Episode Analysis Moon Knight: Gods and Monsters
Moon Knight's first season concludes with a strong episode that leaves the audience asking questions about what comes next.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for all six episodes of Moon Knight as well as the entirety of the MCU. Read at your own risk.
It was a good episode! Only it sort of wasn’t in places? I loved it! But also I went huh?
So here’s the thing, character-wise and for the most part plot wise episode six, Gods and Monsters, worked for me. It had so much good stuff that I want to roll around in it and bask.
But on the other hand the episode was like five minutes long and what the hell?
Only not what the hell because I have my suspicions on what happened. No proof. Just that gut instinct I have where I write these articles and I go “I suspect here’s what was going on” and then sure enough a day, week, or even month later there’s an interview with somebody who worked on the show which reveals I got it in one. It’s a freakish super power and frankly I asked for ice-related abilities instead but here we are.
So! Let me talk about the very good of this episode - and there was a lot of very good! Then we’ll talk about the huh? of the episode. And then we’ll touch on my suggestions for a season 2, if we happen to get one.
But still, can’t stress enough that I liked it. So we’re starting there.
What Worked In the Moon Knight Finale
All of the character work was beautiful. I couldn’t find a single point that I couldn’t tie back to everything we’ve known about all of these characters from minute one. Stories aren’t about ideas they’re about people, and the people of this show were handled well.
In no particular order but Layla and Taweret teaming up is the greatest thing ever and if we don’t get a season 2 of Moon Knight which features Layla as Scarlet Scarab (who Marvel confirmed she is) then I want that to be because were getting the brand new Scarlet Scarab show instead.
First up I love Layla and Taweret because their personalities are so different yet perfect to match up together. Like I want shots of Layla trying to be professional and focused back at her apartment while meanwhile she’s finding post-its all around with sayings on them like “Every day is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present! XOXO -T” on them complete with little hearts. Taweret’s sweetness and cheer in contrast to Layla’s practicality and being Officially Over All Things Egyptian God [tm] is a beautiful thing and I want more of it.
Then you get how Layla’s journey was foreshadowed from the beginning, which ties into just how well this show was made. Like Hawkeye’s been the touchstone around here of a show which aimed for a solid journeyman effort and delivered it from episode one through the end. But Moon Knight is the Disney+ show which aimed much higher and now stands, to me, as the Black Panther/Into the Spider-Verse of its peers.
To be clear, I’m not saying it’s the greatest TV show in the history of ever. But it did the work. It knew how to handle music, costumes, character development, editing, props, and on and on. It may not have been able to deliver Into the Spider-Verse level results but of the Disney+ shows it’s absolutely now the touchstone for how good these shows could be.
And proof of that goes back to Layla. We know from the start that she’s able to fight (that’s established in episode 2) but we’re also told she’s scrappy in a fight. She’ll find whatever tools are at hand and improvise with them, like she did in episode four. This sets up for how she’s able to take a brand new avatar suit and figure out how to make it work on the fly - no pun intended.
But even more to the point on quality is all the other things that foreshadowed where Layla was going. Her necklace in episode three both had wings and was a weapon, exactly like the wings in her suit. Plus if you watch the closing credits her name appears over a stone carved with wings.
This may seem like little things but what it speaks to is a production where people on a higher level were aware that these are tools that can be used to tell stories and encouraged the people in charge of those things to use their talents to bring the multiple layers here to life. Contrast it with Hawkeye which, again, very good show! Solid effort! But in that show the outfits people wore were their outfits. There was no foreshadowing or symbolism to anything, even at the holiday party when people were starting to wear some color. The only things that vaguely had more than one layer of connotation were the things directly taken from the comics, like the inspiration for Clint and Kate’s new outfits or the graphics over the closing credits.
Which, again, is totally fine! Hawkeye wasn’t trying to be multi-layered and it perfectly executed what it tried to do. That’s good! I’m just saying Moon Knight aimed higher and at its weakest (eps 2 and 4) it was still leagues better than most. I mean the directors of Summon the Suit and The Tomb are going over to Loki in season two and as regular readers know even as the weakest directors of Moon Knight they’re still such an infinitely high leap of quality in what Loki’s had on pretty much every level I’m not sure that show’s going to know what to do with itself.
