On Marvel’s Moon Knight, Friends and Foes Alike Race to Egypt

On Marvel’s Moon Knight, Friends and Foes Alike Race to Egypt
Screenshot: Marvel Studios/YouTube

In episode three of Moon Knight, directed by Mohamed Diab, former partners and lovers reunite to stop Harrow (Ethan Hawke) from getting to Ammit’s tomb. Turns out working together is trickier for them with Marc (Oscar Isaac) needing to learn how to work with Steven (also Oscar Isaac) and Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) in tow. Just as Layla (May Calamawy) begins to understand why Marc withdrew, Harrow unveils truths that prove she might have never really known him at all.

Read our episode two recap of the Disney+ and Marvel Studios series here.

Image: GizmodoImage: Gizmodo

Steady on her mission to retrieve the scarab, in “The Friendly Type” Layla overcomes her fear of going back to her past in Egypt for the sake of the lives at stake if Harrow finds Ammit’s tomb before her or Marc. We get a little bit of her history here as she interacts with an associate who forges papers for her and who seems to go way back with her family. They mention Layla was her father’s little scarab who should not have grown up at his dig sites. As an adult, Layla’s an archeologist who side-hustles by taking artifacts from the black market back to their rightful owners — and yes, keeping some pieces to pay the bills. Calamawy exudes confidence with self-aware pathos as a righteous tomb raider. (Have we mentioned Layla’s our fave?) We loved the banter in this scene and want more of the associate. The little details — like the jar of Turkish Delight candy — and later scenes when she runs into Marc at a marketplace really imbue Moon Knight’s world with culture that’s not contrived because it’s authentic.

Right before they do meet up at the marketplace, Marc is running through rooftops chasing Harrow’s disciples for more information to beat out of them. Steven comes through, having had enough of the violence, and tries to put them on a plane home again until another identity takes over. When Marc comes through, blade in hand, he stands over bodies while Steven goes off on him for the killing spree. Before the two of them can try to figure out who did it because neither recalls doing it, Khonshu forces Marc to dangle one last disciple over a ledge to get more information. We have to note that he wears a red scarf and cuts it to choose death over betraying Ammit. Later, we see Harrow donning crimson for this episode as a colour that ties the deity to her followers.

Khonshu calls trial for Harrow by the Ennead and makes the sky signal them through an eclipse, which doesn’t please the gods but does force them to listen. A portal to the pyramid of Giza opens and Marc (with Steven GEEKING out) appears to bring the gods together through their avatars. It’s worth noting that he meets the avatar for Hathor, the goddess of music and love, who shares a past with Khonshu and later suggests he seek out Senfu’s tomb. Turns out trying an unarmed man (because of course Harrow conveniently forgot his staff) who has accused Khonshu of exploiting his avatars before would plead innocent and suggest Marc’s too broken to be trusted. The gods don’t even really let Khonshu make a case or let them know to go check the cult Harrow has in the desert. Simply: they’re done with Khonshu’s petulance and inclination to deal with the humans so they let Harrow walk. Khonshu accuses the gods of abandoning them while the gods say that it was humanity who did it first. They leave him with an ultimatum, mess with the sky again and he’ll be banished to stone.

At the market when Layla and Marc run into each other, they agree to work together as she’s further along in unravelling the mystery — and they ultimately share the same goal to protect the lives in danger from Harrow’s corrupt judgement. While they journey to meet with a past associate of Layla’s, Marc apologizes for walking away as they see a party on a boat playing music that reminds him of their wedding night. Layla expresses that had she known what it’s been like in his head, she could have understood. Marc withdraws and Oscar Isaac does that thing where he speaks with his eyes but you get too lost in them to pry out those secrets! He and Calamawy are enchanting as heck. They’re a new solid archetype amalgam of all those sorts of sweeping adventurers with a past who have to work through their feelings for each other on another mission which could be their last. Steven needs to save this marriage!

Speaking of Steven, when Layla and Marc get to meet with underworld collector Mogart (played by the late Gaspard Ulliel), he could have really come in handy if not for Marc wanting to be in control as “Rufino Estrada.” I’m sorry, I just love that his fake name is Rufino. So delightful. Anyways, Mogart and Layla had dealings in Madripoor (yes that place, where we found out Sharon Carter was the Power Broker in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) that may have gone south and their visit to look at Senfu’s tomb was contingent on making the peace if it could be kept. With Marc not letting Steven out, things get hairy quickly as Harrow shows up to offer to let Mogart into his venture for Ammit’s tomb. He also drops hints that Layla shouldn’t trust Marc if he’s not going to tell her what he had to do with her father’s death. While everyone is gaslit out of the matter at hand, Harrow destroys Senfu’s tomb. Here’s where it gets really suspicious, because if Senfu was a faithful follower of Ammit, why destroy the tomb? I still don’t trust that Harrow is being honest about who he’s serving.

While a fight breaks out and we see Marc hit that crescent moon superhero landing, Steven breaks in as Mr. Knight and promptly gets human shish-kabob’ed. He’s a sweetie who needs to know his role, and it finally comes into play after they get away with the remnants of Senfu’s map to Ammit’s tomb. Steven pieces it together and it reveals the night sky from a few thousand years before. The Moon deity reveals that he remembers every night and decides to make a great sacrifice. Khonshu manipulates the sky one more time to lead them to the tomb but seals his fate as a stone statue. Before he fully disappears, he asks Steven to tell Marc to free him. The sequence is incredibly cinematic and beautiful to behold with an incredible score. It’s just so cool to see celestial supernatural magic mashed with the heist technology that Layla uses to make their map just in time.

At the end we see Khonshu tethered to his statue in the pyramid of Giza while Arthur speaks to him cruelly about enjoying dealing pain on his behalf — and expresses his gratitude for being broken by him to know the value of healing. He leaves vowing to do what Khonshu could not.

Moon Knight drops on Disney+ every Wednesday.