Moon Knight: Summon the Suit
April 6, 2022 5:20 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Marc and Steven bicker over control of their body. Steven meets Layla in the flesh, and the conflict is revealed to be a war between the gods.

Episode directed by Benson & Moorehead.
posted by 1970s Antihero (57 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
OK. That's two whole episodes of Steven being an ineffectual wimp.

I don't want to watch a whole season of Steven being lame and nothing really happens until the last 10 minutes of the episode.

I get the concept. I hope the pace picks up.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:24 AM on April 6 [7 favorites]


I enjoyed this as much as I did the first one, and I thought the writers and actors did did an especially good job of giving Steven a road to trusting Marc a bit, through his immediate connection to Layla.

I'll admit that I tuned out a bit for the fight scene with the invisible jackal monster, but that's generally a problem I have with superhero movies. Also, Khonshu is a bit too CGI for my tastes, but I'm sure I'll forget about it next time we see him.

That said, the main thing I've thought about afterwards is that Bob Dylan's early-80s high point Every Grain of Sand has been played in both of the first two episodes. Prominently in the first one, in the background of the second one, both times connected to Arthur Harrow. I'm pretty sure it's the only song to have been played twice. If it appears in the third episode, I'm just going to assume that Moon Knight is just an elaborate piece of Shot of Love fan fiction.
posted by Kattullus at 5:58 AM on April 6 [2 favorites]


I don't mind superhero action stuff as much, but that's two episodes now where he's fought the same monster in both.

These first two episodes should have just been one longer single episode.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:05 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


I heard that the first three episodes suffer a bit because it's all from Steven's pov. I'd like to know what's going on soon. But I was absolutely delighted (over the moon?) to see Moorhead and Benson's names pop up! I've absolutely loved every film of theirs.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:31 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


From the Vulture review, the QR code on Marc’s storage locker goes to a free Moon Knight comic.

I’m really enjoying this so far!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:40 AM on April 6 [4 favorites]




Having the Mr Knight character be Steven's idea of a superhero is fun! That said, I agree with Fleebnork. I'm done with Steven for now, I'm here for Marc and his poor broken soul.

I'm also really hoping the show actually includes some of Marc's Jewishness. We don't have many superheroes in the tribe and this one is pretty cool.
posted by fight or flight at 1:12 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


So I'm wondering
If the Marc persona transforms into the 'Mummy Batman' version of MK,
and the Steven persona becomes 'Prom Night Deadpool',
which Moon Knight is the Jake persona going to be, if/when he shows up?
Disco Era 'beating up junkies with this big bronze ankh' MK? Ooh, or what about the early version, where the suit isn't white, it's silver, for fighting werewolves?
posted by bartleby at 3:12 PM on April 6 [3 favorites]


Really could go for a bowl of that lentil soup.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 3:14 PM on April 6 [4 favorites]


> OK. That's two whole episodes of Steven being an ineffectual wimp.
I'm... not sure that's entirely true? During the initial transformation into Mr. Knight (thank you so much for "Prom Night Deadpool", bartleby) it's still Steven in there, and he does fight: even Marc communicates admiration for the solid right hook he delivers on the jackal-monster. It's clear that Steven-as-Mister-K has access to a limited set of superpowers (he bends the car fender in his hands when he picks it up off the street, for example, and survives the fall from the building: loved the weakened falling-over after the superhero landing). True, the punch may have been an effort of half-mad bravado, but he still connected.

I found Issac's acting just before the fight scene when he and Layla are cornered deeply affecting: at that point he's sworn several times that he will never again yield control, and the thought of doing so clearly terrifies him at an existential level. His unconscious "compromise" of Mr. K in the face of certain death isn't enough to win a serious fight, but it provides an opportunity for a degree of agency in the future. (I expect that his encyclopedic knowledge of ancient Egypt will also serve well now that he's actually there: I assume that skills and memory are exclusive to each character, although there's obviously some leakage across personalities (Steven's affection for Layla's favorite poet can't be a coincidence)).

I'm also finding Arthur Harrow the most compelling MCU villain since Killmonger. He is undeniably doing good wherever he lands - literally feeding the homeless and destitute - and his motivation, at first glance, seems entirely reasonable: Konshu's retribution is entirely responsive, taking place only after tragedy has already struck. Wouldn't it be better to be proactive? Harrow is so mild about almost everything: of course, Steven sees to the bottom of it immediately, and the mask is truly ripped away when Arthur instantly kills the man who retrieved the scarab, without even trying to judge him.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:02 PM on April 6 [8 favorites]


OK. That's two whole episodes of Steven being an ineffectual wimp.

I'm having similar issues and was wondering whether my head just isn't in a good place.

But no, have heard similar complaints, and I don't think it's so much that Steven is a wimp. It's that the character is behaving like he's confused and surprised still and it's deeply off-putting. We the audience know what's what, that he's sharing the body with Marc. We may not know why (I've never read the comics) but the idea is easy to grasp for a modern audience: Superman and Clark kent are two separate personalities in the same body.

So at lot of the time is spent watching Steven get up to speed and accept what we, the audience, already know. This feels like watching Bruce Wayne's parents die for the nth time or really watching any superhero origin over and over. One of the best parts of latest Spider-man trilogy was that it completely skipped his origin, because we already know it and have seen it. The modern day audiences easily grasp the idea going on here, so spending so much time on it feels like slow pacing or a distraction.

Hopefully this gets better, because right now it's like nails on a chalkboard.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 PM on April 6 [3 favorites]


The first episode left me ambivalent, but this one got me hooked.

Loved Oscar Isaac switching between Steven and Marc. Mr. Knight is cute ("He's just a fancy drunk.").

