Monarch Season 1 Episode 11 Review: The Last Dance

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And we got a hell of a bookend to the season.

Many of the questions were answered by the end of Monarch Season 1 Episode 11, and a few more were raised as this messy family fell apart, came together, and continued plotting against each other.

But at least we can sigh in relief that Albie isn’t headed to prison, the ladies can agree there’s room for two Country Queens, and the Romans can come out on the other side of things.

It was a busy finale, and that’s mostly because they had a lot to wrap up with not nearly enough time to do it, at least in a manner where designated storylines had the space to breathe.

And the finale did that frustrating thing where they likely had to cut many scenes down to size to meet the allotted time for the episode, but it meant we missed out on those moments that should’ve had more nuance and been a bigger payout.

It meant we jumped right past scenes and moments that should’ve been rife with juicy drama, and it was a bummer we didn’t spend enough time in the thick of those moments or even see them play out onscreen.

The first to come to mind leading out of Monarch Season 1 Episode 10 was Jamie confiding in Nicky with this huge revelation about his real identity.

But instead of seeing him confess to Nicky and experiencing her initial reaction to this utterly shocking news and how it impacted them instantly after she ran to his hotel room to confess her love and so forth, we jumped to the next day.

A likely make-or-break moment for this relationship got cut away from in favor of the group scenario with Jamie.

And sure, you don’t want to have a scene that’s essentially rehashed twice, and understandably, the Jamie and Albie component to it was a much bigger driving force. But the transition from that night to the next day with the family was a bit jarring.

But the biggest and more frustrating aspect of this was the entire situation with Gigi, Luke, Kayla, and Nicky.

It was such a prominent storyline for the entire season, so we’ve been eagerly waiting for it to get explosive and have this massive payout that they earned with all these bits along the way, but it was mostly offscreen and anticlimactic when it was onscreen.

Kayla’s early labor revealing that she was seven months pregnant rather than five, was the key to Gigi learning the truth about the affair.

And we get the seconds when she starts doing the math and realizing the truth. But then they cut away from the explanation, what transpired, Kayla’s motivations for how she ended up sleeping with her wife’s brother, and expressing her position and perspective in all of this.

By the season’s end, we still don’t really know anything about Kayla, very little about her marriage to Gigi, how she really feels about Luke, and what transpired between the two of them that led to such a risque affair in the first place.

Earl: Did they actually think they’d get away with?
Gigi: I think they just crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.
Earl: Well they should’ve crossed their legs. This whole thing shouldn’t have happened. Sorry, I tend to hide behind humor in times of emotional distress.
Gigi: I hide behind Tequila.

In the end, it was a juicy albeit underdeveloped dramatic plot twist and device that, ironically, only put a bigger wedge between the sisters than anything else.

We missed out on the birth, though we did catch a glimpse of the baby. Kayla and Gigi barely had a discussion, and Gigi has left things up in the air regarding her wife, family, and where that leaves them.

It’s this giant unknown while Gigi goes off on tour and leaves the woman she thought she loved or maybe still does behind with a toddler and a newborn.

Luke’s notable absence in some aspects of the story, including not to our knowledge laying eyes on their unnamed son, or showing up at the hospital for the drama of it all, felt like this enormous piece of the story missing that we probably should have seen.

The word got around the family and all parties about this affair and the whole baby situation, but we didn’t see when that happened or most of its initial fallout, which was dissatisfying.

With Albie potentially going to prison, the Jamie revelation, the Skyler deal, and the sisters still battling each other for tours and attention, it was so much happening at once that it fell to the wayside.

Luke didn’t share a single scene with Kayla and his newborn son to touch on the complexities of his feelings with this situation playing out; instead, he spent the whole hour with all this plotting over the merger.

And he didn’t even have a scene where he genuinely acknowledged things with Gigi or seemed remotely contrite about his actions until near the end of the hour, which felt odd.

Gigi managed to direct all her attention and anger toward Nicky, specifically for leveraging the situation to her advantage.

Gigi, momma was wrong. There can be two queens.