So yeah, even the so-called worst of Moon Knight was still a feast and it all led to the final episode in ways that tied together quite nicely. The resolution with Marc and Steven in the afterworld was another one. Like I said last week there’s no way Marc stays in the field of reeds for more than a hot second. He doesn’t feel like he deserves peace and moreover his job is to protect Steven. And sure enough the show kept that consistency of character by having him run back to Steven rather than waste a second debating if he was going to abandon him to the sands.
Moreover that speech Marc gave to Steven was just - here, let me quote my highly professional notes on the subject:
OH MY GOD HIS SPEECH TO STEVEN ABOUT NOT BEING ALONE AND PROTECTING HIM IS SO FUCKING PERFECT
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Anyway, yes. Loved Marc’s speech which showed they correctly got the dynamic between the two personalities right through the end. Loved that at no point was Steven treated by the text as a mere shadow and not a real person. Like Taweret told Marc he could go on, but that’s because due to the nature of her job she’s wedded to the idea that those who balance go to the field of reeds and those who don’t do not. She wasn’t dismissing Steven as less of a person, in fact she and the text were treating Steven as a person by saying he has a fate separate from Marc’s.
I was a tiny bit iffy on the symbolism because one of the things I made sure to check last week was that even though Steven fell off the boat his heart was still on the scale right next to Marc’s. But in this episode Marc only has his own heart which he shares with Steven and that’s great! Love that symbolism for them! But it does leave me scratching my head and wondering where Steven’s heart went. Like was his heart vanishing a deliberate choice or did they just forget it? (I suspect the latter, more on this in a bit.)
But if we put Steven’s heart aside - as apparently props did too, heyoo! - the scene works on multiple levels and ties perfectly into how Marc and Steven work together as a team, smoothly transitioning from one to the other as needed.
And regarding their teamwork, while I want to caveat this by saying I am not the expert on fighting styles (see also: me talking about Shang-Chi and going “Uhh this one is more flowy, I guess?”), and that we didn’t get enough clear shots to be sure, it did seem like Marc and Steven were choreographed differently. Like yes, Steven was doing cool flippy moves and some similar moves to Marc (like trying to knee people in the chest), but in general it seemed like Steven was more of a brawler who wanted to lead with punching or clubbing people compared to Marc who was faster, smoother, and more able to quickly adapt to his tools and environment (something he shares in common with Layla).
Which, if true, is a great touch. Because yes, last week did establish that they’re using Sense8 rules that if one of them knows a thing they both know a thing. But on the other hand Steven is still his own person. Just because he can channel Marc’s fighting knowledge doesn’t mean he’s going to make the same fighting decisions. So I liked that it seemed like they were aware of that. I also liked that they had the moment of Steven throwing something and Marc catching it. Great way to show their new teamwork.
For the fight I also liked that the show put its own spin on things. For example, while there is no inherent shame in reusing CGI effects and stunts like a flip over a car generally speaking it works better if it’s not exactly the same thing but with a different costume. And while the over the car shot in Moon Knight wasn’t the full flip - which is better, frankly - not only that but the over the car moment itself was Marc using his weapons. Same concept and probably same already built CGI, but their own spin.
Related, I appreciated how the show didn’t rest on “That’s a reference to a thing I know!” For example, the shot of Konshu in a suit is directly pulled from the comics. However the limo scene needed to happen in and of itself. It was about plot and character development to which they said hey, let’s use this visual of Konshu as a fun shout-out. it wasn’t there to make the audience recreate the Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme like a bunch of trained monkeys with nothing else going on to justify its existence. (COUGH. Among other things which we haven’t yet and might never review on this site.)
Speaking of the Jake Lockley of it all, I liked that they threw in the twist that Konshu was never counting on Layla as his new avatar, but Jake instead. If you pay close attention this was another thing which had, well, a lot of careful close attention. For instance when promising that things will be over after Ammit is taken care of, Konshu tells Steven he will release “you both.” (emphasis mine.)
Likewise but not for nothing I was right last week and the show hadn’t been showing us Jake so far. At least not directly, which Jeremy Slater confirmed. They alluded to him but right up until the end it was a deliberate choice to not show Jake on screen or Jake’s POV. We even had another blackout scene where neither Marc, Steven, nor the audience know what happened when Jake took over. Plus, also confirmed in that linked article, Jake is Latino so if we heard him speak (as some suspected we had in episode five), we would’ve heard Spanish.
