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Moon Knight Episode 6 Recap & Thoughts: An Appropriately Epic Finale


We come to it, at last, the grand finale of Marvel’s best TV show to date. Does Moon Knight go out with a bang? Does it succinctly tie up all of its loose ends? Does anything happen to Ethan Hawke’s hair? Were any of my predictions correct? Read on to find out.

I haven’t been shy about my admiration for Moon Knight. There’s a lot of love about this show from the characters to the Egyptian mythology to the examination of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The pair of episodes leading up to the final act put superheroic action on the back burner in favor of character-driven drama; and credit to the writers, directors, and producers for leaning more on high stakes drama than wacky hijinks.

That said, the finale felt like a step back into familiar Marvel territory. CGI spectacle dominates the brief 45-minute runtime as oversized titans clash in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza and the titular superhero arrives to stop Arthur Harrow once and for all. While I was a tad let down by the redundant, mostly uninspired action sequences, I understand the need for the show to go out with a bang. You can certainly see where all the money went!

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(Photo by Gabor Kotschy. ©Marvel Studios 2022)

Arthur

The episode kicks off with Arthur retrieving Ammit from Marc’s corpse. I’m still not entirely sure why our soft-spoken villain wants to unleash Ammit from her tomb — and why he took so damned long to find the disgraced god in the first place. Did he really need Marc/Steven’s help to find his treasure? And once he has her in his possession, what’s the rush? You’d think after such a long journey Arthur and his crew would want to go celebrate or sleep or something.

Tidbit: I liked how Arthur was actually quite respectful of Marc/Steven and “whoever else might be in there.” For a villain yearning to wipe out a majority of the world’s population — I mean, come on, how many people will actually balance the scales? — he sure follows a very noble code.

Anyways, after some Layla action — remember, she can take care of herself — Arthur ignites his magical cane and officially begins his mission to “heal the world.” Tyrants, amirite? His first stop is a toll booth where he rips the souls out of the Egyptian Patrol Agency without breaking a sweat. As his men make to leave, Layla, in disguise, hops out of a truck bed and makes to stab Arthur. Except, one of the corpses on the ground calls out to her: “Layla, wait. I am the Goddess Taweret.”

Yeah, this is happening.

Taweret, aka that adorable hippo from the previous episode, tells Layla that Marc/Steven is trying to return to life and that he will need Khonshu to battle Arthur. She also says Layla can be her avatar. I honestly didn’t expect Taweret to have much presence on the series, nor did I think she and Layla would join as one to create an all-new superhero. But these things happen in comic books.

Chamber of Gods

Inside the pyramids, the other gods are playing Uno when Arthur bursts through the door and destroys them all off-camera. Honestly, there’s a remarkable amount of horrific off-camera violence that takes place in this episode. This is fine as the action likely wouldn’t have amounted to much seeing how the gods in Moon Knight are “judges, not warriors.” Like a good ’80s flick, Moon Knight cuts the fat and skips straight to the essentials.

Meanwhile, Layla discovers Khonshu’s ushabti and the annoying old bird wastes no time trying to recruit her as his next avatar. Surprisingly, Layla adamantly refuses  seeing how he drove Marc to near insanity. “We’ll work together without me enslaving myself!” Besides, she has another animal goddess waiting for her body (?). (Is that really all it took to keep the mighty Khonshu in check? A simple “no thanks, bro. I’m good?”)

Also, I’m still not sure why we hate Khonshu so much. He adheres to questionable ethic standards, sure, but he seems to carry good intentions. Is it the name-calling? Is that why we don’t like him? Or is it the fact he sounds exactly like Liam Neeson but is actually voiced by F. Murray Abraham that drives us all batty?

Arthur stops traveling long enough to release Ammit, who turns out to be a giant, beautifully rendered crocodile voiced by Jordanian actress and producer Saba Mubarak. Interestingly, she immediately points out that Arthur’s scales are not balanced — that judgmental bastard! — but chooses him as her next avatar, regardless. Arthur looks none too pleased with this arrangement but humbly accepts the offer because it came from a giant crocodile with dreadlocks.

