‘Moon Knight’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Came First, Marc Or Steven? Is Steven Dead?


“Moon Knight” Episode 4 flipped the entire show on its head by making us, as well as Marc Spector/Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac), question if everything we’ve seen so far is real or not. During its final moments, after acquiring Ammit’s ushabti, Marc and Layla (May Calamawy) were cornered by Arthur Harrow’s (Ethan Hawke) men. Harrow told Marc to give up the ushabti and free himself from Khonshu’s control. Harrow disagreed with Marc, and he got shot in the chest quite a few times. Then he woke up in a psychiatric hospital as Marc, where he was being examined by Harrow, and everyone from Layla to Donna (Lucy Thackeray) seemed to be patients. And the episode ended with Marc finding a physical version of Steven and the goddess Tawaret (Antonia Salib).

Major Spoilers for “Moon Knight” Episode 5

Oscillating Between Sense And Nonsense

“Moon Knight” Episode 5 opens with a shot of a cave with water filling up in it. Then the shot of a woman comes into focus who screams at someone that it’s all their fault, and that scream blends into Tawaret screaming, Marc and Steven screaming, and then an injured Marc screaming in Harrow’s chamber. Harrow tells Marc to calm down and says that he’s oscillating between sense and nonsense, which is why he keeps starting imaginary fights in his hospital. Marc doesn’t believe Harrow and says that he isn’t real. Harrow says that he feels real, and if Marc wants to confirm that, he should retrace his steps to understand how he got into that seat he’s sitting in. Harrow says that Marc thinks he was in an office like the one he’s in, but in Egypt, where he met a talking Hippo and asks Marc if that makes sense or if it’s nonsense. Marc admits that it’s nonsense.

Harrow starts talking about organizing principles and people imagining themselves in places that suit their trauma or the processing of their trauma. For Marc, it’s the psych ward. Harrow says that the character of Tawaret is an interesting addition as it could be the key to understanding Steven. Then, Harrow oddly shifts the conversation to the topic of a boy and asks Marc to talk more about that. At which point, Marc starts to get agitated and tries to stab himself with a showpiece on Harrow’s table. Marc is sedated, but he finds himself screaming beside Steven and in front of Tawaret, just like at the end of “Moon Knight” Episode 4 and the beginning of this episode. After the screaming is done and a few quips are exchanged, Marc wonders if he’s dead. And Tawaret says that he’s, in fact, dead, and now he is (or they are) being taken to the afterlife.

Marc thinks this is the afterlife, but Tawaret corrects him by saying that it is an afterlife, not the afterlife, because there are several intersectional planes such as this, e.g., the Ancestral Plane from Black Panther (2018). Tawaret says that the Duat isn’t easy for the human mind to process. So, it appears in a form that best suits the one who is being carried to the afterlife. Steven wonders why a psych ward, though. Marc says that it’s because they’re insane. According to him, the theory checks out because they’re talking to a hippo, Steven and Marc aren’t sharing a body, and the afterlife is apparently the reality, while the hospital is the imagination. Marc even ends up saying that “Doctor” Harrow is right, and this is the organizing principle. While rambling on, Marc opens one of the main doors in the ward and sees that they’re actually traveling on a massive boat on the dunes.

So, Marc and Steven are being taken to the Field of Reeds, which is the Egyptian version of Heaven. Tawaret says Steven is right and adds that if a person’s heart is balanced before reaching the Field of Reeds, then they’ll spend all eternity in paradise, i.e., the Field of Reeds. Tawaret then proceeds to literally pull out Steven and Marc’s hearts out of their chests and weigh them on the scales of justice against the feather of truth. If the scales are balanced before the journey ends, the person gets through to the Field of Reeds. Then Marc asks the important question: what if the scales aren’t balanced before the journey ends? Tawaret casually says that the person is then thrown overboard, and the dead come to drag them into the Duat, where they’re forever frozen in the sand. Marc plans to “kill the hippo and steal the boat” because he doesn’t want to be frozen in sand or go to the Field of Reeds.

See More: ‘Moon Knight’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – Does Steven Find Ammit’s Ushabti? Is Marc In A Hospital?

Searching For The Truth Through Memories

Before Marc can carry out his absolutely diabolical and “foolproof” plan, Tawaret points out that the scales aren’t balanced because their hearts appear to be incomplete. Fearing the worst, Tawaret suggests they go back into the psych ward and come to terms with their truths by sifting through their memories before the journey ends. Marc and Steven go back and start analyzing each memory, which is represented by a room in the ward. Although a memory of Marc standing in the street gets Steven’s attention, a cry of “help” takes them to another room filled with zombified bodies with glassy eyes. Steven soon figures out that all those people are Marc’s victims. Marc explains that they aren’t good people, and hence they had to suffer Khonshu’s punishment. That seems like a reasonable enough explanation until Steven spots a child.

