August 18, 2022

If there was any doubt that Moon Knight was going to draw back from its magical, mystical roots as laid out by Marvel Comics, Episode 3 of the Part 4 present has shortly dashed these ideas from our heads. Totally immersing itself within the necromancy of Egyptian mythology, the midway level of the Oscar Isaac-led sequence dives headfirst (or beak first, in the event you occur to be a skeletal god of the moon) into the bizarre that made the comics so memorable, lastly digging into how the hell Marc Spector (Isaac) landed himself on this mess within the first place.

We get to know barely extra about Layla (Might Calamawy) this week, although she remains to be shrouded in thriller, similar to the remainder of Marc’s previous. There’s an implication that Marc — who was described as having killed numerous archeologists when he was nonetheless a mercenary — could have had one thing to do with the dying of her father, bringing to thoughts Marlene Alraune, Marc’s nice love from the comics whose father was concerned in the identical incident that left Marc close to dying, and open to receiving the spirit of Khonshu within the first place.


Whether or not Layla is identical character, or merely had Marlene’s backstory implanted onto her as Marvel is so wont to do of their display screen diversifications, is unclear, however the implication is only one of many moments audiences are hit with all through the course of the episode. Marc is now experiencing the identical type of dissociative amnesia episodes that his alter Steven Grant was within the sequence’ premiere, and Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) has discovered the situation of the tomb of Ammit, the demoness he hopes to boost in an effort to rid the world of the impurities he believes it possesses. (He and Thanos would get alongside actual properly, methinks.)

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In maybe probably the most dramatic second of the episode, Khonshu pulls a slightly aggressive stunt — inflicting a freak photo voltaic eclipse — to carry the opposite gods of Egypt to council, and it’s right here that Moon Knight hits its stride, embracing the unbelievable and drawing on each its comedian and mythological roots to broaden the horizons of the MCU like by no means earlier than. We meet the avatars of 5 different gods: Hathor, Horus, Tefnut, Osiris, and Isis, and the theatrics of their proceedings as they query Marc (and by extension, Khonshu) recall to mind 1999’s The Mummy, with all of the opulence and mysticism and not one of the orientalism or fetishization.

A part of the enchantment of Marc’s story is its distance from the remainder of the MCU, away from superheroes and multiverses, and in direction of one thing rather more historic, rather more grounded, even whether it is magic in spite of everything. Apart from a short point out of Madripoor — the island nation visited by a sure couple of sidekicks in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Moon Knight now exists in a realm fully separate from Spider-Man, Captain America, and Scarlet Witch, with its personal guidelines, its personal gods, and its personal penalties.

And it’s in that universe that Marc and Steven, two alters residing in the identical physique, should be taught to cooperate. With nonetheless no point out of Marc’s backstory or dysfunction in sight — which continues to bother because the sequence hits its midway level — they need to be taught to steadiness one another’s abilities, and Steven lastly turns into greater than one other alter alongside for the trip as he decodes a map left within the sarcophagus of an historic medjai, presently within the fingers of Anton Mogart, performed by the late Gaspard Ulliel.

Picture through Disney+

Ulliel is unfortunately underused because the suave grasp thief, however Steven will get to point out off his data of historic Egypt as he works to find the situation of Ammit’s tomb, to hopefully intercept Harrow earlier than he can elevate hell — actually. The following battle, through which we lastly get our first style of what Marc is able to within the Moon Knight garb, turns one man right into a veritable military in opposition to Mogart’s males. We additionally get our first style of simply what being an avatar of the moon god means for Marc, and that apparently signifies that the Fist of Khonshu can take a number of jousting spears being stabbed by his particular person and nonetheless continue to exist.

(And simply as an apart: whereas Edna Mode can be severely displeased by Khonshu’s selection of vestments for Marc to combat in, I’ve to say — that crescent moon-shaped cape completely rips.)

In the meantime, Harrow stays simply as unsettling as ever, eerily levelheaded as he manipulates Marc, Steven, and Khonshu’s phrases in opposition to them to persuade the gods that he has completed nothing improper. Hawke is as terrifying in his mannerisms because the Ammit worshipper as Khonshu is visually, and even regardless of his devotion to a demoness who rips males’s hearts out, his realism — his resemblance to real-life cult leaders, whose expertise lies merely in being charming and persuasive, not essentially sensible — is maybe probably the most terrifying factor about Moon Knight up to now. The second he snaps, the second he lastly loses that composure (as a result of it feels inevitable, the nearer we get to the present’s climax), will undoubtedly flip Marc’s world the other way up, if not your entire world with it.

The place Marc goes from right here, ending the episode together with his god trapped in stone after altering the evening sky and being manipulated by Harrow, is unknown. Has he been stripped of his powers? Will he need to depend on studying to cooperate with Steven to cease Harrow as soon as and for all? Or will he proceed to shock, discovering another, extra nefarious solution to cope with his issues? He’s a mercenary, in spite of everything.

Score: A-

The primary three episodes of Moon Knight are streaming now on Disney+.

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