I’m pointing this out not to have smug satisfaction that I was right - there’s many things in the MCU I do have smug satisfaction about, and believe me when I review certain movies which I won’t name for spoiler reasons I will make sure to tell you about them - but in this case I had no particular passion about if we’d seen Jake yet or not. More I’m happy about it because it proves that yes, Mohamed Diab was impeccable in his use of POV from episode one through six. I like when people are good at their jobs! It makes me excited that, now that the show’s over, we have all the proof we need that Mohamed and others who worked on it really were operating on a higher level. I think that’s very cool.
I don’t want to rush away from character without also touching on Arthur Harrow, and how I both liked and respected that even at the end he was a guy who actually believed what he was saying. It would’ve been super easy to take a cheap cop out and reveal that Arthur was a con artist who was only using Ammit and the cult for his own purposes. But nope, he really did believe in the scales and the balance and if he wasn’t worthy so be it. I respect it. I don’t agree with it as a personal view, but I respect it.
Beyond that there were things that were cool but with caveats, such as the Ammit and Konshu fight, so let’s get into that.
What Went Wrong With the Moon Knight Finale
So first up the length of the show was blink and you’ll miss it, which was ridiculous. I mean good movies and TV are as long as they need to be, but this didn’t feel like it was the length it wanted to be so much as the length it was.
Then we have things that just did not work. For example, I loved the concept of Ammit’s design and I tip my hat to how they had cloth on her face which, as regular readers of the site know, adds a much higher degree of difficulty to the animation. I also loved the epic nature of the fight with her and Konshu with their giant forms battling it out over the Cairo skyline. But there were aspects that didn’t work.
Like Ammit’s hair turning into her tail was a great idea, but in execution I couldn’t tell where her hair was supposed to end and her tail begin, and to be honest on rewatch I don’t think the show knew either. It looked like it was at least three bands down but that wasn’t consistent and not only that it wasn’t inconsistent in a way that clearly suggested there was shapeshifting going on. Instead it felt like there was a lack of continuity from shot to shot.
Then we had other things like the moment when Marc and Steven talk to Konshu after coming back to life where it was so jarring between the previous moments that I legit thought that the show had been uploaded with a scene missing. Like when the show went live the title was missing too, so a scene missing wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
There were other things like this but I’ll focus on that scene because I think it ties to the crux of it all, my guess on what went wrong, and a great example of learning what it’s like when things go well because unfortunately it’s a little more obvious when things aren’t right.
So let’s focus on that scene. Marc and Steven run for Osiris’s gate and Marc snaps back to life in Alexander the Great’s tomb. Konshu, getting his ass kicked by Ammit, says “Marc?” and vanishes just as Ammit is about to punch him. Konshu does his speech about the pain inside Marc, does he want death or does he want life, blah blah blah over a montage of flashback images of Marc’s life. In this montage there’s only one shot from Steven’s POV, which is him seeing Marc and Russell going into the cave as children.
Konshu concludes with “Rise and live again!” in the voiceover and we see Marc back in the tomb as the suit wraps itself around him. Marc, standing still, says “All right. Here we go.”
The very next shot is Konshu standing on a hill outside as Marc walks out and starts talking to him. During this conversation Steven appears and establishes that he and Marc “do come as like a package deal now” adding “And we did just save your life, so you’re welcome for that.”
Marc in the costume to Konshu outside is where I thought there was a scene missing. Because there is nothing connecting the two moments from a visual or narrative perspective.
Now one thing we could blame here is the editor, because changes in editing could fix this. For example, there’s no establishing shot to tell us where Konshu is when we see him standing on a hill. Is he outside Cairo? Alexander the Great’s tomb? Somewhere in the Nevada desert? Who knows?
Likewise there’s nothing tying Marc to going outside. The last we saw him he was standing still. We didn’t even see him start to lean forward like he was about to take a step.
Pulling it back even further, Konshu vanishing in the fight with Ammit isn’t a clear sign he’s leaving, nor is it obvious that since he is leaving he’s going to Marc. He repeatedly bamfed all over the place as part of his fighting technique. Him vanishing as a concept isn’t new and moreover the fact that he does it at the exact moment Ammit is about to hit him ties to every other time we’ve seen him do it, which is in response to her.
On top of that nothing has established that Konshu needs Marc to be alive in order to teleport over to him. So, like Marc standing still, we in the audience haven’t been told that Konshu is going somewhere else. We just see him in a new place with no explanation.
