Lost To The Sands
Marc Spector isn’t well. That much is clear very quickly upon our rejoining him in Cairo during the third episode of Moon Knight, The Friendly Type. This is the first episode where Marc spends most of the show in control, and we really get to spend a lot of time with him. Pretty quickly, some of what we, and Steven, thought we knew about him starts to seem questionable.
While Marc may be the mercenary, the personality Khonsu seems to trust, he isn’t the bloodthirsty maniac Steven thinks he is. We join him as he chases three men across the rooftops in search of information about Arthur Harrow and where he’s searching for the location of Ammit’s tomb. The three men have just killed someone Marc seemed to think could give him answers, so he decides to try to get them from them instead.
Not So Innocent Anymore, Eh?
This leads to one of my favorite action scenes in the entire series to date. Marc fights fist to fist with men armed with knives, not calling on the Moon Knight mantle but instead fighting as himself. He’s more than able to handle himself, even against armed killers. When he has a chance to strike the killing blow, though, he hesitates and gives Steven a chance to take the body back. He promptly lets those men go.
Marc regains control on the street, chasing after his only remaining lead. He soon loses control again, though, this time regaining control with most of the men dead and with blood on his hands. This is alarming because up until now, we’ve always assumed Marc was the one doing the bloody work. Yet here we see things from his perspective, and he didn’t do this. He initially accuses Steven of it, but this seems far beyond the abilities of the Steven we know, and he denies responsibility. Even after this, Marc attempts to show mercy to a child as well. These don’t seem like the actions of a hardened mercenary willing to deal out death without emotion. It raises the possibility that Steven and Marc may not be alone in their head.
Have Any Good Ideas?
More on that will have to wait for next week, though, because with his leads exhausted, Marc and Khonsu are forced to take desperate action. They manipulate the very skies, calling attention to their actions that even normal people in the MCU can see. This gets the attention of the other Egyptian Gods and their avatars, who they call together to make their case against Arthur Harrow.
Khonsu knows their case against Harrow needs to be strong. It isn’t. The gods are more unhappy about Khonsu’s actions than they are about anything Harrow is doing. They call the former avatar of Khonsu before them, but he strong denies searching for Ammit, instead claiming just to be spending time in the desert.
This is one of my least favorite contrivances of the series so far. We know that Arthur has a legion of followers digging for Ammit’s tomb. It feels like the gods should be able to look into this without issue. Instead, though, they take Arthur’s word that he’s not doing so at face value, dissuaded easily by somewhat accurate accusations that Marc isn’t well. They prove quickly that they will be little help in stopping what’s coming.
I Am Sorry, For Whatever That’s Worth
One of Steven’s fellow avatars does seem more inclined to listen than the others and at least gives him another lead to follow. This brings him back together with Layla, who has a contact that can help him find what he needs, and for the first time, we really get to see this former couple interact. Layla seems to have finally come around on Steven, but she feels hurt that Marc shut her out instead of letting her know what he was dealing with. He acknowledges this was a mistake, but it seems the rift between them may be beyond fixing.
Their new lead does get Marc back on the trail of Harrow, but only after meeting a collector of ancient relics, which feels like busywork. It brings Marc and Arthur face to face again, but it doesn’t move any of the characters forward in an interesting way and leads to another action scene relying on quick cuts and clever camera work to hide that the CGI suit just doesn’t look great in action. Layla has a fight of her own which is stronger, with her continuing to be a strong character, even if Marc has to save her this time. This sequence does offer perhaps the strongest connection to the MCU yet with a quick mention of Madripoor, which last appeared during The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Still, when that’s the strongest connection to the overarching storyline of the MCU, we truly have a series that stands on its own more than most.
You Brought This Upon Yourself Khonsu
All of this comes together in a finale that is one of the more interesting of the series so far, with Khonsu defying the gods in order to give Steven and Marc what they need to locate Harrow. This leads to his imprisonment, leaving them without the Moon Knight mantle, but with a new direction. Khonsu’s display of power is stunning and definitely my favorite visual the series has managed to date.
Perhaps more interesting, though, is Steven getting to prove how useful he can be, showing abilities that Marc simply doesn’t have. Not everything can be solved with violence, and Steven has a number of unique skills. His coming through seems to impress Layla, and it feels like we may be seeing the seeding of something between them. I’m usually not big on love triangles, but when two members of that triangle share a body, things could get interesting.
While not quite as strong as the series opener, this week’s episode does regain some momentum and has me excited to see where the series goes next. We’ll be back next week with another review.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5