Moon Knight, the sixth television series that takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), stars Oscar Issac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant – a man who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and also fights crime as a vigilante named Moon Knight.
As the MCU is notorious for having multiple connections between its films and series, we will recap and review each episode of Moon Knight as its released weekly and exclusively on Disney+ as well as point out the many easter eggs hidden throughout the series.
Review & Recap:
First off, I have to admit this episode wasn’t as strong as previous Moon Knight episodes but it was still highly enjoyable. The last episode, Asylum, was very emotionally driven, so it’s no surprise that this episode was more action-packed. Of course, Oscar Isaac gave an incredible performance – I mention it every week – but May Calamay’s performance in this episode was exceptionally good.
Moon Knight wrapped up most of its loose ends nicely but there are aspects of the show that I hope are explored further in a second season or future Moon Knight film… In terms of a recap, Layla decides to fight Harrow alone, but after getting a message from Taweret, wisely chooses to free Khonshu to have some backup in the fight; although she does reject to be Khonshu’s new avatar. In the afterlife, Marc goes back for Steven and after a heartfelt speech from Marc, their heart glows gold and they are essentially brought back to life.
Then as Moon Knight, Marc/Steven instantly goes to help battle both Harrow and Ammit. In the meantime, Layla agrees to be Taweret’s temporary avatar and in one of the best battle scenes the MCU’s done in a long time, Layla and Moon Knight take on Harrow. Eventually, Harrow’s defeated, and by doing a spell to imprison Ammit into Harrow’s body, Layla and Moon Knight have won; although Marc/Steven refuses to kill Harrow/Ammit despite Khonshu’s wishes.
Marc/Steven then are released by Khonshu and at first wake up back in Dr Harrow’s office from the last two episodes but then after deciding not to accept Harrow’s diagnosis, Marc/Steven wake up in Steven’s apartment, chained to the bed, perfectly mirroring the beginning of episode one.
The mid-credits scene then shows us Harrow as a patient in a psychiatric hospital. He is then escorted out of the building into a limousine by a mysterious figure. It’s implied this figure has killed multiple bodyguards at the hospital just to get Harrow and once Harrow’s in the limo, it’s revealed that this figure is Jake Lockley – Marc and Steven’s third personality. Jake is still happily working for Khonshu and kills Harrow (and therefore, kills Ammit too).
This cliffhanger of an ending suggests (slash I’m desperately hoping) that Moon Knight will get a second season or the character will appear in future MCU projects.
Is Kang The Conqueror The New Thanos?
Throughout Moon Knight, there have been QR codes that you can scan and then download a free Marvel comic book. In episode six, the QR code allows access to Moon Knight Annual #1 – a comic book where Moon Knight has an epic battle with Kang with Conqueror.
Kang was first introduced in the MCU in the series Loki and it’s confirmed he’ll appear in the upcoming MCU film Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania. It’s also rumoured that Kang will be the new Thanos; meaning he’ll be the big bad and a number of Avengers will have to team up to take him down (just like they did to take down Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame).
We Finally Met Jake Lockley!
Moon Knight has been hinting since the first episode that Marc Spector/Steven Grant has a third personality and most fans – us included – predicted it would be Jake Lockley. We finally got to see Jake Lockley in a mid-credits scene! The way the series ended – teasing us with this new character – we’re hoping there will be a season two of Moon Knight that’ll explore the ‘Jake’ personality deeper.
Episode Five: Asylum
Review & Recap:
Episode five of Moon Knight is extremely emotional and cleverly allows us, the audience, to learn more about Marc and Steven’s past. The episode was executed perfectly with stunning cinematography and special effects, a moving score and Oscar Isaac’s flawless performance.
Plus, there’s still an element of mystery as it’s not been 100% confirmed whether Marc and Steven are in the afterlife; Moon Knight is still taunting us that this could all be taking place in Marc’s head and he really is just in a psychiatric hospital. Although, I personally think that’s unlikely.