Combine this with Steven saying they just saved his life which implies that he and Marc know that Ammit was about to TKO Konshu, which isn’t knowledge they should have. They don’t have mind reading powers. Taweret didn’t pass them a note on their way to Osiris’s gate. They just woke up two seconds ago.
An editor could’ve fixed these things by putting in establishing shots and picking footage that showed Marc and Konshu intending to move from their current locations. However, based on the overall quality of Moon Knight as a whole, I’m going to use my sadly in no way ice related super powers and say I don’t think this is the editor’s fault. I think they just didn’t have the footage.
Here’s the thing: even a 10 year old making their first YouTube video knows an establishing shot. They might not know it’s called an establishing shot or why it exists, but I’m willing to bet most 10 year olds these days grok “I show the outside of my school before I show my classmates in the classroom.” There’s no way a Marvel level editor, even on the Disney+ shows which have sometimes taken “You have a pulse” as a qualifying feature for a job (cough director on What If? who had no directing experience whatsoever cough), doesn’t have even that level of editing knowledge.
On top of it Cedric Nairn-Smith, who edited the episode, has a long career as an editor. So to me it doesn’t make sense that a guy with experience editing, working on a show where editing has been a key component of the storytelling (like all those POV cuts) suddenly pulls a Michael Kahn confronted with a dance number by throwing his half full coffee mug at his computer and calling it a day.
Instead I think what happened is they didn’t have the footage. And I think they didn’t have it, and the episode was short, because they ran out of money.
Talking hippos cost money. Talking alligators cost money. And if you watch closely, particularly in episode six, there’s a lot of times where you can see them trying to save money.
For example, Arthur and his goons show up at the Chamber of the Gods and kill all the other avatars. We don’t see that on screen, though. Now narratively this is a great cheat - and I say cheat in a good way - because this also avoids the issue of “How was Arthur able to subdue all those avatars by doing X yet for Konshu and Marc he and Ammit had to do Y?” We don’t see how the other avatars were subdued! Handy, that!
But it’s also cheaper than showing the fight.
Likewise consider the montage that plays when Marc and Steven come back to life. First up, a flashback montage is cheap. You already have that footage. Great, use it again!
But here’s the thing - that’s not actually good footage for that moment. Think about it. What’s the conversation later? Steven saying he and Marc are a package deal. Konshu wasn’t making a deal with Marc, he was making a deal with both of them whether Konshu wanted to or not. Therefore why are we using a flashback at all? Then, when using flashbacks, why only use footage of Marc? This is a new deal, there should be new footage. We should be seeing something to indicate that Steven is a part of this, even if it’s only a brief flash of the Mr Knight suit before the full Moon Knight suit envelops Marc.
What would be a reason to scramble to work with the footage you have which is vaguely on topic instead of putting more situationally appropriate footage in? You don’t have the footage, because you couldn’t afford to film it.
Now consider seeing Konshu outside. If he’s teleporting over to Marc why not teleport directly into the chamber in the tomb? And here I’m taking my not ice based powers one step further: I’m willing to bet that they couldn’t get Karim El Hakim, who did the physical acting for Konshu, to film on the set they used for the tomb. Think about it: you have a tomb set. You’ve done all your filming in it with Oscar, May, Ethan, and the extras. It’s already a bunch of scenes where you had to get creative with your budget by cleverly keeping the monsters out of full view. Would you spend the time and money on everything, not just the added actor, to film some scenes there if you could throw in a shot of him standing next to a green screen from another filming session instead?
Frankly, and here I’ll admit I’m tipping past super powers into conspiracy theory, but I suspect the shot of Oscar as he becomes Moon Knight again wasn’t filmed at the same time or place as the other tomb scenes either. Yes the parts in the pool which could’ve been filmed the same day as when they filmed Marc being shot, sure. But when he gets out of the pool there’s a lot of shots where we don’t see Oscar’s face. We see hands. We see bullets fall onto the ground. Then we see a long shot of the Moon Knight suit forming around a body which pans up to briefly show Oscar’s face before it’s covered up again. I’m not saying this is 100% certain but if a “Making Of” revealed that it was someone else’s hands and a stand in until they could tie it together with an already existing CGI Sailor Moon transformation sequence (a Sailor Moon Knight, if you will) I would not be surprised.
