This week on Disney+’s Moon Knight, Steven and Marc went on both a literal and psychological journey, as Taweret (the talking hippo!) forced them to confront the dark truth of Steven’s origin. And along the way, it seems we briefly met a second alter…?
Following a brief snippet of a watery cave, a boy’s cry and a woman growling, “It’s all your fault!,” we find ourselves in a different version of last week’s asylum, where Dr. Harrow is trying to explain to Marc that he did not “shoot” him, but instead the patient’s mind is vacillating between sense and nonsense. Harrow insists they are at the Putnam Medical Facility in Chicago, not in Egypt, and that Marc is doing everything he can (tales of a talking rhinoceros!!!) to not “look within.” Harrow posits that Marc is using the “organizing principle,” building places where his struggling mind can seek shelter. When the doc nudges Marc to continue telling him about “a boy,” Marc boldly rises up in his chair and grabs a pointed paperweight off the desk. In a New York accent — that of the character’s third personality from the comics, cab driver Jake Lockley? — he commends the doc’s work and claims, “I feel like a million dollars,” before orderlies rush over to sedate him.
We’re then back with Marc and Steven and Taweret (voiced by Antonia Salib), who assures the men, “You’re quite dead” and now en route to the realm of the Duat — literally so, as they next appear on the deck of an Egyptian ship that is “sailing” across the desert of the Egyptian underworld, toward (hopefully) the Field of Reeds. But first, Taweret says as she plucks the men’s hearts from their chests, their pumpers must be weighed against a feather on the Scales of Justice; if balance is not found, they will be thrown overboard to be consumed by the Duat. When the scale refuses to commit either way, Taweret says their hearts are not complete, so they must head inside the boat — where all of their memories are stored — and “show each other the truth.”
Heading inside to the ward, and as Marc worries that Layla is out there somewhere about to embark on a suicide missing against Harrow, the men roam door to door, peeking inside the window of each at memories of Moon Knight slaying the jackal at the museum… Kohnsohu turning the night sky… and what looks to be one of them standing by a New York taxi cab, though neither can place that memory. (Another Jake sighting?) When they find themselves in a cafeteria full of dead people, Marc and then Steven realize it is everyone that the former killed — “criminals, murderers, predators, the worst of the worst” — during his time as a merc. Steven notices that the tettering scale is beginning to slow, suggesting their journey is working, just as a young boy at the door catches their attention…
Steven follows the lad through a door into a suburban backyard, where Marc’s mother, Wendy (NeXT‘s Fernanda Andrade) is working the grill. Young Marc leads his kid brother, Randall, on a jaunt to a local cave, and adult Steven follows. Randall says that their mom wouldn’t be too happy with this lark, and sure enough, drizzling water fills and rises in the cave too fast, leading to Randall’s drowning. We realize the tyke’s sad fate as Steven next visits his mother, father Elias (The First‘s Rey Lucas) and others sitting shiva. Indeed, so bitter is Wendy that we see she blows off Marc’s 10th birthday party, while at his 12th she shows up in a sour mood, ranting about how Marc was “always jealous” of Randall. “I should’ve known you’d do something like this!”
When young Marc races to his bedroom, adult Steven tries to follow, but adult Marc anxiously grabs him and the men are next seen on a city street, where teenage Marc is walking out on his father and their fractured family. Suddenly, Marc and Steven are in a spot of desert strewn with dead bodies, which they both realize is the site of the massacre where Marc– discharged from the military due to his mental illness, and working as a merc under his old CO, Bushman — was ordered to eliminate all witnesses, Layla’s father included. A temple appears in the near distance, and the men walk over and observe the moment that a critically wounded, suicidal Marc dragged himself to the foot of a Khonshu statue. But before he could end his life, Khonshu bellowed, “I am in search of a warrior, to be my hands, to be my eyes, to be my vengeance, my final word against evildoers!” Fascinated by Marc’s “broken” mind, Khonshu deemed the merc “a worthy candidate to serve me.” And as Steven observes to Marc that Khonshu was manipulating him/taking advantage of him from go, we see flashback Marc agree to the shady deal and experience his first transformation into Khonshu’s Moon Knight.
Sensing a disturbance, Marc and Steven race back to the deck of the ship, where Taweret reports that unbalanced souls are being judged prematurely and en masse (presumably by Harrow/Ammit). Marc and Steven beg Taweret to find a way to help them free/reconnect with Khonshu, help Layla and thwart Harrow’s plan. Knowing that Osiris won’t like it at all, Taweret steers the ship into a hard 180, then urges the men to get back inside and finish balancing their scale. Steven wants to head into young Marc’s bedroom, but Marc isn’t having it, and he begins yelling, “I won’t do it! You can’t make me do it!” while slapping his face again and again. He then appears back in Harrow’s Chicago office, where the doc commends Marc on reliving his traumatic memories. Harrow then poses the million-dollar question: “Do you think you created Steven to hide from all of the awful things you did? Or did Steven create Marc to punish the world for what your mother did to you?”
Before Marc can answer, he and Steven appear in the childhood bedroom, where Mom is angrily thumping at the door and young Marc is cowering in a corner. The lad’s eyes then roll back and he turns into “Dr. Steven Grant,” as in the British hero of the Tomb Buster movie whose poster is on his wall. Mom then barges in, reaches for a nearby belt, and marches toward the kid, meaning to do harm….
Back in the ward, Steven, who always fancied himself the primary personality, lashes out at Marc for creating him to serve as some sort of”stress ball.” Marc counters that at least Steven got to live a happy life, one in which he believed their mother to be alive. Steven is taken aback by the suggestion that the mum he speaks to every week is no more, and next we see him throwing a glass of water in Dr. Harrow’s face. As Steven surveys Harrow’s “doctor” set-up — with the framed diploma, “Ned Flanders” mustache and all — Harrow explains that Marc brought himself to the hospital after his mother died. When Steven disputes that fact, Harrow dials the phone and offers to put Steven on the phone with his mom. And in that moment, faced with the handset, Steven acknowledges through tears, “My mum… my mum is dead.” We then drop in on the shiva for Wendy, where Elias spots his son out in the street, swigging from a flask. Marc, though, refuses to come inside, mumbling, “I won’t give you that satisfaction.” He then breaks down sobbing in the middle of the street, pounding the pavement and the yarmulke he just whipped off his head, all as Steven watches. Marc’s eyes then roll back and he turns into “bloody hell, not again!” Steven, who promptly calls his mum to report himself “lost” again….
Afterward, Marc admits to Steven that he couldn’t face all that he had done, and Steve assures his alter that what happened to Randall “wasn’t your fault, you were just a child.” They are interrupted by the shaking of the deck as the ship careens toward the Gates of Osiris. Taweret reports that their scales will never be balanced, and she can’t stop the inevitable. Dead figures from Marc’s past clamber out of the Duat and aboard the ship, and Marc does his best to fight them off. Ultimately, though, Steven realizes he needs to pitch in, so he grabs a bat and begins pummeling the corpses into sand. And just when it seems their work is done, one more figure sneaks up on and grabs Marc, but Steven dives at it and tumbles overboard with it. And though Steven then gets up and tries to catch back up with the ship, he petrifies into stone — while Marc suddenly finds himself standing peacefully in the idyllic Field of Reeds.
What did you think of Moon Knight‘s penultimate hour, and what are your predictions for next week’s finale?