Marvel’s Moon Knight: Summon the Suit (Episode 2) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
While Moon Knight introduced viewers to a fast-moving mystery in its premiere, it slows things down in its follow-up episode to give us more of Ethan Hawke’s amazing performance as Arthur Harrow, but not much else.
Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) finds himself still spiraling after finding out that he’s living a double life he doesn’t fully understand. Although he remembers all the craziness from the day before of him discovering another personality within himself named Marc Spector, who can transform into a brutal crime-fighter, no one else does. Like any great cult leader trying to stay hidden, Arthur manages to mask the evidence of their presence by making it seem like Steven had a nervous breakdown and trashed the museum leading him to lose his job. Now with all this free time on his hands, Steven starts to unravel the mystery of Marc’s identity, but the needle doesn’t move much.
For the most part, Marc’s story is still left under wraps, and we really don’t see much of him in the episode. Until the episode’s final moments, Marc is mostly stuck in reflections and most of his background and personality are divulged through other people, like Marc’s wife and fellow adventurer Layla (Maya Calamawy), who don’t exactly paint him as a great person. Upon meeting Layla, she’s brought divorce papers showing that their relationship is incredibly rocky and some extra background we learn about his profession as a mercenary shows him as a ruthless killer. Now, it’s worth keeping in mind that Marc wants Layla out of his life to protect her from a deal he made with Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) and the information about the executions he did to scientists in Egypt might have a greater truth to it and doesn’t come from a reliable source.
Based on the way the episode ends, it feels like next week’s episode is going to dive deeper into Marc’s story as well as his troubled relationship with Khonshu, which is good because this series could use a break from Steven. As enjoyable as Isaac’s performance as Steven is, his panic-driven attitude and admirable desires to be completely good are holding this series back from being something more. While this episode does have some solid moments of horror and action, it’s way too comedic and comes off kind of underwhelming because Steven’s in the driver’s seat. His whole personality feels like a typical MCU comedy routine of mishaps and while it was fun to see him turn into the snazzy looking Mr. Knight, the comedic fight sequence that followed makes this series struggle to live up to its promises.
The promise of hyper-violent action is looking a little suspect given how little action we really get in this episode, and it barely even feels like we’ve scratched the surface of Steven’s character. We know there are many other personalities within Steven than just him, Marc, and Khonshu and it would be nice if they came out just to spice things up. Look, I know it’s just the second episode, but Moon Knight is only a six-episode series, so it doesn’t have much time left. Throughout this episode, you just can’t help but beg Steven to give up control in the same way Marc does just so better things can happen and hopefully things change a little more with Marc now in control battling Khonshu.
The real MVP of this episode is undoubtedly Hawke as Arthur as his performance is just continuously intriguing and his ideology is greatly dissected. Hawke is just incredible from start to finish in this role with him delivering a charismatic and calculated performance that shows how Arthur controls the narrative to his liking. It’s constantly compelling to watch him just predict lines that Khonshu and Marc are yelling to Steven in their respective tantrums and he’s so damn convincing it’s insane. It’s even more interesting to learn that Arthur was once a conduit for Khonshu like Marc and Steven are and Arthur expands the lore greatly in explaining his mission.
While Khonshu seeks vengeance on those who have done bad, Arthur doesn’t feel he does enough and proclaims that he gets there too late. Ammit, however, looks into the future and kills those that will do bad things to prevent future catastrophe. While this might make Ammit sound great, Steven does poke a big hole in this ideology by acknowledging that Ammit kills children and others who might not really do the things they feel. His analogy about wanting and doing is great and it also brings up the fact of Ammit not recognizing the possibility for people to change. Arthur and Ammit’s beliefs are touched on greatly here to show the darker side of their ideology and they are already becoming two of the most compelling villains in the MCU.
While Moon Knight’s latest episode might struggle to deliver on its early promises and give fans the kind of Moon Knight experience they want, its ending shows some potential to really get into the swing of things and Hawke’s captivating performance carries the load well.