Now, given that this is a lesson in how the TV sausage is made, I’ll say that when you’re dealing with projects like this it isn’t necessarily that for episode six you have X amount of money and that money is only for episode six. As always we’re in the realm of gross oversimplification but the way these tend to work for TV shows is that you have X amount of money for all the episodes and in general your money per episode is X divided by episode number. From there it’s on the show’s production team to figure out how to make the best use of that money. The place you start is okay, in general we know that at bare minimum each episode is going to cost Y amount, where Y is things like the money you need for pesky things like paying everybody to show up and work for you.
So somebody running a show can look at their season as a whole and say okay, in episode four we’re introducing a talking hippo and we’d actually like this hippo to look good because if we get a season two she’s probably coming back. Where can we save money so we have extra to put into a realistic talking hippo?
Which is where you get things like using Patty Duke style FX tricks to have two versions of your actor in the same shot, as we’ve discussed. But also in general you’d want to do things like okay, we are really blowing our budget in episode six so let’s plan for that. And I suspect what happened is things cost more than they expected them to so that when episode six happened they had to cut a lot and scramble.
Now bear in mind shows often aren’t filmed in order. I don’t actually know the Moon Knight filming schedule offhand but for example just because the scenes in a mental hospital happened in episodes four through six doesn’t mean they were necessarily filmed after the shots of Steven and Harrow in Budapest that we saw in episode two. But by the same token these shows can be fluid. They could have a plan for episode six which needs to be changed for whatever reason, and those plans might require them to scramble to adapt on the fly. This is what happened with WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier when COVID affected their filming, for example.
Moon Knight was post COVID but the point that something can derail your plans before you hit the finish line is the same. And frankly if it’s something which requires going back and redoing things from earlier in filming it’s that much harder to fix because you have to return to that location, possibly rebuild the sets, get the costumes again for proper continuity, and so on.
So yeah, I think that Moon Knight had a clear vision for the show, they were able to execute that vision on a character level, but when it came to the actual set pieces something, I suspect running out of money, got in their way and they had to make do with what they had.
We’ll see if I’m proven right.
What Moon Knight Season Two Should Be
Now if Moon Knight ends where it is I’m okay with that. Yeah there’s things to wonder about, like how will Steven and Marc and Jake all handle each other. But unlike some shows we could mention we weren’t dicking around for six episodes killing time until a new character was introduced with the promise that this new character was the key to OMG EVERYTHING except for how said character has had fuck all to do with any movies that have come out since he came around.
(Did I mention I wasn’t going to be quiet about my smugness? I am very much not going to be quiet about my smugness, trust me.)
So yeah, Moon Knight season one had a story and it told that story. There’s places it could go but if we don’t get that in canon I’m fine for leaving it to the imagination. I’m also fine for how May Calamawy is now perfectly positioned for “We couldn’t get the lead but we want to tie this series into the MCU as a whole so let’s pull a co-star in” cameos in other projects, if that’s how they use her. (Though again cannot stress enough how much I would watch the shit out of a Scarlet Scarab series starring her. For real.)
But if we get a season two here’s my wishlist items.
First and foremost, and in what will be a shock to exactly no one, they need to pay Mohamed Diab whatever he wants to keep him on this project. Every interview about the show points back to him as being the source from where all the quality decisions flowed, much like Ryan Coogler was on Black Panther. Combine that with how this is a show which relies heavily on humanizing concepts, locations, and characters while understanding the importance of narrative POV and there’s nobody else who could direct it like he did. Have Mohamed Diab in season two or don’t even bother, for real.
Second, and I know I’m going to come off as a super picky bitch here and I own it, but they have got to help Oscar do better at playing alters in the same show. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good! He does a very solid okay effort - a Hawkeye, if you will - at giving Marc and Steven some distinct differences.
And if anything he’s so aggressively mostly good that that’s why I get frustrated. He’s so close to actually being very good that I want to time travel back to the set and shove him over the precipice he keeps failing to cross.
Look, Oscar does great in the individual moments. When he’s Marc being Marc giving that speech to Steven he’s great! I feel it! I believe in Marc! And at the end when Marc and Steven were transitioning back and forth - gah! There were moments! I saw them! That first bit when it’s Steven talking to Harrow and then Marc comes out as he sits forward was great! Perfect!
