This article contains spoilers for ‘Moon Knight Episode 4 – The Tomb’
With series like Moon Knight you never know what’s going to happen. What we thought was a cut and dry superhero fantasy series went far left field with our expectations. Was the whole thing just in Marc Spector’s head the whole time? Is he dead? Is the psychiatric hospital a form of some weird afterlife based on Marc’s experiences? Or is this all just a test from Khonshu and the rest of the Ennead to see what Marc and Steven are really made of? With Marvel, we never really know what to expect. Plus, what was with that hippopotamus?
The Truth Is Revealed: Who Killed Layla’s Father, Frenchie or Bushman?
Our episode begins with the avatar of Osiris placing the ushabti of Khonshu onto a shelf of sorts with other figurines displayed around it. After a look of doubt from the avatar, we cut to Layla and Steven prepping to make their way to Ammit’s tomb. Preluded by a run-in with Harrow’s men, an attack from an undead priest, and a bit of a chat between Layla and Arthur Harrow about Layla’s father, the duo finally discover Ammit’s tomb. With Steven Grant being the Egyptian mythology fanboy that he is some nerding-out occurs on his part, then after a nasty plunge of Steven’s hand into Alexander the Great’s mouth and the retrieval of Ammit’s ushabti.
Layla finally shows up and confronts Marc about what he had to do with her father’s death. Trying to change the subject Marc attempts to hasten Layla out of the tomb and onto safety, but she’s not having it. Marc finally spills the beans and tells his wife that he was there when her father died, but it wasn’t he who did it, it was his partner. While not explicitly mentioned in the episode, this “partner” could be referring to Jean-Paul “Frenchie” Duchamp who in Moon Knight comics is Marc’s fellow mercenary turned to friend and pilot.
Frenchie being the man who killed Layla’s father would be a departure from how he is perceived in the source material as it was a mercenary and terrorist named Bushman who took the life of Marc’s girlfriend’s father. For all we know in these happenings before the series’ first episode Bushman could have been Marc’s partner, but ended up changing sides for a number of nefarious reasons. Maybe episode 5 will shed some light on these mysterious events.
Layla El-Faouly, the future Scarlet Scarab?
At the beginning of last week’s episode, titled “The Friendly Type”, we got a chance to see Layla’s full name via a peek at her fake passport. Reading “Layla Abdallah El-Faouly” her passport shows that she was partly named after her father, who was named Abdallah El-Faouly. Now I could be grasping at straws here, but her name reminds me of another Arabic Marvel character named Abdul Faoul, who is also the villain (and sometimes antihero) Scarlet Scarab. First appearing in Invaders #23 in 1977, Faoul started out as an archaeologist and liaison between Egypt and the Allied Forces during World War II.
He soon led Namor and The Human Torch of The Invaders to a recently excavated pyramid in search of a fanatic nationalist group but betrayed the heroes by revealing that he was in fact the group’s leader. After acquiring an artifact of great power called The Ruby Scarab, Faoul made it his mission to protect his homeland of Egypt from invading forces like The British and The Nazis. One day the scarab mysteriously vanished and Faoul spent decades searching for his beloved treasure until his death. On his deathbed, he asked his son to continue the search for the artifact and bring it home to Egypt.
Disney through its live-action Marvel properties has a habit of integrating multiple characters into one new character. The character of Layla is clearly an interpretation of Marc’s friend and lover Marlene Alraune (despite the series creators stating Marlene was never on the cards of characters for the show) from Moon Knight’s comics, but a few pieces of Abdul Faoul could have been thrown into the creation of this new character for the live-action series alongside Marlene. With the revelation that Marc kept the secret about the circumstances of her father’s death from her, Layla could leave Marc/Steven at the end of the series and go on to do her own thing and avenge her father’s death.
With no news of a second season for “Moon Knight” and the happenings of the final two episodes yet to be revealed it’s unknown if we will get to see any resolution on Layla’s end regarding her father’s death and what it means for the growth of her character. If we do get a season two it would definitely be cool to see Layla become an updated version of Scarlet Scarab.
All in his head?
To the astoundment and confusion of every viewer of the series fourth episode Marc was shot twice by Harrow, then woke up in what appeared to be the mental ward of a hospital. Surrounded by people and things from his life (or what we thought was his life) Marc struggles to put the pieces together of this startling revelation. Did everything in his life actually happen or was it all just an insane daydream brought on by the meds used to calm his psychosis?
We see a patient resembling Layla, orderlies looking like the FBI agents from the first episode, a Bingo announcer that looks like the street performer Crawley, and even Gus the goldfish makes an appearance. Soon after, Marc is taken to his appointment with the resident psychiatrist, who after some blurry vision on Marc’s end, is revealed to be none other than Harrow. What the heck is going on?
Starting in “Moon Knight Vol 1: Lunatic”, Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s run of the hero’s story introduces Marc Spector as the patient of a psychiatric hospital with memories of being Moon Knight and the avatar of the moon god Khonshu. With no powers or any idea of how he got to be at this hospital, Marc decides to break out and make it his mission to resume his position as the Fist of Khonshu. But as he goes out on his own to fulfill this mission Marc continues to question his sanity and whether or not his days as Moon Knight were real or just a delusional fantasy.
