Shaw’s been here a week and he’s still refusing to eat.

It will become a problem soon.


[nurse] You are wasting away. You must eat.

[in English] I’d like to have Bill Randa bring me a sandwich.


[groans] Thank you.


Though it wouldn’t be much of a hunger strike if I made any exceptions, would it?

[nurse chuckles]

[monitor alarm beeping]


[Lee, in Japanese] You are very kind.

[nurse chuckles]

[Lee] I am sorry.

[nurse] Whatever for?


[in English] Bill Randa! Get me Bill Randa!

[in Japanese] What’s going on?

[in English] Get me Bill Randa! Get me…

[sighs] …Randa.

William J. Randa!

Get me Bill Randa!

[Lee, in English] Answer me, damn it.

[in Japanese] Security!

[Lee, in English] Somebody answer me.

[in Japanese] Security!

[in Japanese] Anyone understand English?

[in English] Shaw!

Get me Bill Randa!

Let her go.

Go get me Bill Randa.

I can’t. He’s dead.

[breathes heavily]

We are in a Monarch medical facility.

You disappeared during Operation Hourglass in 1962…

twenty years ago.

Uncle Lee.



Welcome home.

[Lee grunting] No.

No, no.

[grunting] No.

[Hiroshi, in Japanese] Ms. Matsumoto…

Dr. Randa.

I came to offer my apologies for today.


It looks worse than it is.

In some ways, Shaw is my responsibility.

I have no excuse for allowing such a thing to happen to you.


Shaw was terrified, alone, and in a lot of pain.

Lonely, scared people in pain can do terrible things.

[both chuckling]

Thank you. [sighs]

Are you going to talk to him?

He’s my responsibility. I think I have to.

But you don’t want to talk to him.



When I was a boy, he and my father and my mother promised me that they’d come back.

I waited and waited, but they didn’t return.

I mourned them and moved on.

Dr. Randa… it would seem like Shaw has kept his promise.

[door unlocks]

[door opens]

Go slow.

Be careful.

I’m fine.

Good, good, good…

Sit down.


I’m fine!

Let me move the table. Just a moment.

Elevate your leg–



When you’re able to move better maybe you can call the office–

I don’t want my old job back.



If it wasn’t the right job, you can find another–

I don’t want to talk about work.

What do you want to do?

I should be with Cate.

Why would you say such a horrible thing?

I wanted to stop them.

I should have saved them.

I should have been with them.

I should have done whatever I could.

How can they expect me to go back to the way things were?

No one expects that, Kentaro.

After that much loss…

…such grief and pain and despair…

…going back is not possible.

I’m sorry.

It’s not your fault, Mom.


I meant… I’m sorry that you have to feel this at all.

But Kentaro…

You must let yourself feel it.


I don’t know what to do.


Yes, you do.

But that woman said–

When have you ever done what you’ve been told?


[chuckles, sniffles]


Yeah, you’re right.


[hip-hop music playing]

[in English] It’s a signal! It’s a signal!

[Tim] What is a signal?

The gamma burst. Th-The first-Okay.

Every time Shaw’s imploded another rift point, we get more gamma rays all over the world, right?

Yeah. Big, noisy, chaotic, and they’re getting stronger–

Barnes, all 12 of them seem like they’re ready to erupt.

Yes, right, right, but not the first one.

That signal remained constant.

So I crushed it down so that I could see all of it, and look.

When you zoom out, there’s a pattern.

[stammers] Where-Where is it coming from?

It’s a message.

Somebody’s sending us a message.

[monitor beeping]

[machinery clicks]


[breathes heavily]


Is she okay?

She will be.

[groans] Good.

They sent you in here to talk to me, huh?

Think I’ll open up to you?

Yes. You don’t have to, of course.

Why is Monarch treating me like I’m a prisoner?

No one’s entirely sure if you are safe.

Hmm. Safe?

Not contagious or radioactive…

Or a Russian plant.


But you don’t believe that.

Of course not.

You’re my Uncle Lee.

They just wanna know what happened to you, and how.

Your survival, your age, defies logic.

And beyond logic…

[chuckles] Lies truth.

Some things never change, huh?

Not even at Monarch.

If I tell you the truth, you’re just gonna think I’m crazy.

If you keep it to yourself, it was all for nothing.

