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Moon Knight Episode 4: The Tomb

Moon Knight takes its biggest risk to date and it is shocking...but is it good, or was this a cheap trope of a twist?

We're on the fourth episode of Moon Knight and likewise the fourth piece in this series here at En Fuego. So there are going to be massive spoilers, especially in this episode that had a massive twist. You should be ready by now, but there is your spoiler warning. This episode cleverly follows a lot of cliche movie/show tropes with some of them lining up directly behind predictable, and others giving us more surprises. This episode feels like a fun B-movie version of an Indiana Jones film, which is ironic because those movies were modeled after B-movies, but I digress. This look of a film comes back to haunt us and the characters later.

The Episode

The episode picks up right where it was—Khonshu encased in stone (or an action figure-sized paperweight) with Marc/Steven and Layla in the desert night. The sequence that followed required some big suspension of disbelief. The bad guys are searching for our two protagonists, so she runs behind a truck and then hides inside the truck. The bad guys search around the truck. They search behind the tires and shine lights into the truck. The bad guys do not, however, open the doors to the truck. They don't for a second consider that a person could be hiding in a truck—a truck, designed for storage of human-sized things. I digress.

The next part of the episode shows Steven moralizing, as he does. Steven may indeed be morally pure compared to Marc, but he's annoying and the writers understood this perfectly because as I was writing this thought in my notes, Steven starts to defend Marc to Layla and finally starts understanding that working in tandem with his alter ego benefits them both. Who knew that multiple personalities in one being would need to understand symbiotic relationships to succeed?

As the episode moves, there is a terrific sequence where Layla and Steven are trying to escape some creature who is mummifying unsuspecting bad guys. They get separated and Layla finds herself nearly falling into a bottomless abyss. A fun sequence out of a jump-scare horror movie that had a lot of tension in it. Afterward, Harrow pops out of nowhere to do what every villain does—tell some 'terrible truth' about the main characters. Layla has a terrific line when she yells at Harrow. "Why do men like you feel like it is necessary to be so condescending?" 

Steven/Marc discover Alexander the Great's tomb. I was ready for Sallah to pop out with a torch and help Indy dig out the arc of the covenant. 

Now that Marc has found the treasure/divining rod they were looking for in the throat of old Alex, it's clear he's done the bad guys' work for them and he is trapped by a dozen or more of Harrow's soldiers with automatic weapons. Marc, not wanting Steven to suffer, takes over the body and tries to fight. He's summarily shot by Harrow twice and the episode ends with Marc/Steven dying in a pool of water.

The Ending

Just kidding. What follows is the riskiest plot twist Marvel has taken in a while. We're taken to a sanitorium of some kind. Marc/Steven is a patient in a facility for people whose mental health is in a bad place. This is the point where I started to feel cheated. The "it was all a dream" trope felt incredibly cheap and insulting to this show's character. A show about a person with dissociative identity disorder, and it turns out his hero's arc was just a delusion? This can't be what this show is doing, right? I thought cheap plot changes were gone with the show "Lost." As the twist unfolds, it turns out the show may not have been that lazy. We are then shown both Steven and Marc existing as two people. This looks fun. There is yet another reference to the third personality that Moon Knight has in the comics in the form of a sarcophagus that has a person shaking, begging to be released. Then the hippo God Taweret appears and freaks out Marc and Steven as the episode comes to a close.

Last Thoughts

When the episode first ended I felt a little angry. The show had finally reached a point of momentum and then we're told it was all a delusion? I was angry at the use of a cliche trope being thrown at us. The inclusion of the two distinct personalities as two stand-alone characters was fun enough to get me excited, and then the Hippo God gave me enough hope that this wasn't the easy cliche I had suspected. Let's get ready for episode five!