moon knight episode four ends on a cliffhanger – a hippo-sized cliffhanger. As we investigate what really happened and who that is, we will hit moon knight spoilers, so be careful!
moon knight episode four picks up immediately after episode three, where Konshu has been imprisoned on a rock thanks to manipulation of the night sky (no-no, despite being one of the more visually appealing moments in the show so far). This means that Marc and Steven are left powerless and without access to the Moon Knight suit.
More frustrating for Marc, Steve refuses to let him regain control of their bodies, which presents him and Layla with problems – especially that Steven is far less experienced when it comes to adventure than Marc. Of course, episode four is less about Layla and Steven’s literal physical journey (and out of necessity, Marc) and more the beginning of our journey into Marc’s mind.
The show has yet to officially diagnose Marc, although references to his being unwell and the apparent presence of at least one altered personality, the sad dating scene in episode one, as well as his comic origin story, all cause him to have Dissociative Identity Disorder. This has not been fully explored until now.
In the action-related climax of the episode, Layla and Steven are being hunted by Arthur (Ethan Hawke) and his men at the long-lost tomb of Alexander the Great – which turns out to be where the stone statue of Ammit is, as Alexander is the ‘voice of Ammit’ (as Marc is the Khonshu fist). Steven lets Marc out for a bit, only for him to be shot by Arthur and fall, dramatically, into a puddle.
When he awoke, Marc was near catatonic, strapped to a wheelchair in the bright white room of the asylum. On TV, an Indiana Jones-style rip-off film is playing, whose name is the titular adventurer hero, you guessed it, Steven Grant.
An unnamed patient approaches, and when Marc looks over at him, we see it’s actually Layla (or at least, the character played by May Calamawy). Also there’s Donna, Steven’s boss of the British Museum and, most terrifying of all, none other than Arthur Harrow.
Except he’s not Arthur Harrow, he’s Marc’s psychologist – and Marc is in a mental hospital, probably because of his dissociative identity disorder. Deeply sedated, Marc glanced around the office and saw Arthur wearing sandals (a big change from the rattle of broken glass in the shoes he rocked for the rest of the show), as well as the familiar wand. There are also Egyptian statues throughout the office, and images of Khonshu himself.
The doctor approached Marc with detached kindness, almost bewildered – pity, perhaps. He tells Marc that the high dose of the drug was due to his destructive behavior and his refusal to admit that he was sick and needed help.
“Every time I ask a direct question you get triggered, you get overwhelmed,” he told Marc. “And that’s normal, right. Many of us, when asked to look into our deepest experiences, into the core of our personalities, we close our eyes. That’s understandable.”
Then he said: “I can’t help you if you don’t help yourself,” a word-for-word excerpt of what he said to Marc before he shot him in Egypt.
Marc manages to escape the office and runs down the winding, identical hallways until he bursts into a room to find a large sarcophagus, with someone banging on the lid begging to be removed. Marc opens it to find it is none other than his alter personality Steven Grant.
The two embraced, and vowed to help each other escape. But when they open the door to the exit to carry out their plans, they are confronted with, well, what can only be described as anthropomorphic hippos.
While it may at first seem like a figment of Marc/Steven’s unhealthy imagination, or even a hallucinations caused by drugs, it is actually Taweret, the Egyptian god of children and fertility, and protector of mother and child.
Thanks to the red carpet premiere, we know this is the case. The voice of Taweret (although maybe we’ll see him in human form too) Antonia Cross tells Variation: “Personally, it felt like a collaborative process, which is brilliant for such a large organization. From the moment I read the scene when I auditioned to when I started working with director Mohamed Diab and the costume team for VFX, it felt like I was licensed to create the characters. me and everyone join together.”
How Taweret factors in Marc/Steven’s escape from the asylum, if he does exist, remains to be seen. Despite the fact that Taweret is a historically accurate god, none of the Marvel comics characters were inspired by him, so we don’t have any material to base our guesses on.
The hospital itself could be a hallucination or, perhaps, an illusion meant to imprison him, and Taweret himself could be a part of that illusion. Or some other extraordinary bending of reality and spirituality.
The way the show begins to warp reality is finally tantalizing to audiences, after three and 3/4 episodes of the familiar slapstick comedy, the end of episode four gives us more meat, more insight, and more horror and surrealism to play with.
moon knight now streaming Disney+with new episodes every Wednesday.
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