Nicky

Luke directed all of his feelings toward Nicky for ruining the merger. Even though Nicky is the lead, she occupied too much space on that side of things, and I wished there were more scenes with Gigi and Luke.

He recently manipulated situations to deprive his sister of the chance to meet with producers. There are many things those two siblings need to work out and through without Nicky being at the center of it, and it’s a dynamic fraught with way too much tension not to explore more.

Oh, no doubt the entertainment is always there with Monarch, but as someone invested in this infidelity story arc and how it would play out in the end, the way the hour had to gloss over the nuances of the fallout from it was a bit frustrating.

Although, bless Earl and those witty one-liners because I literally laughed out loud when he called out how ridiculous it was that Luke and Kayla thought they would get away with this silly plan and how they should’ve kept their legs closed. Earl remains a priceless gem!

Who didn’t want to hear what Albie had to say when he learned the truth about Kayla and Luke? You know, that would’ve been some prime viewing, too.

Yes, it’s trifling, and it further added fuel to their tension as father and son, but as we did at least get to see during their tiff, Albie isn’t a stranger to having a “bastard” of his own.

The father/son duo literally came to blows for the finale, and it’s not all that surprising. Luke was getting his punches in good! Both Jamie and Albie were on the receiving end of Luke’s hands, proving they were rated E for everyone.

Of course, it wasn’t shocking that he socked Jamie good since he had been itching to do that since Jamie arrived. But his ability to punch his father and get away with it did prove surprising.

Luke: I’m done with regret and tired of being judged.
Albie: That’s funny coming from a man who slept with his sister’s wife.
Luke: Says the man who knocked up the gardener or was she the caretaker? It’s hard to keep track. C’mon, pops, we finally got something in common. Bastard children.

They butted heads again, but at the end of the day, Albie loves his son, and he was happy to go to Skyler and give his blessing to her after he learned Luke had taken the job.

He knows his son is good at what he does, and while he never openly appreciates it, you could tell he was proud of his son and happy that he could be somewhere he could maybe thrive.

And he and Skyler could be something in the future, which would be hilarious. If Luke thought he was getting away from his family and father only for Albie to start dating his boss, you know it would drive him mad.

Luke has behaved rather shady at times, and it seemed like Skyler would be plotting something major. He’s in this weird place where he could and probably should be on the outskirts of his family right now.

Working for Skyler will give him some distance from everything and a chance to stand independently. But it’s hard to say what that means for him and his family.

By the end, Albie didn’t seem like he held any hard feelings toward his son, Nicky was happy for him and wished him well, and Gigi said she would like to forgive him at some point, but where Luke goes from here? Who knows?

And it’ll be interesting for him to see that the man he loathes will be the person helping Albie with the day-to-day. Jamie finessed himself quite the position after everything that transpired.

It’s interesting to see how highly he regarded Albie and that he seemingly could have a stronger father/son connection than Albie and Luke.

The revelation made perfect sense once they shared it. He had ulterior motives and set out to destroy Albie because he believed Albie was responsible for killing his father.

Oddly enough, Jamie’s sense of revenge felt distorted because even if Albie was responsible for the hit and run, at the very least, he went to prison and served time for it.

Jamie jumped at the chance to blackmail and use Clive’s death to his advantage. Although, I’m still curious about everything he figured out that night and in what way. And where on earth was he keeping Clive’s body before he buried it on Tripp’s property?

At least with Jamie framing Tripp, who was power-tripping way too freaking hard not to be irritating as heck, it meant Tripp would finally pay the price for killing someone, even if he were going to prison for the wrong kill.

I understand why you did it. But there are things in life that can’t e forgiven. Betraying my trust, breaking my daughter’s heart? Top of the list. So you need to gather your personals and leave. If you ever step foot on the premise again, I promise, I’ll dig a hole for you.

Albie [to Jamie]

As loathsome as Tripp was, especially that stunt of interrupting Albie’s farewell concert to arrest him, you could understand a bit why he was so vengeful. It would suck if someone did something that significant for you, and they held it over your head and exploited it for 40 years.

