REVIEW: ‘Moon Knight’, Episode 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Moon Knight Episode 2

Moon Knight Episode 2 wastes no time in picking up after the events of the first episode. Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) has just learned that he is sharing his body with trained mercenary Marc Spector, who gave himself over in service to the Egyptian moon god Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham). Spector has been trying to keep a golden scarab out of the hands of Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), who seeks to use it to find the tomb of the goddess Ammit and bring her to the mortal plane. The end result would mean thousands of deaths from whoever Ammit considers “unworthy”. Complicating matters is the arrival of Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy), who claims to be Spector’s wife.

The biggest draw of the series so far has been Isaac’s performance as Steven and Spector, and the two come face to face – or rather, reflection to reflection as multiple scenes find them speaking to each other via reflective surfaces. Once again, Isaac makes a clear distinction between the two characters; Steven is utterly freaked out of his mind while Spector takes most of it in stride. Writer Michael Kastelein, who previously wrote a mismatched duo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, has fun bouncing the two off of each other as they struggle to survive. While comparisons have been made to Fight Club and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, a more distinct comparison is Yu-Gi-Oh!. Much like Steven, Yugi Muto has a separate personality within his body that has a connection to Egyptian mythology – and said personality possesses strange, inhuman powers that they use to mete out justice.

The difference between Steven and Spector is also marked in their Moon Knight garb. While Spector dons the white cloak and armor of Khonshu, Steven wears a three-piece white suit that Spector hilariously describes as “a psycho Colonel Sanders.” Comic book fans will note that this is the alter ego of “Mister Knight,” which artist Declan Shalvey developed in the Moon Knight: Wake the Dead storyline. The suit also fits Steven’s personality; he’s more polite and willing to talk things out while Spector solves his problems with violence. Khonshu also appears shouting out more violent solutions which Steven desperately tries to ignore.

Isaac isn’t the only actor giving it their all; Hawke and Calamawy are also standouts. Calamawy plays Layla as a skilled mercenary in her own right, who is also dealing with a strained marriage as well the fact that her husband can’t remember their life together. She also manages to hold her own during an action sequence where Steven and Layla escape from Harrow’s goons; if Hollywood isn’t knocking at Calamawy’s door with offers after this series wraps, then what’s the point? Hawke continues to paint Harrow as a dangerous villain, not in terms of his physicality, but in his beliefs – he is willing to awake Ammit and bring “justice” to the world no matter how many lives it might cost. Moon Knight is a character who is driven by his faith, so it only makes sense to have an adversary who does the same.

The episode also sees Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead step behind the camera for directorial duties. Both men are well known for their trippy sci-fi indies, especially the time travel thriller Synchronic, which happened to feature an MCU alum in Anthony Mackie. Here, Benson and Moorhead make use of various reflective surfaces to actually make it feel like Spector and Steven are having conversations. Another sequence features Moon Knight leaping from rooftop to rooftop, with his cape billowing in the wind and the moon shining in the background. Benson and Moorhead keep up the horror elements, particularly with Spector’s transformation into Moon Knight and another sequence where Steven flees from a wrathful Khonshu.

Moon Knight Episode 2 continues to explore the duality within the lunar vigilante’s mind, with the cast and crew rising to the challenge. The next episode looks to take place in Egypt, which means more exploration of Egyptian mythology – and potentially more friction between Spector and Steven.

New episodes of Moon Knight premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.

 


Moon Knight Episode 2
9.5/10

TL;DR

Moon Knight Episode 2 continues to explore the duality within the lunar vigilante’s mind, with the cast and crew rising to the challenge. The next episode looks to take place in Egypt, which means more exploration of Egyptian mythology – and potentially more friction between Spector and Steven.