At first, I didn't like Steven much, but he's just confused, scared, and lacking information - but he has gumption if not skill.

Big fan of Ethan Hawke's voice (his reading of 'Slaughterhouse Five' is fab), even though he gravels it up here. Agree with Bora Horza - Harrow is an interesting villain. Their conviction blinds them to the harms that they do?

Wonder if May Calamawy will get anything to work with?
posted by porpoise at 6:45 PM on April 6 [3 favorites]


I think Steven basically understands what’s happening, but he believes Marc is a bad person. He thinks he has a moral duty to stop him, get rid of him, protect people from him. But Steven is also helpless to take care of the bizarre problems they’re facing, like the jackals and the cult, so he inevitably ends up turning to Marc as the lesser of two evils. I think right now, he’s facing a moral dilemma. He hates Marc but he needs him.
posted by rue72 at 7:21 PM on April 6 [7 favorites]


Superman and Clark kent are two separate personalities in the same body.

Nope. Not even remotely the same; Clark Kent is Kal-El cosplaying as a human.

It's a fair point that we already "know" that eventually Marc will take over full time, at least for the ass-kicking part. (I put "know" in parentheses because the business-suit MK creates the possibility that Steven may have a role in the superheroing that isn't all about the crescent-dagger-slinging.) But I think that you have to respect that this isn't just another random ass-kicker in a different set of clothes; this is a guy who has found out that he's got this complete other life and really, seriously, doesn't want it, even a little bit. I think that that's the rub, honestly; we're thinking, well, who wouldn't want to be Marc Spector, international man of fortune and asskickery? Right? Big bag full of cash and guns and a cool wife (whom even Steven says that he wishes he was married to), isn't some little nebbish Egyptologist-wannabe who can't even keep a crappy museum gift shop job? But Steven doesn't want him, because that just isn't him. If there were some possibility of his integrating his two (that we know of) personalities, maybe. But even then, that life isn't for everyone. Peter Parker's whole character arc is about how being Spider-Man really, seriously fucked up his life.

And I'm digging it because it's different. If you want someone who absolutely doesn't hesitate to jump into it, you can always watch the first Captain America movie again; that Steve barely has time to put on a T-shirt before he's chasing a Nazi through the streets of Brooklyn. Marc/Steven doesn't seem particularly inclined to become a card-carrying Avenger, and that's fine, we've already got plenty of those.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:25 PM on April 6 [15 favorites]


The strength of Steven as a character is that he's everything Marc wishes he could be- he's kind, to the point of being a vegan and not even wanting animals to suffer. He pays attention to the interests of his life partner. He sees through complicated situations with exacting moral clarity (Marc is effectively a hostage to Khonsu's irregular vengeance where Steven saw through both Khonsu and Ammit immediately after they made their cases). He's reliable and can keep a normal job and keep a pet alive.

Moon Knight is one of my favorite characters in all of marvel. Around 2011 he forgot how many personalities he had and he was acting as both spiderman and captain america for a bit, which they both hated. He's great and I hope he shows up all over the damn place.
posted by fomhar at 8:53 PM on April 6 [13 favorites]


Wow, I'm in the minority here: I love Steven and even the suggestion that we spend the majority of the rest of the series in Marc's POV has me frowning deeply.
posted by pelvicsorcery at 3:23 AM on April 7 [10 favorites]


Well, Marc is the main character of the series. Steven is one of his alters, though it remains to be seen if the MCU version is going to be confirmed as having DID or OSDD or if they'll keep side-stepping it as a side effect of magic Egyptian nonsense. I think it's clear this series is borrowing mostly from Lemire's run and the current MacKay run. My money is on things ending with Marc in NYC running the Midnight Mission, leaving him open to become a side character in other MCU things going forward, kind of like a darker version of Doctor Strange (that's also assuming Strange will continue to be in future phases of the MCU).

I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes but I don't think Steven will stay as a core personality and things will shift over to Marc as the series progresses, with Steven remaining as his conscience for when things get a bit too bloody.
posted by fight or flight at 5:06 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]


But I think that you have to respect that this isn't just another random ass-kicker in a different set of clothes; this is a guy who has found out that he's got this complete other life and really, seriously, doesn't want it, even a little bit.

There's nothing there to really enjoy if Steven has to be repeatedly dragged, kicking and screaming, to let Marc take control, so that they're not dead. It's only through sheer luck/plot/whatever that Marc does get some control and they live. I'm just shy of shouting at the screen "SHUT UP STEVEN and let him save you".

That said, I do admire Isaac's ability to play both characters. Evidently he could only do them one at a time, i.e. today he does Steven parts, then the next day he does Marc parts. But Director and Executive Producer Mohamed Diab kept encouraging Isaac to do both within in a scene and eventually it clicked.

Hopefully, Steven so actively fighting against Marc all the time is done with, especially since Mr. Knight seems to be Steven's way of being the superhero. Mr. Knight is an interesting and unexpected take, so here's to the future.

If you want someone who absolutely doesn't hesitate to jump into it, you can always watch the first Captain America movie again

I'm interpreting that comment as a flippant dig about not understanding a complex character and to go watch something simple instead. Hopefully I'm wrong about that interpretation.

Overall, I'm wondering if some MCU shows could use a show only thread. Because usually folks who have read comics show up with years worth of knowledge which may or may not pertain to the show and it sometimes feels like they and those who don't have that knowledge are talking about two different things. It can cut into the enjoyment of discovering and enjoying the show.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 AM on April 7 [7 favorites]


I think Brandon Blatcher is on the same page with me:

So at lot of the time is spent watching Steven get up to speed and accept what we, the audience, already know. This feels like watching Bruce Wayne's parents die for the nth time or really watching any superhero origin over and over. One of the best parts of latest Spider-man trilogy was that it completely skipped his origin, because we already know it and have seen it. The modern day audiences easily grasp the idea going on here, so spending so much time on it feels like slow pacing or a distraction.

