As advertised in the final moments last week, a globe-trotting adventure fills the runtime of the lore-heavy third episode of Moon Knight. The MCU adaptation of the classic vigilante turns into an Indiana Jones-lite adventure with a few moral conundrums and some hard-hitting fight sequences. And it works well, for the most part.
Marc Spector has embarked on a new mission under the guise of Khonshu that takes him to Egypt. Of course, Arthur Harrow is also in the country, now in possession of the Scarab that leads him to Ammit’s resting place. Steven Grant is no longer in control of the body, but he remains to be a vital presence. Even more so than last week, Oscar Isaac has to juggle the alters on a moment’s notice, pulling off an enthralling performance that can be both tragic and hilarious at times.
After two episodes light on action, Marc ups the violence as he immediately pursues some Egyptian goons without mercy. But the most entertaining part besides the choreography is the unpredictable switching between alters. The strict morals of Steven constantly uproot what Marc is attempting to do. Once again, the directing crew shows off their visceral directing capabilities in the exciting sequence. The only thing that becomes irritating is the switching between soundstage and natural location, something normally not noticeable.
This week, we get to meet the rest of the Egyptian gods and their avatars when Khonshu intends to warn them about Arthur. But, of course, they don’t take him seriously and show incredible distrust in the disgruntled moon god. The visual representation of the meeting grounds within the pyramid certainly speaks to the high level of production design Moon Knight has contained thus far. That being said, the choice to have every god represented by their human avatars, including Horus as a British businessman, doesn’t do the mythology justice. The supposed monumental presence of these gods isn’t truly felt at the level the show is attempting to convey. Nevertheless, Khonshu is left with a gallery of deities that don’t believe him and actually trust Arthur more.
The adventure continues with Marc alongside Layla, who are now on their way to meet with a contact that is in possession of a sarcophagus of great importance. On the way, they have an exchange that shows how secretive and willing to lie Marc is. The real fun begins when they meet Anton Mogart, played by the late Gaspard Ulliel. He clearly has a past with Layla, but that doesn’t stop their meeting from becoming a full-on brawl with Marc summoning the suit. We finally get a fight sequence for Moon Knight, who goes toe-to-toe with over a dozen baddies. Of course, Arthur is always ahead of them and arrives at the place to make matters worse.
Yet, the globe-trotting duo is able to get the constellation McGuffin and head to the desert. Steven takes over because of his Egyptian knowledge, displaying once again some great chemistry with Layla. But when the coordinates don’t match up with the current positioning of the stars, it forces Khonshu to change the entire sky. In the most visually pleasing moment of the entire series, Mr. Knight channels his powers to reconfigure the night sky to match the McGuffin. A sequence both beautiful and alarming for its characters. The drastic decision forces the gods to lock up the moon deity, leaving Steven/Marc with no supernatural power.
Overall, the latest episode of Moon Knight hits the gas on the action and delves deep into the mythological. Isaac continues to dazzle under the moonlight in and out of the suit. The fight sequences can be frustratingly reliant on undercooked CGI, but the all-out brawls finally give fans a taste of the superhero’s power. Egyptian mythology is expanded upon this week with the introduction of other deities, but they fall a bit short of commanding the screen with their presence. However, relying less on connecting things to the MCU is refreshing. Any inclination towards something new and exciting should be this phase’s mantra. – Marcos Melendez
Grade – 7.5/10
Moon Knight Premieres New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+