The fourth episode of Marvel’s Moon Knight was a sharp turn for the series, and it wasn’t a bad thing. Now that a major player in the series is on the sidelines, the dynamics among the remaining characters have changed. Oscar Isaac continues to be the heart and soul of this series, and this episode was no exception.
The fact that Egyptian god Khonshu is now trapped and out of commission changed the entire dynamic among the characters that’s been established so far. More than ever, Steven Kraft and Marc Spector need to rely on one another, even when they don’t want to. Isaac plays both of these characters to absolute perfection, and nowhere has that been more evident than in this episode.
If the emotional damage inflicted in Episode 3 was too much, you may find your heart breaking even more in this episode. Marc and Layla (May Calamawy) have been the emotional soul of this series. Now, Steven and Layla too deliver emotional beat after emotional beat. It’s another testament to Isaac’s ability to seamlessly transition between these two personalities seemingly at odds.
On this note, it remains a sad fact that Calamawy remains the only lead woman. Marvel has long been criticized, rightly, for its inability to tell stories involving female heroes that aren’t wildly sexualized. In this sense, Moon Knight is a step back in Marvel’s representation department. Layla remains one of the most interesting characters in this series, with so much potential to be explored. Although this episode did give her things to do, it’s still a shame we don’t get to see more.
For a character who is known for violence, this episode featured a lot of body horror and gore that was maybe more than what’s typically featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Of course, other non-MCU projects have featured a lot of violence, perhaps most noticeably Punisher. In a similar vein, this episode featured blood and guts, but arguably never to excess.
At the end of the episode, it seems as though the remaining part of the series will shift wildly in tone. There’s precedence for the story that this episode set up. The ending looks remarkably similar to a comic book run of the character, in which he’s introduced as a patient in an inpatient psychiatric facility and must escape with the power of Khonshu. His adventure takes him from there. The remaining episodes of the series may feature a variation on this story. As an aside, an Indiana Jones-style adventure movie ‘Tomb Buster’ has a lot of potential and may actually be fun to watch.
Sadly, this episode still didn’t feature any Jewish representation for a man who’s arguably one of Marvel’s most visibly canonically Jewish characters. There’s so much that’s been set up in this series that could be tied to the character’s Judaism. There’s certainly Biblical precedence for a Jewish man being originally found in Egypt, leaving, and having to return for Divinely-appointed reasons. While Marc Spector may not a Moses be, it doesn’t change the fact that Marvel’s continued refusal to include this aspect of the character in the series is disappointing to say the least.
With two episodes remaining, Moon Knight has given fans much to enjoy, much to puzzle over, and much to hope for. Hopefully, the final two episodes will focus on what makes this show great. Even a tiny crumb of Jewish representation would make me happy at this point. Based on what’s been set up for the series end, the last two episodes will either be terrible or incredible. Either way, as the current TikTok trend says, they will be.
New episodes of Moon Knight air Wednesdays on Disney+.