I understand the Steven personality, I understand the Marc personality. They have slow walked us for two episodes and I'm ready to move on with the story.

The series is called Moon Knight, not Steven.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:25 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]


The strength of Steven as a character is that he's everything Marc wishes he could be

Exactly. And that's the conflict -- Steven has moral clarity, so he sees right through Marc, just like he sees right through Harrow, and he believes that Marc is bad. And obviously Marc has a lot of feelings about that!

Marc clearly has a soft spot for Steven, and I think it's because Marc feels corrupted and bathed in blood in this corrupted and bloody world, so innocence and kindness and gentleness are especially appealing to him. And Steven's out here being an innocent, kind, gentle person and surviving, so maybe everything in the world isn't horrible. But then... if the world isn't actually horrible then why is Marc forced to be so horrible? Why doesn't he have the luxury of being a good person if other people (like Steven) do? And now Steven's yelling at him about not being able to go on dates or keep goldfish alive or hold down a job and that Marc is ruining him and his life by just existing. Like, here is this person who has all these traits you wish you did, arguably luxuries that you wish you did, like innocence and not being forced to betray his own morals, and he's condemning you and acting like you're not even good enough to exist, let alone have a relationship with him? While you're out here getting him those luxuries he doesn't even appreciate by sacrificing your soul? Fuck that. So then Marc gets mad at Steven and feels horrible about himself and kicks the hell out of the mirror like in that city square or punches it like he apparently did in the Cairo hotel room.

And I think it's more than just that Steven has the "luxury" of being a kind, gentle person with moral clarity while Marc doesn't (or feels he doesn't), I think it's important that when Harrow tells Steven he's broken, he's offended and says he's not, he just needs some help. I don't know much about Marc yet as a character, but I find it hard to believe that he would ever think, "I just need some help." Steven is talking about going to doctors, getting pumped full of pills, taking Marc's illegal shit to the authorities, and reaches out to Layla for help immediately. Literally the opposite of Marc's choices.

Well, Marc is the main character of the series.

Maybe he's not, though? I feel like the show is setting up Marc and Steven to both be main characters, and for their relationship to be the heart of the show. I think they're probably both going to evolve as individual characters, but I think the main thing is going to be the evolution of their relationship. I mean, the story starts when Steven becomes aware of Marc, and it's the beginning of them having an actual relationship (instead of Marc just "managing" Steven without Steven knowing). To me that makes it seem like their relationship is central to the story, really what the story's about, and since it's a relationship between the two of them, they're both important.

Marc and Khoshu's relationship is interesting, too, though. Isn't Khoshu so classic "abusive boyfriend"? In one breath, Khoshu is threatening Marc, telling him he was just a corpse without him, warning him he'd better stay his avatar or Layla will get hurt, and in the next breath Khoshu is love bombing him with "you deserve to be protected" and that he will never let anything happen to him. And as soon as Marc seems compliant, Khoshu whisks them off to follow his master plan. Bah. Fuck Khoshu, honestly.

Also, how incredibly manipulative to tell Marc, "you deserve to be protected" WHILE forcing him to do his bidding? Like, oh yes you are completely vulnerable to me and have to do whatever I want, BUT you totallllllly deserve to be "protected." What does "protected" even mean in that context? Protected from Khoshu? Lol. Khoshu is a strange god, that's for sure.

I'm also really hoping the show actually includes some of Marc's Jewishness.

Yeah! Honestly, I'm especially down for that because, in the world of the show, ancient Egyptian gods and magic are real, so I'm hoping that the show can let him be Jewish without it being about religious practice per se. Like, I'm not really interested in Marc's religious practice or lack thereof, but I want him to be Jewish because yeah, member of the tribe.
posted by rue72 at 6:38 AM on April 7 [10 favorites]


The series is called Moon Knight, not Steven.

Also not Marc. Spector fits the Action Man trope very well, but he also seems to have fucked up in certain ways in the past--he abandoned his wife, he seems to think that he can just sort of parachute into his alter's life and insist that he drive, at random moments; he's really no better prepared to live this sort of double life than Steven is, even though he seems to be more aware of Steven than vice versa. By contrast, in a similar situation in Total Recall, Hauser actually leaves Quaid a video message explaining things (to a degree).

I'm interpreting that comment as a flippant dig about not understanding a complex character and to go watch something simple instead. Hopefully I'm wrong about that interpretation.

More like there seems to be an assumption on the part of some viewers that it's the show's job to do X, and they keep doing Y instead, when are they going to do X?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:00 AM on April 7 [6 favorites]


Ok, you guys, I'm not asking the show to focus on Marc, I'm asking the show to get on with the story.

I get who Steven is, yes. I get who Marc is, ok. It's been two whole episodes, he's fought the same jackal thing twice, the villain has twirled his mustache, and we still don't know what the story is about.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:04 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]


Because usually folks who have read comics show up with years worth of knowledge which may or may not pertain to the show and it sometimes feels like they and those who don't have that knowledge are talking about two different things. It can cut into the enjoyment of discovering and enjoying the show.

What cuts into the enjoyment of discovering and enjoying a show is fans trying to make this into a I'm A More Valid Fan Than You argument when we're all just here watching some dude run around in a cape.

This isn't a new original IP. This is a show specifically based on a comics character, with fans who have followed him for a long time, who have every right to be excited and participate as new fans who are discovering it for the first time. I'm not sure why it's surprising that comics fans have knowledge and expectations beyond the TV show. Different people are going to come in with different levels of awareness and understanding and will interpret the themes and concepts differently, that's the nature of.. well, art, pretty much.

