Scene from 'Monarch' Episode 2
Screengrab via YouTube

'Monarch' Episode 2: Who Has What It Takes To Wear the Queen of Country Crown?


Spoilers ahead for episode 2 of Monarch. 

FOX's new country music drama Monarch is back with a second episode and to say they didn't back away from the drama is an understatement. We dive even deeper into the fictional world of country superstar Dottie Roman and her family -- husband Albie and children Luke, Nicky and Gigi. The series premiere began with a bang as Dottie plotted to end her own life before it was taken away by cancer. Episode 2, 'There Can Only Be One Queen," picks up right where we left off. What does the end of her life mean for the rest of the Roman family and their future in the world of country music? We get a much better picture of what family life is like for the Romans, and as expected, it's anything but ordinary. While the premiere was full of unexpected surprises, episode 2 was equally shocking when even more crazy reveals I didn't see coming.

Nicky seems to know who Albie buried

The episode opens with Albie three months in the future, driving away from where we saw him burying a body in the previous episode. Though it's in the dead of night, we see a cop spot him driving out from the cover of trees and tails him all the way back home. The episode ends with Nicky greeting him back at the house to confirm everything was done, and Albie seemingly reassures her everything is taken care of before the cop knocks on the door to ask him some questions. Who was in that bag? Who did they need to take care of? At this point, it could be any number of people threatening not only the family's future careers but the secrets they are hiding.

Dottie really is dead

Maybe it's just me, but I was truly shocked that Dottie really did die. I didn't think you'd have someone like Susan Sarandon starring in a series and kill her off after one episode, but I was wrong. Based on how this episode went, it appears she'll primarily show up in flashback scenes moving forward, so it doesn't seem like she's gone from the show for good. A very interesting development in the story that I didn't expect to be the center of all of the drama.


Dottie and Shania Twain's hilarious backstory

After Gigi catches Nicky with their mother's pill bottle, Nicky is even more shaken by the death and entire experience than she was before. She sits down and reminisces about the past and recalls a specific performance where she joined her mother on stage for "Man, I Feel Like a Woman." Dottie knocks it out of the park, and we really get to see Susan Saradon's vocals shine with Nicky joining in and Albie back on the guitar for support. We learn later in the episode, as Shania Twain (playing herself) is gearing up to perform at Dottie's funeral, that it was Dottie who originally recorded that song, and Twain still isn't over it. She even tells Luke that it could have been a big hit for her. It's a fun little moment for country fans who still love one of Twain's greatest hits.

Gigi and Nicky's relationship just keeps getting more complicated

In a family as dramatic as the Romans, it seemed nice that Gigi has seemingly tried to maintain her relationship with her sister by staying out of the spotlight. But things between these two just keep getting tough. Gigi now fully knows that Nicky helped her mother die on her own terms, and even if she had a complicated relationship with Dottie, she's struggling with it. On top of all of that, the press has announced that she, not Nicky, is the new Queen of Country Music. She tries to get ahead by showing the news to Nicky, who blows it off, but we know it will be a thing. I have a feeling that things are going to go south between these sisters based on the chaos Dottie left behind and Nicky's desperation to reach solo stardom.

Some serious family issues are revealed

It really wasn't a surprise to me that all of the adult children have their own respective issues with their mother following her passing. Especially Gigi, who got sent to a "fat camp" a "gay camp" and a "fat gay camp," as she reveals. Clearly, Nicky also struggled to live in her mother's shadow, and we learned that it was really Dottie who caused a rift between Luke and Albie. Not only that, but when Luke hears about the fight that Albie and Dottie had on the night she died (over him cheating on her decades prior), he confronts his dad to see what happened. It's an uncomfortable scene when we learn that Albie has laid hands on his son before and even hits him again after Luke pushes too hard for information. As much as I've loved Albie's character so far, I didn't love this reveal.

The world is ready for more Gigi

I know I'm not the only one who was blown away by Gigi's performance in the first episode. Beth Ditto has a killer voice, and I have no doubt she'll be one of the big standout stars from this series. Her character is incredibly sympathetic as she genuinely seems like a good person, so I really loved that Gigi is finally getting her moment in the sun. It was so sweet when a couple of fans requested a photo with her, telling her they were fans of her following her impressive performance. While I feel for Nicky, dare I say I might be rooting for Gigi in the battle of the sisters for the Roman crown?


Dottie's funeral was...a lot

She planned her own death, so it probably shouldn't have been too surprising that she completely organized her own funeral. I just didn't really expect how far they'd go with it, and it was equally upsetting and hilarious. Not only did she pre-record all of the introductions of various performances she planned out/demanded (ranging from family members to the previously mentioned Shania Twain), but she even had a hologram of herself join her sister in a duet performance. I hope we see more of these ridiculous moments come up throughout the show...what else did Dottie plan before she was ready to pass on?

Nicky and Luke are onto each other

This is where things get a bit soap opera, but I'm enjoying it so far. In case you forgot from the premiere, Luke has a thing for Gigi's wife Kayla, and they've started an affair they are both struggling with. Kayla agrees to keep seeing him as long as Gigi never finds out, and, surprise! Nicky sees them kissing from a distance. On the flip side, Luke, still struggling to understand how his mother died in her sleep after still having months to live, makes a shocking discovery. His mom didn't write them the heartfelt letters they received at the reading of her will. He matches the handwriting to his sister Nicky and wonders what exactly it is she's hiding. The truth is bound to come out, so the big question is, what will Luke do about it? He's still carrying around the medical examiner's card, but I'm assuming he wouldn't alert anyone to Nicky being a person of interest, considering she now knows about his affair. I anticipate a fun argument about all of this coming in a future episode.

READ MORE: 'Monarch': The 8 Most Shocking Moments From The Series Premiere

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