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‘Moon Knight’ Episode 4 Recap: Tomb Sweet Tomb

Things get spooky this week

Another week, another new “Moon Knight” episode.

Last week’s “Moon Knight” was a big one – Marc Spector/Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac, putting in the hours) found the location of the resting place of Ammit but, also, had his Egyptian god buddy Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) has been banished into basically an ancient Egyptian Funko figurine. This left Marc/Steven without his powers and maybe in a coma? Plus the ultimate goal of stopping Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) has never seemed closer and, at the same time, further away.

What’s a potentially schizophrenic superhero to do?

Well, this week’s “Moon Knight” veers the story into yet another direction. What direction is that? You’ll have to read on to find out!

Major spoilers for episode 4 of “Moon Knight” follow.

Dune It Right

The episode opens with a long shot of one of the gods’ avatars walking towards frame; holding the little Khonshu collectible. Watch the camera movement; everything is going to turn upside down this episode. The Khonshu statue is placed on the IKEA bookshelf of the damned, which we can only assume is inside the great pyramid. Around him are other figures of other gods. Have they similarly been banished? How many of them did a cool “reversing the night sky” trick like we saw at the end of episode 3?

We then cut to the sand dunes. A scarab (a real one, not a golden compass) flies away. Steven is unconscious. Layla (May Calamawy) is on top of him trying to revive him. She starts dragging his body but is spotted by some of Harrow’s goons. They start shooting at her and Steven. They roll down a dune trying to stay out of sight. Then she has an idea – she sneaks into their truck , laying low in the trunk. She grabs a flare (it’s very Ian Malcolm in “Jurassic Park”) and uses it to attract the goons. Once they come around to the flare she pops out and throws another flare into the back of their truck, igniting the ammunition, killing the goons and blowing up that truck real good. Also: Steven is awake! He looks at her, amazed. “What?” she asks.

As they’re driving to (hopeful) safety, Steven explains the situation: “Me and Marc had a deal; when he was done with Khonshu, he would disappear for good.” Marc appears in the mirror and says that the deal isn’t done. Layla is annoyed because Marc disappearing means that he would disappear from her life too – and remember, he is her husband. Marcin the mirror looks annoyed. “Hadn’t he disappeared from your life already?” Steven asks. Marc pleads to have Steven give him the body back, since he’s not exactly physical. (Layla thinks if he gets the body, he’ll just leave her and go try to fight Harrow on his own.) They get psyched up for a long drive aaaaaaand Layla stops the car. They’ll walk from here.

They walk through a valley and spot a goat on a boulder. It is ominous. They keep going. They spot Harrow and his goon squad. They sneak into Harrow’s camp, which is very “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” They steal supplies and Marc tries to give Steven advice. “I’ve been in situations like this before,” Marc says. (OH HAVE YOU???) Marc then tells him, “You know you’re not alone.” Steven thinks he means Layla, but could this point to yet another personality inside Marc/Steven’s already overcrowded brain? Marc and Steven then bicker about Steven being in love with Marc’s wife, which is funny and weird.

Layla grabs some dynamite. The camera pans over to see the rest of the box of dynamite. It’s splattered with blood and there’s a bloody knife nearby. Not great!

They prepare to go into the dig site when Layla flirts with Steven. “You smell like him,” she says. They almost kiss but are interrupted by Steven who tells her, “Marc’s been trying to protect you from Khonshu, that’s why he’s pushing you away. He thinks Khonshu wants you for his avatar.” Steven you ding dong! There have been many near-kiss moments on television but this was maybe most reminiscent about the time Mulder and Scully nearly kissed but she was stung by the genetically engineered bee. (Was that in the movie?) But wait! They still kiss! Yes! They get ready to descend into the pit, Steven is wearing a goofy ass smile and then he punches himself (courtesy of Marc).

Steven goofily falls into the pit. Layla thinks that he’s still flirting with her but he’s really admiring a pair of stone sentinels, who have been watching over the tomb for centuries. She references her archeologist father. He too went out in search of Ammit. “It was a dream worth dying for, and he did,” she says. Steven tries to make her feel better. They descend further down.

The Mummy Returns

Now the spookiness starts!

As Layla and Steven make their way into the tomb the intensity steadily increases. Steven figures out that the entire structure is built to resemble the eye of Horace. (Get this guy out of the gift shop!) He says that the eye of Horace is also the eye of mind, representing the six senses and linking to six points within the tomb. They figure it’ll be the area associated with the tongue, since Ammit’s avatar would be her voice.

They go into a room dedicated to the “sorcerers of their time” (like Doctor Strange???) and the unfortunate souls that crossed their path (now they’re mummies!) They see a slab that is covered in human blood, suggesting that not everything down in this tomb is still dead. Layla finds a bloody hook with “meaty bits.” This makes us think back to the first episode when Steven was scaring a little kid in the museum, telling her about the process of mummification. “Let’s keep moving,” Layla says. They are walking towards a blood streak.

Steven wants to look for another way. He reads more hieroglyphics – Ammit is bound to one of the statues, just like the one Khonshu is currently captured in. He finds another exit but they both hear gunfire (Harrow’s goons) and both hide. Then we see one of his goons getting put on the slab. A mummy takes one of those hooks and begins gutting the goon. It’s pretty grisly stuff, especially for an all-ages Marvel Studios show (unlike some of the Netflix stuff, this isn’t trapped behind an age gate). The sound effects are very squishy. Layla tries to hide but the mummy hears Steven. It hops up to get him but Layla throws a vase to distract the mummy. It comes after her. “Run! I’ll find you!” Steven yells, in a very “Last of the Mohicans” moment.

