Monarch Episode 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

Created by Melissa London Hilfers, FOX’s musical drama series ‘Monarch’ revolves around the Romans, a renowned country music family. The premiere episode of the show, titled ‘Stop at Nothing,’ follows the matriarch Dottie Roman’s revelation that she is suffering from cancer. While the family members and admirers of the country music legend fear her imminent death, Dottie makes a significant decision concerning her life. Dottie and Albie Roman’s daughter Nicolette “Nicky” Roman tries to conduct a music tour to honor the legacy of her mother. The episode ends with a startling development that changes the fates of the Romans. If you are up for a magnified look at the same, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Monarch Episode 1 Recap

‘Stop at Nothing’ begins with Dottie Roman’s revelation that she is suffering from cancer. She joins her husband Albie Roman to receive the lifetime achievement award at CMA Awards. Nicky joins her sister Gigi Taylor-Roman and brother Luke Roman to plan a tour to celebrate the legacy of their mother. But their promoter makes it clear that Nicky doesn’t have the star value to move forward with the same. Since Albie hasn’t released a hit in the last ten years, the promoter suspects that he cannot either. Still, he tells Nicky that they can aspire to conduct the tour if she can perform well at a performance charted a few days after the CMA Awards ceremony.

Gigi informs Nicky that she will not perform since Dottie has always made her feel not good enough. Even though the family’s company Monarch Entertainments isn’t in a good place financially, Luke manages to run the same without any downfalls. Before Nicky’s performance, Dottie reminds Gigi that the former has taught her, Nicky, and Luke to look after each other. Inspired by Dottie’s words, Gigi joins her sister during the performance, impressing their promoter. When Gigi reveals to Nicky that she didn’t pursue singing to not step on the latter’s toes, the latter tells her sister that she doesn’t want any favors from her.

Monarch Episode 1 Ending: Is Dottie Dead? Why Does She Kill Herself?

Yes, Dottie is dead. After Nicky and Gigi’s performance, she kills herself by swallowing a handful of pills with the help of Nicky. Upon getting diagnosed with cancer, Dottie decides that she should die soon. She doesn’t want to suffer from the disease and go through intense treatment procedures when she knows that she cannot recover from the same. She wants to die in her full glory as a country music legend and not as another cancer patient. Even before dying, she makes sure that she looks good. For such a person, the physical and mental deterioration that happens due to cancer treatment is beyond unbearable.

In addition, Dottie wants to die before the world forgets her name and glory. Since she cannot sing due to cancer, she realizes that it will not take long for the world to forget her. The longevity of Dottie’s glory depends upon her performance and she knows that she will be forgotten if she doesn’t grace the stage. As an ambitious singer, she doesn’t want her legacy to get tarnished like that. For her, she lives as long as she sings. Thus, she chooses to die when she becomes certain that she cannot perform anymore.

Furthermore, Dottie wants her death to be beneficial for her family. She believes that the sympathy her death creates will help Nicky’s career as the world will try to replace her with her daughter. As someone who is very proud of her daughter, her death is the best way for Dottie to boost Nicky’s career.

What Does Dottie Say to Nicky?

After having pills to die, Dottie thinks about her younger self burning down a house. She immediately tells Nicky that she had done something unforgivable and goes to explain it to her ear. Since Dottie tells the secret after thinking about the burnt-down house, it is evident that whatever she says to Nicky concerns the same, specifically the reason behind her action. It is possible that Dottie had done something selfishly for the sake of her career and the secret revelation can be the legend expressing her regret for doing the same.

Dottie has always prioritized her career. Even when she got diagnosed with cancer, she chooses death to secure and protect her legacy. Such an artist must have done everything to propel her career, including burning down the house as seen in her visions. She must have kept it a secret, even from her husband Albie, to make sure that it will not resurface in her present to affect her career.

Whom Does Albie Kill and Bury?

Three months after Dottie’s death, Albie kills and buries an unrevealed person. Although the identity of the victim is yet to be revealed, Albie does the same for the sake of his family. He carries a gun and goes to the woods to commit the deed upon revealing how the person has become the Romans’ enemy, indicating that the person is a threat to the whole family. Since a police officer witnesses Albie coming out of the woods after burying the person, he will not be able to keep the affair a secret.

At the time of Dottie’s death, the Roman family deals with several concerns. Nicky expects Gigi to be her competitor while the latter believes that Nicky helped their mother die for her to replace the legend. The family’s music production business hasn’t been great as well. Luke’s presence in Gigi’s married life with Kayla Taylor-Roman and Clive Grayson’s extra-marital affairs adds to the tensions. Whoever Albie’s victim is, it is possible that the person must have tried to take advantage of these tensions to stand against the Romans.

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