Is Dottie (Susan Sarandon) really dead?

monarch It really has more drama than a good country song. But while a good country song can solve everything in four minutes, Fox’s new drama is just getting started, with a first hour setting up for an exciting season full of twists and turns—starting with “WTF?” A moment from the end of tonight’s premiere, “Stop at Nothing.”

Before we get to that, a little preparation. The Romanian family are giants of country music whose legacy is threatened by the imminent death of mother Dottie (Susan Sarandon), who has cancer. Her daughter Nikki (Anna Friel) is finally ready for her chance at stardom, but she’s stuck in the harmonious singing of her father, husband Dottie Albee (Tress Adkins), who has a few skeletons in his wardrobe. Nikki has some competition from her more talented sister Gigi (Beth Ditto), who was previously sworn into the family business, while Albie Potts heads out with his son Luke (Joshua Sass), who is trying to keep the family’s record label relevant. monarch He has an Oscar-winning star in Sarandon, a beloved TV actor in Friel, musical talent in Grammy nominee Adkins and former Gossip singer Ditto. Based on this first show, it’s 1 part Nashvilleone part empireAnd the 1 part DallasAnd the 1 part SuccessionAnd the 1 part this is us. (And if all this caught your attention but you still haven’t watched for yourself, stop here, because everything below is a spoiler.)

Oh, yes, and there is too dash under six feet, because Dottie, who is established as one of the show’s protagonists, definitely appears to die at the end of the episode. (More on that uncertainty in a second.) Throughout Stop at Nothing, Dottie plans her own death: planting a report on her health in People, by holding a suspicious meeting with a lawyer, grooming Nikki for a spotlight, leaving her voting stakes to Luke, and even getting Albee to admit he cheated on her once. Nikki didn’t understand her mother’s focus on death at first, noting early in the episode that Dottie’s doctors said she had months left. But Dottie then explains that it’s literally Planning She dies, and wants Nikki to help her out loud after the family’s annual concert. monarch Not fully proven Why Dottie is very eager to end her rule of country music early, but despite this, Nikki is torn — shocked by her mother’s plan, in disbelief that she is really serious, nervous and excited to be closer to the fame she’s dreamed of for years. And of course it will be!

When she meets Nikki Dottie in her room after the musical, she vacillates in her decision, at one point apparently not giving her mother the rest of the painkillers she asks for. But as the obedient favorite, Nikki relents, gives Dottie the rest of the pills, and helps her wash it down with some whiskey. She sits with her mother as she leaves – then Gigi enters.

Here is where things are complicated, because unlike under six feetAnd the monarch Dottie’s fate is not sealed at the premiere. The episode leaves us with a picture of a shocked Gigi discovering her sister holding an empty pill bottle next to her mother who may have died. And that’s not a good look, especially after the two had a dramatic showdown at the musical, where Gigi admitted that she never followed through with the performance because she didn’t want to get in the way of Nikki.

So let’s wait for a second. If Nikki can’t explain herself quickly to Gigi—or if Gigi sees it as part of Nikki’s scheme to spotlight—then Gigi can call 911 and get Dottie to the hospital. Because come on, is a TV show really going to feature Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon and use it in every single episode? But at the same time, Dottie sure caught her last breath when Gigi walked in.

Then there is the evidence. Trailers for monarch It seems to be pretty cut short with footage from the premiere, probably because this is the only episode where Sarandon appears. And in the episode, Sarandon’s name is listed last, despite being groomed as co-lead with Friel. Sarandon was doing the promotional circuit for the show, but she aroused “Lots of Plots and Secrets” by Jimmy Fallon Tonight Showis said to have been “cautious” about her future on the show on the Television Critics Association board, on deadline. “It looms above everyone else,” John Feldman, one of the monarchOn that panel the executive producers said — which ones definitely look kind of ghostly, right? And his assertion that Sarandon will “appear in multiple episodes” doesn’t mean much either way, after the premiere proved that monarch She will have her share of flashbacks. (Can you believe we got this far without even predicting who Albie would kill in that quick show?! But that’s for another time.)

In a cruel turnaround from the folks at Fox, it’s going to take longer than usual for us to judge Dottie’s fate, with… monarch Not only airing the second episode until the showtime premiere on Tuesday 20th September, but also as a good country song, monarch He really figured out how to make us come back.

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