What to Watch Verdict
Moon Knight delivers one of its craziest episodes to date with a combination of adventure thrills, answers and amazing surrealism
Gory, fun Raiders of the Lost Ark/Mummy throwback scenes
Answers about Marc and Layla's past
Brilliant final act twists and execution
Hints at some of the previously introduced mysteries
No Moon Knight or Mr. Knight this week
Last week’s Moon Knight episode ended with one hell of a cliffhanger. Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) got himself imprisoned by his fellow gods after altering the sky with Steven. With Khonshu gone, Marc and Steven (Oscar Isaac) can no longer use Moon Knight's powers. Episode 4 opens with them unconscious while Layla (May Calamawy) goes full-on action hero.
After a short action scene where she blows up a bunch of Harrow’s (Ethan Hawke) men, Steven comes to and they make their way to the tomb of Ammit. Here’s where things go full Raiders of the Lost Ark/Mummy, which is a unique and welcome feel for the MCU. Combining superheroes and archeology-based adventure movies creates a pretty cool genre mashup.
But the adventure is of course not the main focus of this show. Steven and Marc are still at ends with one another for the control of this body. Given Steven’s sweet nature, combined with how much he’s stepped up in the past episode, sparks are starting to fly between the him and Layla (cue hilarious self-punch from Marc).
When you think about it, the man Layla deserves should have the sweet consideration of Steven and the competence of Marc. So if these two were to actually reconcile their differences and work together, they’d make not only a more excellent superhero but just as good a romantic partner.
Going through the tomb, Layla and Steven encounter what appear to be actual freaking mummies. In a much darker scene compared to other MCU properties, they hide from one while the mummy disembowels one of Harrow’s men, preparing him for a sort of mummification process, including harvesting the man’s organs in ceremonial jars. The mummy then catches Layla and Steven, causing the pair to run and split up. Layla basically gets her own “leap of faith” scene like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but more dangerous. She then has to battle a one-handed mummy and kills it with a flare. Again, May Calamawy: action badass.
Harrow soon finds Layla and decides to play some mind-games. He reveals to her that Marc was involved in the murder of her father at the hands of mercenaries.
Side note, Moon Knight has really upped the horror, gore and jump scare factor for this episode and I’m all for it.
Steven and Marc have better luck, as Steven soon discovers the original avatar of Ammit, the pharaoh whose tomb they are raiding — Alexander the Great. Ammit, trapped inside a statue, is inside the corpse of Alexander. So Steven has to play operation and dig it out with is bare hands. Layla catches up to Steven and demands Marc come out so she can confront him about the truth regarding her father. Marc comes out and tells her the truth.
Marc explains that his mercenary partner got greedy and murdered everyone at the excavation site. Marc tried to stop him and got shot himself. He was supposed to die, but came back instead because of Khonshu. This is fairly accurate to his origins in Moon Knight #1 (1980). Naturally, though Marc wasn’t her father’s killer, Layla is pissed for him leading the killer into their camp.
Unfortunately, there’s no time to grieve or air out issues, because Harrow and company find their way to Marc and Layla. Once more, Marc is shot. And just like that, the show takes another sharp, left turn and becomes something incredibly different.
Things begin to get surreal. Paying homage to Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight comic book arc, we steer away from the Mummy-esque adventure story and are pulled into what appears to be a psychiatric ward. This entire trippy sequence reframes everything we’ve seen so far and pulls into into a completely different context.
We have Steven Grant as a fictional film character in a jungle serial playing in the background; Crawley the Living Statue shouting out bingo numbers; cupcakes being served; Steven’s goldfish sitting on a table in the corner; and of course, Marc tethered to a wheelchair, holding a Moon Knight action figure, being attended to by one of the fake cops that took him to Harrow. It’s a completely brilliant pivot to such a gonzo sequence, making the audience question what is going on. This absolutely just goes to emphasize what a strange and different installment of the MCU Moon Knight is. However, we quickly realize this isn’t reality, but Marc’s head. But the execution of this representing the inner-turmoil within Marc is brilliant, bizarre and fascinating.
Marc’s escape from "brain Harrow" and his orderlies is just as exciting as Layla’s fight with the mummies. It also leads to some clues that are meant to answer a few raised questions from the previous episode. For instance, after Marc kills Harrow’s men, he and Steven both question who actually commits the deed, since clearly neither of them did.
When they discover the presence of a third sarcophagus in his head, we have to ask who that is? Is it Khonshu? Maybe not since he's imprisoned. But if not Khonshu then who?
The sequence culminates in an incredibly unexpected way, with Marc and Steven running into a giant (yet somewhat friendly) Egyptian hippo god (possibly Taweret, goddess of childbirth and fertility). It’s a hilarious and bizarre moment, that cuts off and leaves us wanting more.
Once more Moon Knight is proving to be a much more cerebral and unorthodox chapter in the MCU and it benefits so greatly from the insanity. We seriously can’t wait to see what happens next.
The first four episodes of Moon Knight are now available to stream on Disney Plus. Moon Knight episode 5 will be released on Wednesday, April 27.
Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland.
You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.