TL;DR – After a while, the show has finally hit its stride, and I am here for the ride.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this series.
Moon Knight Review –
After watching the first couple of episodes of Moon Knight, including The Goldfish Problem & Summon the Suit, I found it to be interesting, but nothing was hooking me into the narrative. I liked what Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke were doing, but I needed more. To the point that I kind of stopped watching it weekly, assuming I would catch up at some point. But I had some time one night, and I thought I’d watch the latest episodes back to back, and I am glad I did because the show has finally landed.
So to set the scene, in a last attempt to outmanoeuvre Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), Khonshu (Karin el Hakim/F. Murray Abraham) sacrificed himself by turning back the skies and letting Steven (Oscar Isaac) and Layla (May Calamawy) know where Ammit’s tomb is. They raced across the desert to find that Harrow’s men had already entered the tomb, but as they loaded up with supplies, they missed the sprays of blood that showed they were not alone in the tomb. Now from here, we will be looking at the episodes as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
You may ask just what it was that finally hooked me into this show, and I would say it was a slow build and then a screaming Hippo that finally got me. After a lot of prancing around, I liked that they finally went into a tomb and that Marc got to shine with his Egypt knowledge. Also that he and Marc (Oscar Isaac) were actually having some meaningful conversation. Add in a surprise Alexander the Great cameo and an excellent homage to films like The Mummy, and I was having a good time, and then Marc/Steven got shot, and the show shifted underneath them.
Across the rest of the two episodes, we get the world slipping away as we jump into multiple different versions of a mental health hospital, sinking further into a world that plays on the very notion of what is real. The scenario allowed us to have both Marc and Steven without the need for a mirror or reflection. After several episodes, it is nice to see Oscar Isaac finally allowed to cut loose, and the production did an excellent job of splicing him into both roles. We also see Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke finally get some good interplay. And then there is a screaming Hippo, and everything changes.
The Hippo, of course, is a personification of Taweret (Antonia Salib), the goddess of childbirth and fertility who captains the barge that sails through the sands of the Duat. Firstly, and most importantly, Taweret is amazing, and I want her in every MCU project in the future. But more than that, the framework of needing to confront the past to balance the scales gives us the ground to explore some genuinely dark trauma as we go back into their childhood. This is rough as we see just what sort of world would have caused the dissociative identity disorder to first appear. At such a young age, abuse and trauma were hard to watch, as was watching Marc/Steven relive those moments, as raw as they were all those years ago. You understand what caused the break, why Steven has such a bad accent, and feel that pain. All of this through Oscar’s powerful performance that broke me in places.
In the end, do we recommend The Tomb & Asylum? Well, yes, of course. With the proviso, this episode is dealing with some very dark issues around abuse, and that will be difficult for people. At this point, my one genuine concern is that we only have one more episode left, and I am just not sure that is enough time to wrap all of this up.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Moon Knight
Directed by – Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson & Mohamed Diab
Written by – Alex Meenehan, Peter Cameron, Sabir Pirzada, Rebecca Kirsch, and Matthew Orton
Created by – Jeremy Slater
Based On – Marvel Comics
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Oscar Isaac, Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, Karin el Hakim, F. Murray Abraham, Ethan Hawke, Ann Akinjirin, David Ganly, Khalid Abdalla, Gaspard Ulliel, Antonia Salib, Fernanda Andrade & Rey Lucas with Lucy Thackeray, Saffron Hocking, Alexander Cobb, Shaun Scott, Díana Bermudez, Loic Mabanza, Claudio Fabian Contreras & Sofia Danu