The key to harmony is not going around making people feel crappy because they're excited about something.
posted by fight or flight at 7:18 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]


I’m honestly a bit surprised at how heated this thread has gotten. Are Marvel FanFare-threads always this contentious?
posted by Kattullus at 7:21 AM on April 7 [6 favorites]


Wandavision definitely got spicy but in the final episode only, though for much the same reason (expectations vs execution).
posted by cendawanita at 7:29 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]


What cuts into the enjoyment of discovering and enjoying a show is fans trying to make this into a I'm A More Valid Fan Than You argument when we're all just here watching some dude run around in a cape.

No one has said that.

As for me, I'm was just talking about my own enjoyment, or lack of. Others are obviously free to comment as they wish.

More like there seems to be an assumption on the part of some viewers that it's the show's job to do X, and they keep doing Y instead, when are they going to do X?

That's true and it's definitely a difference of opinion about what X and Y are, which is fine.

Have a good one.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on April 7


I honestly don't understand the complaints about pacing. I'm perfectly fine with how the story has been unfolding so far.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:39 AM on April 7 [7 favorites]


(The show-only or not argument also isn't just an mcu thing, it's been happening elsewhere like in The Expanse threads. I personally don't care and can appreciate extra-canon stuff but sometimes it feels like there's preemptive anxiety but also sometimes fans of an IP do want to talk about it in a checklist comparison way that can shut down discussion of the show at hand. The only one that's escaped the dynamic is the Foundation threads ime and that's really because the show is such it's own thing it's a tenuous exercise if you want to track it as a faithful adaptation. Or probably any of the Batverse stuff because the innumerable televisual adaptations kinda makes the argument already that that sort of checklist-keeping is moot)

Anyway, based on this show as-is I don't believe Marc is even meant to be the audience pov character. Steve is more like Geena Davis' housewife persona in Long Kiss Goodnight. I mean, he's not even the comic's Steve the billionaire so comparison to comics canon is just for colour not story guardrails.
posted by cendawanita at 7:41 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]


I honestly don't understand the complaints about pacing. I'm perfectly fine with how the story has been unfolding so far.

This episode, to me, felt like almost a repeat of the first episode, with only a few additional details. There was a lot more of Steven being Steven. There was meeting the villain, again. There was fighting a jackal beast, again.

I think the first two episodes could have been merged into a more tightly edited single, but longer, first episode.

We've had 2 episodes so far and we still don't know what the story is about. We don't know what the villain wants. We're still doing origin... except we don't even know what the origin story is. They gave us a tiny mention at the end of this episode about how Khonshu brought "the body" back from the dead to serve him, and Marc owes a debt.

This series is only 6 episodes. So we're 1/3 of the way through the series now and the story still hasn't really got on its feet.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:55 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]


We don't know what the villain wants.

Harrow wants to bring Ammit back so that she can purge humanity of people that she deems "evil", even if they haven't actually done any evil deeds. This was perfectly clear; the scarab will help him find Ammit's tomb, which was why he was so keen on getting it back.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:12 AM on April 7 [14 favorites]


Do we really not know or are we bracing for a third act twist and thus not seeing any setups for it? Assuming this is a fairly straightforward story (and honestly it's been a year of D+ MCU and complicated won't be the description I'd use for any of them, by this point), I thought the story is pretty clear on the villain motivation (cleanse the world, with this episode indicating that if anything Harrow lost Khonshu's favour because he wanted justice to be meted out sooner), and the fights with the jackals have been (maybe slow) escalations in power-ups so we and Steven now know he can summon some kind of powersuit, and now they're in Egypt.
posted by cendawanita at 11:15 AM on April 7


We don't know what the story is about because Steven doesn't know what the story is about, and Steven's been the POV character. Plus, it took way longer than ⅓ of Wandavision before we learned what that story was about, and I didn't have a problem with that either. In fact, I like both shows specifically because Marvel is willing to play around with standard storytelling conventions, which I wish they would do with their movies more.

A more conventional approach might have been for the first episode from Steven's POV, and then the second be a flashback where we see the exact same scenes from Marc's POV. Instead, we get to see how both Steven and Marc adapt and change when presented with similar circumstances each episode. That's more streamlined storytelling than you think.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:19 AM on April 7 [9 favorites]


Probably the episodic genre shifts for wv helped to mask the wheel-spinning, or perhaps more to the point, a character like Steven is off-putting in this genre. Most of the 'get on with it' reactions seems to come from that sentiment.
posted by cendawanita at 11:28 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]


I'm also finding Arthur Harrow the most compelling MCU villain since Killmonger.

Same here. The best villains are the ones who are convinced that they're doing the right thing, even if horrible sacrifices have to be made along the way. I found that one of the high points of the otherwise not very good Man of Steel--General Zod comes out of the Phantom Zone to find Krypton destroyed, and immediately sets about to terraform Earth into a new Krypton and repopulate his species. (I mean, yes, he's also a genocidal eugenicist about it all, but the man believes in what he's doing.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:47 AM on April 7 [2 favorites]


The main story/conflict so far is the one of Marc and Steven's worlds colliding. The superhero story/quest of stopping the cult from releasing Ammit into the world to eat all of the bad people is kind of a side story, at least so far. I am a long time Moon Knight fan and I was also a little frustrated with how episode two mostly retread the same beats, although what they are dong with Mr Knight has me interested since that is a change from he comics. It kind of makes sense, though, and I dig it if the direction they are going is to have Steven and Marc both be fully realized characters with their own heroing personas.