[beeping continues]

[breathes heavily]

[breathes heavily]

[crew clamoring]

[breathing heavily]

[clamoring, shouting]


We experienced an uncontrolled flight into terrain.

[grunts, breathes heavily]

[breathing heavily]

Ben-Ben was down on arrival.

So we began planned EVA.

[radio static]

While attempting to contact mission control, we began our recon of the landing site.

[monitor beeping rapidly]

And then… something happened.

We encountered a massive unknown terrestrial organism.

I called for immediate evacuation.


Local phenomena made our egress…





And then… the next thing I remember…

I was here.

They found you in the woods outside of Higashizumo.

Inside it, there’s a shrine.

They said it’s the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead.

We found a rift in there.


Your dad would’ve liked that.

He was right, Hiro.

Bill Randa was right.

What exactly was my father right about?

About everything.

Their world and ours.

Their balance.

[stammers] I think you are confused.

My father was crazy.

After he lost my mother and then you… he lost himself.

Monarch is moving you to a secure facility for observation and study.


It looks and feels like a retirement home.

I think you’ll be comfortable there.

No, wait, wait, wait. You can’t-Wait, Hiro-Hiro. Stop. Stop.

We can do this together.

We can figure it out.

You and me.

We can do it. -“We” are not doing anything.

300,000 years–

From the cradle of a civilization to the moon–

We lived with the Titans until you three.

Some beasts are best left undisturbed. I’m sorry.

This is your legacy.

This is your family business.

I buried that family in three empty boxes a long time ago.

The madness that devoured my childhood-[grunts]

Wasn’t madness.

Then it was a choice.

Maybe that makes it worse.

[narrator 1] The pregnant macaque has another reason to visit the onsen: pain relief.

A long soak in the natural hot spring is exactly what this soon-to-be mother needs after a long day in the Japanese Alps.

Gestation will last about five and a half months, with the majority occurring during the wintertime.

[narrator 2] The beetle’s adventure now begins, as it searches for sources of pollen, nectar, or its favorite, the rose.

With distinct marking–

[reporter] We interrupt this program to bring you breaking news.

[crowd shouting, clamoring]

[Godzilla roaring]

[May] Oh, my God.

Yeah. Well, now you know.

You lost a lot of years of your life. [sniffles]

Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think I lost years, May. [sniffles]

I mean, if we find some way to get you home…

[sighs] …and what happened to me doesn’t happen to you,

well, then I’d say it was worth it.

Don’t let this get to your head, but you look good for 90-whatever.

That’s what everybody tells me.


Cate! [echoing]

Where is she?

Cate! [sighs]





[in Japanese] Well, look who it is.

Back from the dead again?

How are you?

I just came back to Tokyo.

I haven’t had time to reach out to your mother–

More important things to do than to check that we made it out of the desert alive?

We understand.

What are you doing here?

I was just leaving.


Trying to continue my work.

Something went wrong in the desert, and I need to know why.

Which will be considerably more difficult if you avail yourself of my files.

How did you even get in here?

I got the keys from Cate.

What were you two doing out there in the desert?

How did you find out I was there–

We were looking for you, Dad.

We thought you were dead.

I suppose I have a lot to explain to you both.

How would you even start?

Kentaro… you were never meant to know about her.

About that part of my life.

Too late.

What do you hope to accomplish with those?

I want my own answers.

And Monarch won’t help anymore, so I have to figure it out on my own.

It’s no wonder you’re angry.

I know I’ve hurt you both.

But… what you’re looking for is not in there.

If I could just talk to you and your sister, I could–

I said it’s too late for that!

What is too late?!


Cate died, Dad.


That can’t be true.

You’re saying that to hurt me.

I hurt you, you’re trying to hurt me back.

Please tell me it’s not–

Please tell me it’s not–


[in English] Oh, God! [sobs]

[in Japanese] What have I done?


If you weren’t a sad, lying, secret little man who kept running away from her, Cate never would’ve come barging into my life!

[breathes shakily]

This is your fault!

[breathes shakily, grunts]

[grunts, groans]

[groans, breathing heavily]


[whimpering, panting]

[grunting continues]

[breathes shakily, gasps]


[breathing shakily]




[grunts, squeals]



[growls, squealing]



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