Moon Knight S1E4 REVIEW: Outlandish, dynamic, and emotional mind-warp is best episode yet

Directed by: Mohamed Diab, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke, May Calamawy, F. Murray Abraham.


This episode had a lot of interesting turns and harrowing confrontations.

I find myself giddy every Wednesday morning. I grab my coffee and sit down to a new episode of Moon Knight, each new installment pulling me further into the broken mind of Marc Spector as he serves many voices while trying his best to forgo the release of a crocodile goddess. As outlandish as that sounds, this series has proven to be equal parts realistic and fantastic. Dynamic emotion brings me to tears just as a werewolf may dash around the corner. This juxtaposition is what makes Moon Knight so unique, and what also makes episode four the best episode of the series yet.


I love watching Steven marvel over the subjects of his passion.

Episode 4, "The Tomb", is a globe-trotting mind-warp that's equal parts Raiders of the Lost Ark and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. One moment may be rich with ancient historical exposition (my personal favorite), while the next may transcend space-time and upend reality as you know it. It's a mixed bag. At the heart of this frankly ridiculous, yet magnificent episode is a looming judgement. Past deeds are revealed and supernatural adversaries become more prominent. This is accompanied by locations rife with shadow, and music saturated with abyssal bass. Sounds almost become oppressive, pulling us closer into Marc's experiences.


Harrow's peace amid all of Marc's chaos is unnerving and wonderfully performed by Ethan Hawke.

An anxious doom haunts our hero's eyes while his chief antagonist, Harrow, grows calmer with the increasingly more likely return of Egyptian crocodile judgement god Ammit. Judgement may indeed be coming and Harrow seems to be the only person ready for it. Harrow provides an interesting contrast to Marc with his calm and serene certainty, an almost flawless porcelain mask that gives nothing away. Both Harrow and Marc are unstoppable in their own ways, but Harrow's peace of mind in the face of his own actions is unsettling in a grossly unique way.


Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood used the idea of "gaps" to explore Marc's mind in their 2016 run on the character.

This is a character whose own thought processes are subject to random flux, leaving gaps in his mind that mirror the many gaps separating the sparse, yet individually distinct runs of Moon Knight comics. I’m starting to see that Marvel’s Moon Knight series has given itself the task of exploring these gaps, digging into our protagonist’s fragmented mind with a poignant blend of sorrowful realism and MCU melodrama.



Marvel's Moon Knight series enjoys a deep reservoir of comics continuity from which to pull influence. The comic's continuity is a long-term rollercoaster of one-liners and people getting their faces cut off, but, more important, may be defined by its constant search for identity. Marc Spector's checkered history as the avatar of Khonshu is riddled with soft revisions and ever-shifting moral stances, painting an erratic picture of our moonlight marauder in the four decades since his creation. Whether or not this erraticism began intentionally, it’s difficult nowadays to think about Moon Knight without it; the series capitalizes on the obscurity and erratic nature of the source material to craft its own story in its own way, funneling all that came before into a new MCUniversal Moon Knight canon.


It's tough to watch the straining of this relationship. There's so much baggage between them . . . and only so many camels.

I beg you to check out this unique vision of a series. Marvel's Moon Knight receives new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+. If a week is too long to go without a Moon Knight fix, I highly recommend going back to the comics themselves to form your own opinions about Marc and the Moonmen — I just made that up and I'm proud of it.


Now you may be asking yourself if you have the time to learn about this moon guy. If this is the case, how about starting off slow and reading my handy primer on Moon Knight. Complete with a thoughtfully curated reading list, the primer goes over the who(s), what, when, where, and why of Moon Knight. Check it out here!


 

Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.

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