“Moon Knight” Episode 5 took us on a journey to the Egyptian underworld. And there were lots of things that we needed to know to make sense of the show. In Episode 4, we came across Goddess Tawaret and wondered if she was real. Episode 5 confirms that she is real and that Marc Spector is indeed dead and traveling through the afterlife. And thus come the Easter eggs and other comic book references. Let’s explore them further.
Realm of the Duat
Tawaret welcomes Marc and Steven to the Realm of the Duat. As Stephen reveals, Duat is the Egyptian underworld, the realm of the dead. Osiris, whom Tawaret mentions sometime later as the only one who can send Marc and Steven back to life, is the lord of Duat. We have already met him in “Moon Knight” Episode 3 during Harrow’s trial in front of Ennead.
Tawaret mentions that there is not just one afterlife but many. And one of them is the ancestral plane, which is, according to her, very “gorgeous,” which, even if she didn’t say it, we would’ve known. After all, we have come across each other, haven’t we? Remember “Black Panther”? Yes, the Ancestral Plane is where T’Challa met his father, T’Chaka, during the former’s coronation ceremony. The mention of the Ancestral Plane of all the afterlives makes sense since it is the one ruled by Bast, the Panther God, and one of the members of Ennead. This establishes the connection between “Moon Knight” and the Black Panther.
Aa’ru: The Field of Reeds
Steven Grant was the first one to mention the Field of Reeds in Episode 1 to a little girl at the museum. In Egyptian Mythology, the Field of Reeds is essentially heaven. It is the ideal version of one’s life on Earth. Everything a person loses is given back, and he or she can live an eternal life in the presence of the gods.
Scales of Justice
Tawaret mentions how she has to weigh the hearts of Marc and Steven against the Feather of Truth on the Scales of Justice. If either of them weighs more (if the scale isn’t balanced), Marc and Steven will be dragged by the dead into the Duat, where they will remain frozen in the sands forever. Why? Because an unbalanced scale is an ultimate proof that they are impure at heart.
However, in Egyptian mythology, it isn’t Tawaret but Anubis who weighs the heart. And it is Ammit who devours it if it is found impure. Ammit was not worshiped but rather feared by the Egyptians because she represented destruction, eternal suffering, and restlessness.
“Moon Knight” Episode 5 is where we get firsthand information about Bushman from Marc Spector. While exploring their memories, Marc and Steven stumble upon what happened on that fateful night. He was double-crossed by his commanding officer, Bushman (Raul Bushman, if we go by the comics), under whom he did jobs as a work-for-hire. Bushman and Bushman were supposed to raid a tomb, and Bushman wanted to leave no witnesses at the scene. So he killed everyone, including Dr. El Faouly (Layla’s father), and shot Marc. He would have died, but Khonshu offered to save his life. The rest is, well, Marvel.
The Origins Of Steven Grant
While looking for memories, Steven stumbles upon one that shows how Marc, who lost his younger brother, being beaten by his mother, Wendy, because she held Marc responsible for his brother’s death. This treatment would continue, till one day, Steven was born out of Marc’s mind; a second personality to hide all the rage and trauma as well as to cope with it.
It is interesting when Dr. Harrow asks Marc whether he created Steven to hide from the awful things he has done in his life. Steven’s personality was born many years ago, when Marc was just a child. So, it seems that while Steven’s “birth” was a way for Marc to get away from the anger he felt for his mother, it could also be a way to hide from the possibility that he was indeed responsible for his brother’s death. Either way, Dr. Harrow’s statement is partially true, as Steven is a way for Marc to not feel guilty for all the people he has killed as a part of his job.
It is perhaps tragic that we see Steven consoling Marc, who is in pain, and telling him that his brother’s death wasn’t his fault, when Steven himself was born out of the pain. The scene is brilliant in the way it shows the human mind consoling itself by the very means of its escape.
Death of Steven
Towards the end of “Moon Knight” Episode 5, Steven is pulled off the Tawaret’s ship by the dead. After that, he freezes into the sand. Now, what does this mean? Does it mean that Steven’s personality is gone forever from Marc’s psyche? If it is, then Marc is all by himself. Or is he? Remember when the two hearts didn’t balance against the scales of Justice, and Tawaret said that their hearts “feel incomplete”? Is there another half-heart hidden somewhere in Marc’s psyche? It’s none other than Jake Lockley, isn’t it? We can only guess. But this seems unlikely since Steven’s death has ultimately led Marc to the Field of Reeds, which is only possible when his heart is balanced. So, there’s no one else residing inside his mind.
How Will Marc Get His Life Back?
Marc is in the field of reeds. Period. So he is basically in heaven. What now? Is there any way for him to return? The only way seems to be for Marc to reach out to Osiris, who is the one who rules it. So Osiris might just be able to send Marc back to life. Also, keeping in mind that Osiris was one of the Gods who imprisoned Khonshu, he indeed has the power to free him too. This will help Marc in stopping Harrow from setting Ammit free, the effect of which has already begun.
But there is a catch. With Steven gone, Marc is now completely vulnerable to Khonshu. And Khonshu can easily take over and have complete control. What remains to be seen is how things work out and whether the “Moon Knight” is able to stop Harrow and how.