This is a SPOILER Review of Episode 5 of Moon Knight so if you haven’t watched it yet, please go and watch the episode and then read.
This episode is amazing but extremely heartbreaking at the same time. It takes some time to start kicking but when it starts it doesn’t stop. It deals with some very dark and adult themes, the likes of which Marvel has never featured beforehand which provides for an emotional journey and leaves the series on another cliffhanger, leaving only a few hints along the way on how the series may end.
This episode an awesome emotional voyage. Which breaks down Marc Spector and takes him through the demons of his past to balance his heart. We get some necessary insight and explanation into the setup for the series. Following the common episode structure of traveling through the main character’s memories for them to gain closure and stability. Similarly to WandaVision episode 8 this episode perfectly takes us through his origin of abuse, trauma and accurately portrays how a DID system is created.
But make no mistake, this isn’t WandaVision Episode 8. This is truly bonkers! Marc is dead in the underworld and his other alter Steven now has his own physical form as they both get their hearts plucked out from their chest and weighed on a boat going through the underworld. The setup alone is quite fantastical. It also keeps us guessing on the validity of the reality as we see him switching between his reality in the underworld and him in the Asylum with Arthur. Which leaves you guessing as to which is real.
However, it all takes a very dark turn. As Marc is faced by all his trauma which has him face up to everyone he has ever killed. These are things he’s hidden off and secluded from Steven and has hidden off in his mind. It really poses a question about the morality of the Fist of vengeance Khonshu turned him into.
Then comes a little boy who takes us to place which is sure to break your heart.Taking us through how Marc blames himself for the loss of his brother. Which gives us the heart breaking origins of “Laters Gators” and takes us through a cycle of abuse which caused Marc to develop DID and which was the abuse that Marc endured, hiding it all from the Steven alter. We see the crushing portrayal of how DID is created in live action as his Mentally ill mother continues to blame him for his brother’s loss and we see Marc’s painful denial to face up to the memories of his mother who physically tortured him.
Oscar Isaac and the young actor’s portrayal is just breathtaking. How they seamlessly transition between the alters. DID is caused when someone is mentally or physically abused by someone as a child. Which causes them to dissociate as to not feel the pain of the abuse any longer. They make you feel the mental, physical and emotional tone that this has had on him. And it’s painful and crushing to watch.
We also gets great scene near an Egyptian tomb which is straight from the Moon Knight comics as he is an ex military mercenary in Egypt killed by his partner Bushman, but saved by the Moon God Khonshu right before it happened, becoming his Fist of Vengeance.
The ending sees Marc’s final piece of the puzzle in balancing his heart being the death of Steven so as Steven sacrifices himself to save Marc from Egyptian sand zombies Marc’s heart balances and he’s left in the field of reeds or the Egyptian heaven.
This ending leaves me questioning how they will wrap up the series but if they manage to pull off what they’ve been doing in the last two episodes, we are in for a treat. We also have them sending a message to Layla to free Khonshu which will most likely be his path out to deal with the Gods and Monsters of the next episode.