Uncle Tripp is most definitely about to be a problem!
He’s closing in on the Romans on Monarch Season 1 Episode 9, and it doesn’t help matters when you have Albie confessing to the murder via song.
The hour also teased Luke, potentially jumping ship, Catt and Ana solidifying their place in the Roman family, Kayla standing her ground, and much more.
Nicky gave into some of her worst instincts during the hour, and it’s too bad that Dottie’s trusted companion, Earl, was the one to stoke that fire in her.
For someone who doesn’t want to be her mother, she certainly was taking a few pages out of the Dottie Roman playbook when she threatened Kayla.
It was probably the worst we’ve ever seen Nicky and one of the few times she made it absolutely impossible to root for or even sympathize with her.
It was downright ugly what she did to Kayla in an attempt to steal an opportunity from underneath Gigi. Ironically, Gigi backing out of The Yellow Roses’ offer only proved why Nicky’s plan was flawed from the get-go.
While her performance at the bar was impressive and rousing, it in no way guaranteed that she would be the automatic replacement if Gigi backed out of the offer.
Nicky was foolish to think she would be the second choice, and even if she were, why would you want to be the backup plan and consolation prize?
She’s been so focused on thinking that Gigi has been taking something away from her that she hasn’t stopped reflecting on why she still wasn’t getting anywhere before Gigi stepped into the limelight.
Nicky keeps believing there’s only a designated slot to step into like it has to be some either/or thing. She made the mistake of falling into that line of thinking when Dottie was alive, and now she’s doing the same thing with Gigi.
Gigi getting ahead doesn’t mean that it’s coming at Nicky’s expense or that she has to fall behind. Sadly, she’s spent most of her life in the background, trying to make a name for herself and carve out her own space.
It’s a fickle industry, and as upsetting as it is, maybe Nicky does need to look into and try to discern why she can’t seem to break that wall that keeps her from achieving what she desires.
Interestingly enough, it was pointed out to her that Gigi has that type of personality that endears people to her, and for whatever reason, that makes all the difference in the world.
She had heard from an executive before how people couldn’t figure out who she was and what she wanted to say. She’s listened to countless people tell or encourage her to figure out her voice and step into her own.
Gigi: Are you saying I should screw over my sister?
Earl: I’m not saying that. I’m saying your mama didn’t become an icon by playing nice, and neither will you.
She has repeatedly expressed how she’s trying to figure out who she is. And for it to come up so often, it makes you wonder if audiences and others haven’t connected with Nicky this whole time, leading to her success, because they can see the identity crisis. They don’t know who she is either.
If Nicky reflects on that long enough, she may understand why it feels like other people keep sailing by her on the road to living her dream. Music is about honesty and vulnerability. The moments where people have responded the most to Nicky are when she’s vulnerable, honest, and confident.
You can’t underestimate an audience and what they pick up on, and that could be the key to Nicky finding her success.
Ultimately, it’s not about Dottie or Gigi; it’s about who she is, what she wants to be, and how, when she really figures that out, it could be the breakthrough and breakout she needs.
Nicky: I wanted to thank you for talking to Gigi. What’s so funny?
Kayla: That you think that’s ‘what I did. Gigi passed on that all on her own. I would never tell your sister to do something that wasn’t good for her or her career.
Nicky: That’s a real ballsy move for someone who has much to lose.
Kayla: Look, I know I’ve made some mistakes, but you’ll never manipulate me into hurting Gigi no matter how desperate you are to be the next Dottie Roman.
Nicky: Be very careful, Kayla.
Kayla: Or what? You’ll tell Gigi the truth about what I’ve done? You think you have it in you to break your sister’s heart? You wanna be Dottie? Be Dottie; I dare you.
Nicky threatening Kayla was such a low blow. She didn’t seem to think that one through, either. Did she really think she’d fare any better if Gigi found out that she knew the truth the whole time and only used it as a bargaining chip to screw her over?
Kayla handled the situation perfectly, and I loved it when she told Nicky that if she wanted to be Dottie so badly, she needed to commit to it. Dottie was ruthless, and Nicky didn’t have it in her.
Kayla let her know there was no playing both sides and dabbling with Dottie’s ways without following through. If she wanted to be responsible for destroying her sister, she needed to commit to it fully and own every second of it.
It was a great moment for Kayla, who remains an underused character in all of this. It made you appreciate how much she supports Gigi and values their marriage and family, despite the infidelity.
But will we really go the entire season without Gigi finding out the truth? It’s tough because no one wants to see Gigi hurt, which would destroy her and her family. But it also feels wrong that everyone did hurtful things behind her back and is still lying about it.
If anyone understands what it’s like to feel hurt because of lies, Ana does. For some reason, we skipped past her learning the truth and piecing together what it means for her and Ace now that she’s a Roman, and we only got the aftermath of it as she directed her anger at her mother.
