Moon Knight Episode 4 Review & Breakdown: Puzzle-Solving Shenanigans Within A Tomb
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR EPISODE 4 OF MOON KNIGHT.
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are back to unleash mind-boggling mayhem in episode 4 of Moon Knight, titled The Tomb, which furthers the already-bonkers narrative of the Marvel show. Benson and Moorhead dive into their “The Endless” sensibilities to some extent, especially during the last 20 or so minutes, and the payoff is beautiful, to say the least. Episode 3 of Moon Knight ended with Steven (Oscar Isaac) and Layla (May Calamawy) figuring out the coordinates to Harrow’s (Ethan Hawke) dig site and heading in that direction while Marc remains dormant inside Steven, protesting that their best chance at survival is to let him out.
Well, he is not wrong (he is a trained mercenary, even without Khonshu’s suit), but Steven, for one, has fallen head over heels for Layla and does not wish to give control back to Marc for myriad reasons. This particular episode, for the most part, emits strong The Mummy vibes (especially how Layla’s hair and outfit are styled, mirroring Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn O’Connell), and maps out a thrilling journey for audiences as it connects the dots and dishes out a solid archeological adventure.
MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 4 RECAP:
AN ODD, INTRIGUING BLOSSOMING OF LOVE
The dynamic between Layla and Steven has undergone a shift, especially after Harrow’s insinuation that Marc is hiding a critical truth about his past from her, which furthers the distance and rift between them. Now with Steven at the wheel, Layla cannot help but fall for his adorable nerdiness, as there is surely something charming about his demeanor from the get-go. While Marc is emotionally closed-off (for valid reasons), Steven comes along with a refreshing penchant for telling the truth at all moments, which leads to him and Layla sharing a kiss before they plunge into the catacombs where Ammit’s remains lie. The moment is sweet but complex: after all, Marc and Steven share the same body but are completely different personalities (at one point, Layla even muses that Steven smells like Marc), and the fact that Layla has fallen for Steven while she loves Marc is an interesting love triangle for the show to construct. Understandably, Marc is seething within, unable to express his emotions or do much to help the duo battle the dangers that lurk within the tomb.
HEKA PRIESTS, UNEARTHED HALF-TRUTHS, & ALEXANDER THE GREAT
On entering the tomb, Layla and Steven are faced with a six-path maze, making them unsure as to which path they should choose. Meanwhile, they can hear Harrow’s men shooting at someone, or something, in the distance, making them wonder what they could possibly be battling inside an ancient, abandoned tomb.
Steven has an epiphany that the tomb is fashioned in a way that the paths mimic the structure of the Eye of Horus, whose six points represent the six senses, making the tongue the voice of Ammit, who, in history, had to be a pharaoh. Before they head in too deep, Layla notices murals on the walls depicting Heka Priests, appointed guardians to protect the pharaoh, and were entombed along with the pharaoh as they were sorcerers during their time. Shortly after, they stumble upon fresh blood on a slab and witness a Heka Priest (who is menacing and makes creepy clicking sounds) disemboweling one of Harrow’s men. Understandably terrified, the two are separated: while Layla has to cross a deep chasm, Steeven finds himself in a burial chamber where the pharaoh, who was Ammit’s voice, was buried.
Enter Harrow, who sees Layla tackle a Heka Priest and send him off falling into the chasm (major Tomb Raider vibes and the scene is tense and perfectly shot). Harrow, being the arch manipulator he is, tells Layla that Marc was present when her father, archeologist Abdullah El-Faouly, and his team were gunned down in cold blood, insinuating that Marc was the one to pull the trigger. This has a deep emotional impact on Layla, who struggles between believing Harrow and coming to terms with the fact that she does not know everything about Marc’s past, which is coupled with the tragedy of losing her father at such a young age. On the other hand, Steven finds inscriptions on the wall of the burial chamber and realizes that it is written in Macedonian, coming to the conclusion that Ammit’s voice, is, in fact, Alexander the Great (!).
