Synopsis: Marc and Steven, still in an asylum in their mind after being killed, search through their past and reveal their origin story. It’s the backstory of how Marc created Steven (and possibly others) and developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and also became Moon Knight.
After being startled by boisterous hippopotamus goddess Tarawet (Antonia Salib), Marc (Oscar Isaac) truly begins to question his sanity. Tarawet is Marc’s guide in his journey to the afterlife. Marc and Steven, still talking to each other as if they are different people, follow her onto a ship that journeys through the underworld. Tarawet removes their heart(s) to weigh them on the scales of justice against the feather of truth. If they don’t balance, Marc gets pulled by the dead down into the underworld, rather than enjoying an afterlife wandering through reeds. In order to balance their scale, Marc and Steven have to delve into their past life, to uncover why their hearts are so heavy.
They see Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) and Marc turning back the sky. They see what might be a third personality. They walk through a room full of dead people, all of whom were killed by Marc. In that room, Steven sees a child. Marc and Steven chase the child, but only Marc goes through the door the boy ran through. There, he finds his parents, himself as a child (Carlos S. Sanchez), and his brother, Randall Spector (Claudio Fabia Contreras).
Child Marc and Randall go off to play like movie adventurer Steven Grant, complete with phony, bad English accent. They enter a cave, which adult Marc tries to stop them from following, where Randall ends up drowning. Marc blames himself for his brother’s death, but what’s worse is his mother (Fernanda Andrade) also blames him. From that point on, Marc experienced constant neglect and abuse from his mother, who never forgives him for his brothers death.
Steven eventually rejoins Marc, who is riddled with guilt about all the deaths he was responsible for, including that of Abdallah El-Faouly (Usama Soliman), Layla’s father. Marc is so distraught by all he’s done, that he attempts suicide, but is stopped by Khonshu, who preys on his weakness, makes him his avatar, his fist of vengeance, and turns him into Moon Knight.
Marc and Steven rejoin Tarawet, begging her to help them free Khonshu, so Marc can come back to life and heal, to stop Harrow from releasing Ammit and destroying the world. Marc still has to get himself out of the asylum he’s created in his mind, where Dr. Harrow (Ethan Hawke) asks him if he created Steven to hide from the things he’s done, or if Steven created him to punish the world for his mother’s abuse. In a flashback, we see child Marc change to Steven to cope with his mother’s abuse. In that moment, Steven learns Marc made him up. Marc created Steven to live a happy, simple, normal life. Steven also learns that the mother he was always talking to on the phone in early episodes, died. Marc knew about her death, but refused to go to her wake and funeral. In a moment of grief and despair, he turns into Steven, who talks to his mother on the phone. They come to a conclusion that Randall’s death and his mother’s abuse were not his fault.
Marc/Steven, back on the ship to the underworld, is attacked by the dead, who try to pull them into the underworld to suffer forever. Marc is nearly dragged under, but is saved by Steven, who in turn ends up lost. As hard as Steven tries to catch up with the boat, he can’t, and ends up turning to stone. In that moment, Marc finds himself in a field of reeds, having balanced the scale without Steven.
Oscar Isaac is once again outstanding, seamlessly moving between Marc and Steven. He is the heart of the entire episode. Ethan Hawke seems to have fun as a Ned Flandersly Dr. Harrow.
CGI & Effects
The CGI and effects are fine and cinematic. The animation of Tarawet is a little clunky, but that may have been a deliberate way to highlight the inanity of Marc’s situation.
This was a solid episode which finally reveals the sad origin of Marc’s DID, as well as the beginning of Moon Knight. The narrative flow was very easy to follow, despite Marc’s/Steven’s mind wandering back and forth in place and time. This has been the best episode of the series so far.
Check out past reviews of Moon Knight Here.
- CGI & Effects9.5