‘Moon Knight’: Treasure Hunts, Zombies & Relationship Drama (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Moon Knight Episode 4, “The Tomb.”]
Is Phase 4 Marvel’s phase of seriously awkward romantic relationships?
In WandaVision we had Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), who were cute, but Vision was dead. In Loki we had Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino), where the whole “they’re the same person” thing raised some questions (and eyebrows). And now in Moon Knight, we have a love triangle where two of the parties involved share the same body. Awkward.
Steven (Oscar Isaac) and Layla (May Calamawy) follow the stars to the tomb, but Arthur’s (Ethan Hawke) people have gotten there first, so they’ll have to beat them into the main chamber. This is where the whole love triangle thing takes off in earnest. There were a couple of beats last episode where it seemed like Steven might’ve developed a thing for Layla, but they could’ve been waved away: In this episode, they really can’t.
He tells her why Marc was keeping her at a distance, which really doesn’t make much of a difference to her; She’s not bothered by the threat of becoming Khonshu’s (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) avatar and says she can take care of herself. They have a rather intimate-by-Marvel’s-standards scene where she helps Steven put on his harness (“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Steven says, then hurriedly clarifies he was talking about the adventure) and they almost kiss. Steven pulls back at the last second, but then, a few minutes later, he thinks better of it and kisses her. She kisses him back. Since it’s Moon Knight, this isn’t even the weirdest thing that happens in this episode.
They get into the tomb and wind their way through its corridors, and they wind up in a chamber with mummified guards and a whole lot of fresh blood. Steven thinks there’s a different way that doesn’t follow the trail of red, so he climbs up into a different room and checks it out. There is, indeed, a different passageway… but he can only watch in horror as a wheezing zombie(!!!) enters the chamber where Layla is, holding one of Arthur’s men. The zombie kills him and starts to embalm him. Is Moon Knight secretly a zombie show?
Here, Steven and Layla separate. She manages to get out of the room and crawls over a bunch of crumbling rocks to get to a door on the other side of a cavern — she’s attacked by a zombie on the way, but plot armor saves her — while Steven gets into the pharaoh’s burial chamber and nerds out upon realizing it belongs to Alexander the Great. Marc, who can talk to Steven through reflections in the pools surrounding the tomb, is none too pleased about that kiss with Layla. Steven finds Ammit’s idol, and he turns to leave, when…
In the cavern, Layla’s stopped as Arthur has a chat with her from the opposite side. He reveals that Marc was there the night her father was killed, and he implies her husband pulled the trigger himself. Distraught, Layla finds Steven and demands to know the truth. Steven allows Marc to take over the body, and they have a conversation they really, really shouldn’t have wasted time having when a squadron of armed cultists are heading their way and the fate of the world is at stake and there are maybe still zombies crawling around. (Was anyone else yelling for them to just go?! Layla, you guys could have discussed this in the car?!)
Marc tells her that he was there when her father died, but it wasn’t how Arthur made it sound. His partner got greedy, and the guy shot and killed everyone, including Marc. That was what Marc meant when he told Steven that Khonshu saved him. Layla’s still upset, realizing that the only reason she and her husband met was because of her father’s death, and that’s when Arthur and his people burst in.
Because Marc and Layla decided not to have their little talk while walking, things go bad, fast. Arthur shoots Steven twice in the chest and because Khonshu is imprisoned, he doesn’t have armor to save him. He tumbles back into the water, dying, still holding the idol. Because this is Marvel, we know he won’t die. But that does give Moon Knight an excuse to get even wackier.
Did you already think this episode was weird? Buckle in, because here’s where the weirdness blasts into uncharted territory.
First, we get a grainy clip from an Indiana-Jones type movie where Steven is the main character. Then, Marc wakes up in an all-white world meant to resemble a mental hospital, and everyone from Steven’s life is there — his boss at the museum, people he passed on the street, the guy the zombie was embalming, Layla, and even Arthur, who serves as his therapist. (For the record, therapist-Arthur seems like an okay guy. Real-Arthur is the worst.) Marc tries to get away from him, but he’s strapped into a wheelchair the same way Steven used an ankle restraint to keep himself in bed. He does manage to escape and he runs down the corridors, where he finds Steven trapped in Alexander the Great’s sarcophagus.
He frees Steven and they try to break out together — they pass another sarcophagus where someone inside is screaming, which might be a nod to further personalities Moon Knight possesses — but their progress is halted by a talking hippo in full ancient Egyptian royal finery. “Hi!” it exclaims. Steven and Marc aren’t feeling so friendly: They scream and run away.
Moon Knight, Wednesdays, Disney+