And here we are…it felt like such a short time ago that Steven Grant bumbled his way into our lives before he learned he was the avatar of an Egyptian god Khonshu and shared his body with a man named Marc Spector, who took them to Egypt to stop cultist Arthur Harrow from unleashing the Egyptian goddess Ammit, but their reality was rocked when they found themselves in a psychiatric hospital in the underworld, where they found out about Marc’s dark past.
Now, the sixth and final episode of Moon Knight is upon us, promising us both “Gods and Monsters.”
“I’m sorry it had to be this way. Marc Spector. Steven Grant. Whoever else might be in there.”
In the land of the living, Arthur Harrow finally has Ammit’s ushabti and makes his way to the chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza, where he can set her free to judge the world. Layla tracks him down and hides among his men, set on killing him. But she is contacted by Taweret, who urges her to free Khonshu so he can help bring back Marc to bind Ammit to Harrow and destroy her once and for all.
In the land of the dead, Marc has finally found peace. And yet … he can’t accept it while Steven is frozen in the sands of the Duat. He goes back, and, against all odds, Osiris finds them worthy of returning to life. Upon his resurrection, Marc is bound by Khonshu once more. Khonshu is set on imprisoning Ammit, but Marc and Steven make him vow to free them of their enslavement to him if they succeed. Now, they’re all on a collision course to stop Harrow and Ammit and save the souls of the world.
I was totally wrong last week! And I’m okay with that! But before I continue that thought, let’s dive into the episode.
I’ll start with the negatives. This was Moon Knight’s shortest episode of the series. Booooo! We want more! Also, I was a little underwhelmed by Ammit’s CGI design. Yes, this is a comicbook show with living Egyptian gods. I did like her costume and hair design vibe, but the crocodile face was just a little too … I don’t know … kid friendly? After that zombie priest we got in Episode 4, I felt like we could’ve had a more menacing look.
Additionally, the kaiju-esque fight between Ammit and Khonshu was a little meh. When the souls of Cairo were flying into Ammit’s mouth as she cartoonishly ballooned in size, I could almost hear Rita Repulsa in the background. And, yes, we needed to have a big third-act showdown, but this felt like it was a little too much like the MCU creative control machine at work. It was a slight shame to have this dish served after the magnificent course that was Episode 5.
Regardless, I thought this season was handily wrapped in a satisfactory way. It was cool to see Layla as the MCU version of the Scarlet Scarab. I love the way Marc and Steven found a way to work together and the way Moon Knight and Mr. Knight interchangeably kicked Harrow’s ass. And the MCU version of Moon Knight can fly! Amazing. But that also negates the need for Frenchie, who we never saw. Sad.
Of course, there’s the big reveal in the after-credit scene that everyone has been waiting for. And I loved that moment for many reasons. I love that the name of the psychiatric hospital paid homage to legendary Moon Knight artist Bill Sienkiewicz. I loved the SPKTR limo and the say-hello-to-my-lil-friend attitude of Jake. Earlier in the episode, Khonshu almost flippantly tells Marc and Steven he will release them. He knew just how broken Marc was, and it seems Jake is his ideal avatar for carrying out his version of justice. What I loved most was that the aftercredit scene followed the rest of the show and kept it self-contained, not using it to tie it into the rest of the MCU. Maybe there are some people who disagree, and that’s completely understandable, but I loved the confidence of the show creators to stand exclusively on their product and not rely on outside help.
Wrapping up Moon Knight
So now we come to look at the series as a whole, and overall, I’d say it was a huge success. It certainly ranks in the top MCU offerings in my book, perhaps even the top. While many MCU heroes had their internal and external battles, Marc Spector’s felt wholly unique with his struggle with mental illness, guilt, and the battle to find balance between wanting to die and needing to live. While there were some obvious changes from the comic version, I think Mohamed Diab and Jeremy Slater did an excellent job translating his story to a wider television audience.
One day, I hope to go back and watch the series start to finish. The scope of the show is quite expansive, but as with revealing the identities of Marc Spector, the creative team allowed the show to start small and slowly broaden. I’m on the fence, though, if the streets of London to the crypts of Cairo with giant gods duking it out gives the overall show–ironically–an identity crisis. But the anchor of Steven and Marc help provide a through-line that makes it entirely digestible.
As for Steven and Marc, I find the ethics of the show a little odd. One note I had from the final episode is that Steven and Marc seemed perfectly fine with offing a cultist or two here and there, but then they hesitated to kill Harrow with Ammit bound to him. I guess that’s why Khonshu found Jake to be extremely useful, but the justification of who lives and who dies was a bit inconsistent. Also, it was rewarding to see Steven and Marc learning to work together and share the body. The line where Marc tells Steven that he is his true superpower was heartwarming (quite literally for them). At the same time, living to accept and interchange with another DID-induced personality is hard to wrap my head around. I’m sure there are more than a few mental health professionals out there pulling their hair out with that conclusion. It brought me to a similar ethical quandary I had with Loki, where Loki’s romance with Sylvie was somewhat cute but mostly disturbing. That’s comics, I guess?
But, of course, we can’t end this review without talking about the future of the show. When I made my guess last week about Layla becoming Moon Knight, I was basing it on Oscar Isaac’s freedom from service to The Mouse after the show concluded. And I don’t know if I should say the series concluded or the show concluded. There’s a lot of speculation after Marvel deleted a tweet previewing the final episode with the words “series finale” and replaced it with “season finale.” Director Mohamed Diab claims he doesn’t know the future of the character. But what I do know is that the after-credit scene totally leaves the possibility open. I would love for Season 2 to give us more Jake, perhaps even opening the first episode with the fight where Jake gets the upper-hand on Harrow after he pinned Marc down with his staff. It was mildly frustrating to see Marc black out and not get a taste of that fight.
But now we must say goodnight to Moon Knight. I hope it’s temporary. If not, I might have to call Jake.
Gods and Monsters
Steven and Marc, bros on a mission10.0/10
Layla as Scarlet Scarab10.0/10
The Jake Lockley Reveal10.0/10
The giant gods fighting6.0/10
Questionable mental health ethics7.0/10
- Starring: Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, F. Murray Abraham, Antonia Salib, May Calamawy, Saba Mubarak
- Directors: Mohamed Diab, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
- Writer: Jeremy Slater
- Characters: Doug Moench, Don Perlin
- Producers: Kevin Feige, Grant Curtis, Victoria Alonso, Mohamed Diab, Oscar Isaac
- Score: Hesham Nazih
- Cinematography: Gregory Middleton
- Studio: Marvel Studios
- Streaming: Disney+