The first episode of “Moon Knight” introduced us to Steven Grant and Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac), who are vying for control over their body. While Steven is trying to live his life as an employee of a gift shop at the National Art Gallery, Marc Spector is doing everything in his power to keep the scarab that Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) is after in his possession. Initially, Steven is not aware of Marc’s identity. But when Harrow gets too close to Steven and unleashes Anubis to go after him, Marc makes his presence known. Steven protests, because who wants to give control of their body to some guy in the mirror? However, after some persuasion, Marc is allowed to take over, and he reveals the power of the Moon Knight by punching Anubis to kingdom come.
“Moon Knight” Episode 2 is directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. It was written by Michael Kastelein. And the episode starts off the day after the “incident” at the gallery, with Steven, as usual, with his leg tied to a wooden beam, no footprints on the sand around his bed, and tape on his door too. The first thing that Steven does, though, is try to summon Marc, just to check if he’s in there and if everything that happened at the gallery is real or not. Marc doesn’t show up. So, he goes about his day, intending to find out the truth. What he stumbles upon turns his world upside down.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Unreliable Narrator or Chaos Magic?
In Episode 1, Steven Grant is established as the most unreliable narrator in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He blacks out. He sees a demon-like creature. And then he wakes up in his bed, thereby making everything that happens to him look like a figment of his imagination. But you want to trust him because he seems like a nice bloke. So, when he first re-enters the art gallery, you feel relieved to see that something has gone down in the bathroom where Moon Knight and Anubis apparently had their fight. Naturally, Grant thinks that all of that has been captured via one of the security cameras. However, surprise, surprise, there’s nothing. No Anubis. No Harrow. It’s just Grant running away from nothing and then returning to look directly at the lens. Although Grant can’t convince anyone, he knows that the man staring at him is Marc Spector.
Grant is fired, though, because there’s video footage of him messing around, going into the bathroom, and then coming out of it, looking menacingly at the camera. But the lack of a job doesn’t depress him as he thinks that finding the locker that the key in his apartment unlocks (yes, he found a key along with the phone that Layla calls on) will take him a step closer towards proving that he isn’t completely insane. Well, not so surprisingly, the locker is equipped to serve as a fully functional shelter unit, stashed with a gun, money, and the scarab (which is actually a compass to point its holder towards Ammit’s tomb). Khonshu’s (F. Murray Abraham) avatar gives Steven the lowdown by saying that he’s Khonshu’s (F. Murray Abraham) avatar. What does that mean? Well, it means Marc delivers Khonshu’s definition of justice by protecting the vulnerable and hurting those who hurt others.
The locker number is 43, which is probably a reference to comic book issue #43 of “Moon Knight,” where Moon Knight faces off against duplicates of Black Knight, Beast, Darkhawk, and Daredevil. And there’s a QR code on the locker that takes you to the Moon Knight comics page on Marvel’s website.
After getting spooked by Khonshu, Grant comes across Layla (May Calamawy), who has tracked him via that one phone call from earlier. Layla is Marc’s wife and is under the impression that Marc is faking the English accent and Grant’s entire persona to get away from her. But Grant wants to convince Layla that that’s not the case and that he is his own person. And the closer Grant keeps bringing Layla to the mystery, the more worried Marc gets, because if someone like Harrow is after Grant, then those around him are in danger too. Grant gets to know how much danger he is actually in when two fake (or corrupt) officers abduct him and take him to Harrow. It’s here that it’s revealed that Anubis isn’t actually visible to everyone. That’s why he didn’t appear in the security footage and made Grant look like he was lying. However, before that happens, Harrow (like a classic villain) kind of explains his plan and his connection to Khonshu.
Is Arthur Harrow a Villain or a Misunderstood Hero?
If a person is putting shards of glass in his sandals and sucking the souls of people in the name of bringing Heaven to Earth, there’s a 99% chance that he’s a villain. But let’s give Harrow the benefit of the doubt and hear what he has to say. First of all, he listens to whether Marc and Steven are separate identities and then frees him from his cuffs, which counts as him giving Steven the benefit of the doubt. Second of all, he paints Khonshu as the villain who goes after broken souls to turn them into his avatar. And, thirdly, he correctly predicts Khonshu telling Steven to kill Harrow and break his windpipe, which doesn’t paint a good picture when Harrow is being so polite with Steven. If he wanted to, he could’ve just killed him (given how he doesn’t have the protection of Marc). This is sarcasm, FYI.