I do think that this spin on Moon Knight will be focused on integrating the different personalities and getting them to work together. I think the core of this story will be Marc and Steven learning to trust each other and become a team. I think that is necessary for Moon Knight to work tonally with the MCU and it also jives with the comic runs this seems most inspired from. I would comment more on this, but there just isn't a way to do it without the potential of going too spoilery for people new to Moon Knight. That said, please be prepared for unbecoming gloating somewhere around episode 4 or 5 should this be going where I think it is going.

I love the comparison of Khonsu to a toxic boyfriend. It is so bang on.

fight or flight, I totally agree on this ending up with the midnight mission in the last episode. It would slot very well into the MCU and New York is also the operating area of a number of other MCU heroes that have ties to Moon Knight.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 12:00 PM on April 7 [2 favorites]


I'm really loving this show. Oscar Isaac is amazeballs in this. I think everyone has been great, I'm enjoying the story, the fights, etc. But the director really knew Isaac's performance was the thing to lean on and that was 100% the right call.

The song over the end credits is El Melouk by Ahmed Saad. New discovery for me, totally love it. I have no clue about the accuracy of this translation but "I'm Grape Mars, my dude" is my new battle cry.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:37 PM on April 7 [4 favorites]


I love the comparison of Khonsu to a toxic boyfriend. It is so bang on.

Thanks! It was the "you deserve to be protected" line that really pissed me off and made me think, "where have I heard this before..."

Through that lens, Khonshu's manipulations are so tired: You were nothing without me. Nobody will love you like I will. You deserve to be taken care of. And if you leave me, I'll kill your pet (err.... wife). And probably you.

Classic. And Khonsu's isolating Marc like crazy, too. Or driving Marc to isolate himself, but same difference.

What a jerk. And then Marc's like, "but I owe him my servitude..." You don't owe him shit, man. He didn't reanimate your corpse as a personal favor. He did it so he could use you.

If all the other gods hate Khonsu and banished him, maybe Marc can get help from one of them? Or maybe Steven can, because Marc is pretty turned around by Khonsu's bullshit. And I don't even know how much Marc knows about Egyptology anyway.

I know, I know, we're probably stuck with Khonsu. Well, that's putting it too strongly. Khonsu's an interesting character, and I like how he looks and sounds -- he's a good part of the show. I just feel bad for Marc. Khonsu's made it so he has nothing but him. And it sounds like he's made him do a lot that he's ashamed of.

Maybe Steven can figure something out, because with the way that Steven reacted to Harrow's sales pitch, I can't imagine him just being OK with doing Khonsu's horrible bidding or even watching Marc do it.
posted by rue72 at 12:53 PM on April 7 [5 favorites]


we're probably stuck with Khonsu

Highly speculative, but I'm wondering if the announced villain from Thor: Love and Thunder might make a post-credits appearance in this show.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:02 PM on April 7 [2 favorites]


Crazy god #1 likes to smite evil doers. His rival is crazy god #2, who likes to get her smiting out of the way early, before evil is actually done. CG1 locked up CG2 a long time ago.

Since then CG1 has been forcing batmen and regular joes to share a body and smite evil doers. Something is up though, because this regular Joe is waking up during smite time.

Oh, and the last guy switched sides. He's got the mcguffin now, which will lead him to CG2, who he releases in the season finale.

Can a batman and a regular joe learn to share a body without driving each other crazy?

Is Harrow the batman, the regular joe, or both?

How creeped out will Layla be when she realizes both Marc and Steven are into her?
posted by InfidelZombie at 1:42 PM on April 7 [3 favorites]


Highly speculative, but I'm wondering if the announced villain from Thor: Love and Thunder might make a post-credits appearance in this show.

I don't think this counts as a spoiler: the director has said in interviews that they originally had MCU references and a specific point in the timeline for the show, but they later removed those to let the show be a stand-alone. I don't think this signals any real separation from the MCU, as I'm sure they'd be thrilled to have more Moon Knight, but I'm pretty sure this does mean we won't see any cameos.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:28 PM on April 7


Plus, it took way longer than ⅓ of Wandavision before we learned what that story was about, and I didn't have a problem with that either.

We already knew Wanda and Vision. I think it was clear, even from the first two eps, that WandaVision was about grief, even if we didn't know the exact whys and hows.

I don't know anything about Steven, Marc or MoonKnight and the first two episodes have basically given me the same information. Is the dramatic tension about whether Steven will ever be in control? I'm not sure if it is or if they've given me enough of a character to care about. Steven is such a cliche effete British whimp, that it's hard to really connect with him.
posted by crossoverman at 6:30 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]


Steven is such a cliche effete British whimp

Maybe he can learn to throw forks
posted by The otter lady at 9:27 PM on April 7 [10 favorites]


Still enjoying it! Loved the "You're in my manor now!" moment when Steven starts doing some fighting.

I think there's more than the usual conflict of interest here between comics fans and people coming to this series fresh. If you haven't read the comics, all you know about Marc is that he's some guy who's mean to his wife (sending unsigned divorce papers as a way of breaking up, wtf) and is good at fighting. Steven is the protagonist here. But the comics fans are mainly interested in this Marc guy, whoever he is, and want Steven to get out of the way.

I also like Arthur Harrow as the villain, he seems to have a balance of being both evil and plausibly motivated.

