Moon Knight took a sharp turn with episode four last week and fans are looking for answers. It was a bold choice as the six-episode series is near its end and it’s throwing curveballs that could reshape what we think of the show. Can “Asylum” make sense of it all, or is Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) actually in an insane asylum?
The latest episode opens with a young boy crying for help off-screen as the camera pushes in on a small stream. It then cuts to an unknown woman telling the camera — presumably Marc Spector (Oscar Isaac) it’s all his fault — and then a smash cut to where we left off as Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) and Marc ran into an Egyptian god that looks like a hippo. Oh, and that hippo god is inside the asylum Marc is running around inside after finding out he’s a patient. Trippy stuff.
Thankfully the episode dives right into the big twist of the last episode quickly. Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawk) claims to be Marc’s doctor and is treating him at an asylum because Marc thinks he’s a superhero. He has “imaginary fights” and is very sick. Quickly though we learn there may be another take entirely on what is going on. It’s a trippy opener thanks in large part to the hippo Egyptian god being kind of bad at her job to help Steven and Marc to the afterlife.
Ultimately, this is an episode about Marc Spector’s dual personality and its origin. We already know Marc was partly picked by Khonshu to become Moon Knight for his split personality, but finding out why he’s like this is hugely impactful. The show peers into a past Steven has no memory of and early on one can imagine that Steven’s personality was created as a means to escape a young Marc’s guilt-ridden life. There is also Moon Knight’s origin story here which we already knew from Marc’s recollection but it’s nice to see.
The special effects continue to be fabulous. The hippo looks great and there’s an impressive boat to the afterlife that looks the part. We soon learn after the razzle and dazzle finish, Moon Knight’s personalities are going to be judged as they head to the afterlife. All these elements come together to make you believe these characters in this incredibly outlandish scenario.
That scenario is built to explore Steven’s personality and Marc’s. This episode serves to resolve the conflict within Moon Knight while also dishing on each of the personalities. Who are these men that makeup Moon Knight and which one is worthy of the afterlife?
Acting throughout the episode is spot on. At this point, Isaac is hitting his groove as Steven and Marc. The young actors who play young Marc and his brother are good too. Isaac should at least be considered for an Emmy for this show. His ability to capture the intensity of Marc and the innocent optimism of Steven in a given scene makes the show all the more addictive to watch.
As far as penultimate episodes go “Asylum” gets Moon Knight’s personality issues in order so he can stop fighting himself and can start fighting to save the world. Ideally, you would get these flashbacks and exposition mixed in with action and plot progression, but as far as superhero origins go this is a masterclass.
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