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SYFY WIRE Moon Knight

It's time to suit up (literally) as Steven finds some answers in Episode 2 of Marvel's 'Moon Knight'

Steven Grant continued his befuddled romp, but we have a little more context now.

By Brian Silliman
Moon Knight (2022) PRESS

Episode 2 of Moon Knight gave us more of Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) bumbling around and being confused about everything. It also gave us some answers, and seemed to change the show’s status quo moving forward. Isaac is a lot of fun as Grant, but thankfully Marc Spector eventually returns to take charge. 

It was an episode full of Spector (and ourselves) begging for Steven to let him take over, but before he did, we got our first look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s spin on “Mr. Knight." Here come the pitchforks and torches! 

***WARNING: From this point forward, there will be spoilers for Episode 2 of Moon Knight. If you have not seen it, fill your shoes with glass and walk away.***

Steven expects to be arrested after his museum rampage in the first episode, but security footage only shows him crying and running away. An HR toady gives him a pamphlet for psychiatric care after saying, “It’s all been a bit of a struggle for you recently, eh?” Steven gets fired, so technically he is no longer “of the gift shop.” 

He finds the storage unit that uses the key he found in his apartment, and there's something of a safe house inside as well as a bag with money, a gun, and a passport. The scarab that Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) wants is in there too. 

Marc appears in a reflection, and tells Steven to sleep on the cot so he can take care of everything. He says, “I serve Khonshu. I am his Avatar. Which means you are too. Sort of. We protect the vulnerable and deliver Khonshu’s justice to those who hurt them.” 

Steven refers to Khonshu as the Egyptian God of the Moon, which scans with myths based around “Khonsu.” More on that in a bit, but for now, Steven declines Marc’s offer. This is bad for Marc, because the deal he made with Khonshu was based on Steven not interfering. Steven proceeds to interfere for most of the rest of the episode. 

He runs right into Layla (May Calamawy) who tracked him down after he talked to her on the flip phone in Ep 1. She tells him to drop the act and the accent, and also mentions that she’s still his wife. Back at Steven’s flat, Marc tells Steven to get her out of there. She gives Steven divorce papers that Marc sent, but never signed. 

She finds the scarab, and calls it the “scarab pointing to Ammit’s ubshabti.” He tells her to keep it, and she’s aghast that he doesn’t remember their life and their adventures together. Steven then gets picked up by a couple of coppers who think he’s really Marc Spector (who ransacked a dig site in Egypt and killed an archeologist) but they don’t take him to jail. They take him to Harrow, and a little cult commune that Harrow’s built up in a formerly crime-ridden section of London. 

Harrow lays some wisdom on Marc as he shows him his weird society, putting Khonshu on blast and saying it must be hard having all of those voices in his head. Did Khonshu choose him because his mind would be easy to break, or “because it was broken already?” 

For most of this, the mummified specter of Khonshu is stalking Steven in the background. Why does Harrow know so much about Khonshu? Over a vegan meal he tells Steven he was the “fist of vengeance” before him. Harrow’s big issue is that Khonshu’s vengeance comes too late. As Khonshu himself says, “I only punish those who have already done harm. I am real justice.” 

Harrow’s justice is that of Ammit, who “tears evil up from the root” before anything bad happens. This is why he wants to resurrect her, and that’s why he needs the scarab. It will take him to Ammit’s tomb. Harrow also calls Khonshu a liar, because “there’s always one last thing.” You work for him, you’re never free. 

While Marc’s reflection in a bowl keeps pleading with Steven to give him control (and not to say that Layla has the scarab), Steven asks Harrow if Ammit would kill a child for something they might do in 30 years. Harrow’s response: “Sometimes the cure is a little bit of the disease.” He could have been kicking a basket of puppies when he said this, but we don't see it. 

Layla shows up with the scarab, Harrow pulls out his cane full of Ammit powers, and action ensues. Layla keeps telling Steven to “summon the suit” but he doesn’t know what that means. Harrow uses the cane to summon a jackal that only Steven can see. He ends up going out a window, and finally shouts the word “suit” multiple times. 

When he lands, he’s dressed as “Mr. Knight” from the 2014 Marvel Comics run. It’s a very different take on this version of the character, and is effectively Steven's manifestation of channeling the Moon Knight powers. He manages to get one good punch in on the jackal but then finally relents and lets Marc (who thinks he’s dressed as a psycho Colonel Sanders) take over. There’s a full Moon Knight transformation, two crescent moon knives are pulled, and Moon Knight leads the jackal on a merry chase under the light of an actual crescent moon. 

The chase ends with the jackal impaled on a spike and dusting away. Steven, now only s reflection, asks if this is what it’s like being on the inside. He says it’s awful, but Marc promises that once his debt is paid, he’ll never see him again. Khonshu appears to Marc and reminds him that he was just a corpse when he found him. Marc says they lost the scarab, but they’ll find another way to Ammit’s tomb. Khonshu will protect him, but he also confirms that the one who will take his place next is Layla. 

Marc asks where they’re going next, and Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) responds, “Where the hell do you think?” We cut to Marc getting drunk in a tent which is very close to the Giza plateau. 

Moon Knight YT

Evil Magician’s Man Cave

-Steven was fun, but we were relieved when Marc finally took over. Hopefully it’s for good. Marc’s way of dealing with Steven’s reflection is punching whatever surface he’s being reflected in. 

-In their argument towards the end, Steven accuses Marc of being a parasite and ruining his life. It’s true that Marc played a part in Steven’s firing, but he also (probably) asked women out for Steven and replaced his goldfish when it was necessary. 

-“Mr. Knight” was created in the 2014 run of Moon Knight, and this version of the avatar was created by Marc, not Steven. It was his attempt to make his alter ego into a public-friendly gentleman and to contain the chaos within at the same time. Though Mr. Knight began here with a flailing Steven and is played for laughs, there’s nothing to say that Marc can't still use Mr. Knight in the classic way moving forward. Whether that happens or not, this change could rankle some comics fans. 

-In Marvel Comics, Khonshu is the symbol of insubordination, femininity, and sensitivity. He lived in the realm of the Celestial Heliopolis. 

-In Egyptian mythology, “Khonsu” is the God of the Moon and called “the traveller” because of the moon’s nightly journey across the sky. Other titled included “embracer” and “pathfinder.” He was the greatest source of light in the night, so his name was invoked for protection. 

-Often depicted with the head of a falcon (as the mummified Khonshu apparition is here), it was said in mythology that when he caused the crescent moon to shine, women conceived and cattle became fertile. It’s only fitting that Moon Knight, the avatar of Khonshu, uses the crescent moon as his symbol. It’s also fitting that the jackal chase took place under the light of a crescent moon. If there were any cattle in that section of London, they could be fertile now. 

-Is the series going to pivot away from some of the silliness and bring on the gritty violence? JUSTICE! Fans of the comics character are no doubt longing for this. Things seem like they’re not headed more into the vibe of The Mummy (1999) than the Netflix Daredevil series. 

-Favorite line of the episode goes to Layla, as Steven grasps her riding on the back of her motorcycle: “Feels like I’m riding with a Victorian Duchess.”

-Dr. Michael Morbius does not appear in the episode. 

Moon Knight streams on Disney+ every Wednesday.