Moon Knight Season 1: The Tomb Review

Wake Up!

The Tomb

This is what I’m talking about. Finally, after weeks that felt like they were spinning their wheels in exposition, finally, Moon Knight feels like we’re moving forward in The Tomb.

We pick up right where last week’s episode left off, with Steven unconscious in the desert. Layla tries to wake him, but a truck with a machine gun is quickly coming their way, and she’s forced to hide. Who are these strange men who shoot first and ask questions later? It’s never really explained, though logically, I suppose they’re likely working for Arthur Harrow.

With Layla on her own and no Marc, Steven, Moon Knight, or anyone else to help, she gets a chance to prove she can handle herself and she does so admirably. She finds a hiding place and plans her attack, but when her enemies find Steven’s body, and he’s in danger, she leaps into action with a bold plan to save them both. Every week we see more of what makes Layla such a worthy partner to Marc.

 

You’re Not Alone

 

The Tomb

Even if they’d been awake, Steven or Marc wouldn’t have been that much help anyway. With Khonsu trapped in stone, the Moon Knight mantle is gone. Now they’re just a man again, though not ones who are happy to be stuck together still. Layla suggests Marc is probably better suited for what’s coming, but Steven refuses to give up the body, upset that Marc hasn’t kept his word about leaving once Khonsu is gone. Layla is upset to find they had such a deal and never told her.

Not too upset, apparently, though. As soon as they find the site where Harrow’s men are searching for Ammit, the chemistry between Steven and Layla starts to show again, and Marc’s jealousy returns as well. There’s clearly an attraction between them, but it’s cloaked in so much history and confusion. Layla loved Marc and probably still does. Her being attracted to someone in the same body makes sense, especially when this somebody offers a softer, more honest side which was always missing from her relationship with Marc.

 

I Don’t Need Protection, I Need Honesty

 

The Tomb

Steven is so honest that when Layla goes in to kiss him, he stops her to reveal that Marc only pushed her away to try to protect her from Khonsu. He knows her feelings for Marc, and he doesn’t want to start something with her while hiding that truth. She deserves to know that Marc didn’t stop loving her, he just wanted to protect her. Still, Layla’s a big girl and isn’t a fan of someone keeping her in the dark for her own protection. It doesn’t completely ruin the moment between the pair, and after seeing more of the honesty that draws her to him, Layla accepts a kiss when Steven initiates it this time. It’s an awkward thing, though, partially due to who Steven is and perhaps in part due to the fact that Marc still lingers over everything between them.

We find more about Layla’s dad as they start to explore the tomb. He was an archaeologist who died under mysterious circumstances, and while Layla is mad about some of his choices, she also misses him and wants to make him proud, something their exploration of an ancient tomb provides a chance for. It also provides a chance for Steven to prove that he can be far more useful than Marc in some contexts. His knowledge of ancient Egypt helps them find their way through the tomb, and soon the pair find an altar of sorts, covered in fresh blood and surrounded by bones.

 

It’s A Maze

 

The Tomb

While exploring this area, Steven’s weaknesses are highlighted though. He’s squeamish at the sight of blood and has no real skills in combat. He seems to think it will just come to him as a sort of muscle memory, but that’s not happening so far. So when a series of undead Heka Priests show up, intent on murdering them, the best he can do is wait for Layla to cause a distraction before urging them both to run.

Yet again, this shows Steven overmatched while Layla is able to get through a difficult situation and handle herself. She’s attacked but fights back with another of her seemingly unending supply of flares. Useful things to carry around. At a certain point, it almost feels like we’re spinning our wheels and just showing the same things the show has already established again, but soon Layla runs into Arthur Harrow, and things get moving again.

 

I Do Hope You Find Closure

 

The Tomb

Meanwhile, Steven and Marc stumble upon what they’re looking for. Ammit is trapped in stone, much as Khonsu was last week, buried within the body of her final avatar, who just happens to have been Alexander the Great. Steven geeks out over this amazing archaeological find as Alexander’s tomb is considered lost, but they don’t have time to really enjoy it.

That’s because Harrow revealed to Layla something he found when reading Marc’s scales a few episodes ago. What happened to her father may still be a mystery, but there’s one person who knows what happened to him. As a mercenary, Marc saw the death of a man in a fuchsia scarf. He feels responsible for that death, something that hits Layla hard.

Rushing to confront Marc, she demands Steven give him the body, and in his shock, Marc is able to take over. He reveals that he wasn’t the one who killed her father, but he was there. His partner lost it and killed everyone at the dig site, including Marc, who would have died if not for Khonsu’s intervention. Before the pair are able to really hash things out, though, Harrow arrives, and Layla is forced to flee. Marc offers to hold them off, but soon finds himself holding a sword against a huge group with guns. Indiana Jones would be ashamed.

 

We Don’t Live In The Material World

 

The Tomb

The final section of The Tomb throws everything we’ve seen through the entirety of this series to date into question. I don’t want to spoil too much, but it’s the sort of jaw-dropping stretch most of us watch shows like this for. It calls back to every episode thus far and makes us reconsider things, while providing yet more evidence that there’s a third personality sharing Marc and Steven’s head that we haven’t met yet. There’s also a hippo involved in a pretty delightful moment.

What we see at the end could be some version of reality, or it could be an illusion. Perhaps it’s a bit of both, as it certainly doesn’t make sense entirely at face value. Nevertheless, this is an episode that will leave Moon Knight viewers asking questions all week. If the last couple of episodes had my enthusiasm for Moon Knight simmering, it’s back to a full boil at this point.


Final Verdict: 4/5

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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