Marvel’s Moon Knight: The Tomb (Episode 4) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
As Moon Knight kicks off its second half, it finally begins to live up to its promises and delivers a constantly intriguing episode full of mind-blowing revelations.
Moon Knight’s biggest issues have been its overly goofy tone and a lack of darkness, and at first, it seemed like these problems were going to continue. Marc and Steven (Oscar Isaac) still have their goofy spats, which now adds them feuding over being in love with Layla (Maya Calamawy). Even though Layla can be a badass like she is at the start of the episode taking down some mercenaries in the desert, her storyline still lacks depth and often relegates her to a simple love interest role. Her narrative is so thin that she’s really just a romantic tool for Marc and Steven’s dynamic. Things felt like this episode was going to be business as usual, where Ethan Hawke carries the series as Harrow, and you find yourself begging for something to happen. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Truthfully, just the start of the episode feels like déjà vu as the series shifts the tone and story in a more favorable direction. It’s not a monumental shift to the point where Moon Knight feels like a different series entirely, but certain parts stand out better. For instance, Steven is much more enjoyable here as his geekiness fits better as him and Layla explore the tomb. It’s actually fun to see him have a personal connection with this place and be effective in solving some of the puzzles.
Even better is that Moon Knight finally brings some strong horror moments with Steven and Layla coming across a horrifying creature guarding the tomb. Although it’s mostly off-screen, the grotesque presence the creature has can be felt and heard as it guts one of Arthur’s men for a bloody ritual. The way that the creature is captured is great as it lets viewers imagine the horrors it’s enacting, and it ends up creating a terrifying situation for Layla. Not only does the creature make Layla’s already treacherous trek over a gorge more dangerous, but it also attacks Layla leading to a pretty brutal death sequence that sees Layla use the creature’s dismembered arm and a flare to take it out. Also, there’s a fun sequence of Steven shoving his hand down a corpse’s throat to grab Ammit’s totem.
It’s great that Moon Knight is finally embracing some horror elements and it doesn’t stop there as this episode also delivers some narrative bombshells that finally delivers something worth talking about with this series. Ah Harrow, you always know how to make things interesting in this series. Although he isn’t around as much as usual, Harrow does eventually appear and delivers the truth behind Layla’s father’s death. So, on that same mercenary mission that Marc was on where he became Khonshu’s avatar, apparently Layla’s father was one of the scientists that were executed. While Marc didn’t pull the trigger, it’s still a secret he’s kept from Layla and it’s something that ultimately fractures their relationship when she confronts him about it. It’s a great moment/reveal as it adds new complications to Marc and Layla’s relationship and gives Layla a more intriguing arc.
The most mind-blowing moment of the series so far undoubtedly comes from what happens after Arthur shoots Marc in the chest as the episode transitions to a low-budget jungle adventure that eventually reveals Marc to be a patient in a mental asylum. Now, it’s worth noting that this isn’t a real reality and rather a part of Marc’s dying moment, but it is incredibly awesome. It’s a scene ripped right from the comics and presents a lot of jaw-dropping moments. From seeing every character in the series in new roles to Arthur being Marc’s psychiatrist, it’s amazing how this sharp turn totally catches you off guard. There are also some fun nods to things we’ve seen throughout the series so far, including a makeshift Moon Knight action figure, and some noteworthy things to talk about for the series’ future.
Before we even get to stuff in the asylum, Steven mentions that the tomb holding Ammit’s totem is the tomb of Alexander the Great, which is a nice historical nod, but also could foreshadow the appearance of a familiar face. Prior to Moon Knight’s release, there had been rumors swirling that Kit Harrington’s Black Knight and Mahershala Ali’s Blade would appear at some time and this could be the thing that draws them to appear. Now, in the asylum, after Marc reunites with Steven, they pass by another sarcophagus that could be another well-known personality of Marc’s known as Jake Lockley. Lockley is a cab driver with violent tendencies that scare even Marc and with this asylum most likely being the epicenter for all of Marc’s personalities, it’s only a matter of time before Lockley breaks out.
It finally feels exciting to talk about Moon Knight as its latest episode delivers some shocking revelations and reveals that greatly alter the tone and direction for the series and provides interesting hints as who else we could be possibly see as Marc works towards defeating Arthur and Ammit.