But when you watch the rest of that scene unfold you can see Oscar can’t sustain it when he’s going back and forth. And not in a “this symbolizes the blurring of the lines” way, in a it’s clear that Oscar can’t remember he’s supposed to change the shape of his eyebrows depending on who’s in front and he’s the one who came up with the eyebrow thing in the first place way.
I was going to pull examples form other media to show how it could be better but on rewatching last night’s episode I realized I didn’t have to. All I have to do is point at the scene of Layla becoming Taweret’s avatar. Watch May work. Watch how we see her going back and forth from Layla’s practical nature and Taweret’s perkiness. Watch how May then takes Layla on a journey and has to act out confusion, shock, grief, and even a little relief as Taweret tells Layla that her father is in the field of reeds now.
Watch that scene and then contrast it with Oscar flipping back and forth with Steven and Marc and maybe you’ll get why I’m here going “My dude, you are SO CLOSE!”
Again putting my super power hat on, I think part of the difference isn’t just that May is very talented, though she is. But also that May is coming at it knowing that Taweret is her own character with her own body language and mannerisms. And that, of course, is due to Antonia Salib who brought Taweret to life both physically and vocally.
Antonia approached Taweret like any acting challenge, which was to figure who Taweret was as a full person and embody her. May already did that challenge for Layla, so to play them both her job is to take what Antonia has already done and incorporate it into what she’s doing as she switches back and forth.
Oscar, on the other hand, gives me the impression that he didn’t actually sit down and make Marc and Steven full people. I think he sketched out some things like Marc’s got a Chicago accent and Steven’s got a British one, and Steven’s a little twitchy while Marc walks with confidence. But based on every interview I’ve seen Oscar give (one of which I’ll link below) where he’s talked how his ideas for the characters were essentially random thoughts he had where he went “Sure, why not?” I don’t think he dug into Marc and Steven as much as the show itself did.
And the thing that takes an actor from good to great when they’re facing a challenge like this is they need to do the work to know and live each of their characters. It wouldn’t be a Moon Knight review without me going to the Tatiana Maslany well again but yeah, that means knowing things down to what music they like and how they might dance to it.
(Y’all have been following along well enough now that I bet I can pop quiz you by asking if you can name which person in that scene was never on set the same day that any version of Tatiana Maslany dancing was. Shame we don’t have a comment section yet for you to put your answers down below. But I bet you all would get it right. I’m very proud of you, if so.)
Anyway, I cannot stress how much I’m saying Oscar does not suck but he could be so much better. And if there’s a season two of this show it’s going to lower my opinion of him if he doesn’t do some homework to raise the bar for himself now that he’s had six full episodes to understand what’s being asked of him. Especially since season two would require him to play Jake more often.
You can’t coast on accents, my dude! Especially when clone three is the one that speaks your native language!
So if I’m running the show I’m going to Oscar and saying at bare minimum get yourself to a movement coach. Work with them and as many other people you need who are going to help you break down these characters to their core components so that if somebody throws a pillow at their head while they’re deep asleep at 3am you’ll be able to tell me the exact way Jake, Steven, and Marc will react that shows they are different from each other. Show me how Jake doesn’t hold a glass of water like Steven does who doesn’t hold one like Marc does and so on. And if Antonia and Karim have to act out Taweret and Konshu via hand puppets because we ran out of CGI budget after hiring your coaches, so be it. It’ll be money well spent.
As always, things which don’t fit anywhere else.
- They started out subtle but boy howdy from the previouslies to Arthur’s “Or whoever else might be in there” they were laying on the incoming Jake reveal as thick as Loki did with the “We are looking for a MALE SUSPECT. I repeat, MALE. This is in NO WAY A TRICK TO MAKE THE SUBSEQUENT GENDER REVEAL A SURPRISE.” thing in their episode two.
- Now that the season is over I guess Moon Knight really did want to take my philosophy of pretending that the snap and five year time jump never happened. Which is fine - believe me I’m happy to agree with them! But it is odd considering Arthur’s whole deal.
- Me being me I wondered how nasty that water in the tomb was given that there’s no obvious fresh source of it to be found.
- Between the way she hid from the Heka priest in episode four to infiltrating Arthur’s group last night, Layla’s stealth skills are off the charts. I’d tip my hat to her if I could find her.
- I loved Layla telling Konshu to go fuck himself, basically. I also love her entire attitude that sure gods might exist but that doesn’t mean she has to be anything but exasperated with their bullshit.
