Things Get Real in the Second Episode of ‘Moon Knight’ (Recap)

They fit in a lot of plot stuff in this episode, and it moved very quickly straight out of the gate, so let’s go for a ride, comrades. We begin with our resident little guy.

Steven getting terrified awake from a nightmare about what happened in the first episode sets the stage for what occurs in the newest episode. The first thing Steven does when he starts getting ready for work is he goes to a mirror and looks for Marc, who fully does not respond. And then it’s off to work for our reluctant hero/vessel/lil guy/gift shop worker. When he gets there, he somewhat excitedly informs the security officer, who is about to view the security footage from the night before, to find out who demolished the bathroom. Steven himself knows who demolished the bathroom. He thinks there will be footage of him being chased by the jackal or of Marc of Moon Knight fame. But alas, all that’s captured is Steven running away from nothing and going into the bathroom and then Marc, in Steven’s regular clothes, walking out of the bathroom.

So Steven’s in a bit of a pickle, isn’t he?

May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly in Moon Knight (COURTESY: Disney+)

He ends up getting fired and politely referred to a mental health facility, which he appreciates because he feels like he’s losing his mind. That is understandable, given the circumstances. When he leaves work, he finds the storage unit unlocked by the hidden key he found in his apartment in the first episode. Inside the storage unit is Marc’s little hidey-hole essentially. It’s giving military; it’s giving spies on the run; it’s giving criminals. Steven, who is just baffled by all of this, gets Marc to come out and talk to him. Marc does and explains that he is an avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon, and he’s on a mission to stop Arthur Harrow from awakening Ammit or something like that. Steven tells him he’s actually a nutjob and then grabs a bag of Marc’s stuff so he can turn himself into the police and get locked up and never hurt anyone again.

It feels like a solid plan for someone terrified of themselves, and whatever exists inside them is a known killer. Unfortunately for Steven, Khonshu doesn’t like that and chases him through the storage facility in such a dramatic way. It’s a pretty tense and scary scene, but it’s also funny when you consider that Steven is trying to outrun a literal god. He ends up doing it, though, so good for him. As he runs out of the storage facility, he runs into Layla (of lady-on-the secret-phone-from-the-first-episode fame) on a little motorbike scooter thing. He gets on behind her, and they go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth about how Layla (of Marc’s soon-to-be ex-wife fame) believes that Steven is Marc pretending to be Steven. In contrast, Steven is trying to convince her that he is, in fact, Steven with a V. This takes us all the way to Steven’s apartment.

Once at the apartment, we get this long scene where Layla is snooping around and finding very Layla and Marc coded stuff, so we get the idea that Steven’s interests were unintentionally pulled from memories of Marc’s life with Layla. It’s honestly kind of sweet and very interesting. And then Layla finds Marc’s bag with the scarab beetle and accuses Marc of trying to cut her out of some mission that they started together. So she gets mad, but Steven’s like, uh, actually, you can have all that, I want nothing to do with it. Then there’s a knock on the door, and it sounds like the police. Steven thinks they’re there to talk to him about the bathroom incident, despite it all being taken care of. He opens the door a crack, so they don’t see Layla trying to hide, but one of the two investigators’ bodies his way into the apartment without permission or a warrant. At this point, I thought, okay, it could still be police, but probably not.

The investigators start going through Steven’s stuff, and they look around the apartment for another person, but they don’t find Layla as she has gone up on the roof! As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the investigators are not there about the bathroom incident. They are there for Steven and the scarab, interrogating him about it. Steven is about to tell them that Layla has the scarab because he doesn’t want to be involved in any of this, but Marc shows up and tells him that if Steven tells them about Layla, they will kill her. So. Steven does not tell them about Layla. They find Marc’s incriminating bag with his passport and shady military stuff, and they handcuff Steven and take him away. From the roof, Layla watches Steven being carted off.