But thanks to Jamie, Tripp is going down, and the Romans are spared another death by their hands. And despite Jamie’s motivations, he and Albie will be working together, and things are also looking up for him and Nicky.

This is why the revelation that he and Catt have been working together this whole time was shocking. Now, inquiring minds would love to know how they found one another and orchestrated this plan to infiltrate the Roman world and exact some revenge.

Jamie has everything he wanted out of all of this, and he doesn’t want to go through with it anymore, but Catt is insistent and lays down a threat. It’s the scariest that Catt has come across, too.

It was too good to be true that she learned the truth, only focused on her daughter getting the contract she deserved, and didn’t do anything more for most of the season.

We learned that Dottie deliberately killed her mother, and nothing else came from it. Of course, Catt is angry. We barely scratched the surface of Catt this season, so the notion of her as this undercover revenge queen feels promising.

She’s particularly motivated since Ana has fallen deeply into this Roman lifestyle. She’s defying and resentful of Catt. She’s sneaking around with Ace. And now she’s going on tour with Nicky and Gigi.

Clive is down and out of the way, Kayla is exposed, Tripp is no longer a problem, and all that blackmail business is down for, it seems.

But Skyler could be an issue in the future since Gigi spilled all the beans to her about everything in this act of defiance and revenge. And despite Jamie’s attempts to get back into their good graces, we now know that he’ll be on the outs again if they find out the full truth about his work with Catt.

Catt remains the biggest threat to everything right now because we don’t know what her revenge will look like and what all it entails, and she is not giving up on it even after everything that’s already transpired.

And the Roman family is in a fragile enough state where it could be a house of cards for them and Monarch if Catt keeps at it or someone else comes into play.

The Romans are often their own worst enemies, too. It feels set up for the potential of Skyler and Luke against Nicky, Albie, and Monarch.

Catt: We came here for one reason to punish the Romans for everything they’ve done to the both of us. We had a plan.
Jamie: Yeah, well plans change. I’m done, Catt.
Catt: Well, not my plans. So Jamie, if you’re wondering, you’d done when I say you’re done.

Skyler didn’t take kindly to Nicky’s threats, and now she’s on tour, thanks to Mackenzie. And Skyler has all this information to ruin them potentially. Meanwhile, Luke could thrive with Skyler’s company, but it’ll be in direct opposition to what Albie, with Jamie’s help, will do with Monarch.

And Gigi is grateful for this tour because, in a way, she gets what she wants. She and Nicky’s performance of Stronger onstage proved that they’re both headliners and would be fabulous in concert together.

It’s good for Nicky to recognize that they don’t have to compete with one another, and there’s room for both of them.

But Gigi still feels raw betrayal from the infidelity and her marriage imploding, and she holds Nicky accountable for her role.

And she also has Nellie in her ear, sharing her experience with being the sister who had to hide away from the limelight while Dottie shined. The parallels between Gigi and Nellie are strong enough that you can see and understand why Gigi’s wheels are turning.

She’s doing this tour with her sister, but she’s heeding Nellie’s advice about trusting her. Nicky lost all trust with Gigi, and there’s no getting that back.

One can only imagine the shenanigans on the road with those two as one can only imagine the shenanigans on the road with those two as a hardened Gigi prioritizes putting her desires first.

And Nicky’s ambitions and moves have paid off, and she’s likely riding a high from that, but it’s come at the expense of her best friend and sister, and she hasn’t even begun to realize it.

Oh, that tour is going to be good and rife with drama.

Interestingly, the season ends with the Romans feeling equal parts together as a unit and totally fractured, and it’s a great place to leave them with an open the door to more drama in a second season.

The First Family of Country doesn’t disappoint in the entertainment area.

Over to you, Monarch Fanatics. Did you love this finale? Did you predict some of the revelations? How do you feel about where we left things? Sound off below.

It was a pleasure covering the series for you all this season! TV Fanatic will keep you up the date about renewal news.

To relive the season, you can watch Monarch online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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