Monarch Season 1 Episode 8 Review: The Crown

Press Room

We got deb balls, secret sister revelations, a cryptic debt blown to bits, and cousins sexing it up.

Oh, Monarch Season 1 Episode 8, you gave us a lot of soap opera-type drama, didn’t you?

The biggest takeaway from the hour is that Uncle Tripp is ready to risk it all to get from beneath Albie’s debt, and it could cost the Romans.

Much of the hour was business as usual as more time passed since Clive’s “disappearance,” The Romans try to keep up appearances as best as they can while juggling all of their dirty little secrets.

The teens seemed to have the spotlight for a significant portion of the hour, which was refreshing, particularly for Tatum, who hasn’t had as much of a presence or development this season.

Outside of the recent discovery that she’s a daddy’s girl, we haven’t learned much about Tatum this season. She doesn’t get the type of focus that Ace or Ana does, presumably because if you aren’t singing in the Roman family, you’re not getting much attention.

It’s no wonder Luke came out to support his niece and dance with her during the daddy/daughter dance. They’re probably in a similar boat, and he sees some kinship with her.

Teen Gigi: I don’t like boys. I never have. I like girls. That’s my truth!
Dottie: Now that you had your say, I do not need to hear that ever again. You are a Roman, which means that you keep your truth to yourself. You understand me?
Teen Gigi: Yes, mama.

The Deb ball gave us a perfect opportunity to learn more about Tatum. And she’s a horse girl, which feels so on-brand that I chuckled. She also has some of Gigi’s fire and sense of rebellion.

After putting up a stink about the ball, she made a big old statement at the pool party they hosted, donning that beautiful ball dress with “Screw the Patriarchy” in the back before falling back into the pool.

Tatum is your run-of-the-mill teen feminist with a rebellious streak who probably streams a classic throwback like 10 Things I Hate About You in heavy rotation and fell in love with Kat Stratford. Rest in Peace, Heath Ledger.

Monarch has no shortage of mommy/daughter issues, so it’s not surprising that Tatum and Nicky have their own problems. It makes a great amount of sense when you consider that Nicky is in a constant battle between living in her mother’s shadow and not actually being her.

Nicky’s constant battle to figure out who SHE is outside of her mother is the series’ most consistent and compelling arc. And she constantly has other people challenging her on that in various ways.

We saw it to varying degrees with Gigi, Tatum, Jamie, and Catt.

Nicky has a rebellious spirit, but it’s often hard for her to shed everything she engrained from her mother, caring about making scenes and what people think topping the list.

It also speaks volumes of the things she may have blocked out in her years when she didn’t initially recall an incident that meant so much to Gigi when Nicky stood up for her after she came out to Dottie.

Nicky: Jamie’s a good guy, there’s nothing to be suspicious about.
Luke: Nicky, we’re Romans. We were raised to be suspicious when there’s nothing to be suspicious about.

Nicky remains fascinating that way, and there was something relatable and just very honest about the notion that she could never stick up for herself and would often submit to Dottie when it pertained to herself. She got protective of Gigi and didn’t want Gigi to endure the things that she did.

It may be redundant to point out again, but this series’ sibling dynamics and birth order traits remain fascinating in how on-point they tend to be.

Nicky always radiates eldest daughter’s energy, which continues to impact her even now as a grown adult.

But Gigi was right in what she told Nicky, and it was good to see Nicky reflect on that and try to do better when it came to Tatum. She may not have shared interest with her daughter or fully understood her, but she wanted to create a safe space for Tatum to be her unapologetic self.

She wants Tatum to have better than she did, and she wants to be a better mother than Dottie managed. Parents always try to break the generational cycles, and we got some great content here because while we know how much Nicky cares about her children, it’s not often we see the motherhood aspect of her character at the forefront.

We also saw her taking some significant steps with Jamie. Should we apologize to the Wade fans now, or is it too early to consider this something locked in?

Nicky enamors Jamie, but he sees her in a way that no one else appears to, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in that as a love story.

Her hesitance makes sense to a degree. She knows that Tatum is having a hard time with Clive’s disappearance, and she’s gone through a lot. They’ve all been through too much, and so many eyes are on them.

Plus, is the Nicky and Wade thing still presented as them being a couple or something casual and fun?

Jamie seems like the type who’d want a commitment. And he remains appealing in so many ways but a mystery, too. It keeps feeling like there is more to him than this, and it’ll all come crashing down when it’s revealed that this man truly is too good to be true.

Luke isn’t wrong to have his suspicions, a typical Roman trait, and it was hard to read what he was thinking when he saw Jamie and Nicky kissing, but there’s likely more drama to come.

Jamie is suspiciously perfect and has an excellent answer for everything.

But for now, Luke may redirect his attention to Catt now that he knows she’s their sister. All the Romans have so many secrets they keep under wraps that I’m glad this one came out.

It didn’t feel right that Albie wanted to keep it from Gigi and Luke when Nicky already knew. And if Albie would make such displays as dancing with Ana in the father-daughter dance, it would be better to get this news out sooner rather than later.

It’s already coming out too late because Ana and Ace just had sex.

Nicky doesn’t understand Catt’s position, and you can’t blame her. As she said, revenge and greed make sense, but this doesn’t. But I also don’t understand how Catt wants all these opportunities opened up to her daughter without acknowledging that she’s a Roman, too.

Jamie: Try and let go, it’s not as hard as you think.
Nicky: I beg to different. If I don’t try to hold on tight to everything, it all falls apart. My family, my kids, my legacy.
Jamie: But who takes care of you?

