Yes, Moon Knight fans. That happened. You didn’t dream the last 10 minutes of the latest episode, “The Tomb.” They were real and you’ll be happy to know it wasn’t just some random creation. The twist is strongly rooted in one of Moon Knight’s most surprising and fascinating comic book stories ever, a run by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire from 2016, and we’re here to break it down.
On the show, Marc and Layla go tomb raiding hoping to find Ammit before Harrow and his team. You can read the full recap here, but eventually, Harrow shoots Marc, Marc falls into an abyss and wakes up… somewhere else. After almost four episodes dominated by the natural look of the United Kingdom and Egypt, directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead slam us with the cold, white interior of a mental health facility. There are patients playing Bingo and watching TV — and one such patient, Marc Spector, is staring at a whiteboard. Another patient, who looks just like Layla, takes his winning Bingo card as Marc begins to regain consciousness. He tries to get up but falls out of his wheelchair, dropping a Moon Knight toy in the process. What the heck is going on here?
The scenario is almost exactly how Moon Knight #1, released in 2016, begins. Created by Jeff Lemire, Greg Smallwood, and Jordie Bellaire, that comic starts like this episode ends, with Marc waking up in a mental facility. There, however, it’s a bit more straightforward from the start. Marc’s told that he was never Moon Knight. There is a Moon Knight, but he’s just imagined it’s him in his head for years.
Is that the truth on the show though? It’s unclear. After Marc falls out of his chair, he’s sedated and brought in to see the head of the facility who is, obviously, Ethan Hawke’s Harrow. Alt-Harrow explains that a movie Marc watches on repeat called Tomb Buster “makes a meal” of a lunar God, much like his stories. This idea is also drawn from the comics, where Marc similarly watches grand adventures on TV. Could Marc just be stealing his ideas from the movie?
The show then gets a little Usual Suspects moment, seemingly bolstering Alt-Harrow’s claims. There are familiar-looking statues. The painting on the wall looks like the town from the first episode. Even Harrow’s shoes are the same style. All of these visual indicators make it seem as if none of what happened is real. Marc made it all up because he’s mentally ill.
We wouldn’t want to spoil what eventually plays out in the 2016 run but, suffice to say, nothing can be taken at face value — and, well, Marvel Studios did make a Moon Knight show with Marc Spector, did they not? There’s a good chance what we’ve been watching for almost four episodes did, in fact, happen.
But then you have to wonder, what does the end of the episode mean? Marc escapes Alt-Harrow’s office and takes off running. Along the way, he sees a sarcophagus with someone yelling and screaming inside. He opens it to find… Steven. The two embrace, confirm their confusion and head out. They peek in briefly at a third sarcophagus which they don’t open (which, we can only assume, means another personality is coming), and end up running into a hippo-shaped deity. She says “Hi,” they scream, and the episode ends.
As was mentioned in our recap that’s likely Taweret, the goddess of fertility and childbirth, who is possibly another member of the Ennead. But if so, who has her trapped there? And will it be the same general explanation that happened in the comics? (Again, no spoilers, but there’s a brief recap here.) We’d imagine Moon Knight the show will wind up similarly, but not exactly, aligned with comics but we’ll find out for sure very soon. Only two weeks of Moon Knight are left on Disney+.