Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Four Re-Watch. Moon Knight, part 2

It’s been a year since I last did a rewatch, ending Phase Three with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now that the Infinity Saga is over and Thanos has turned to dust, our surviving heroes have moved on… with various degrees of success. Phase Four incorporates both cinematic releases and television programs. For the television programs, I am limiting each article to three episodes each

Title: Moon Knight

Characters created by:Doug Moench and Don Perlin

My take: I thought opening the show from the point of view of Stephen was a great idea. He’s a fish out of water and it demonstrates his mental condition fairly clearly

Episode four: The Tomb

Director:   Alex Meenehan and Peter Cameron & Sabir Pirzada and directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead.

Writers:    Alex Meenehan and Peter Cameron & Sabir Pirzada and directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead.

US Release Date: April 20, 2022

Summary:  Steven Grant and Layla El-Faouly find a deserted camp site at the location of Ammit’s tomb, which is a maze in the shape of the Eye of Horus. They discover that some of Arthur Harrow’s men have been killed by undead Egyptian priests which then attack them.

Layla defeats the priests but encounters Harrow, who claims that her husband Marc Spector was one of the mercenaries who murdered her archaeologist father, Abdallah El-Faouly. Grant and Spector find the tomb and discover that Ammit’s last avatar was Alexander the Great. Grant then retrieves Ammit’s ushabti from inside Alexander’s body.

Layla angrily confronts Spector who reveals that his partner killed Layla’s father and shot Spector. Harrow arrives and shoots Spector, who wakes up in a psychiatric hospital populated by people from his life. After escaping from Harrow, who appears to be a therapist at the hospital, Spector finds Grant trapped in a sarcophagus.

They also see a second sarcophagus with someone else trapped inside, before they are greeted by a hippopotamus-headed figure.

Changes from the comics: The backstory of Layla’s father is similar to the character of Marlene Alraune.

Episode five: Asylum

Director:    Mohamed Diab.

Writers:    Rebecca Kirsch and Matthew Orton

US Release Date: April 27, 2022

Summary:  Steven Grant identifies the hippopotamus-headed woman as the Egyptian goddess Taweret, who explains to him and Marc Spector that they are dead and that the “psychiatric hospital” is actually inside a boat sailing through the Duat.

She weighs their hearts on the Scales of Justice to determine if they would be allowed to enter the Field of Reeds, and she advises them to help each other uncover hidden memories causing their imbalance.

Grant sees a memory of Spector’s younger brother Randall drowning and Spector’s mother Wendy blaming him for it, while Spector reveals to Grant how he became Khonshu’s avatar on a mission with his partner Bushman. Spector and Grant convince Taweret to let them return to the living world to stop Arthur Harrow, who has released Ammit, and she steers the boat towards the Gates of Osiris.

“Dr. Harrow”, a psychiatrist version of Harrow, convinces Spector to fully open up to Grant, and Spector reluctantly explains that he unknowingly created Grant as a result of their mother’s abuse. Grant and Spector reconcile with each other, but their scales fail to balance, causing hostile spirits to attack them. While fending them off, Grant falls off the boat and is consumed by the Duat. The scales become balanced, and Spector finds himself in the Field of Reeds.

Changes from the comics:Abdullah El-Faouly is the MCU version of Abdul Faoul, known in the Marvel comics as the Egyptian archaeologist and superhero the Scarlet Scarab.

Easter Eggs: The basic concept for this episode came from the comic “Moon Knight (2016) #1”, published on April 13, 2016, where Marc Spector wakes up as a patient in a mental hospital and is told by Dr. Emmett that he was never Moon Knight and that he created everything in his head.

Music: The Spanish song that plays at the end of the episode is a Latin American Adventist hymn called Beyond the Sun, created by the Mexican musician and pastor Emiliano Ponce. The lyrics says “Beyond the sun I have a home, a beautiful home”, showing Marc peace with himself and a contrast to the moon thematic of the show.

Episode six: Gods and Monsters

Director:   Mohamed Diab.

Writers:    Its teleplay was written by head writer Jeremy Slater, Peter Cameron, and Sabir Pirzada, and the story was written by Danielle Iman and Slater.

US Release Date: May 4, 2022

Summary:  Layla El-Faouly receives a message from Taweret telling her to find and release Khonshu so he can revive Marc Spector. Arthur Harrow uses Ammit’s power to slaughter the other Egyptian gods’ avatars before releasing Ammit, who chooses him to be her new avatar, while El-Faouly finds Khonshu’s ushabti and releases him.

El-Faouly refuses to become Khonshu’s new avatar, so he confronts Ammit alone, who overpowers him. Meanwhile, Spector refuses to stay in the Field of Reeds alone, and chooses to return to the Duat and rescue Steven Grant instead. With Taweret’s help, they escape through the Gates of Osiris and awaken back in their body. Khonshu senses their return and bonds with them again, healing their body and restoring their powers. El-Faouly discovers that Ammit can be defeated if several gods’ avatars bind her into a mortal body, so she temporarily bonds with Taweret. Harrow, Ammit, and their followers begin judging everyone in Cairo, until Spector, Grant, El-Faouly, and Khonshu arrive to engage them in battle.

Harrow overpowers Spector and Grant, and almost kills them until they both black out and reawaken to find that they have somehow brutally defeated him. Spector and El-Faouly are able to seal Ammit into Harrow’s body, imprisoning her again. Khonshu urges Spector to execute Harrow and Ammit, but Spector refuses and orders Khonshu to release him and Grant from their service. Spector and Grant find themselves in the imaginary “psychiatric hospital” again, but reject it and choose to continue their new life together

In a mid-credits scene, a crippled Harrow is abducted from a psychiatric hospital and executed by Jake Lockley, Spector and Grant’s third alter who is still bonded with Khonshu

Easter Eggs: The post-credits scene takes place at Sienkiewicz Psychiatric Hospital, named after comic-book artist Bill Sienkiewicz, who prominently worked on Moon Knight.

Music: The songs “The End” by Earl Grant and “A Man Without Love” by Engelbert Humperdinck are featured in the episode.

My take: Sometimes knowing the source material can spoil a show. The entire time I’m watching this show I’m wondering where’s the third personality? Where is Jake? And of course he doesn’t show up into the very last moment

Next: Doctor Strange in the Multitude of Madness