SPOILERS for Moon Knight Episode 3, “The Friendly Type.”
Alright, the story’s moving forward. And as always, I have thoughts and feeling about it. If you haven’t read my other two reactions to Moon Knight, please expect personal reactions and not any predictions for future episodes. I prefer to let the story unfold rather than predicting that something has to happen. Anyway, here’s how I feel about the third episode of Moon Knight:
- Okay, Layla’s not using an American accent anymore: I guess May Calamawy is doing an accent closer to her own now, which works better for the character. No more slip-sliding around!
- Layla is Better Indiana Jones: For several years, I’ve had this idea that if you recast Indiana Jones with a BIPOC actor, you could have them run around and repatriate the relics that the Nazis and other bad people steal, instead of handing them over to a museum. It would make the Indiana Jones franchise less colonialist and imperialist. So I’m glad to see Layla’s trying to do that! Can we have a whole series of that?
- Now Marc is the one losing time: I love that we get to see Marc losing time after he kept taking over and making Steven lose time in the first episode. Also, I agree with Steven trying to get away after the rooftop confrontation. Marc is using their body to hurt people, and Steven just wants to stop that and get back to his life.
- Is there a third personality?: When Marc finds himself surrounded by bodies on that one cliff, he blames Steven, but Steven says he didn’t do that. And Steven isn’t a violent person to begin with, anyway. Apparently, Moon Knight has a third personality named Jake Lockley in the comics, so maybe he killed those guys? We’ll just have to wait and see.
- Marc wears two-thirds of the MCU Disguise Starter Pack: The MCU Disguise Starter Pack consists of a plain T-shirt beneath a jacket or button-down shirt, a baseball cap, and sunglasses. Marc’s not wearing the sunglasses, but he has the rest of the look down pat. Also, to Kevin Feige and other Marvel Studios execs: very few people wear baseball caps outside the U.S. So please don’t have your American characters try to disguise themselves abroad with a hat that only Americans wear. It’s a dead giveaway that they are foreigners!
- I’m here for Steven’s nerdiness: “Oh my days, we’re in the Great Pyramid of Giza!” Even though we get less of Steven in this episode, when we do get him, he’s still so adorable! He loves knowledge and history in a way that Marc doesn’t, and it’s so wonderful to see him get excited about this stuff.
- Marc and Steven are both the main characters: I’ve seen some comments on Samuel Kim’s remixes of the Moon Knight theme where fanboys seem to think that Marc is the “real” main character. One guy seemed to think that Marc is the actual protagonist because he’s the tough combatant, while another guy thought it was because Marc is called Moon Knight while Steven is Mr. Knight (at least one person disagreed with that guy). Both of these arguments seem rooted in toxic masculinity, where male viewers assume that the tough assassin guy who can’t articulate his feelings is the “true” protagonist of the show, while the meeker, more sensitive personality is just a device to introduce us to the story. In reality, they both contribute to moving the story forward. Mark does the physical work, and Steven does the intellectual and emotional work.
- Creating a random solar eclipse is a very Little Shop of Horrors thing to do, Khonshu: When that sequence happened, my sister quoted Little Shop, saying, “Suddenly, and without warning, A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN!!!” (Also, solar eclipses take hours for the totality to click into place. But there is a 360-degree sunset when a totality happens, which you can kind of see when Arthur Harrow comments on the random solar eclipse that gets the Ennead’s attention. Oh, and shadows look weird for a few hours after the totality. I know all this because I saw a solar eclipse’s totality in 2017.)
- Vilifying someone’s mental illness is bad: Arthur Harrow can go to hell for discrediting Marc/Steven because of his Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). People’s mental illnesses are not their fault, just like physical injuries or disabilities are not people’s fault. I guess the Egyptian gods don’t understand that because they’re so removed from humanity.
- This is episode reminded my sister of ’80s and ’90s movies: When Harrow is like, “We found Ammit!” and his disciples cheer, my sister said that felt like a bad-guy moment from an ’80s movie, particularly something like Indiana Jones. Then, when Marc and Layla are discussing their relationship on the boat, that scene reminded her of Twister: a couple on the outs ends up discussing their relationship while trying to save innocent lives. The creators have stated that Indiana Jones is an influence on this series, and it definitely has an adventure-thriller vibe, so those reminders are probably intentional in those scenes.
- The people dancing on the boat reminded me of the Bar-cycle from Brooklyn Nine-Nine: I don’t have time to recap that whole episode of B99, but those people on the boat had the same energy as the wacky people that Jake Peralta meets on the Bar-cycle when he’s stuck in the middle of a blackout while his wife, Amy Santiago, is in labor with their child. Also, this episode later features horses, just like that B99 episode, but I don’t think any of those horses were named Sergeant or Lieutenant Peanut Butter.
- I thought Anton Mogart was hot and then I felt bad about it: So when Layla and Marc get to Mogart’s place and watch the polo-jousting (apparently called El-Mermah?), I was like, “Who are we here to see?” And then the camera focuses on this handsome shirtless guy, and I’m like, “That man is attractive. …Oh wait, that’s Gaspard Ulliel, isn’t it? He died in January! I’M A TERRIBLE PERSON!!!” And it’s true: he died in January as the result of a skiing accident. This episode is dedicated to him. It’s just really weird to have this character introduced shirtless, and then he just puts on a robe and never really wears a shirt while he’s onscreen, but then you end up thinking about how his actor died. Basically, I’m never skiing ever.
- I’m sad we won’t get more of Mogart in the MCU unless he’s recast: Mogart was a fun, minor antagonist, and the way they left the character made it seem like he could pop up again in a future MCU installment. It looks like he gets hit by a spear, but he also rides off into the mist on horseback in a way that’s very reminiscent of Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow in Batman Begins. (And Scarecrow is the only villain that appears in all three Nolanverse Batman films; the Joker, Ra’s al-Ghul, and Bane do not.) I could definitely see Mogart popping up and working with the Power Broker or Georges Batroc (whom I think is still alive). Alas, the only way they can do that now is if Marvel recasts the character, and I’m not sure I want that either. Ugh, why is skiing?
- Dude, that switch between Marc and Steven!: We hadn’t actually seen Oscar Isaac switch directly from Marc to Steven onscreen before this episode. That transition was so smooth! It made me notice how Steven’s voice is at least a few tones higher than Marc’s. The change in their physical mannerisms was amazing to see, too. It was so instant, and so, so good.
- Khonshu actually seemed sympathetic for a hot sec: I love the sequence when Khonshu says he remembers every night and then gets himself trapped as statue as he turns the night sky back. That’s the most relatable he’s ever been. It’s also the first time that Khonshu seems to view Steven as useful. That makes sense because Khonshu needs someone to tap into his powers to turn the sky back, and that feels more like something in Steven’s wheelhouse than Marc’s. It was just a really fantastic moment overall.
Okay, those are all my thoughts for now. See ya!