(Ethan Hawke is great in this scene, by the way.)

Ammit makes to leave the pyramid set but Khonshu shows up and is immediately greeted with: “Khonshu, time has not been good to you.” Ouch. The insult doesn’t phase the bird because, well, he’s a skeleton and has probably never looked better. The pair traded verbal jabs while the disciples check their watches.

Marc

Thirteen minutes into the final episode of Moon Knight, we finally catch up with Marc who continues to peer into the golden Field of Reeds. He’s undoubtedly wondering what one does in such a place — make bread? — but there’s no time to spare! Well, after a quick conversation with Taweret, who, impressively, is apparently in two places at once. Damn, god!

Marc decides he can’t live without Steven and heads back into The Duat to get him. (“Leave now and you can never come back,” Taweret cries, channeling her inner All Dogs Go to Heaven.) This plan basically goes off without a hitch and the pair head back to the land of the living.

I’m a little conflicted with this whole relationship. Marc decides to share his body/mind with another personality? Isn’t that exactly what A Beautiful Mind told us not to do? I mean, I get we’re all supposed to embrace our imperfections, but I’m not really sure what the message is here. Mental disorders are cool so long as your alter ego is a friendly British chap? Anyways, Marc and Steven are now one, for better or worse, and each spends the remainder of the episode taking control of Marc’s body — except, more amicably this time.

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(Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022)

Khonshu

Back in the pyramid, Khonshu tries to persuade Ammit to not be evil. “Don’t listen to him,” Arthur snaps. “He only wants to keep you bound.” Thank you for your contribution, Arthur. Eventually, the talking stops, and a CGI god vs. god smackdown ensues. Khonshu mostly sucks — “I choose obliteration over mercy!” — but suddenly feels Marc’s presence and immediately transforms his servant into Moon Knight.

There’s an awkward beat where Marc/Steven discuss the new arrangement with Khonshu in the middle of the desert. “You would negotiate now,” the bird god squawks. Evidently, Khonshu is more worried about the fate of the planet than our main hero. This being a low-stakes Marvel Cinematic Universe series, we go along with the bit because we have no choice.

(I’m honestly not dogging this episode. I did like it, I swear!)

At some point, Moon Knight leaps into the air and forms a Tim Burton-esque Moon Knight symbol over the moon, which is as cool as it sounds.

Layla

Somewhere in the tomb, Layla discovers she must become Taweret’s avatar. There’s a great bit where actress May Calamawy holds a Marc/Steven-like conversation with the hippo, and morphs back and forth from giddy goddess to genuinely overwhelmed mortal. We then get to see the character’s transformation into… Wonder Woman Scarlet Scarab replete with Falcon-like wings. You’d think it’d take the young woman a few tries to hone her powers — like Steven. Nope. Layla takes flight without so much as a hiccup and actually engages in some killer combat.

Moon Knight

Our hero finally reaches the pyramid and finds a massively oversized Ammit waiting for Arthur to complete a ritual. (The disciples run around Egypt judging people in a manner not to dissimilar to Supermarket Sweep.) Moon Knight and Arthur lock eyes and charge forth, reenacting that bit in Man of Steel where Superman and Zod clashed at the base of a building.

Khonshu arrives and grows to a similar height as Ammit — instead of, maybe, taller so he could easily take her on? Or, is that the tallest either god can get? — and the combatant continues their battle. (The CGI effects here are actually really impressive.) No one in Giza seems to notice or care much about the two titans slamming each other into their beloved monument. It helps that the violent battle doesn’t seem to create much noise as even a family engaging in an outdoor dinner remains ignorant of the happenings occurring just down the street.

Moon Knight and Arthur take to the streets to continue their fight. Our hero gets his butt kicked, but Layla arrives and uses the power of Gadot to redirect Arthur’s staff powers back to him. More fighting ensues, much of it impressively realized. Marc and Steven take turns using their respective Moon Knight powers against Arthur, while Layla does indeed handle herself against the large assortment of bad guys; and even has time to answer in the affirmative when a young girl asks, “Are you an Egyptian superhero?” What if she had said no?