Coming across the long-lost tomb of Alexander the Great is baffling enough, but now Steven has to reach into the throat of the mummified body to retrieve Ammit’s ushabti, which could be key in preventing Harrow from resurrecting her. Layla storms in, demanding answers, asking Marc about Harrow’s disturbing reveal. Marc takes over, confessing that while he was present during the incident, it was his partner who had gunned down her father and his men, and when he attempted to stop him, he was left half-head until Khonshu had decided to bless him with his suit. Realizing that Marc’s core motivation in approaching Layla shortly after was guilt as opposed to love, she feels all the more betrayed after the exchange. However, before things can be resolved between the two, Harrow and his men emerge, and the former asks Marc to make a choice: hand over the ushabti or face the consequences.
MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 3: REVIEW & ENDING EXPLAINED
HARROW UNLEASHED, A PSYCHOLOGICAL MAZE, AND A BONKERS ENDING
Marc makes the difficult decision of standing up to Harrow and attempts to fight his men. However, disappointed in him, Harrow shoots Marc, and the latter falls into a body of water, seemingly dead. This is when Moon Knight episode 4 ventures into pure Benson and Moorhead land, as the scene (which is beautiful, with Marc submerged inside a body of water) transitions to a stark white psych ward: we are inside Putnam Psychiatric Ward. Viewers will be absolutely gobsmacked by this change in scene, as this questions the very fabric of the show: is everything a fabrication of the mind, a physiological coping mechanism, a fantasy birthed from trauma? We see Marc in a wheelchair, his legs strapped to it, while other members of the ward (including Layla, Crawley, and Donna) engage in a game of bingo. Marc has a Moon Knight action figure in his hand and seems to be heavily sedated, still reeling from the events that might or might not be true after all.
Marc is taken to Dr. Arthur Harrow’s office (it’s Ethan Hawke sporting a mustache, my god), who explains that Marc is having a psychotic break of sorts, which is making it increasingly difficult for him to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. The film that was playing on the TV, Tomb Buster, follows a similar narrative to the show, featuring Dr. Steven Grant, an adventurer with a deep knowledge of ancient artifacts. Amused that the villain in Marc’s fabricated reality bears similarities to him, psychiatrist-Harrow tries to explain Marc’s condition to him, but the latter suddenly remembers being shot by him and is extremely panicked by the situation he is in. Breaking into a run, Marc finds the ward surrounded by elements of his life (Khonshu-like statues, full-on sarcophaguses, and fixtures swinging like scales), which makes him hide inside a room with a closed sarcophagus, with someone screaming for help within.
Opening the lid, Marc finds Steven, who is somehow able to exist independently in this realm (we are not sure if this is a psychological limbo or an attempt by Marc/Steven’s mind to process trauma on an internal level). The two men hug, and Marc asks Steven what’s the last thing he remembers, to which, he replies: “Harrow shot us.” Relieved by this corroboration, Marc tells Steven that they must find a way out of the ward, but they are soon interrupted by an Egyptian deity — Tawaret, the goddess of luck, childbirth, and probability. As Tawaret squeaks out a meek hello, the two men scream, and this is where the episode ends.
While this is a lot to process, Tawaret’s presence could be the deus ex machina Marc/Steven needs to exit this mental maze, leading them to resurrect and be plunged back into reality. As Moon Knight is a complex show that highlights emotional baggage, trauma, and mental health, it remains to be seen how things progress in the remaining installments of the Disney+ show. However, this episode is easily the best in the series so far, as it is a compelling puzzle box containing mind-numbing mystery with psychological thriller elements within.
EPISODES 1 – 4 OF MOON KNIGHT ARE NOW STREAMING ON DISNEY+
MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 3 LINKS: WIKIPEDIA, IMDB
MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 3 CAST: OSCAR ISAAC, ETHAN HAWKE, MAY CALAMAWY