In the final act of “The Tomb” Marc awakens in a psychiatric hospital akin to the one that his comics counterpart finds himself in and has the same level of distress (as anyone would). Similar to Lemire and Smallwood’s run, Marc is thoroughly confused and has no clue whether his nights as Khonshu’s avatar actually happened or if his mind made it all up. With a circumstance like this, we as viewers have no idea which direction the following episodes will go and how the story will end. One thing that we do know is that it will be a fun and crazy ride.
After waking up in a mental ward, Marc sees some pretty confusing things surrounding him, one being a program on a tv titled, “Tomb Buster”. Reminiscent of the “Indiana Jones” franchise, but with a much lower budget, Tomb Buster follows adventurer Steven Grant and his young sidekick as they trek through a thick, foggy jungle and on their journey to find a treasure of some sort. The more confusing thing isn’t why this B-grade movie is stinking up the joint, but why the main character of the program shares a name with one of Marc’s alters. Not much else is shown of “Tomb Buster” besides the one scene, but what is shown sure is perplexing to both Marc and “Moon Knight” viewers.
Shows and movies following archaeologists have been in pop culture for decades. With movies like “Indiana Jones”, “Tomb Raider”, “National Treasure”, and the “Librarians” film series filling viewers’ lists of the most popular flicks adventures like “Tomb Buster” are nothing new to the “Moon Knight” audience. It’s no surprise that a nod to these awesome movies would pop up in the series’ fourth episode. Now, all we need is a full movie or series of the campy treasure hunting romp to fill the void that “Moon Knight” will leave once its final episode of the season has aired.
Is that you, Jake Lockley?
Throughout the four episodes of the series so far we’ve had plenty of a look at both Marc and Steven, but there’s still one alter who has yet to show his face. In the comics that have inspired the Disney Plus series, we have a third character of sorts to help out the duo when they need a man on the streets. Calling himself “Jake Lockley”, this gruff taxi driver knows his way around the city of New York and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when the going gets tough.
Unfortunately, we haven’t met “Jake” yet in the preceding episodes, but we may have gotten another glimpse at his presence towards the end of episode 4. After Marc had become lucid enough to try and escape the supposed mental ward he found Steven trapped in a sarcophagus, then the two fled through a hallway and past many rooms. One of these rooms housed another rattling sarcophagus, but this one was standing up in contrast to Steven’s which was lying down. The two men stopped briefly to get a glance at the object to ponder what it was but then continued to run to safety.
In last week’s episode, titled “The Friendly Type”, Marc got into a scuffle with a few of Harrow’s men, 2 of which he seemed to have gravely injured. Upon seeing the damage that he appeared to have wrought, Marc asked Steven if he had stabbed the two men, but Steven denied doing so. My guess is that whoever was banging around in that second sarcophagus was another alter, namely “Jake Lockley”. With only two episodes left of season one here’s to hoping that we’ll get a chance to see “Jake” finally show himself.
What the hippo?
The series “Moon Knight” is filled with a numerous amount of Egyptian gods, and the MCU at large has dozens more. Ever since our first peek at a pantheon of gods in “Thor” way back in 2011 we’ve seen Norse gods, Celestials, African gods, and even extra-dimensional entities like Dormammu and The Dweller in Darkness it’s no secret that Marvel loves its deities.
One god that unexpectedly showed up in this week’s “Moon Knight” was Tawaret, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility. Having the head and body of a hippopotamus, the limbs of a lion, and the back and tail of a crocodile, this deity was said to watch over mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.
Running for their lives, Marc and Steven happen upon the giant hippo in the very last scene of the episode, and to no surprise both let out horrified screams when the goddess cheerily greets them. Towards the beginning of the episode, we saw the avatar of Osiris place the ushabti of Khonshu onto an altar of sorts with many other ushabtis portraying other Egyptian gods surrounding it. One of the figurines appeared to have the head of a hippopotamus, so my guess is that Tawaret is one of the gods that were imprisoned by other members of the Ennead.
Maybe the psych ward that Marc and Steven find themselves in is a prison dimension that took the form of a place that mirrors the duo’s waking life. When Marc died of the gunshots given to him by Harrow he and his alters could have descended into this other dimension housing the imprisoned gods.
Antonia Salib, the voice actor for Tawaret, is credited for the following two episodes of the season. It appears that the protagonists will help the imprisoned gods escape this all-white realm and work their way back up to our dimension. One thing that I know for sure is that I’m definitely excited to see more of the joyous hippo and possibly her fellow anthropomorphic gods.
‘Moon Knight’ is streaming now Disney Plus.
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After having loved superheroes, Star Wars, and Harry Potter as a kid I definitely grew up to be a major nerd. Every new movie release excites me and each new episode of my favorite shows always make me wanting more.
I love writing and reading articles about upcoming movies, casting announcements, and easter eggs in my favorite forms of media. If an article that I'm reading is too confusing or drawn-out I quickly lose interest, so I make it my mission to make my articles as informative and entertaining as possible. I hope that what I write both teaches and captivates you, and that you have some fun along the way, too.