I really hate the Flag Smashers thing the MCU does where they have villains with idealistic motives and evil methods who have to be defeated. It's like:
Villain: "I want to do something good like end racism / abolish poverty / save the rare Amazonian Tree Frog from the logging industry."
Villain: "To do this I'm going to kill a bunch of people, blow up a load of stuff, and kick this puppy!"
Hero: "Your goal is laudable, but your methods are evil! Don't you realise lasting change comes from impassioned appeals to the powerful, not making them fear for their lives or property!"
Villain: "CEO of Amazon Logging Corporation, I am about to kill you, and this busload of orphans!"
Hero: [Saves CEO of Amazon Logging Corporation and busload of orphans]
Hero: "Hi Mr CEO of Amazon Logging Corporation! Look how cute and colourful and lovely the Amazonian tree frog is! You don't want to make this cutesy-wutesy li'l fella extinct do you?"
CEO of Amazon Logging Corporation: "You make a powerful point with your impassioned appeal! From now on the Amazon Logging Corporation is not going to log the Amazon any more!"
Villain: [Dragged off in handcuffs]
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:30 AM on April 8 [8 favorites]


Plus, it took way longer than ⅓ of Wandavision before we learned what that story was about, and I didn't have a problem with that either.

Yes, that annoyed me while watching WV as well. I had friends (who were not as much of Marvel fans as myself) who bailed out on the show because of it. A few of them I was able to convince to return to watching because I told them it picked up after the 4th episode. Others never bothered to return.


I don't know anything about Steven, Marc or MoonKnight and the first two episodes have basically given me the same information.

Right?
posted by Fleebnork at 6:00 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


We got Mr. Knight, a Layla that seems like she might be a Tomb Raider, the villain got the Unobtanium and we know both Ammit and Konshu's "purpose." Knowing nothing of the comics I have zero issues with the pacing. However I also know at the end of the 6 episodes I absolutely am going to feel like I didnt get enough but that is true for all the Disney MCU shows and also the post Endgame movies. That is literally their business model. Pre-Endgame it wasn't as obnoxious but they have really been hammering the "wait til you see what we got coming next" schtick lately. Which is also exactly what comic book runs do. Gotta buy that next issue. The problem being is the MCU show has 40 years of Moon Knight storylines looming over it. I can understand that these 2 episodes probably don't crack much of that.

My biggest issue with the show is just the general suspense of disbelief required to accept that this late-30, maybe even 40yo man lived 2, possibly more lives. It's one thing if he was, say Peter Parker's age but a whole marriage? Indiana Jones escapades? M. Night did the Moon Knight conceit better.

I like the show and the Isaac/Hawke performances are great to watch, the rooftop scene was fantastic and I would be all in if we got more Noir-ish stuff like that. Reminded me of Baldwin's The Shadow a bit.

The theory that Thor's villain will show up here seemingly has legs because the whole god-killer angle and also we have no trailer/teasers with just over 3months to go. Usually at around 6mos out we get something. Moon Knight ends the same day as Dr Strange premieres. It would pretty savvy marketing to have some sort of big reveal in Strange and MK for Thor.
posted by M Edward at 6:04 AM on April 8


Thor probably doesn't have trailer 'cause Doc Strange 2 isn't out yet, they don't want to cross or confuse the streams just yet. But hearing that MK ends when DS premieres is an interesting bit of info and including that Thor villain could make a lot of sense.

But I thought Spidey appearing in last scene of Hawkeye would have been great too, but that didn't didn't happen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 AM on April 8


Also, Harrow assuming that Ammit won't consider him evil is a stunning act of hubris.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Oh, yeah, Harrow looks like a real candidate for /r/LeopardsAteMyFace . (/r/CrocodileAteMyFace ?)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:50 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


My biggest issue with the show is just the general suspense of disbelief required to accept that this late-30, maybe even 40yo man lived 2, possibly more lives.

I do find it strange that Layla apparently knew nothing about Marc having DID. Especially since she apparently knew that he was Moon Knight, even though being the avatar of an ancient god of vengeance is much more alarming in many ways (albeit less stigmatized?). But I mean, in terms of consent, it's not really cool to marry someone without at least informing them that you have an illness that impacts daily living, even if you don't go into the dirty details. And it makes me think he hasn't shared A LOT about his life with her, because in no world does someone have a significant mental illness and it not be a HUGE factor in their life at least until they learn to manage it, and in no world is there not a ton that he would need to do to manage something like this on a daily basis. Like, even the flat that Steven says is his "mom's" -- that's gotta be Marc's flat, nobody else is going to have some random London flat for Steven to live in forever, and in a divorce that's an asset that would absolutely come out. Whose name is it even in? Clearly, the existence of this flat is news to Layla. Whatever, allocation of assets is not something that a Marvel show is going to go into and that's fine (preferable even! haha). But my point is that it seems like Marc is hiding A LOT of himself and his inner life from Layla and apparently always has. He's really not a very good husband.

But maybe letting Layla know that he's Moon Knight was how Marc was able to cover and create space for other personalities to live their lives? If you know that your husband is a mercenary and avatar of Khoshu, then a certain amount of mystery and secrecy and him being gone to parts unknown for indeterminate lengths of time is all pretty expected. She probably figured he was off doing clandestine Khoshu and/or mercenary stuff (maybe that's even what he told her), when really he was working in a gift shop as Steven or whatever. That's what she seemed to think he was doing for the last few months, although it seemed like that was an extraordinary amount of time for him to go MIA except for some divorce papers landing on her doorstep, so she was worried he might have gotten into real trouble. Marc is very lucky his Egyptologist wife wasn't interested in seeing the huge Egyptology exhibit at this enormous London museum while Steven was hanging in the gift shop, but whatever.

(Oh, that reminds me. When Steven says it's his mom's flat, and Layla says, "oh, so you guys are talking again?" and Steven looks uncomfortable and makes a noncommittal/awkward grunt-- why is he uncomfortable? Whoever he thinks his mom is, it seems like he thinks they have a good relationship? Does he know it's a fantasy? If he does, that's depressing as hell. I'm so intrigued as to who Steven's "mom" is, why he thinks she's his mom, what the hell is going on there... But now I'm also thinking about how the reveal is going to hit Steven, and yikes).