Steven drops a ceremonial table on the mummy, killing it (?) “I squished it,” Steven says in amazement. Then we get a lot of scrambling around the tomb – bottomless abysses, flares being dramatically lit, precarious walkways, more mummies. You know. Those old chestnuts. While it has been touted that “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” (in theaters next month) will really bring horror to the MCU, “Moon Knight” is doing a pretty dang good job already.

A mummy attacks Layla and she sticks a flare in its eye, allowing her to throw it down the abyss. But more importantly, she’s really getting the most out of these flares!

Steven is making headway when he sees Marc in a puddle. “So you kissed her?” Marc asks. Marc begrudgingly appreciates that Steven told her the truth about why Marc is pushing her away. Steven discovers “the long-lost tomb of Alexander the Great.”

Layla encounters Harrow. He calls her “the little scarab.” “Isn’t that what your dad used to call you?” Harrow asks. Harrow starts talking about her father. He tells her that the scales reveal moments of truth and pain. He says Marc is in “more pain than anyone could bear.” Harrow then says that he read Marc’s scales. “And the scales do not lie,” he says.

Back at the Alexander the Great sarcophagus. He pushes the casket open. The little statue isn’t there. “Alexander was the voice of Ammit,” Steven says. He then reaches into the mummy’s throat and pulls out the little statue! This is also milked for extra creepy oomph. The sound of the jaw breaking apart, Steven reaching into the corpse’s throat …

Back with Harrow and Layla, Harrow tells her that Marc was one of the mercenaries who murdered her father. “Marc remembers everything that happened that day,” Harrow says, including the fuchsia scarf that he was wearing the day that he was killed (that was made by his lovely daughter). Layla is sobbing. Calamawy is astounding in this scene, conveying the hurt and betrayal and understanding in a way that is so heartbreaking. Harrow leaves, shouting “Wake up!”

At least Steven found the little statue, a potential world-saving discovery. Layla finds Steven. She looks scarier than that mummy. “Can he hear me?” she asks Steven. “What happened to my father? I’m talking to you, I’m talking to Marc!” Marc takes over the body. He wants to leave but she wants to know what happened. He says he’ll explain everything later. He says he didn’t murder her father. But she still thinks he was there. He admits it. “I was there,” Marc says. She asks how he died. He says his partner got greedy and executed everyone at the dig site. (Again: could this be the other personality???)

Marc says that he was shot too. “I was supposed to die that night but I didn’t die that night,” Marc says. “I tried to tell you since the moment we met.” She can’t believe it. She clamors off to find an exit.

Harrow and his goons enter the Alexander the Great chamber. Harrow can tell that Khonshu is gone. He remembers the feeling well. “With that freedom comes choice,” Harrow says, attempting to woo him to the dark side. Marc starts axing some of Harrow’s goons (once more with feeling: it’s pretty gross!) And then Harrow levels his pistol and shoots Marc in the chest. Harrow shoots him again. Marc falls into the water surrounding Alexander the Great’s sarcophagus. “I can’t save anyone who won’t save themselves,” Harrow says. Marc’s body starts to sink (or does it levitate?) It’s lights out for Moon Knight!

Or is it?

This Must Be the Place

We see a kid walking through a jungle. But the jungle looks phony and the aspect ratio has taken on a boxy 4:3 dimension. He’s being led by an over-the-top, Indiana Jones-style adventurer through what is clearly a mist-filled set. “You’re doctor Steven Grant,” the kid says. And we pull back to see the movie playing on a TV. The TV is in an all-white room. Patients (?) putter around in the background. This is very clearly some kind of asylum or sanitorium. A man is pulling bingo balls out of a cowboy hat the color of ice cream. Nobody is listening to him calling the numbers. “B22!”

We see Donna, Steven’s mean boss at the museum. She’s cradling a plush scarab, its bright blue body standing out brilliantly against the all-white room. Another woman draws a photo of a humming bird with Khonshu’s skull face. The camera spins around and we see a goldfish, just like Steven’s. Finally we see him: Steven/Marc. Totally incapacitated. Layla is there too. “I changed the movie,” she says. She’s putting drawings up on a board. One of them looks like Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto. (Or maybe the Eye of Horace?) There are photos too. Marc/Steven is clutching a Moon Knight action figure.

Marc starts calling out to his reflection: “Steven!” He tries to get out of his wheelchair, but he’s shackled just like the bed in Steven’s London flat. He falls to the floor. The orderlies are the cops that picked Steven up in episode 2 (and were ultimately working for Harrow). He gets wheeled into his psychiatrist’s office.

“I know you’re having a great deal of difficulty differentiating between what’s real and what’s in your head,” the doctor says – it’s Harrow! He’s clean-cut and has a smart little mustache. He says that we live in a psychic world. Not a material world. Marc looks at the doctor’s cane. “Everything reminds me,” Marc mumbles. He sees a statue of an Egyptian god. A painting of the town in the Alps from episode 1. Egyptian urns. Marc figures it out and tries to run but is totally incapacitated so he crawls and limps along.

Marc runs out the door. The hallway starts to swing like a capsizing boat. He goes into a room. It’s Alexander the Great’s sarcophagus. And it looks like somebody is trying to get out. It’s Steven in the sarcophagus! Together, Steven and Marc attempt escape. They pass another room with another sarcophagus that is rattling to get out (is this the third personality?) but pass it. Finally they get to the end of the hallway. There’s a shadowy figure behind it. The door opens. It’s Taweret, another Egyptian god. She says “hi!” like a valley girl in the mall. Steven and Marc scream. It cuts to black.

What a fun episode!

Will Steven and Marc get out of their all-white purgatory? What’s up with Khonshu? Maybe they could be the avatar for the nice hippo-headed lady? We will find out as “Moon Knight” barrels towards its finale (next week will be 5 of 6).