Moon Knight Episode 4 Review

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Moon Knight May Calamawy as Layla and Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector

Moon Knight knows how to balance action and emotion, and Episode 4 is no different.

Episode 3 is a tough act to follow, but with Khonshu no longer protecting Marc/Steven the stakes are higher than ever. 

Marc stays sidelined for a lot of the episode with Steven refusing to give up control. After all, they made a deal he would give him the body when they’re done with Khonshu and he’s gone. 

What Steven lacks in skills he makes up for in enthusiasm as he and Layla uncover Ammit’s tomb. In my Episode 3 review I compared the show to The Mummy, and this week we get even more mummies and action.

Of course, they aren’t going to just waltz into Ammit’s tomb without a little adventure (this also happens to be the tomb of her last avatar, Alexander the Great.)

With Steven geeking out over how well preserved everything is, he doesn’t seem to notice it’s too well preserved. They have to fight off the creature protecting the tomb and refilling the Canopic jars with fresh organs. 

Moon Knight May Calamawy as Layla
May Calamawy as Layla in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Gabor Kotschy. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Doesn’t sound like the best job but they take it seriously and almost kill Layla and Steven for disturbing them. Who says employees aren’t loyal anymore? 

There’s no question it’s a scary scene, taking advantage of the dim lighting and claustrophobic quarters that lead to unknown dangers. (Also, that clicking noise is going to haunt my dreams, thanks Marvel.)

In a very cruel twist, right after Layla found out Marc left her to protect her, she finds out that’s not the only thing he’s hiding. Like in the comics, Marc was at the site where Layla’s father was executed by Marc’s rogue partner.

Again, Marc’s history is told by people talking, not a flashback. It’s more effective to watch Layla’s face in real-time as she reacts to what Harrow tells her. 

It also goes to show what a good villain Harrow is. Not unlike a certain Baron, he’s a master at using people’s weaknesses against them. Even if he didn’t have Ammit’s power behind him it’s not hard to imagine him gathering power and a following.

The elation of Steven finding Ammit’s ushabti is short-lived with Layla confronting Marc about the truth. Isaac and Calamawy have such good chemistry that despite never actually seeing their life together before the events of the show their pain feels earned and authentic. 

Given that Marc didn’t kill her father, he just witnessed it, maybe there’s still a chance for them. I’m always rooting for Marvel to have more healthy couples, but a foundation of lies isn’t the best thing to be working with. 

Moon Knight Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Csaba Aknay. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Harrow’s attack, leaving Marc shot and Layla in hiding, seems like a pretty definitive ending for the two. But this is a show about gods, so of course, it’s not that simple.

The following sequence is a great reminder of why comic creators deserve more credit than a special thanks buried in the credits. Fans of Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s run of Moon Knight (2016) will be clued in immediately to what’s happening as the show lifts heavily from the run. 

Marc wakes up in a mental hospital and everything is wrong. Steven Grant is a character in a film he watches. Layla is another patient. Moon Knight is an action figure?

And in the most sinister turn, Harrow is his psychiatrist. He certainly gives Sharon Carter a run for her money when it comes to gaslighting.

It’s a real scene-chewing performance from Hawke in the best way as he explains away every detail of Marc’s “hallucinations.” 

It’s an uncanny experience for the viewer to see all these details transmogrified into an entirely different narrative. Logically there’s no way that all of this was just a dream but just maybe…

The show doesn’t leave you hanging too long before Marc escapes and runs into Steven (yeah they’re both there at the same time somehow). That’s about as many answers we get for now but seeing how closely they adapt this narrative through the next episode will be fascinating. 

Additional Thoughts:

  • Seriously, go read the Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood run of Moon Knight.

Moon Knight airs Wednesdays on Disney+. 

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