Surprisingly, there wasn’t much heat or anything between Catt and Nicky when they sat together. It was a cordial exchange between the two, and things felt unfinished as they continued to navigate their respective lives.

We haven’t gotten much more of Albie and Catt, which is a bummer. He’s allowing them to stay on the Monarch property, which is fair since they’ve been in a one-star motel. But there’s so much to know, and there’s little initiative to find anything out by anyone on any side.

Maybe that’ll change now that Luke and Gigi know about her. They’ll both probably have some complicated feelings about the situation.

The real drama to come is when Ace and Ana learn the truth about their connection. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Catt didn’t have some stronger words for her daughter when she saw Ana’s apparent interest in Ace.

No amount of redirecting her to other things or trying to interfere with them sneaking off together would stop a burgeoning romance like “Mija, that boy is your cousin, no!”

It certainly put a damper on their blossoming love story and Ace’s first time in a field somewhere as something ripped from a young adult novel.

And by golly, why did we get all that tender sweetness with Ace and Ana, but they robbed us of the hot makeout and sexytimes with Jamie and Nicky? I want to sue!

They’re not blood cousins, but they’re cousins all the same. If we thought Ace had anxiety before, this would rock his poor little world more than Ana did.

The Romans are a mess. A delicious, drama-fueled mess!

Gigi had her badass queen moment when she showed up at the pool party rocking her revealing bathing suit and had the uptight debutante folk clutching their little pearls. Gigi is the best.

And she’s also a better person than I because I probably wouldn’t have apologized to the reporter who was so clearly being fatphobic with the phrasing of her question. Sure, women should stick together, and humiliating one another in front of mixed company isn’t always ideal.

But sometimes, you have to let the clapback be as loud as the disrespect was, and that’s all Gigi did. If this woman was keeping up with things, she knew that Gigi already had to fight back against that magazine.

Teen Gigi: I don’t like boys. I never have. I like girls. That’s my truth!
Dottie: Now that you had your say, I do not need to hear that ever again. You are a Roman, which means that you keep your truth to yourself. You understand me?
Teen Gigi: Yes, mama.

Hitting her up with more body stuff was just in poor taste and annoying. Gigi is great, and, realistically, she faces these things, but she has to be more than her weight. Sometimes it sucks when these are the only storylines for big girls.

Of course, she also faced her fair share of issues in the past. Her coming out moment to Dottie was brutal. All Dottie cared about was shoving her back in the closet, and it’s no wonder that Gigi has the hangups she’s had with her mother.

I, too, was proud of Nicky for standing up for her sister, even in the face of a slap by Dottie. It was a solid moment, showing that even though the sisters constantly seem to be at odds, love is always there for them.

It also makes you wonder why they can’t show one another grace. They both know and have seen what the other has suffered at the hands of Dottie. It makes sense why each of them came out the way they did.

Every time it seems like they’ll catch a break, something else comes at them.

The authorities found Clive’s car and blood in it. The working theory about what happened to him seems sound, but it’s over now that Tripp is launching an investigation.

Luke tried to clean the car out, but he missed a spot. It was Nicky’s blood. Now, it still feels like something they could get out of if it came down to it.

Nicky and Clive were married. It’s not outlandish that a single drop of blood that belonged to her could’ve ended up in his car for various reasons.

But now that Albie has admitted that he roughed up Clive, it opens the door to a lot more.

The latest mystery, however, is what the hell did Albie do for Tripp that has him indebted to him? Whatever it is, it must be huge!

If it’s a debt that can never seem to get paid off, you can understand Tripp’s position on the matter. He can never get from beneath owing Albie a favor, and that’s a challenging position for anyone, especially a politician.

Albie wasn’t keeping it cute when he laid that gauntlet down and told Tripp to fix it. And the worse part is, if he had been honest and more upfront with Tripp, including when Tripp asked him if there was anything he needed to know, they could’ve avoided all of this.

Tripp: What are you asking here? You want me to just trash my career? Everything that I built?
Albie: You have everything you built because of me. Let’s not forget who owes who here, Tripp.
Tripp: It has been 40 years. When is the debt paid?
Albie: It’s paid when I say it’s paid.

But now Nicky could potentially suffer, and the whole Roman family could fall from grace because of a beef between two stubborn older men and a 40-year debt.

For it to be 40 years, it makes you wonder if it ties into things with the barn, Dottie, Rosa, and Catt. They throw another mystery at us whenever you think they’ve resolved something.

Whiskey Shots and Shooting the Sh*t:

  • Listen, the actor who played the cop who found Clive’s car worked every last second of his minute of screentime for all that it was worth. And he rocked those glasses like Horatio Cain in CSI: Miami. He’s a legend for that.
  • Nicky was a VISION in that yellow. She looked so gorgeous! Also her pool ensemble with that hat was stunning.
  • Where can we find that butterfly necklace Nicky was wearing? I’m asking for a friend.
  • Meagan Holder is criminally underused in this series. I would love to know more about Kayla.
  • Earl whisks in for two minutes and steals the moment. He’s hilarious.
  • Ace performed such a charming rendition of my favorite Martina McBride song. It suited the debutante event, too.
  • A handsome man bringing an array of desserts to bed afterward? Jamie is top-tier.

Over to you, Monarch Fanatics. What did Albie do for Tripp? Will Nicky go down for Clive’s murder? Sound off below.

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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