Let’s kick things off with a recap of the episode:
So Steven has been attacked by a magic jackal at work, turned into Moon Knight, and utterly destroyed a bathroom at the museum. And now Steven has to start digging into just how crazy he, or Marc, is. The security footage does not show the jackal that he battled in the museum, nor apparently was there any corpse. Just a trashed bathroom and Steven left holding the bag. Although, how ridiculous that they believe Steven tore down a door, ripped sinks out of walls, and completely demolished that bathroom, all by himself, in like two minutes. But, you know, TV show, so…onward!
So he follows the key that he found in his apartment to a storage container, discovering the scarab from episode 1 and having a nice chat with Marc in the mirror. Marc explains to Steven that they are both a servant & avatar of Khonshu who protect the vulnerable. Khonshu is, apparently, the Egyptian god of the moon. Steven rejects Marc’s plan, and that’s when the bird demon shows up again. This demon, it turns out, is Khonshu. Steven flees into the street and runs into Layla, who was tracking his phone.
And, revelation, Layla is his wife! She doesn’t believe that he is Steven, winds up with the scarab, and Steven is taken away by the bobbies! But, of course, the bobbies work for Arthur. Steven is delivered and Arthur shows him around the community he has built. Arthur knows all about Khonshu because he was the former avatar for the god.
Arthur rejected Khonshu and now serves Ammit, who judges people as good or evil before any harm can be done. Seems not so bad, right? Well, sure. Until Arthur admits that they murder children. Whoops! Always gotta make the reasonable villain worse by having them kill kids, don’t they?
Layla then arrives with the scarab, she and Steven flee, and Arthur unleashes another magic jackal to kill them.
What happens next is definitely the highlight of the episode. Steven tries to don the Moon Knight uniform, but only succeeds in creating a Moon Knight/3-piece suit hybrid. It looks very cool, in my opinion, and the fight with the invisible jackal was creative (and a good way to save that precious CGI budget).
Finally, Steven lets Marc have complete control and the full Moon Knight outfit is summoned, allowing Marc to defeat the jackal. The Moon Knight costume looked good for the most, part, but it was here that the CGI got dodgy a couple more times. Especially that magic jackal. On the whole, though, it was pretty quality.
We also find out that Marc is serving Khonshu to keep the god from enlisting Layla into servitude and that they are trying to track down Ammit’s tomb. To do what? Unclear.
So, as I suspected, the question of how much of this is in Marc’s head is answered pretty much right away. It’s all real, unless there is a TREMENDOUS twist at the end of the show. I don’t anticipate that, happening, however.
This was a solid second episode. We got a better idea of the characters, some of the motivation, a slightly clearer idea of the superpowers, and where we are going with this, ultimately.
But so far, I am not convinced that we need six episodes of this. I could easily see this being a two hour movie and not suffering for it. A show with a premise like WandaVision benefitted from the format. Heck, even Loki was better for being a show. But this show, Falcon & the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye…all of these shows could have easily been movies and it could have been just as good, even better. Maybe Moon Knight will turn out differently, but so far, all indications are that this show could have been a single movie.
Even with that being the case, I am enjoying the show so far. The lion’s share of the credit goes to Oscar Isaac, of course. He is on screen 95% of the time, so really this entire show is resting on his shoulders. So far, unsurprisingly, he has excelled in the job.
I’m enjoying it, but I’m not enthralled by Moon Knight, yet. It’s new territory; Egyptian mythology blending with superheroics, which is fun, and Oscar Isaac is great, but nothing’s made me want to even really talk much about the show, other than it’s new. I’m hoping it picks up steam and gets truly great. But so far, Moon Knight is just OK.