Overall, there’s been much to love about Moon Knight. With the MCU’s obsession with interconnecting everything, it’s nice to have a story so self-contained, something to watch without having to do too much legwork. The main issue here is that 6 episodes just isn’t enough. The first 4 episodes did a good job in laying the groundwork for the character, his relationships, and the major conflict, both internally and externally.
Then episode 5 came along, and despite the darker themes, the show was more intent on rushing Marc and Steven along for catharsis, so that we could have the final showdown for episode 6. Things are moving along quickly because they need to wrap things up. And because of this, the emotional moments don’t really get a chance to stick.
When episode 6 begins, we’re with Marc in the Field of Reeds. Before he even opens his mouth, we know there’s no way Marc accepts this peaceful fate. Steven has been left behind in the sand of the Duat, Layla’s trying to deal with Harrow herself back in the real world – Marc has too much love and responsibility for these people to leave them behind and walk off into the tranquility of the afterlife. So off he goes in search of Steven, much to Taweret’s dismay. The pair’s reunion is an emotional moment, but we never get a proper chance to actually feel anything, because they’re off running, heading back to the real world to finish what they started.
The odds are against them when they return, as Harrow has succeeded in freeing Ammit. Despite the fact that Harrow’s scales don’t balance, Ammit chooses him as her avatar because of his loyalty, and well, because he freed her. It’s an interesting moment for Harrow actually, since he’s quite willing to receive her judgement, and suggests any one of his followers to serve as her avatar instead. He’s not a hypocritical antagonist, believing that he is above the rules imposed on others. His main mission was to release Ammit, and now that he has, his work is over, and he seems content to receive her judgment even though he knows it won’t end well for him. I wish they prolonged this moment to really flesh out the nuances of his villainy, instead of Ammit just pushing his concerns aside because of her previous avatar.
In the meantime, Layla has freed Khonsu, and while he offers her the opportunity to be his avatar, she turns him down. This coincides with Marc and Steven returning, so Khonsu heads off to heal their wounds, and talk terms. After speaking to one of the other avatars, who dies immediately after conveying what he needed to – how convenient – Layla realises they’re going to need more avatars to stop Ammit. Despite her rejection of Taweret’s offer earlier on, she calls upon the Goddess and agrees to be her avatar, albeit temporarily. While Taweret is adorable and funny, this scene is so out of place. The Goddess communicates with Layla through her possession of Layla’s own body, so May Calamawy is hopping between two different personas in this scene. Then Taweret mentions Layla’s father, which is a highly emotional moment, yet once again we’re unable to feel anything because of the goofiness inherent in the scene.
Still, Layla’s transformation to Taweret’s avatar is so badass. The costuming is great, Layla looks incredible, and the entire outfit is battle-friendly. I also love that Layla keeps her glorious curly hair for the entire series. Producer Sara Goher actually spoke about this, and the intentionality behind Layla’s entire look.
She said: “I’m an Egyptian girl, and I have curly hair. I can’t tell you how many girls I know have spent years burning that hair with irons, using chemical processes to straighten their hair, and it’s because we don’t see enough representation of curly hair on-screen. And so down to the curl, down to her story, down to even her strength, these were all very important things that we wanted to instate in her character.” At one point, one of the girls she rescues asks Layla if she’s an Egyptian superhero, and when she says yes, it is a moment that truly helps us understand why representation is so important.
We finally get more action sequences in this season finale, as Layla and Marc/Steven take on Harrow. The constant switching between Marc and Steven’s costumes is well-handled, and Oscar Isaac moves into each persona quickly, and with such ease. Khonsu and Ammit battle each other uselessly in the background, kind of like Godzilla vs. Kong, but without the gravitas and stakes.
Marc/Steven and Layla manage to do the spell to bound Ammit to Harrow, Marc/Steven are free from Khonsu, and life goes on as before. Or does it? I do think the end credits scene is well done, since it doesn’t allow things to wrap up very neatly, which I think is essential to good storytelling. Things can’t be too tidy, and the end credits posits the possibility of a second season – it makes sense to continue down the series route and keep the world contained to its own narrative. Nothing’s been announced yet, but I do think there’s enough potential here for another season. One thing’s for sure, if they do greenlight a second season, we’re gonna need more episodes, because 6 just isn’t enough.
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Moon Knight's final episode wraps things up nicely, for the most part. I just wish we didn't need to rush so much to get there.
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