Anyhow, it just seems like Marc wasn't really juggling these different lives being lived in the one body all that well. Steven's life doesn't seem that difficult to keep up, but Marc was still having trouble giving him enough space to live it. I mean, it's not like Steven has some complex social life or even much of a life at all. Just working some shifts at the gift shop, talking to people who don't talk back, and reading books at his apartment. He had literally one social appointment, and Marc made him miss even that by 2-3 days. And by this point in the show, Steven's life is in complete shambles. Marc's life is also in shambles. He has abandoned his wife, who he had apparently kept at arms' length their whole relationship anyway, and is living in a storage locker.

I think there might be a third personality, because of clues like Marc not seeming like someone who would ask a woman out on Steven's behalf, and the three slices of Oscar Isaac's face in the end credits, and things like that. But just like Steven is apparently a remix from the Steven Grant of the comics, I don't think it's just going to be the Jake Lockley from the comics, if we get a third person at all.
posted by rue72 at 12:01 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Fan and narrative comments:

I'm asking the show to get on with the story.

A more conventional approach might have been for the first episode from Steven's POV, and then the second be a flashback where we see the exact same scenes from Marc's POV. Instead, we get to see how both Steven and Marc adapt and change when presented with similar circumstances each episode. That's more streamlined storytelling than you think.

I agree with both these things. I think there is a creative approach to the storytelling, but I think setting the conflict up between Steven and Marc could have been spun a little less repetitively. I thought it was interesting that Steven did NOT cede the body once the jackal was coming at him, which would have been a direct repeat and that was an interesting development. But it did feel repetitive and I felt like a lot of it was covered in the cupcake truck scene in episode 1.

If there's a good payoff, i.e., if the core fight in this series is actually between Marc and Steven, I think the length of the thing will be ok. If Steven effectively disappears then that will be dumb.

If I were writing it from here, all the Marvel fans would hate me but I would probably wrap up the Egyptian fighting in the next episode and have the rest of it be a reverse-origin story where Marc takes Steven through their origin and teaches him to fight, plus Layla, plus maybe a bit of superheroing on the side. Basically reverse the usual arc.

We already knew Wanda and Vision. I think it was clear, even from the first two eps, that WandaVision was about grief, even if we didn't know the exact whys and hows.

It seems to me this story is about agency (probably in the face of evil or with a side of culpability.) You've got avatars, who are killing people in the names of gods either before or after their evil acts, with what seems like pretty shit relationships with at least one of said gods, and you've got a body shared by two people with different moral viewpoints who are either going to have to learn to work together or one of them will have to die/be imprisoned for life. You've got the question of marriage + divorce on the table from a woman who hasn't been given a lot of agency.

I'm also really hoping the show actually includes some of Marc's Jewishness.
Me too!

Token multiple comments:
Superman and Clark kent are two separate personalities in the same body.
No, not at all the same. I can be me at work, me at home, and my interior Jungian archetypal self, but that's different from the people in my head that go and do things I don't want them do. Clark Kent never does shit Kal-El doesn't want and Superman never throws away Kal-El's Pet Shop Boys collection.

Well, Marc is the main character of the series. Steven is one of his alters,...I don't think Steven will stay as a core personality a
Ouch. Very early-MPD thinking.

I think how the characters go is going to depend on whether the series has evolved with the times or not. In early DID treatment it was all about identifying the Lost Child and the Inner Self Helper and the Core Personality and getting everyone to subsume into the singular neurotypical self. And that's not really how it goes any more, but I see why the comic is where it's at. (Of course this does not take Egyptian gods and supernatural powers into consideration.)

How creeped out will Layla be when she realizes both Marc and Steven are into her?
Experience suggests that for a not-inconsiderable number of people that's a feature, not a bug.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:36 AM on April 9 [8 favorites]


OMG that was long, sorry.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:37 AM on April 9


How creeped out will Layla be when she realizes both Marc and Steven are into her?

Experience suggests that for a not-inconsiderable number of people that's a feature, not a bug.


I feel like it would be much worse for everyone if Steven had met Layla and been like, "Her? Why would anyone want to be with her?" and didn't like Layla at all. If I were Layla, I wouldn't be a huge fan of my husband sharing a body with someone who thought I was awful or even was just indifferent to me. So much potential for rejection and hurt feelings. Life seems like it would be so much better if everyone who lives in your husband's body loves you. Or at least likes you a lot.

Speaking of Layla, I've been thinking about her introduction and I think a lot of the "redundancy" problems in the episode are because the show really mishandled it. How the episode was structured, Layla was supposed to carry the middle section of the episode. She needed to come into the show like a force of nature and our focus at that point needed to be on meeting her and getting to know her -- a new character with new goals and who we didn't see the likes of at all in Episode 1. But the writing didn't support Layla taking the focus like that, because it didn't really establish her as an individuated character or give her much of her own perspective (she was pretty much just reacting to Marc's decisions the whole time). And she was at even more of a disadvantage because for virtually all of her screen-time she was playing off Steven, who has been very well established by this point and has a very strong perspective. So instead of getting swept into Layla's perspective (by way of her playing off Steven), we mostly just end up getting more of Steven's perspective. Which I'm OK with because I love Steven, but I get where that's a retread. Especially since the show was apparently trying to showcase Layla in those scenes, so it's not like we learned much more about Steven or he had anything all that interesting to do in them either.