At some point, the fighting stops. Arthur stands victorious over his attackers. He need only finish the job… but we get one of those wicked cuts that jump forward in time to show the violent aftermath of the battle. Now, Marc stands over Arthur’s mangled body, an axe to his head. “That wasn’t you, was it,” Marc asks Steven. Nope. Something’s amiss.

No time to worry about that now. Ammit won her fight against Khonshu and must be stopped. Marc/Steven and Layla drag Arthur to the pyramid and perform a spell to bind Ammit’s soul to his body. “You can never contain me,” Ammit screams through Arthur’s horrified expression. “I’ll never stop.”

“Finish it,” Khonshu orders.

“Do it yourself,” Marc retorts. “Now, release us!”

True to his word, Khonshu releases Marc/Steven from his powerful hold and promptly vanishes.

Suddenly, we’re back in the asylum where Dr. Harrow continues to try and convince Marc/Steven that their world is false. The good doctor’s bloody footprints say otherwise and Steven thanks him for his services but ultimately declines his diagnosis. “We’d rather go save the world.”

Since the pair don’t have Khonshu protecting them anymore, how will they do such a thing?

Marc/Steven awaken in their apartment to the same, “Every day I wake up” Engelbert Humperdinck tune, trip over the cord attaching their feet to the bed and that’s a wrap.

Mid-Credits Scene

Actually, no it’s not. In Moon Knight’s first mid-credits scene, we see Arthur chilling in an actual asylum. He’s clearly out of his mind when a mysterious man dressed in black arrives to whisk him from the psychiatric hospital and into the back of a white limo. There, Khonshu awaits and reveals he never had any intention of making Layla his avatar as Marc has everything he needs.

“…He has no idea how troubled he truly is,” Khonshu says.

And then we see the mysterious man in black — it’s Marc! Except, it’s not Marc or Steven. It’s the third personality, the one behind all the violence that occurred during Marc/Steven’s lengthy blackouts: Jake Lockley. Apparently, this dude is bad news. Case in point: he shoots Arthur in cold blood (which does nothing to his hair) and then nonchalantly noses the limo away from the hospital and out of frame.

Final Thoughts

  • Moon Knight was fun, often thrilling entertainment. What it lacked in action and spectacle it made up for with intriguing characters and fascinating world-building. Oscar Isaac deserves all the love. He carried this show on his back and made the preposterous premise engaging. I can’t say enough about his performance.
  • I liked Ethan Hawke as well, but he just didn’t have that much to do other than wonder about whispering monologues. I wanted more from him.
  • May Calamawy had her moments but also felt underutilized. Her heroic origin story fell a little flat mostly because the character never did anything to earn the power she was given. No doubt we will see her in future shows/movies as there’s still a lot left to explore.
  • I’m still not sure what Khonshu’s deal is. Was it wrong for him to order Marc/Steven to kill Arthur? Perhaps. But he’s looking at the situation from a, pardon the pun, bird’s eye perspective and trying to prevent future calamities. Unless he’s truly planning something more sinister — an evil plot that has yet to be revealed, perhaps? One that Ammit and the other gods may have thwarted had they stuck around? At any rate, the soulless character (who looks equal part like a sinister vulture and Alec Baldwin’s stretched-out, cartoon-like face in Beetlejuice) presents an intriguing mystery.
  • Moon Knight has done nothing to divert any misgivings I have about the MCU overall, but the darker, character-driven story held my attention. Personally, I would have been fine with more Marc/Steven psychology; and half expected some sort of dreams-within-dreams insanity to occur during the season finale. No matter. Overall, this was a well-written series that easily outdoes any of the other small-screen MCU efforts. Marvel is clearly taking chances by drifting into more unique directions — and that in and of itself is worth celebrating.