In terms of a recap, the episode starts off pretty much where episode four ended. Marc is in Dr Harrow’s office and is told he keeps swinging between sense and nonsense. Unable to deal with the news he’s ‘crazy’, Marc slips back to the ‘reality’ from the previous episode where the greek goddess Taweret tells Marc and Steven they are in the afterlife/the realm of Duat, travelling on a boat through sand and must get their scales to balance, otherwise, they won’t reach the Field of Reeds; they’ll instead spend eternity in the sand.
To do so, Marc and Steven must confront their past and we learn that Marc’s brother tragically drowned. Marc’s mother blamed him for the death and started beating him. As a coping mechanism, Marc created Steven as a personality he could slip into. We also learn how Khonshu saved him from death so long as Marc became the “Moon Knight” (we finally heard the words spoken out loud during the show for the first time!!!).
In a tragic scene, we see that Marc slipped into Steven’s personality after his mother’s death; which took place roughly a few weeks before the first episode of Moon Knight. And finally, while trying to get back to the real world to stop Harrow and Ammit from killing millions, Steven falls overboard into the sand and ‘dies’. Then the scales finally balance and the episode ends with Marc reaching the Field of Reeds alone.
Reference To Black Panther
When Marc and Steven are talking to Taweret about the afterlife she mentions the “Ancestral Plane”. The Ancestral Plane is featured in Black Panther and which both T’Challa and Killmonger experience after taking the Heart-Shaped Herb.
Confirmation The MCU Has Kept Moon Knight’s Origin From The Comics The Same
In previous episodes of Moon Knight, it’s pretty clear that the MCU was hinting that how Marc became Moon Knight is practically the same as in the comic books. In episode five, we finally got to see it on screen. Just like in the comics, Bushman (Marc’s fellow mercenary) went rogue and killed everybody on the dig including Layla’s (named Marlene in the comics) father. Marc tries to stop him but Bushman shoots Marc; Marc bleeding out and dying is then saved by Khonshu in return for becoming his Moon Knight.
The First Episode Foreshadowed Steven’s ‘Death’
Steven ends up falling overboard and doesn’t make it to the Field of Reeds like Marc but this was eerily foreshadowed in the first episode of Moon Knight. When teaching a girl about Ancient Egypt at the museum, she says to Steven, “And did it suck for you? Getting rejected from the Field of Reeds?”
Episode Four: The Tomb
Review & Recap:
This has been the best episode of Moon Knight yet. Giving off incredible Indiana Jones vibes as Marc/Steven and Layla make their way into Ammit’s tomb, the episode has everything you could want from a comic book adaptation: action, humour, romance and jump scares. Then, of course, it featured the brilliant plot twist ending that has made us all question what’s real and what’s not.
As for a recap, the episode begins by revealing there are a number of gods that have been imprisoned in stone; it’s not just Khonshu. Then we see Layla and Marc/Steven make their way to Ammit’s tomb, Layla and Steven share a kiss for the first time, they encounter an undead priest and it’s revealed that Marc was indeed present when Layla’s father was killed.
Steven does manage to retrieve Ammit before Harrow but is then ambushed by Harrow and his men. Marc attempts to fight them off but Harrow shoots Marc/Steven twice. We then see a snippet of a film where the protagonist is named Steven Grant. It’s revealed this film is playing in a psychiatric hospital and Marc is a patient there. Marc quickly runs from Dr Harrow (yes, Arthur Harrow is shown to be Marc’s doctor) and finds Steven in a separate (but identical looking) body in a sarcophagus. The two then encounter the Egyptian god, Taweret.
Another Nod To Moon Knight’s Comic Book Origin
In episode four, we get confirmation that Layla’s father was murdered during a dig and that Marc was present. Marc also says “I was supposed to die that night”. This is a direct nod to the comic book origin of Moon Knight, where Marc’s colleague goes rogue and kills the archaeologist Dr Peter Alraune (father of Marc’s love interest in the comics, Marlene). Marc is also shot by this colleague and almost dies but is saved by Khonshu, which leads him to take on the Moon Knight mantle.
