This week’s episode, titled “The Tomb”, continued the story Moon Knight exactly as you would expect… until it took a hard swerve in its final ten minutes and offered me a glimpse of the thing I’ve secretly wanted this show to be all along: Legion! No inexplicable song and dance number just yet (THERE’S STILL TIME, MARVEL!), but for those last few moments the show stopped trying to make sense of all the comic book nonsense and finally really leaned into its weirdness. Unfortunately, to get to the fun part, it had to kill off Marc Spector — and though normally it would be a bad sign if a show got better after killing off its lead, this is the MCU, baby! What even is “death”, anyway? What are consequences? There’s still two more episodes to go, he’ll be FINE!
Tomb Raiders, Etc.
Remember how last week Khonshu was punished by the other gods and imprisoned in a cute little stone statue? Well, Ammit is also trapped in one, and most of the episode concerns Steven and Layla racing through the tomb behind Harrow’s group, trying to find her prison doll first. Stuff happens along the way, though it’s all fairly predictable. Except for the reanimated mummy priests that keep killing people, that was unexpected and also unexplained! Anyway, Marc warns Steven to keep his hands off Layla, so naturally Steven kisses her — then Marc makes Steven punch himself in the face. Steven also explains to Layla why Marc has been so distant — to protect Layla from Khonshu — but we all know that’s not the biggest secret Marc’s been keeping from her. And sure enough, Harrow randomly pops out of a crevasse to tell Layla that Marc was definitely there when her father died!
Layla confronts Steven after he finds Ammit’s statue thingy in Alexander the Great’s mouth, and… Oh right! So Ammit’s secret tomb is actually Alexander the Great’s tomb, because the famous Macedonian King/Egyptian Pharaoh also happened to be Ammit’s avatar way back when! Alexander was Ammit’s voice, and thus he, uh, hid her in his throat? After he died? Anyway, Layla confronts Steven in order to get Marc to take over the body, and Marc finally explains what happened to her father. It’s pretty close to the comic backstory I detailed last week: Marc was a mercenary working for a bad guy who stole treasures from archeological dig sites. His boss got greedy and decided to execute all of the witnesses, including Layla’s father, and when Marc tried to save him the boss decided to leave Marc for dead as well.
Speaking of being shot and left for dead, before Layla can process her feelings about this big reveal Harrow shows up with his goons to take back the Ammit thingy… and he shoots Marc and leaves him for dead! Gee, if only Marc still had his connection to Khonshu to resurrect him, amirite? Whatever will happen to our hero…?
That Good Legion Sh*t
Cut to Marc in a stark white mental hospital, surrounded by familiar faces (Layla, Crawley the living statue dude, Donna from the museum), and on the television there’s an Indiana Jones-esque knock-off movie playing that features a highly educated British adventurer named… Steven Grant. It’s starting to look like maybe everything we’ve been watching this whole time has been in Marc’s head, right down to the Moon Knight action figure he clings to — and then Harrow shows up as Marc’s very concerned therapist to gently point that out to him. In a few short minutes we’re offered a plausible reality holding all the visual clues that Marc could have re-contextualized into his delusion — not unlike the way the first season of Legion toyed with whether David Haller was mentally ill or a mutant with superpowers, only the reveal that actually it’s both! At the very least, I’d be willing to believe that Steven could have come to Marc from a movie he saw. But even if all this was enough to convince us that the show we’ve watched was a lie, Marc isn’t so sure. He fights the orderlies and flees from Harrow, only to find himself in a corridor where there’s a thumping sound. Inside one room is a sarcophagus that’s shaking, and Marc opens it to release Steven. Who is real! And can hug Marc! So maybe not, like, real real, but I appreciate that my two favorite Oscar Isaac’s got to touch.
Steven’s presence indicates that this new scenario is probably the one in Marc’s head, which makes it all the more interesting when Marc and Steven walk right by a whole other sarcophagus without opening it. Whatever is locked away in there, they didn’t seem to want to let out, which I think confirms the theory that there’s a third (ultra-violent?) personality in the mix. Of course, that’s the least of their problems after they come face to face with that giant hippo!
That lovely lady is Taweret, another Egyptian goddess (voiced by Antonia Salib), and she seems super nice — unlike a certain bird head. Taweret wasn’t featured in the Marvel comics at all, so it’s a little hard to predict what her role will be in the show, but I mean — that’s what baseless speculation is for! Traditionally Taweret was a fertility goddess, tied to childbirth as well as protection, but her figure also appears in burial sites, leading many to believe she took on a funereal role. Sort of a birth and re-birth kinda thing, which could come in handy for Marc since his usual rebirth god is out of commission!
But what’s she doing here, in the midst of Marc’s death throes? It will likely depend on what exactly “here” is. Are we only in Marc’s head, or is this some sort of afterlife plane? She’s a god so this could be the Overvoid, but I doubt it — besides, not every god left Earth in the first place. Khonshu didn’t, and why should we think he’s the only one? I think Taweret is going to resurrect Marc, either to help Khonshu or because she also values humanity and is working against Ammit. Mass genocide seems like exactly the sort of thing a maternal protection god might get miffed about, you know?
I’m just not sure what Marc is gonna be able to do to stop Harrow even if he does come back, if he still doesn’t have his Moon Knight powers. And by powers… I obviously am just talking about his SUITS.
-Khonshu’s cute little statuette was placed in a display full of other statuettes, which makes me wonder if the season might feature an Egyptian God Prison Break?
-Harrow popping out of a literal hole in the wall to be a mega creep is perhaps my favorite iteration of his “random villainous encounter” trend. There is never a good reason for how or why he knows to show up when he does, but gosh darn it, what matters is that he’s THERE. To be a CREEP.
-Is the show gonna circle back on the evil mummy dudes or nah?
Header Image Source: Disney+/Marvel