Harrow takes Grant on a tour through the locality that used to have the highest crime rate in London and has now been converted into a safe haven for, well, his cult. He says that it doesn’t show up on the news because nobody wants to hear good things and is more interested in clinging to elements of fear. He says that people in his cult (he doesn’t say that explicitly) speak three languages, at least, grow their own vegetables, and don’t even lock their houses. He refers to one of the guys in the locality as a citizen of Yucatan. That’s a real place in Mexico. And, according to the comics, it’s where one colony of Atlanteans settled and built pyramids. Guess who an Atlantean is? Namor. But I digress. Harrow explains that Khonshu isn’t respected by the other Gods, that he throws temper tantrums, and that he stupidly calls himself “real justice.”
While talking about why he isn’t Khonshu’s avatar anymore and why he is working for Ammit, Harrow explains that Khonshu punishes those who have already done something evil, which is just too late, according to him. On the other hand, Ammit “tears evil up from the root.” She finishes the potential evildoer before they do anything bad. Steven, like the gentle-hearted person he is, questions Harrow about where he or Ammit should draw the line. Thoughts aren’t evil, but actions are. If a baby has an evil thought, are they going to kill the baby? If so, how are they okay with killing babies? Angered by Steven’s virtue-signaling, Harrow unleashes another Anubis-like beast. Layla comes to Steven’s rescue. However, neither she nor Steven is a match for Harrow, his goons, and that beast (that’s probably only visible to the cultists and Steven).
‘Moon Knight’ Episode 2: Ending – Two Moon Knight Suits
Just like in Episode 1, Steven (along with Layla) finds himself in a pickle: stuck in a room with the Anubis beast at the door looking to kill him. Like before, Marc shows up in a reflection, requesting Steven to give up control of the body so that he can summon the suit and kill the demon. But this time, things go a little differently because Steven doesn’t end up giving over the steering wheel to Marc and gets attacked by the “jackal.” Surprisingly (those who have read the comics probably won’t be surprised), when he hits the ground with a superhero landing, he conjures his version of the Moon Knight suit. And it is essentially an all-white three-piece suit and a mask with glowing white eyes. Although Marc is disgusted by it, Steven likes it very much. Once he rolls up the sleeves, it looks even better.
That said, minus Marc’s skills, Steven’s version of the Moon Knight is not very good. Yes, he packs a punch and is largely invincible. But he isn’t able to damage the “jackal” like Marc does. So, to avoid delaying the inevitable, Steven transfers power to Marc. In comes the ceremonial suit, and out goes the “jackal” as Marc manages to get it impaled on a spiked structure. Again, the fact that the “jackal” dissolves into nothing doesn’t allow Steven to prove that any of it happened. But that’s another topic for another episode, probably, because the primary matter of concern at the end of “Moon Knight” Episode 2 is that Harrow has the scarab, thereby making his job of getting to Ammit’s tomb easier. And it makes Marc’s job harder because now he not only has to stop Harrow from resurrecting Ammit, but also keep a neurotic Steven awake 24×7 and aware that he’s trapped in Marc’s subconscious and reflections.
“Moon Knight” Episode 2 ends with Marc promising Steven that once he’s done repaying his debt to Khonshu (who apparently saved Marc and Steven’s lives), he won’t hear from Marc ever again. Marc also reveals that another reason why he wants Layla to stay out of this mess is that once Khonshu is done with Marc, he wants Layla to be his avatar, something that Marc doesn’t want to happen. That doesn’t mean that Marc doesn’t want to get rid of Khonshu. So, he continues his mission and reaches Egypt in a drunken stupor to silence Steven. It will be interesting to see how long he manages to keep Steven down, because despite being polite, he is determined to stay in control. Additionally, we’ll be waiting with bated breath to see what hell Harrow unleashes now that he has the scarab.