The child runs away. Steven runs after him even though Marc keeps telling him not to do that. After Steven runs into the room the kid went into, he locks the door behind him because he knows that Marc is not going to let him see what the kid wants to show him. While Marc keeps screaming at him to not go forward with this, Steven finds himself in Marc’s memory of himself as a child going to a cave on a rainy day. As the memory plays on, Steven comes to the sad realization that Marc is responsible for the death of his younger brother. In the ward, Marc comes across a room with his mother in it and tries to disassociate by repeating to himself that it’s just a memory. He notices a room leading to his brother’s Shiva, where Steven is also present. Despite Marc’s best attempts to shield Steven from this part of his life, Steven learns that Marc’s mother never forgave him for accidentally killing his brother, and he had to run away from home because he couldn’t take it any longer.

As Marc tries to stop Steven from going any further, they are transported to the memory of the Moon Knight’s birth. They see a damaged camping site and a lot of dead bodies. Steven assumes that all of them have been killed by Marc, including the hostages. Marc starts talking about how he went AWOL in a fugitive state and was discharged by the military. So, he started working for his old Commanding Officer, Bushman (one of Moon Knight’s main enemies in the comics). Marc was given the job of raiding an Egyptian tomb, but Bushman changed the plan and asked Marc to kill everyone so that there would be no witnesses to the raid. Steven comes across the body of Layla’s dad, and Marc says that he tried to save him but failed. Steven asks where he is in this memory, and Marc points to himself, dragging his body through the sand and into the tomb. In there, Marc tries to kill himself but is stopped by Khonshu. Steven says that he has always been manipulated by Khonshu, while Marc says that the act of doing Khonshu’s bidding is a better option than simply dying.

Marc and Steven go back onto the ship as they see souls being dropped into the Duat by Harrow (apparently) without being passed through properly. Marc and Steven say that they need to go back into real life and stop Harrow’s wrath. Tawaret agrees and turns the boat. She says that Osiris is not going to like this and warns Marc and Steven that if they don’t balance the scales, they’re not going to get out of the Duat anyway. So, they better get to work on solving their issues. Steven plans to go through the door in Marc’s memory to see what happened with him, but Marc stops him by saying that he’s going to explain it, but Steven doesn’t need to see it. When Steven pushes him to let him go through that door, Marc suffers a breakdown and finds himself back in Harrow’s office. Harrow calms Marc down and tells him to open up to Steven. Marc looks at his reflection in the glass of water that Harrow has handed to him, and he is transported back to his childhood bedroom.

See More: ‘Moon Knight’ Episode 3: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Happened To Khonshu?

‘Moon Knight’ Episode 5: Ending Explained – Steven Grant’s Birth And Death

Marc and Steven see a young Marc cowering in the corner of his bedroom while his mother bangs at the door. The young Marc starts muttering to himself that it’s not his mother that is banging on the door. And he does it long enough to create Steven, complete with a British accent. Steven finally understands that his name is based on a television character and that he’s a figment of Marc’s imagination. As Marc’s mother barges into the room to beat up young Marc, Marc pulls Steven out of there. Steven is absolutely horrified, as he understands that he isn’t real, but Marc assures Steven that he is the part of Marc that got to live through a non-abusive childhood and have a good relationship with his mother. A reality that Marc always yearned for, but it never happened. Unable to digest that, Steven transports to Harrow’s office (or he takes over Marc’s body).

When Harrow mentions that Steven brought himself to the institution after his mother passed away, Steven gets agitated and tells Harrow that he’s lying about his mother’s death. So, Harrow calls up somewhere, tells Steven that it’s his mother, and tells him to talk on the phone. As Steven gets closer and closer to it, he gets closer and closer to admitting that his mother is actually dead. That’s when Steven sees Marc standing across the street (the first memory that he saw in the corridor of the psych ward), drinking liquor, and refusing to attend his mother’s Shiva while his father asks him to come in. Marc walks away and falls to his knees, lamenting that he can’t let his mother win. That’s when Steven takes over, who is confused about where he is and starts talking to what he thinks is his mother on the phone.

Marc explains to Steven that on the day his mother died, that’s when Marc and Steven’s lives started clashing. Steven, realizing that his existence and Marc’s trauma stem from his mother’s abuse, which never let Marc forgive himself for accidentally killing his brother, consoles Marc. Steven says that Marc was only a child, and he didn’t know any better. And in doing so, we get to see the most literal form of self-healing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marc and Steven sense a disturbance and get back to the ship, where Tawaret reveals that the scales are still unbalanced and that the dead are now going to get them. As Tawaret steps aside, Marc and Steven take on the dead, and just when it seems things are going to be alright, Steven falls into the Duat and gets frozen in the sand. That balances the scales, and Marc finds himself in the Field of Reeds, all alone, all by himself.

See More: ‘Moon Knight’ Ending And Post-Credit Scene, Explained – Who Is Jake Lockley? Is Harrow Dead?

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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