Nod To 2016 Moon Knight Comic Book Series
Near the end of episode four, Marc wakes up in a psychiatric hospital and there are many things (like the statue performer from episode one, Steven’s former boss Donna, a drawing of Khonshu etc.) that suggest the entirety of the series thus far hasn’t happened at all and has been some sort of dream or hallucination that Marc’s experienced. This storyline is explored in a 2016 Moon Knight comic series by Jeff Lemire.
Will Jake Lockley Make An Appearance?
There have been many subtle hints that Marc and Steven have a third personality (who stabbed Harrow’s men and asked out Steven’s colleague on a date) and episode four gave us yet another one. Marc opens a rattling sarcophagus and trapped inside is Steven. As Marc and Steven navigate their way through the hospital, they see another sarcophagus with someone rattling it from the inside. While Marc and Steven don’t open it, the appearance of the second sarcophagus suggests there’s a third personality we, the audience, haven’t met yet – most likely Jake, from the comics.
Episode One Foreshadowed Taweret
Back in episode one of Moon Knight, Donna asks Steven for a box of hippo toys and Steven corrects her that the toy is actually the Egyptian god, Taweret. Episode four ends with Marc and Steven coming face to face with Taweret.
Episode Three: The Friendly Type
Review & Recap:
Episode three was incredibly well-paced, full of incredible action scenes, beautiful imagery (Moon Knight’s cape in the full crescent shape – breathtaking!) and Oscar Isaac’s acting was remarkable. He’s completely believable as both Marc and Steven, and during one moment we see the actor transform from Marc to Steven onscreen and… it was flawless. I really have no words other than Isaac deserves so much praise.
In terms of a recap, episode three starts with Layla forging a passport so she can join Marc in Egypt and help stop Arthur Harrow from freeing Ammit. This is the first episode where Marc is in control of the body for most of the episode and we see him try to get some information from some of Harrow’s men and meet the other avatars for various Egyptian gods. We’re also introduced to Anton Mogart – in the comics, Mogart is also known as Midnight Man and is one of Moon Knight’s foes – and after Harrow turns up, things turn bleak; forcing Marc and Layla to fight Mogart and his men.
We briefly see Steven in control of the body; he helps Layla figure out the Senfu map that’ll lead them to Ammit’s tomb and helps Khonshu turn back the stars. And finally, Khonshu was imprisoned in a statue by the other Egyptian gods; and Harrow gloats about this in an emotional and well-acted scene that ended the episode.
Layla Is Definitely Marlene
After the first two episodes of Moon Knight, many came to the conclusion that Layla must be the MCU’s version of Marlene Alraune. We practically got confirmation of this in episode three, as in the opening scene we learn that Layla’s father was a notable archaeologist; just like Marlene’s father was in the comics. It’s also hinted throughout the episode that Layla’s father was killed and Marc was present, which also lines up with the comic books.
Does Marc/Steven Have A Third Personality?
There’s a scene where Marc regains control of his body and is covered in blood. He’s clearly killed the men he was trying to get information from but has no memory of stabbing them; similar to in episode one when Steven had no memory of what Marc had done whilst in control of the body. However, killing is very out of character for Steven; so much so, that Marc asks Steven “what did you do?” to which Steven replies, “I swear. That wasn’t me.”
This begs the question of whether there’s a third personality that we haven’t met yet. In the comics, Marc has a third notable persona/personality, Jake Lockley. This could be the MCU hinting that Jake will soon make an appearance as well; this seems especially likely when you consider we still don’t know who asked Steven’s museum colleague on a date or what happened to Steven’s one-finned fish…
In the comics, the Egyptian gods hail from a place called Celestial Heliopolis AKA the Overvoid and it’s similar to Asgard – where Nordic gods like Thor and Loki come from. In episode three of Moon Knight, when Khonshu is speaking through Marc to the avatars for Hathor, Horus, Isis, Tefnut, and Osiris, he says, “Return from the opulence of the Overvoid before you lose the realm”. This establishes that the MCU is following the comics and that all the Egyptian ‘gods’ are just like Thor – aliens interpreted by humans as gods – and they reside there.
