Monsterland Episode 4 (New York, New York) Recap
Episode 4 brings us to Manhattan, where we see Josh (Michael Hsu Rosen), a young executive chasing a young woman down. Cornering her in a taxi cab, he tries to get her to sign an NDA form, but she refuses. He tells him that she’s actually right, and he would do the same thing in her situation. However, shortly after in the episode, we see Josh tell another executive that he’s somehow procured the NDA. Right off the bat, we are presented with characters who are somehow involved in some kind of deception.
From there, the episode introduces Stanley Price (Bill Camp), a billionaire CEO who appears in front of a congressional committee. Price faces charges for his negligence with regards to an enormous oil spill, and refuses to take any personal responsibility.
In another perspective, Stan is actually insecure, wearing a Harvard sweatshirt, and lying about attending there. He originally attended Boston University, but didn’t finish and was kicked out of plagiarism. He is also an alcoholic who refuses to admit so because it reminded him of his late father. Stan’s father was also an alcoholic whose drinking destroyed his family, and then died in a single-car accident. He hated his father so much that he changed his last name.
On the other hand, Josh seems to have put up with the devil long enough that he’s almost forgotten who he is. He intended to enact change on Stan’s company but failed to make any impact. Hence, he instead becomes a part of the system he wanted to reconstruct.
In his horror’s manifestation, Stan gets possessed by some sort of demonic spirit. However, he showed little resistance, believing he is a good person; he doesn’t want to do anything to change. He gets checked and the doctor tells him to stop drinking and be sober to increase his chance of survival. Unfortunately, instead of heeding, we see him again shoving a big glass of brown liquid right down his throat.
By the end of the episode, Josh brings in a spiritual healer to try to save a possessed Stan. Black sludge comes out from every crack of his head and his eyes are completely glossed over. Once the healer addresses Stan by his real last name, he finally admits guilt, which seemingly ended the whole ordeal. But then, Stan knives his stomach open and a demonic black pelican emerges from his stomach, flying throughout Manhattan.
The pelican roars – it’s clearly a satanic manifestation of what lies in a realm deeper than earth. A semblance of what Stan either literally hurt the most or of a conscience he was worried that he’s hurt.
Monsterland Episode 4 (New York, New York) Hot Take
Stan’s whole thing about changing his name and denial to being a drinker was his way to not identify as his father. However, playing deaf and taking zero accountability led him right down the same path. Despite the presence of someone like Josh, who came to help, change is never possible if it won’t come from you personally.
At the same time, as Josh gets home from experiencing the whole ordeal, he wonders what he could have changed. He believes he could have prevented all of it, but concludes after all that’s happened that “It’s too late.” “It’s out there,” he tells his boyfriend.
But, “is it, really?” Whatever he could have done ceased mattering the moment he didn’t do it. Yes, the evil may be out there, but it is never too late to do the right thing. There is still a lot of evil in the world. Our acts of goodness should continue to overpower those that contribute to evil. It’s all in our hands.