- Bless the fact that the poor writing for Layla in episode two was an anomaly and not the norm. BLESS.
- “Are you an Egyptian superhero?” was a little on the nose but it made me tear up in a good way regardless. I was so happy on May Calamawy’s behalf in that moment too. Imagine having to sit on this news the whole time she was promoting Moon Knight. Seriously I hope we see lots more of her and Layla.
- There's basically a giant kaiju battle going on and no helicopters are flying around trying to film this for the news? Another thing I suspect was lost to budget concerns.
- I loved that we got one last POV cut in the episode but why wouldn’t Layla fill Marc and Steven in on what happened when they blacked out? Also it’s continuing to make no sense that repeatedly blacking out and waking up to dead bodies isn’t making Marc and Steven immediately conclude somebody else is rattling around in there with them. Unless Jake’s somehow got the same Somebody Else’s Problem Field on him that Steven had on things like his parents not having British accents? Which perhaps he does? But then why wouldn’t Layla be pointing this out and drawing the same conclusion? If anything, since she was just introduced to the idea that Marc has DID she should be more inclined to wonder if any mental shenanigans are related to that.
- The scene of Steven, Marc, and Harrow in the office was confusing to me. Was it meant to take place when we saw it, which was suggested by Marc and Steven waking up in Steven’s flat? Or was it meant to happen when Marc and Steven ran through the doors of Osiris’s gate? The latter makes more sense because when they ran through it flashed to white, and then the scene ended with them saying they were going to save the world and falling backwards like Marc originally did into the water. Also it would explain why they were talking with fake Harrow in the first place because this wasn’t actually Steven and Marc’s mind palace, it was them having died. It wasn’t actually Harrow, it was an illusion of him. I feel like this was another thing where they lost the ability to film what they wanted for the transition from Egypt to the flat and so they threw that scene in instead.
- “Quick, grab my hand so we can start the spell” was one of the worst line readings I’ve ever heard and I’ve listened to every word Sebastian Stan said in What If? May is such a good actress I can’t even imagine what went wrong that that version even got recorded, let alone put into the episode as the best take they had. Like if you told me it was advanced level fankenquoting where they stitched each separate word together from things she said elsewhere and made it sound like a single edit I’d believe you.
- Also that moment itself was badly set up. How does Layla know the spell? Salim died after telling her to bind Ammit to Harrow. He never got around to giving her an instruction manual. I assume that Taweret fed the spell to Layla but in which case why not say that? Again more evidence for the pile that they weren’t able to get all the stuff they needed in the can, even if it was just a voice over from Antonia to help it out.
- I love that having Layla as a superhero means that she and Marc (and I assume by extension Steven, since he and Layla are fond of each other as well) now represent the first married couple super team in the MCU. It’s a nice dynamic.
- (Yes I know that Marc and Steven think they quit the game but obviously Jake undermined them there so I’m still counting them as having access to powers. But even if Steven became Layla’s guy in the chair I’d be fine with that too.)
- Speaking of Jake, for those who keep track of such things the show never credited Oscar as Jake until episode six. And it was strict on what he was credited as too. For example in episode one he was Marc, Steven, and Moon Knight. Mr Knight didn't get added to his credit until episode two, which was the first time Mr Knight appeared. No Jake credit = no Jake.
- As promised, one of the interviews of Oscar talking about coming up with Steven. I was particularly amused because there’s a faction of people online who basically worship Kevin Feige and think Kevin is single handedly responsible for everything in the MCU down to how even a random pen is TOTALLY CONNECTED TO THE NEXT TEN YEAR PLAN and here’s Oscar saying the deeply thought out and highly meaningful reason why Moon Knight took place in London is they wanted someplace that wasn't New York for a change.
Shameless Plug Alert:
- If you don’t follow me on social media you might not know I did this interview about accessibility in gaming.
- I was also featured in this Ko-Fi article about mental health.
- And yes, you asked for it - possibly as a practical joke but still! You asked! So we now have merch. Including one item which focuses on the true villain of Moon Knight.
- What, you thought I’d let the final episode go by without milking that joke to death? Pshaw. Never!
And that’s it for Moon Knight. Next anticipated episode analysis is Ms Marvel, but don’t worry there’s movies and other fun things we’ll be talking about while Disney+ lets me catch my breath. Until next time. Laters gators!