To Ana, she only got this opportunity to sign with Monarch because of her relationship with them, and it made her feel like she didn’t get where she was based on merit.
Her feelings were valid when she explained them in more detail to Ace. She came from some humble beginnings, and she’s not afraid of putting in the work, so it’s offensive if others dismiss everything she worked hard for and achieved as a handout from her grandaddy.
It’s only one aspect of what Ana faces with this news, but it’s the only one we spent significant time with outside of what it means for her relationship with Ace.
Ana and even Catt feel isolated from most of the other storylines and characters in many ways.
It should be huge that Ana went from only having her mother to this whole other family with cousins, aunts, uncles, and a grandfather. She’ll truly feel like a Roman when she feels like part of the family and gets to engage with others more.
Her world should expand to all these other people.
Now I know why you were giving me so much crap about Ace. He’s adopted by the way, so it shouldn’t even matter but you’re just like them. All you care is about is what it looks like.
It’s something that Ace understood, and his maturity in this situation was genuinely refreshing for someone his age. He also learned the truth offscreen, which was a bummer, and he promised his mother and Catt that he’d not pursue certain things with Ana, but he genuinely cared about her.
While I won’t go as far as to say that he was able to transition his feelings from romantic to familial fully, he adapted to a shift between them well because genuine care is at the root of their dynamic.
He’s a Roman, and Romans look after and protect each other. He didn’t hesitate when it came to doing that with her. He brought her back from Alburquerque and to her mother after proving to her via their rousing performance together that people love her for her.
Interestingly, Ana isn’t as inclined to let the romantic and sexual portion of their relationship go, though. She quickly emphasized that they’re not blood-related and shouldn’t matter. She’s fallen so hard for Ace that she doesn’t want to lose what they have because of this revelation.
It’s an interesting position for Ace because, while they’re not blood-related on paper, blood doesn’t define family. No one would understand that more than a child adopted into a household.
To easily and readily accept Ana’s assertion would prompt him to consider what that says about his own connection to the Romans. It’s tricky, and it feels like something that the two teens would battle with each other.
Ace seems intent on respecting their mothers’ wishes, but he also cares about Ana. She’s his first, and that counts for something, and it’s not something they can easily drop or ignore either.
Uncle Tripp sure as hell wasn’t ignoring Albie’s threats when he came at him. He’s pretending it’s water under the bridge, but it’s far from the case. In his defense, Albie apologized and then proceeded to threaten him again. The big guy doesn’t understand how apologies work.
Ana: What about us? What happens now?
Ace: Well, we don’t stop caring about each other, but we gotta let that go.
Ana: Why because you think it’s wrong?
Ace: It’s because I made a promise to my mom and to yours.
Ana: And that’s more important than how we feel.
Ace: That’s not what am I saying, Ana.
Ana: Then what are you saying?
Ace: That I hopped my worried ass across state lines to find you, to bring you back to where you belong which happens to be where I belong too. Everything else we’ll figure it out.
Tripp placing a plant via Willa (who definitely seemed to catch Luke’s eye, bless his poor little heart for catching feelings for inappropriate women) as a bartender to get the Romans’ blood was trippy.
He’ll get the results that it was Nicky’s blood in the car, and things will only get messier from here. But he has to know that if Albie took the fall for him many years ago, doing a bid for killing a man so Tripp could thrive, he would do that and infinitely more for his daughter.
After all, technically, he was the one who killed Clive. The only thing Albie feels he has to live for is protecting his family and doing right by them.
He’d readily plead to Clive’s murder if it all came down to it, and he wouldn’t blink. He already confessed to the murder, describing it in great detail in that haunting country song of his. The Cash vibes were real and Atkins’ voice is just an eargasm, frankly.
Between that song and his constant drinking, you can tell that all this is weighing on Albie, and he doesn’t care about his well-being in all of this.
It’s something Luke picked up on, especially when he saw what his father was doing and how the ladies seem too caught up in their rivalry and other issues to think about what all of this meant.
Luke is getting his ducks in a row and is on the cusp of jumping ship. It’s a bold move, but you can understand why he’d make it from his position.
He’s constantly getting beaten down by Albie, trying to wrangle the Roman sisters, and Albie is an impossible task, and he’s in love with his sister’s wife, who doesn’t love him back, and is having a child that he can never claim as his own.
I don’t know where in the depths of Albie Roman’s soul they came from, but if I didn’t know any better, I’d say your daddy was confessing to murder in that song.
The question is, who is this mysterious woman Luke reached out to, and what will it mean? It was such a delight to see Marcia Cross on the other end of that line!
I cannot wait to see what she brings to the table!
Over to you, Monarch Fanatics.
Were you appalled by Nicky’s behavior? Did the Albie revelations shock you? What do you think will happen with Luke and this woman? 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.