Moon Knight Episode 4: Its Ending Changes Everything
To say that things get strange in Moon Knight episode 4 would be an understatement. Sure, witnessing Steven Grant/Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) reach into the jaws of Alexander the Great’s corpse is weird, but it pales in comparison to the episode’s concluding act.
Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) pursues Marc and shoots him in the process. When he awakens, he finds himself in a psychiatric hospital, where he and Layla (May Calamawy) are patients. Harrow is the chief doctor, his henchmen are orderlies, and Steven Grant is simply the main character in an adventure film that Marc enjoys watching. Even stranger, Marc is holding a Moon Knight action figure, implying that Moon Knight is another pop-cultural icon Marc adores. Harrow discloses to Marc, in the show’s biggest revelation yet, that he was never Moon Knight and that everything we’ve seen in the previous three episodes was a grandiose fiction.
Even if Harrow wasn’t a terrifying cult leader, this “it was all in your brain” excuse would be suspect. Marc, understandably, flees the scene. Along the way, he rescues a horrified Steven from a sarcophagus, sees (but does not open) a much creepier sarcophagus, and encounters an Egyptian deity with a hippo head. This is not your typical day at the MCU.
The last minutes of Episode 4 signify a significant tonal shift in Moon Knight, which has already experimented with genres such as action-adventure, psychological thriller, and horror. Here, we enter the realm of the weird, which was crucial for the adaptation of Moon Knight.
“If Moon Knight came out of the comic book and watched this TV program and it didn’t have any weird flourishes in it, I’m going to think he’d destroy that TV,” Justin Benson told Mashable over video chat. Benson co-directed Moon Knight episodes 2 and 4 with frequent collaborator Aaron Moorhead.
If Moon Knight came out of the comic book and watched this TV show and it didn’t have any weird flourishes in it, I’m guessing he’d smash that TV.
– Mr. Justin Benson
“The surrealness stems from Marc/subjective Steven’s perception at the moment,” Benson explained. “It feels motivated, yet it also incorporates the best of the source material’s essence.”
“What makes Moon Knight so exciting is that we are tasked with providing something completely unexpected. We adore the fact that he is an unpredictable character, no matter what “Moorhead stated on the conference call. “Of course, this allows our plot to be really surprising. So, when there are these huge twists in the story, especially the one in episode 4 — which is a lot of fun — we aim to provide a lot of visual and tonal contrast all at once.”
For this episode, that means transitioning from a darkened tomb with a grittier adventure vibe to a very antiseptic hospital setting. Benson and Moorhead changed up the cinematography to emphasize the difference between the two places. “There’s just a tremendous lot of light in one area and darkness in the other,” Moorhead explained, “with a more handheld, vérité approach in one and a more still, smoother approach in the other.”
As intriguing as this move is, it leaves us with a slew of unanswered issues and possibilities to investigate as the show reaches its last two episodes.
Are the first 3 Moon Knight episodes really all in Marc’s head?
Is there any truth to what Dr. Harrow said to Marc? Most likely not. After all, Harrow isn’t a decent dude, and manipulation is a popular tactic in the not-so-good-dude playbook.
Marc is in a psychiatric hospital and has comic book precedence. Jeff Lemire’s 2016 Moon Knight run opens with Marc waking up in one and learning that Moon Knight never existed. It quickly becomes clear that nothing is as it appears (when is it ever with Moon Knight?) and the Egyptian gods, particularly Khonshu, are involved.
Moon Knight may be taking a new approach to Lemire’s comics now that Khonshu is out of commission on the show. Perhaps Harrow and his patron Ammit are creating the appearance of a mental hospital in order to keep an injured Marc/Steven out of commission.
Who was the hippo-headed goddess?
Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of fertility, is most likely the hippo-headed goddess seen briefly in episode 4. The actress Antonia Salib has been cast in the role. Given that we haven’t seen her in the first three episodes, it appears that now is the ideal time to introduce a new significant character.
Now that we’ve cleared out the “who,” why is Taweret in this psychiatric hospital? Is she coming to assist Marc? Is she working with Harrow? Let’s hope we find out in episode 5.
Who was in that other sarcophagus?
When Marc and Steven are attempting to flee, they come across a second sarcophagus, the contents of which are threatening to burst out in a terribly terrifying manner. While we can’t see who’s inside, the fact that Marc discovered Steven in a sarcophagus implies that this one holds another personality inhabiting their body. If this theory is correct, we have a very decent sense of who it could be based on the comics: Lockley, Jake.
Jake is another of Marc’s alter egos, shown in the comics as a cab driver with ties to the murky criminal underworld. Moon Knight has made substantial alterations to Steven Grant’s character. In the comics, for example, he’s a billionaire. As a result, it’s possible that the Jake we get will be very different from the source material.
Moon Knight has already hinted at the presence of a third personality in Marc/body. Steven’s During a struggle with Harrow’s men in episode 3, Marc is knocked unconscious. When he awakens, he discovers that he has killed two of them. Because neither Marc nor Steven has admitted to the murders, all indications point to the culprit being a third character we have yet to encounter. If he is Jake, he appears to be more violent than Marc. He’s remained hidden for a reason – perhaps we’ll find out why in episodes 5 and 6.
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