While restrained in the back of their vehicle, Steven hears that Marc has killed many people, which he already knew, but the confirmation of knowing Marc’s killed more than he thought rattles him. Rightfully so. The two abductors start driving to a sketchy-looking area when Steven gets clued to the fact that they are not police. They’re in cahoots with Arthur Harrow, who greets Steven quite kindly when he gets out of the vehicle and the handcuffs. Khonshu, who I should remind you only Steven can see, shows up and tries to get Steven to kill Arthur using the most amusingly shouted demands. Arthur talks to Steven like he can also hear Khonshu, which we learn is because Arthur used to be the avatar of Khonshu before he found Ammit. Steven is a little bit shook.

Steven Grant sees the alter Marc Spector in his reflection. Image courtesy of Disney+.

Arthur then takes Steven through this utopian community he’s created in this sketchy-looking area, and hey, all he had to do was kill people who may have had the potential to do “bad” things. He claims that under Khonshu, he could only bring people to justice after a crime had already been committed after people had already been hurt. He’s now into preventative work, which would be fine if that did not include killing innocent people. And that’s an issue that Steven brings up during Arthur’s whole spiel. Steven rightfully points out that being willing to kill anyone, including children, just because they might one day do a lousy thing is morally reprehensible. And, of course, Arthur’s response amounts to “ugh, you wouldn’t get it.” Once again, the scarab beetle is requested, but Steven doesn’t have it (because Layla has it), and then chaos ensues because Khonshu is there and Marc is there. Only Steven can see and talk to them, and Arthur and his other disciples (???) are getting upset, and then Layla comes to the rescue sort of.

Layla tries to get Steven to summon the suit because she still thinks he’s Marc, but he’s not Marc. Khonshu has tried to get Steven to fight because Khonshu is pushy as hell and wants Arthur Harrow to die. Steven is freaking out because, of course, he is; this stuff is nuts. Layla and Steven—but mostly Layla—fight their way out of the situation, but Arthur uses his magical staff to call another jackal out of the ground. Layla and Steven barricade themselves into a room with some weird stuff in it, and Steven is convinced they’re going to die. But Layla’s trying to get him to suit up, but Steven doesn’t know how to do that because he’s Steven. The jackal breaks into the room, but Layla can’t see it, which… unsurprising but deeply annoying. The jackal shoves Steven out of the window, and this time, he verbally summons the suit as he’s falling, and it works a little bit! He ends up in a white and gray three-piece suit with no jacket, so it’s a two-piece suit, but he’s got the mask on, so it’s back to being a three-piece suit? I don’t know, but he looks goofy, and Marc lets him know it.

A fight between Steven and the jackal only he can see breaks out on the streets of London. Even though the suit affords Steven some abilities, he doesn’t know how to use them properly, so Marc repeatedly asks him to take over. Until civilians start getting hurt by this entity, they can’t even see that Steven allows Marc to take over and thoroughly do his Moon Knight business. Marc leads the jackal away from people and does a lot of running and jumping on top of buildings until he manages to maneuver the jackal into a position where he can impale it on a sculpture, which is neat. But then he realizes he doesn’t have the scarab beetle, which Layla had given back to him during the actiony parts, and he freaks out a little bit. He then has an altercation with Steven about Marc being a bad guy and Layla’s involvement, and we learn that Marc is trying to protect Layla from becoming Khonshu’s next avatar. Still, Steven doesn’t get it because he’s Steven. Then Marc flips out and smashes his reflection to shut Steven up.

The final bits of the episode is a conversation between Khonshu and Marc where Khonshu is just straight up mean? And threatens to kill Steven for getting in the way of the mission, so Marc has to tell him he has it under control, but Khonshu is like, you clearly do not have anything under any authority, Marc. Which… that’s fair, but still. And then Khonshu sends Marc to Egypt, and we discover that Arthur has that doggone beetle.

That was so much. That last half of the episode was a lot of information, but I’m so intrigued. And now we’re in Egypt with Marc in charge of the body. Things are about to get wilder than they already are.

Rating: 7/10

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