Another Link To Falcon & The Winter Soldier
Last week’s episode featured a GRC ad linking Moon Knight to previous MCU series, Falcon & The Winter Solider and episode three has again given us a clear connection between the two series. Bek mentions that Layla last saw Mogart in Madripoor; which is, of course, where Sharon Carter ruled the city’s underworld as the Power Broker.
Episode Two: Summon The Suit
Review & Recap:
The second episode of Moon Knight was just as good as the first. Just like the previous episode, Summon The Suit was action-packed, funny and compelling.
We’re slowly getting more pieces of the puzzle; Steven got fired from the gift shop but therefore has more time to uncover what’s going on. He found Marc’s storage locker along with a passport, guns and the scarab that was featured in episode one.
This episode also introduced us to Layla – Marc’s wife. Steven is then taken by some detectives who turn out to be working for Arthur Harrow and he explicitly tells Steven his plan that he’s desperate to complete for the Egyptian goddess, Ammit. The plan is to kill all ‘bad’ people before they even do the things that make them ‘bad’ – it’s actually very reminiscent of Philip K. Dick’s The Minority Report.
Harrow tells Steven he needs the scarab to find Ammit’s tomb and Steven essentially says that the plan is barbaric and that he doesn’t have the scarab. Harrow also confides that before Marc, Harrow was the “avatar” for Khonshu. All the while, Marc is begging Steven for control of the body.
Layla barges in and tells Steven to “summon the suit”, which he does but it’s a literal suit, not the suit we saw briefly in episode one, which leads to a humorous exchange between Marc and Steven. Steven fights the jackal and tries to protect Layla, but after getting hit by a car he finally relents and gives Marc control.
Marc/Steven during the battle with the jackal loses the scarab, and Harrow ends up finding it, which displeases Khonshu. The episode ends with Marc in Egypt who plans to stop Harrow before he reaches Ammit’s tomb.
Many Nods To The Comics
Firstly, when Steven finds Marc’s passport it says that he’s from Illinois. In the comic books, Marc was born in Chicago, Illinois.
Secondly, the two ‘detectives’ who take Steven to Arthur Harrow are listed in the credits as Billy and Bobbi. In the comics, while Marc was imprisoned by Ammit in a mental hospital, two orderlies who worked there and served the Egyptian goddess were also named Billy and Bobbi.
Thirdly, if you take a close look at the Interpol file that’s pulled up on route to Harrow, Marc’s file number is 1975, which is the year Moon Knight made his debut in the Marvel comics.
Fourthly, Moon Knight’s comic book origin story is also referenced in this episode; Bobbi says that Marc is wanted for executing archaeologists during an Egyptian dig. In the comics, Marc was working in Sudan when a fellow mercenary Raul Bushman killed the archaeologist Dr Peter Alraune.
Marc stepped in to stop Raul from killing Peter’s daughter but Raul retaliated by badly wounding Marc; this is when Marc encounters Khonshu and is granted immortality if he takes up the Moon Knight mantle. Hopefully this small reference and the fact that Marc says to Steven, “It’s not what you think,” means that in future episodes we’ll see how Marc became the Moon Knight.
And finally, the bus that’s in the background when Steven is fighting the jackal has the bus number, “WBN0032” which is a nod to the Marvel comic, Werewolf By Night #32 – the comic Moon Knight first appeared in.
Arthur Harrow Most Likely Uses ‘Dark Magic’
It may just be a coincidence but when Harrow summons a jackal, his magic is a bright shade of purple. The same purple that Agatha Harkness’ magic was which was confirmed to be ‘dark magic’ in WandaVision. This suggests that the magic Ammit has given Harrow is also dark magic.
