Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight has gotten off to one hell of a rush, introducing us to an incredibly intriguing and dangerous new hero in the form of Moon Knight. And now the action picks up as the duel characters of Steven Grant/Marc Spector come face to face with ancient Egyptian powers and are forced into a severe choice.
Following the explosive and shocking ending of Episode One of Moon Knight, ‘The Goldfish Problem’, mild-mannered Steven Grant suddenly has his dull life ripped away from him and falls down the rabbit hole into the life of the mysterious and dangerous mercenary Marc Spector. While unravelling the chaotic life of Spector, Grant also comes face-to-face with Spector’s enemy Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), a benevolent cult leader who tries to persuade Grant to join his cause and who reveals to him the truth of the Moon God Khonshu and his battle with him. But it’s a truth that Grant can’t accept and with the darkness closing in around him he’s forced to choose between Harrow and Khonshu and the new path that lies before him.
Episode Two of Moon Knight, ‘Summon the Suit’ finds a new pair of directors, Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson, taking over directing duties from Mohamed Diab and they continue to move forward at pace with this exciting new chapter of the MCU. Once again themes of identity remain at the forefront of Moon Knight, and Moorhead and Benson keep things interesting as they literally bring Steven Grant directly in contact with the elusive Marc Spector. Moorhead and Benson give Oscar Isacc, celebrated performer that he is, the room to expand and play out both roles and via Isaac’s performance we see two radically different characters battling with one another and trying to get one up on each other. This duelling case of identity is incredibly interesting to watch unfold and it keeps the narrative, and its surprises within, fresh and shocking.
‘Summon the Suit’ is a very important episode as it introduces two brand new characters to Moon Knight, and both have big gravitas to bring to the show. Cast as Spector’s wife Layla El-Faouly is May Calamawy and she brings a whipsmart action and in-your-face quality to the part. Unaware of Spector’s relationship with Grant, Layla is caught off guard and her standing as an archeologist and rule-breaker is brought to the screen in a big way. Calamawy’s introduction as Layla is a way by which audiences can get an insight into the complicated actions of Grant/Spector and she’s sure to have a big role to play going forward. Alongside Layla, audiences also come face to face with the disgruntled and angry Egyptian God of the Moon, Khonshu, and he’s none too pleased with the appearance of Grant, stifling Spector’s mission. Voiced by the legendary F. Murray Abraham, Khonshu is a straight-up bully and his antagonistic bent and domineering relationship with Spector keeps the narrative on its feet.
This second episode also brings Isaac’s Grant face-to-face with the series’ primary villain Arthur Harrow, who is played with a reserved menace by Ethan Hawke. And it’s a very compelling meeting of the minds. What we learn from this meeting is that Hawke’s Harrow once served the wrathful Khonshu as his avatar before vacating the role and finding his purpose as the vehicle for Ammit and her judgemental powers. While Harrow at first feigns a sense of grand benevolence and care, it soon becomes clear that he is only interested in serving Ammit’s dark desires and the depths of his evils are brought forth quickly. Hawke is a terrific addition to Moon Knight and his presence as the series’ chief antagonist is only going to grow in intrigue as we move forward.
But Episode 2, ‘Summon the Suit’ is not just about mere face-to-face confrontations, but at its core is Grant/Spector accepting his mission and coming into his power as Moon Knight. This power that he controls is gifted to him when he is cloaked in the armour of Khonshu, or ‘the suit’. And it takes a bit of practice for Grant to get the hang of it. But once he relinquishes control to Spector, we see this hero get to go to work against a foul and demonic creature. It’s a lot of fun to see Spector cut loose inside ‘the suit’ and the combat and action of ‘Summon the Suit’ is different and complex due to the shared identity and competency of both Steven Grant and Marc Spector. While it’s amusing to watch Grant pretend to ‘play hero’, it’s when Spector steps up that Isaac can go full anti-hero and he looks epically cool flying through the London sky and slashing curved blades around in a fury of controlled chaos.
We’re getting into the crux of the narrative now for Moon Knight and the action is moving quickly. Character, narrative and action are fit for purpose in this series and the excitement is ramping up quickly.
Moon Knight streams every Wednesday on Disney+
Image: Walt Disney Pictures