And here we are, as they say, now facing the vast unknown. For the last four weeks, I have been waiting for this moment when I would finally be able to fully talk about Moon Knight beyond with just my colleagues and finally move past that cliffhanger to find out what the hell is going on. In a twisty episode of Moon Knight, “The Tomb”, we see our heroes and our villains finally reach the tomb of Ammit, but all is not as it seems. Supernatural threats prowl the halls of an infamous pharaoh’s tomb. “The Tomb” is easily my favorite episode to date of this series. It doubles down on the wackiness, the creepiness, the weird relationships, the angst, the Egyptology, all of it. While “The Goldfish Problem” merely saw us on the streets of London, we are deep in it now.
With Khonshu (as well as many other gods) on ice, it’s clear that Marc/Steven are alone. The episode begins with people chasing them down, assumedly from Mogart’s estate, but it doesn’t really matter. Layla, without the help of Marc, takes them out all on her own with a well-placed flare. Grabbing their vehicle, Layla and Steven head to Ammit’s tomb. Steven keeps Marc at bay, telling Layla Marc promised to disappear after Khonshu was gone, while Marc is pushing to take control.
It’s an interesting episode for Marc/Steven/Layla interactions. A part of me is obviously indulging in the potential of it all, a little blinded by how strong the chemistry is between Oscar Isaac and May Calamawy. But there’s clearly something problematic about this love triangle made up of two points. With Jake Lockley all but confirmed in this episode, throwing a fourth person into this complicated threesome might make their interactions even more unwieldy. It is clear that despite Steven’s attraction to Layla and Marc’s jealousy, Steven is still looking out for his alter. He tells Layla the truth about why Marc is pushing her away, about Khonshu’s intent to use her as the next Moon Knight, but… then he also kisses her.
Rappelling down into the tomb (or falling, in Steven’s case), the two quickly deduce that they are standing in a giant maze shaped in the form of the Eye of Horus. With some quick detective work, they make their way toward where the Ushapti of Ammit might be, but along the way, there are some glaring, bloody, red flags. There’s fresh blood everywhere, bullet casings, signs of an attack. But who was fighting who?
The answer comes not too long after Steven and Layla are separated. In a move far more in line with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead‘s style, we find the root of our problem. One of the heka priests who were entombed to protect the dead pharaoh is now reanimated, horrifying, and mummifying people alive. It is pure nightmare fuel as Steven watches from the rafters to see Layla narily escaping the screeching horror of a heka priest.
Although there were obviously some horrific moments in the second episode of Moon Knight, the sequence that follows, showing Layla fighting and barely surviving the attack from another heka priest definitely tops the MCU as one of the most terrifying scenes. On the regular scale of horror it’s small potatoes, but for a brand known for its clean, family-friendly content, this firmly lives in the PG-13 territory. Attacked by and managing to survive another heka preist attack, Layla is met by Harrow. Although they are separated by a bottomless pit (and probably more zombie priests), he still manages to hurt her.
He reveals, as many people have theorized and assumed, that Marc was likely responsible or at least present for the death of her father, Abdullah El-Faouly. This heartbreaking revelation splinters whatever goodwill Marc might have been winning back with his wife.
While Layla has been surviving attacks both physical and mental, Steven has made it to the center of the proverbial maze. Steven’s internal nerd (and my internal nerd) starts freaking out at the sight of Macedonian carved into the side of the sarcophagus. Is this the final resting place of Alexander the Great? Am I surprised that a conquering warlord would become the avatar of a ruthless heart-devouring, baby-killing goddess? No, not really, in hindsight.
Yanking the Ushapti out of the throat of Alex’s mummified corpse, Steven proudly presents his hard-won prize to Layla when she arrives at the tomb, but she is in no mood to celebrate. Confronting Marc and dragging him to the surface, she demands answers. No, he did not kill her father. Yes, he was there. This is clearly the moment when Marc was supposed to die and he was saved by Khonshu, but the damage is done to Layla. Her father’s death is the reason why Layla and Marc even met and Layla barely has time to process this before Harrow’s men come charging in.
Hiding to the side, she watches as Marc confronts Harrow, who monologues for a bit before Marc reaches for a hatchet in Alex the Great’s sarcophagus and starts hacking at his guys. Obviously, he’s outnumbered, but Harrow deals a fatal blow. He shoots Marc twice in the chest, muttering, “I can’t save anyone who won’t save themselves.”
But, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t look like our hero(es) are dead! Marc wakes up in a facility, tied to a wheelchair. In a sequence that feels like it’s been ripped right out of FX’s Legion, the people in Marc’s life are now fellow patients at the facility. Layla is another patient, some of his enemies are the orderlies, and his physician is Harrow. Despite the lies, Marc escapes Harrow and the orderlies and makes a run for it, convinced that this is all a lie.
He hides in one of the rooms and finds a sarcophagus with someone screaming inside. Who is it? It’s Steven! A genuinely touching scene shows the two personalities hugging for the first time and allying with one another instead of opposing each other. They agree that this all seems to be a hoax and make their way stealthily down a hallway, trying to figure out a way out. In another room, a second sarcophagus shakes with someone else inside. Jake, is that you? I guess we won’t be finding out this week because both Marc and Steven pass it.
Making it to the end of the hall, they open the door, only to be surprised by … an Egyptian hippopotamus goddess (Antonia Salib). She says hello, and they respond the only logical way: screaming. Completely leaning into the weird, Episode 5 is primed to be the most interesting episode to date. After getting to know Marc and Steven so well, will Marvel debut Jake with only two episodes left? It doesn’t feel like enough time, and we already know there will have to be a big CGI battle scene, so how much more of the story is there left to tell? Will we be exploring more of Marc’s past? Time will tell!
Although I still think this series is far from the bloody mess that some were hoping for, it is worth noting that people have definitely been dying left and right, and most of them at the hands of our heroes. I guess that counts for something right?
If I had another personality who kissed my significant other while I was unable to voice my opinion or my disdain, would I punch myself in the face? Yeah, probably.
I’m not even sure the guys of Inception would have figured out the shape of the maze that quickly, but I suppose we must move the story along.
I know everyone is saying it, but the way Oscar Isaac can switch between Steven and Marc is absolutely amazing. It kills me that this might be the one and only outing we get Isaac as Moon Knight.
“Why do all men like you have to be so condescending?” Layla, speak the truth.
Colin Farrell returns to the MCU not as Bullseye, but as the mummified corpse of Alexander the Great! Am I the only one who saw this movie? Probably. But, look, is that Thena in a past life? And an MCU crossover with DC with a Val Kilmer Batman? (I’ve taken this too far, but let me have my fun.)
So, the goddess our two heroes bump into at the end of the episode is Taweret, she is the goddess of childbirth and fertility in Egyptian mythology, a protector of mothers and children. Is she a friend of Khonshu’s? We saw the last episode that he was clearly friends (or more than friends??) with Hathor, another fertility-associated goddess. Maybe Khonshu was a much chiller god back before he got ousted? Or, perhaps Taweret will lead us into the past of Steven’s childhood? Or, perhaps she has been entombed like Khonshu, and wherever they are is where the other entombed gods are? It’s anyone’s guess!
Moon Knight streams on Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+.