A Reference To Falcon & The Winter Solider And Confirmation Of Moon Knight’s Timeline
When Steven is fighting the jackal, there’s a bus in the background bearing an advertisement for the “GRC”. The GRC or Global Repatriation Council is an organisation that was founded to help deal with the aftermath of both Thanos’ snap and Tony Stark’s snap that brought everyone who was blipped back. The organisation was first introduced in Falcon & The Winter Soldier which is a nice, subtle reference but, ultimately, the appearance of this ad confirms that Moon Knight takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Episode One: The Goldfish Problem
Review & Recap:
Overall, the first episode of Moon Knight was compelling, fresh and original; overall extremely enjoyable. It perfectly balanced mystery, humour and action while slowly introducing us to this next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
While we may not have gotten a lot of answers, Moon Knight introduced us to a lovable, down-on-his-luck character, Steven Grant who seems to suffer from dissociative identity disorder. Steven works at a museum, somehow finds himself in the alps with armed men after him because he stole a scarab, watches a weird cult leader perform ‘judgement’ and narrowly escapes from both the men and cult leader in a cupcake truck.
Steven wakes up in his bed and brushes the whole thing off as a weird dream but then encounters the cult leader at his work, rushes home, finds a mobile phone that does not belong to him and slowly realises he may have another persona, a mercenary named Marc.
Overall, it was a great first episode for an MCU series. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so immediately as we’ll now delve into all the easter eggs hidden in the episode, so there are massive spoilers ahead.
The Theory Of Pain
The compelling but puzzling opening to Moon Knight shows an unnamed character performing a ritual that ends with him putting broken shards of glass into a pair of shoes, putting those shoes on and then walking away. Later in the episode, it’s revealed this was Ethan Hawke’s character – whose name was not spoken in the first episode but Marvel has confirmed Hawke is playing ‘Arthur Harrow’.
In the comics, Arthur Harrow is a mad scientist who conducts Nazi experiments and is obsessed with the theory of pain. Obviously, the MCU has changed his character completely as in Moon Knight he’s the leader of some sort of cult… But looks like they’ve kept Harrow’s obsession with pain with the walking on glass scene.
A Hint Of How Egyptian Gods Will Be Brought Into The MCU
The MCU expertly introduced mythic Norse gods like Thor, Loki and Hela into its universe and we may now know how the franchise plans to bring Egyptian gods into the mix. There are constant references to the ‘Ennead’ – which Steven even describes in the first episode as a “super-group” – and in the Marvel comics, the Ennead were gods who could travel to Ancient Egypt, Earth via a gateway from their dimension, the Celestial Heliopolis.
This means the MCU could be hinting that Egyptian gods – just like Thor, Loki and Hela – aren’t really gods; they are aliens from another world that came to Earth and had alien powers that caused local humans to worship them like gods.
A Nice Nod To The Comics
In some of the Moon Knight comics, the only way for Marc to communicate with Khonshu (the moon god Marc works for) was by talking to a statue of the Egyptian god but, as later in the episode confirmed, the MCU version of Marc (and Steven) can hear Khonshu’s voice inside his head. So, seeing Steven talk to a street performer whose whole schtick is pretending to be a statue was a nice homage to the comic books.
Will Duchamp Make An Appearance?
As Steven is scrolling through Marc’s phone, there are missed calls mostly from Layla – who is most likely the MCU version of Marlene Alraune; Marc’s love interest in the comics – but there is one missed call from ‘Duchamp’. In some of the Moon Knight comics, Marc doesn’t have superpowers; he instead pays Jean-Paul Duchamp, nicknamed ‘Frenchie’, to develop cool tech for Marc to fight crime with – similar to how Q develops all of James Bond’s spy gadgets.
It’s unclear whether the MCU Marc has superpowers or just uses gadgets to complete his missions, so the ‘Duchamp’ missed call may be a clue that Frenchie will be introduced in a future episode. Or it may just be a nod to the comics for diehard comic fans…
Arthur Harrow DIDN’T Mention Thanos
When Harrow corners Steven at the museum and discusses the god, Ammit, he says, “Had Ammit been free, she would’ve prevented Hitler, the destruction he wrought, Nero, the Armenian genocide, Pol Pot…” Harrow mentions all of these devastating events in human history but doesn’t mention Thanos’ snap that erased half of all life?!
This may just be the directors and writers trying to keep Moon Knight separate from the MCU for now and allowing Moon Knight to establish its own story before connecting it to the larger universe. But it potentially could also be a clue that the series is taking place before the snap…