The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 5 of ‘Moon Knight’. For a review of Episode 4, click here.
After ending its previous episode on an incredibly weird cliffhanger, Moon Knight returns with a penultimate episode that is sure to leave people talking. Following Marc’s downward spiral into some sort of metaphorical mental asylum, his reunion with Steven is cut short by the arrival of a new figure from Egyptian mythos. At this point in the series, all seems lost with Harrow finally obtaining Ammit. The cliffhanger of the episode is immediately shifted away.
The editing of this episode helps to execute the nonsensical nature of the show. The viewer feels as lost as Marc with quick transitions from scenes that, at surface level, don’t feel connected. Marc is suddenly back in the office with Harrow, being fed therapy that doesn’t feel genuine. Hawke gives a different portrayal of a psychiatrist. After Marc has yet another breakdown, he’s taken back to where the last episode ended, with the giant hippopotamus.
This is Taweret, the goddess of women and children. Moreover, she explains to Steven and Marc that they’re dead and in the Duat, the Egyptian afterlife. Marc has a mental breakdown not believing any of it is real and he is just sick in the head. It isn’t until Marc is able to actually see the underworld that he believes. However, before Marc and Steven can go to “paradise” they have to reckon with their past and each other.
Using the asylum as a metaphor for their lives, Marc and Steven revisit memories to try and understand what is holding their hearts back from “being full”. For a Marvel Studios project, Moon Knight goes all out with more high concept unconventional storytelling in this episode. From all of the Egyptian lore to the use of an asylum for Marc’s mental landscape, Moon Knight takes plenty of advantage of its source material. In one scene, Marc and Steven enter a room filled with corpses, each one killed by Marc as Moon Knight at Khonshu’s bidding. It’s a powerful moment that doesn’t last long enough.
We eventually get to the heart of the issue, which is Marc’s childhood and an incident that happened with his younger brother. In one of the darker MCU hero upbringings, a childhood accident leads to Marc living a difficult childhood with a bitter mother, who blames Marc for the accident. Steven’s dynamic with Marc as they try to reconcile their past works well as a Moon Knight origin story.
These memories eventually lead to Marc’s near-death before being saved by Khonshu. In one of the best scenes of the series, Khonshu and Marc come to an agreement. The scene shows Khonshu taking advantage of a broken man, one whose guilt and image of him burned into him by his mother led to Marc becoming Kohnshu’s fist. The scene and Marc’s development make for a highlight of the episode.
Eventually, Marc reveals the truth about Steven; that he’s a personality created by Marc to not be afraid. When his mother would abuse him, Steven would come out. Moreover, Steven represents a happier part of Marc. A life that he never would be able to live. Eventually, Marc and Steven reconcile, coming to terms with their very troubled past. This episode, while not moving the plot forward too much, serves as an incredible story. One that Oscar Isaac plays to near perfection, in the best episode of the series yet.
From the beautifully executed Egyptian underworld to Oscar Isaac’s one-man show, Moon Knight’s penultimate episode is an emotional rollercoaster that will help to elevate the soon-to-come season finale. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Grade – 9/10
New Episodes of Moon Knight Air Every Wednesday on Disney+