I think foregrounding Layla (instead of Steven) would have gone much better if we had met her in media res, like we met all the other characters. That would have established her perspective much more clearly. I also think it would have helped if she had her own (explicit) plotline/goals separate from Marc or Steven's, so that she could be more differentiated from them, maybe even in (mild) conflict with them. It would have given her introduction more energy/momentum. As it is, it sort of feels like she only pops into existence when it's convenient for their storylines. She just appears at the storage facility like she's Clarence the Plot Angel and the same thing happens later at the cult neighborhood. Which is ironic for a show that has taken such pains to show that Marc still exists when Steven's around and vice versa. I mean, there's a whole scene about what it feels like when you're not in control of the body and yet Layla is just appearing and disappearing according to plot whims lol. I also think it would have helped if she had known (even just theoretically) about Marc's DID, so we didn't have to watch her play catch-up as she puzzled over who/what Steven even was for most of the episode. I think having her play catch-up was a waste of potential and also augmented the "retread" feeling.

I think the feeling of redundancy in the later part of the episode is mostly because of the jackal fight. I agree with what others have said about the jackal fight being too much of a retread and that Layla immediately discovering that the jackal is invisible but real is a missed opportunity. But also, about the Mr. Knight intro: this is petty, but if you have to take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves to fight in an outfit, then that is not a fighting outfit.

It seems to me this story is about agency (probably in the face of evil or with a side of culpability.)

Totally agree, although I was thinking of it from the flip side of powerlessness. But agency is better.

Marc seems to be at the end of a long, grinding, relentless push toward moral degeneracy, and is trying to teach Steven to accept powerlessness, too... but I'm sure the show is going to go in the direction of gaining agency, because this is still Disney+ and how bleak can this show really get (famous last words. lol).
posted by rue72 at 11:47 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Is Khonsu-Marc-Steven like a worse version of Venom-Eddie? I know Khonsu going KILL HIM, BREAK HIS WINDPIPE seems very familiar to Venom's constantly whining at Eddie to eat people. And then the "fight mode" being wrappings that go around the protagonist....there's just some similarities there.

Anyway, Khonsu sucks, what is his whole deal, no I am not going to read 40 years of comics, I need the other gods to show up and tell Steven/Marc why he sucks/what his deal is. And yeah get Ammet to stop precrime-executioning people and doing child murder and so on.

And then I need Steven to help Marc out of his pit of despair/bad relationship with a gaslighting Egyptian deity and figure out a way to keep superheroing together but not being in some sort of bullshit debt/threats against Layla.

Questions I still have:

How long have Marc and Steven shared a body? Was it happening before Khonsu showed up, or did he precipitate it?
Is there anyone else in there w/ them?
Would Layla mind being Moon Knight? She seems ok with violence. Is her dayjob still "mercenary/spy"?
If Harrow used to be Khonsu's avatar, how did he stop doing that and become avatar for Ammet?
posted by emjaybee at 2:47 PM on April 10


I’m curious about how Moon Knight is going to depict Egypt, since Mohamed Diab seems to essentially be the show runner. Apparently, he wanted the Egyptian scenes to be as authentic as possible, although they didn’t actually get to film there. And I believe that other prominent members of the Egyptian filmmaking scene are also on this production, too.

I wanted to learn more about contemporary Egypt because I wanted to be able to appreciate Diab’s and the production’s depiction, so I started reading a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for years: The Buried. I also made a Fanfare post, if anyone is interested in discussing the book.

Honestly, it feels kind of weird reading a non-Egyptian’s book about Egyptian culture, because I’m like, “what do you really know about it?” But then I think, outsiders sometimes have interesting things to say because they aren’t enmeshed in a culture. Well, anyway. It’s a well-written book and I’m enjoying it and recommend it, although it probably shouldn’t be the only book anyone reads about contemporary Egypt. Just bringing it up here since this show is what got me to finally pick it up and I thought fellow show-watchers might also be interested.
posted by rue72 at 3:09 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Question about a term, if anyone happens to know it.
Faux-Chinese decor (willow watercolor wallpaper, lacquered wood cabinets, etc) is sometimes called chinoiserie.
What's the name (if there is one) for faux-Egyptian stuff (scarab earrings, an ormolu sphinx with a clock in the belly, etc)?
posted by bartleby at 9:01 PM on April 12


I've heard of neo-pharaonic, but it's more architectural in use, because for interior fixtures and personal jewelry etc ppl just go with '(ancient) Egyptian'.
posted by cendawanita at 9:19 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Coming to this show months late--signed up for Disney+ again to watch Ms. Marvel and although I was enjoying the in-jokes and interested in the Pakistani-American setting, Kamala Khan right now is too perky and quirky for my introverted energy levels and wears me out!

It seems I was slow to catch on for the first 2 Moon Knight episodes about the Dissociative Disorder.

From an Occam's Razor point of view, it was hard to grasp that there were TWO things going on. All these strange things happening to Steven, and the default is: is he going crazy, OR is there something supernatural going on? And it seemed overly complicated to assume BOTH. So I thought that Marc was actually someone else entirely who by supernatural means was possessing Steven's body.

Knowing nothing about the comics going into the show, I also had little interest in Marc. I have general antipathy towards James Bond types, I don't find all that danger and illicit money to be fun or interesting. For me the appeal of the first 2 episodes was: wow, this is all strange, these things happening to Steven's life to interrupt it! What could the solution to this mystery be? Why does his fish change? Why does his mirror talk back to him? What's going on in these vivid dreams? And the solution as I mentioned may seem contrived in that SOME of the strange things are from magic and OTHERS are from mental illness. But it makes sense, both explained together, that the magic is because he's in an abusive relationship with an Egyptian god, which caused his mental illness.

The show got me hooked because Steven's life kept getting interrupted and I reacted by feeling: ok, how do we get back on the rails?

So maybe I'll continue, but unlike some here the appeal wasn't: badass superhero kicks butt, but solving the puzzle of the strange things going on in this guy's life.
posted by Schmucko at 12:31 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


« Older The Dropout: The Dropout...   |  Critical Role: Exandria Unlimi... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments