Episode 4 of Moon Knight features continued strong performances from Ethan Hawke and Oscar Issac as well as some cool Twin Peaks-like Moments. It also seemingly rebooted everything to this point. We’re in what seems to be something of a red herring dimension of its own that’s either not ours, not all that real or some combination of both when we end.
We had a fetch quest with all characters and side-loaded some (deeply incorrect) history into the story. The same sporadic level of action continued, but when the ‘action’ peaks we ended up with an apparent total resetting of the table…. that is hard to see lasting.
We saw some more action with Layla and some sort of monster and we spent most of the first part of the episode seeing things from Steven’s point of view before the radical reset. Harrow’s plan to resurrect Ammit seems to be going along pretty well and our heroes chances of stopping it have hit a few snags. For one thing it seems Arthur Harrow knows more about what’s going on than anyone. He tells Layla her father- who was a pretty good archaeologist, was killed by Marc. She’s pretty broken up about this, seemingly accepting it might be true even if it did come from Harrow.
In a culmination of events in the tomb we have Steven confronted by Harrow and shot center mass twice before falling into a pool of infinitely deep water and apparently either Stargate-ing to another world or resetting into another reality.
The final act of this episode is a walkthrough of a mental health facility where we see most of our characters recast into new roles at the mental asylum. Arthur is lead therapist and one of his henchmen, who seems to be one of the people he’s killed in our world- is an orderly there. The other orderly however, seems to be the female cop type we didn’t see die- so either whoever gave Arthur the scarab just LOOKED like one of his other henchmen or we’ve got something like the multiverse happening. Layla is another patient in the asylum and seems as insane as anyone else there.
When they cut to this ‘dimension’ they used a pretty strange transition. I legitimately thought we were seeing Loki for a moment and the Time Variance Authority were about to show up and it would have made sense- because in the MCU the TVA have total control of time on all worlds and can teleport anywhere anytime. Turns out its just a movie the patients are watching- accidental subversion is not the mark of a well organized universe. From the ‘In-World’ movie we see that ‘Steven Grant’ is a low-end Indiana Jones from a bad adventure flick with a plot involving a moon deity that Steven watches all the time. For a while we just observe patients playing Bingo.
In this reality- which remember, we entered after Steven/ Marc took two center mass shots- Harrow’s far better groomed and dressed like a shrink. He’s having a pretty confrontational cat and mouse therapy session with a semi sedated Steven, who is in control of the body for now. Steven’s able to sense somethings really wrong and escapes the session to end up running free throughout the institution.
In a weird convenience he finds a sarcophagus in a random room; inside is- Marc. They now each have their own, identical Oscar Issac bodies. Neither is injured though they recall being shot. We end with Marc and Steven encountering what I guess is another Egyptian god – manifested as a human body with a hippo head. It’s bizarre enough but then she just very casually says “Hi,” and we see both Steven and Marc screaming as we hit the credits.
There’s a lot of strange stuff going on here as we roll into upcoming episode 5 and this installment just made things even more confusing. We have too much invested in the events going on inside the tomb for the things in the mental hospital to be all that enduring. We see enough evidence- from Steven’s dubious perspective- to wonder if this isn’t some pocket dimension or illusion cast by Harrow. It would explain why we have Steven and Marc in their own individual bodies.
It doesn’t really help me understand why in this “dimension” Steven has a seemingly classic 1980s 4 inch Moon Knight action figure. I’m not sure what they’re going for here. I can only speculate. It’s possible they’re in the kind of altered reality we see in INCEPTION- the ‘dimensional doorway’ does involve water; and maybe the Moon Knight toy is his talisman there. Gunshot wounds in one world do not seem to translate into the pocket dimension- so we don’t know how real either dimension is or which is the primary reality- though things going on in the tomb are at least implied to be what’s ‘real.’ The other possibility is that the mental hospital is this show’s version of the Interdimensional Lobby known as “The Black Lodge” from Twin Peaks. Neither one of these possibilities are where I expected to be in this show right now.
The “Phasing” or transition sequence where Marc/Steven seemingly travels between worlds via Ancient Egyptian relics seems outright derived from Stargate in a couple of ways. Stargate fans will see at least one other aspect of that show as well I’ll address later. he Stargate stuff seems thrown in the same, plot enabling way a lot of tech concepts from Star Trek got just thrown into the LOKI series unexplained.
Whatever the case, the shows several writers may need to do a pretty extensive Zoom session with director Mohamed Diab and the six people who are writing the final two episodes because this doesn’t seem like it can be paid off in the time we have left.
We are seemingly headed for a cliffhanger here. We really didn’t get any new information outside the story that Marc killed Layla’s father before we rebooted reality. You could have watched the “Previously On” segment alone and been just as grounded as someone who watched this whole series and that’s just a little weird. Once again I strongly recommend subtitles and reading the episode description. For a moment I had PTSD from Book of Boba Fett at the sight of a man trip-dreaming while immersed in water. This new dimension could really be a mess. More moving parts in this already overly complex story.
My personal observation here is maybe the writers don’t care if this makes sense. They just might think ‘showing the guy in the suit doing the thing’ is all they need to put out there on screen to be considered geniuses, so other events don’t really have to add up. One thing that feeds this suspicion is that the very first thing we saw in this show- Arthur filling his shoes with broken glass- has yet to be explained. In this episode we see his ‘real feet’ in loose crocs in a mirror and they don’t seem to be bleeding. This was such a freaky, unnerving scene to introduce an otherwise somewhat charming villain and make him as alien as possible that it seems to beg an explanation. There seems to be nothing more to it though and we don’t seem to be getting any real answers on this. You could apply this to some other events in this show too.
We also have this new, Stargate-like portal between worlds. One side opens in Egypt, on the other side is a science-y place that may well be our world. This was another thing that was pretty derivative of Stargate and I wonder how far they can (legally) take it.
With two episodes left we have more questions than ever and precious few pieces of reliable information.
Well, Thank you for indulging my perspective and if you enjoyed what you read please Like this post and consider following this blog.