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Monarch Showrunner Explains Susan Sarandon's Future On The Show After Episode 2 Shocker

Susan Sarandon on Monarch on Fox
(Image credit: Fox)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the latest episode of Monarch, "There Can Be Only One Queen." Read at your own risk!

If you tuned into Monarch to see Susan Sarandon play a veteran country music star, chances are that the premiere had you worried. After the latest episode, the bigger question might be whether Fox's latest new drama pulled the wool over the eyes of viewers by promising a huge star whose character was officially dead by Episode 2. Understandably, some might be wondering if we've seen the last of Sarandon's Dottie, or if there's a chance she somehow is still alive and ready to jump back in with the talented cast in Episode 3. 

Well, the bad news is that she's definitely dead. The good news is that Monarch showrunner Jon Feldman spoke to TVLine about the big reveal, and after confirming that Dottie is indeed dead, he added that Susan Sarandon will remain with the show in future episodes (so killing her off probably wasn't because of money). Feldman explained how that will work: 

We keep her alive throughout the series in flashbacks. She certainly looms large over the show. She appears in subsequent episodes over the course of the season. Even though she’s technically not with us, she’s very much a part of the show.

It didn't take long for Monarch to bring Dottie back to life... sort of. As Dottie's sister Nellie performed a tribute during the funeral, the crowd gasped as a hologram of Dottie appeared to sing the song alongside her (I almost thought I was watching Alter Ego for a second). The audience was shocked, but her children were relatively unfazed, knowing that their mother had a flair for doing things big. 

Monarch will move on without Susan Sarandon's character in its present timeline, but the Roman family has a lot of secrets to hide and skeletons in its closet. (Trace Adkins' Albie looks like a dangerous man despite all those photos of Blake Shelton kissing him.) Surely there will be opportunities for Dottie to be in the story via flashbacks, which pull back the curtain on some of the secrets the family has hidden. This show definitely evokes some strong Empire vibes, so I'm already hoping for more twists and a bonkers finale

Of course, there are also likely to be some flashback scenes in Monarch that will feature Dottie's children reflecting on their own past with their mother. Not all the children are aware of the circumstances of Dottie's death, and that her daughter Nicky agreed to help her end her life via assisted suicide after a battle with cancer. 

Obviously, others like Luke and Gigi are already getting a sense that the timing and circumstances of their mother's sudden death are suspicious. Gigi noted that their mother's goodbye letters given to them read more like greeting cards, and Luke realized right at the episode's end that the handwriting in the letter matched their sister Nicky's. Beyond all that, there are undoubtedly even more dramatic events to unfold, in light of some things Dottie confessed on her eventual deathbed that may later come to light. 

Monarch airs on Fox on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. The fall television season is underway, so keep an eye on the 2022 television schedule to see what shows are premiering and returning in the coming months. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.