This week’s episode of Moon Knight was many things, with childhood memories, mythology, and trauma. It’s also two origin stories: a man who thought he was real and a hero who can save the world if he gives up Heaven.
Last week, Marc and Steven see a hippo god before them. They’re still not sure it’s real, because Marc wakes up with Harrow at his office. He claims Marc is in a mental facility in Chicago, and was talking about a young boy. Marc gets upset, and is drugged. It sends him back to the hippo god Taweret (Antonia Salib) who acts more like an absent-minded guide than an Egyptian god. She tries her best to guide and Marc and Steve to the afterlife. Those who remember American Gods know that in Egyptian lore, a person’s heart is balanced against a feather. If it’s lighter than the feather, it’s off to Heaven.
She gets the hearts of Marc and Steve, but the scales are having a problem balancing. She suggests they both reveal their truths to each other, or face torment in the sands of the afterlife.
That’s when we get to the heart of the story, the cause of Marc’s multiple personalities. Marc had a younger brother named Randall, and they went to a cave to play a game of Tomb Buster (the movie from last week). However, Randall drowned when the cave flooded, and his mom (Fernanda Andrade) blamed him for it ever since. She even got abusive with him, and he did his best to forget it all. That’s how Steven manifested himself.
It’s interesting Marc tried everything to stop Steven from learning the truth, but Steven does learn. He even learns how Marc became the avatar for Khonshu. As Marc said last week, he was hired to raid a tomb, but the plans changed. The partner wanted everyone killed, including Layla’s dad. Marc wound up shot, and was about to kill himself when Khonshu offered him a new life. Steven sees it all, and thinks Khonshu used him as a pawn all this time. Earlier, both guys do see the dead bodies of people Marc said Khonshu told him to kill because they were evil.
Then Taweret sees souls of people being sent to the afterlife too soon. That means Harrow’s “erasing evil” with the help of Ammet. She thinks it’s evil, though, and Marc must go back. He refuses, but Steven insists he must go back or “it’s all your fault”.
That drives Marc to slap himself severely…and he’s back with Harrow.
The “doctor” then sees he’s talking to Steven, and asks if Marc created him to hide from his evil past or Steven created Marc to punish the world for what his mom did.
That’s when Steven sees Marc hiding in his room from mom and how he was “born” from a movie poster. He gets mad at Marc for “making him” as a stress ball, then learns mom is dead. Then he’s suddenly back with Harrow, who seems happy to talk to Steven again. It’s revealed Steven went to the facility after mom died, which he doesn’t believe. He’s not convinced, though, she’s on the line when Harrow “calls” her.
That’s when he understands his mom is dead, and (as Marc) couldn’t come to her shiva because the pain was too great. Again, Steven takes over so Marc doesn’t have to cry.
That’s when Steven tells Marc to forgive himself for Randall’s death. The fact that Oscar Isaac can switch gears so effortlessly between the two personalities is amazing. The act of self-forgiveness is a classic moment in the MCU.
However, they’re still in the underworld, and the hearts haven’t balanced. The zombies of Marc’s victims are about to drag him into the sands of Hell, but Steven sacrifices his existence to save him.
The good news is Marc makes it to the Fields of Reeds and a wonderful after-life. The bad news is Harrow’s still killing people by being the avatar of Ammit. This means he’ll make a decision he’d rather not make. Still, he has to make up for his past. At least when he does become the avatar of Khonshu, he knows he will apply “real justice”. At least one god would agree.
One more thing: director Mohamed Diab discussed the episode thanks to Yahoo News, and says the finale next week will be intense. He does hope it will be satisfying, since this will likely be the end of Moon Knight’s story for a while.