Let’s Talk about Moon Knight Episode 1-4
For a month now, people have said the following about Moon Knight: “Just wait until you watch episode four.” Well, I have now, and it was…unexpected. So, yes, let’s talk about Moon Knight episode 1-4, the one with the…hippopotamus goddess?!
Gunfire in the Desert
We start discussing Moon Knight episode 1-4 in the dark, and I mean literally, not metaphorically. First, some strange dude carries the token of Khonshu to its new resting place.
Then, we cut to the desert, where the Moon Knight no longer exists since Khonshu lost his powers. So, we’ve got Layla taking care of her husband…well, husbands. The vessel of Steven Grant/Marc Spector hasn’t handled the loss well. He’s comatose.
Meanwhile, dudes with guns are driving a vehicle Layla’s way. I presume that’s what happens since there’s gunfire. Honestly, the lighting in this scene is so poor that it’s challenging to follow. In fact, that’s a recurring problem during the episode, and it’s frustrating.
Layla somehow escapes, right as Grant awakens in control of his person. The couple speaks some in the car about Marc and their negotiation regarding Khonshu. Grant believes that Spector should be gone forever.
Layla isn’t crazy about this since the dude is her husband. While they talk, they also hunt for Ammit’s tomb, which they discover. Arthur Harrow’s followers – and some camels – have beaten them there. But Layla thinks she can find the location first.
Spector infrequently appears as a reflection, primarily to remind Grant that he’s no longer impervious to bullets or pain or whatever. There is no Moon Knight. Steven taunts Marc as a deflection tactic after the mercenary asks the hard question. Spector has sensed that his body made is in love with Layla.
Soon afterward, Layla starts to kiss Grant. Before he allows that to happen, he confesses that Marc pushed her away to protect her from Khonshu.
Then, they kiss.
Into the Abyss
The couple breaks into Ammit’s resting place and does some tomb raiding. Steven’s expertise allows them to navigate quickly, while Layla’s natural skill pays dividends as well. They make a good team.
Eventually, they deduce the sign of the Eye of Horus because every story involving Egyptian myths somehow circles back to it. Be less lazy, Hollywood writers.
Anyway, the duo separates briefly to explore various levels, although they’re still within shouting distance of one another…until Harrow’s people arrive. Layla hides just long enough for the hands of a mummy to grab her and drag her down. I’m not even joking.
Eventually, she uses a flare to set fire to the mummy’s eye, a move that impresses the suddenly there Arthur Harrow. The two speak briefly, just long enough for him to inform her that Spector has hidden a truth from here. Mercenaries killed her father…and Marc was there.
Yes, while Marc didn’t do the killing, he watched Layla’s father die. His guilt drove him to meet her, after which they fell in love. Meanwhile, Steven – and I cannot believe I’m saying this – uncovers the tomb of Alexander the Great.
Apparently, one of the world’s greatest conquerors was an avatar of Ammit. Yes, it’s now MCU canon that Alexander the Great qualifies as a kind of anti-Moon Knight. I don’t even know how to process that.
The weirdness is just getting started, too. Steven uses his Egyptian cryptology knowledge to extract Ammit’s totem. He holds the goddess in his hands.
At this point, Layla reappears and is REALLY not happy with her husband. Spector emerges long enough to acknowledge the truth. In Friends terms, they’re on a break, but not before…
The Bottom Falls Out
I’ve had lucid dreams that make more sense than what happens in the final 15 minutes of this episode. Harrow arrives just as Layla hides. Ammit’s disciple can somehow recognize that it’s Spector, not Grant, behind the wheel.
The cultist offers some dime-store psychology before shooting Spector. Twice. Harrow mumbles afterward, “I can’t save anyone who can’t save themselves.” Then, the bottom falls out on this entire universe.
Spector falls into water and then seems to float upward. I’m guessing it’s a metaphysical demonstration of the afterlife, but that’s pure speculation. What I can confirm is that we cut to – you’re not gonna believe this – a low budget 1980s knockoff Indiana Jones movie…one that references other deities.
The other character deduces something at this moment. “You’re Dr. Steven Grant.” Yes, that character comes from a movie. Or does he? We cut to a white room where patients in a mental health facility are downing their drugs and half-heartedly playing Bingo.
One of them is…Marc Spector. He’s tethered to a wheelchair and staring into a mirror, but it’s him. Soon afterward, his friend appears and points out that his card has a Bingo! He’s a winner! And his friend is…Layla.
The whole thing reminds me of the Tyler Durden reveal in Fight Club, only this feels like a swerve as well. And it is…maybe?
Marc recognizes that something isn’t right. He’s not in control of his senses enough to do anything about it. So, his drug-addled mind sits through a meeting with his therapist…who looks just like Arthur Harrow.
The “doctor” offers a review of Tomb Buster and then provides some healing platitudes, including the suggestion that he cannot save anyone who won’t save themselves.
Actor Ethan Hawke relishes this scene and makes a meal of it. He states multiple times that he likes the villain, which is funny albeit masturbatory. Simultaneously, Spector puts two and two together about the realities of this existence.
The light goes off when Harrow confirms that he knows Steven. Spector decides it’s false and states, “You shot me.” He then proceeds to attack two orderlies. Spector escapes into a hallway of white, nondescript rooms and hides behind the doorway in one.
Coincidentally or not, there’s a tomb here. It looks eerily similar to the one that housed Alexander the Great’s corpse. A voice begs for release. When Spector obliges, he comes face to face with Steven Grant for the first time.
The two men hug before appreciating the impossibility of the moment. However, the last thing that Grant remembers is Harrow shooting him. Now, both men know their reality is false, and they attempt to make an escape.
Hippopotamus Goddess? Hippopotamus Goddess!!!
Along the way, Spector notices another tomb but chooses not to open it. Instead, the men serpentine out of sight until they reach a pair of double doors. Unexpectedly, these doors open, revealing – and I cannot believe I’m typing this – a talking hippopotamus in Egyptian jewelry and apparel.
She shyly says “Hi,” but in an undeniably friendly manner. Steven Grant and Marc Spector scream as if they’ve encountered the ghost of Thanos.
In truth, they’ve just met Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of women, fertility, childbirth, and – in some instances – the afterlife. So, yeah. You can draw from that anything you like. The show’s producers have promised a detailed explanation over the next two episodes.
For now, the most logical conclusions are that either A) everything is taking place inside Spector’s or Grant’s head or B) they need help in the afterlife. Taweret is prone to bring the dead back to life when they’re important enough, which feels…significant.
What does it all mean? I’m not even going to grade this episode until I know what happens next. We’re really only halfway through a two-part episode. Without context, none of this makes a lick of sense…but I’m here for it.