The Plans of Gods and Men – Review of Marvel Studios’ “Moon Knight” Episode Six “Gods and Monsters”

The finale for Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight was everything I expected it to be and a little bit more. Bringing the story of Marc Spector and Steven Grant to a good spot (while still sparing room for potentially more stories), the episode “Gods and Monsters” provided a fitting end cap for this serialized adventure story. When the plans of gods and men clash, something is inevitably going to break under the strain.

Spoilers ahead for the season (potentially series) finale of Moon Knight.

When we last left off the story, Marc Spector had been granted access to the Field of Reeds, the heavenly plane reserved for souls in the Egyptian myths. The loss of Steven Grant enabled this outcome but Marc refuses to leave Steven behind. The previous episode (review found here) really spent its runtime helping to bridge the divide between the two alters, bringing them together in a way that had eluded them throughout the season. It felt justified for Marc to refuse the Field of Reeds and return to the Duat for Steven, even knowing that the price would be both of them becoming stuck in the sands of the afterlife. Of course, this being a Marvel story, it can’t end there, with Marc coming back to his body still near the brink of death.

Due to Marc’s incapacitation, the bulk of the heroics in the episode were left up to Layla, with some assistance from Tawaret. I have to say: Tawaret is my new favorite deity figure in the Marvel MCU pantheon. There is some steel behind the sweetness of the character, particularly once Layla agrees to become Tawaret’s “temporary” Avatar, including a bad-ass wardrobe upgrade. Layla getting to save a van full of people during the climatic fight and tell a young girl that she was an Egyptian superhero felt awesome and more than a little heartwarming.

Speaking of awesome, the CGI work for Ammit was particularly jarring but not in a bad way. Even when faced with the colossal version of her, the goddess Ammit appeared otherworldly and more than a little frightening. Once Khonshu was released from his prison, he was able to rekindle his connection with Marc/Steven, who slipped in and out of the Moon Knight/Mr. Knight personas easily. It was a hell of a lot of fun watching Marc and Steven deftly switch between each other during the fight in the streets of Cairo, with Marc/Steven and Layla kicking a serious amount of ass. The battle between Harrow (as Ammit’s Avatar) and Marc/Steven wasn’t the best Marvel fight I’ve seen (especially compared to the fight scenes from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier) but it served its purpose.

The ending of the episode, with Marc and Layla imprisoning Ammit inside of Harrow, preventing the goddess from inflicting her reign on the world was a nice touch. Marc refusing to kill Harrow/Ammit is a good step in the right direction for the mercenary. Refusing to follow Khonshu’s orders shows that Marc has grown beyond the tortured soul we saw in the first few episodes. We get a brief glimpse of Marc/Steven back in the asylum speaking with Dr. Harrow, where the two personalities are able to switch back and forth (Oscar Issac really deserves an Emmy for this performance) before waking back up in his cramped flat and falling on his face because he forgot he tied his ankle to the pillar (a callback to the first episode).

But then we get the stinger after the credits. I knew it was coming but it was still a joy to see a common theory about the show play out as expected.

We see Harrow/Ammit in an asylum of his own before being carted out of the hospital to a limousine. Inside the car, we find Khonshu, dressed in a tailored suit and looking very pleased with himself. While Khonshu agreed to release Marc/Steven from his role as the god’s Avatar, there have been hints dropped throughout the season that a third Alter was appearing in times of great danger. Our first glimpse of this was in the episode one, when Steven was surrounded and then suddenly found himself with blood on his hands and several dead or injured acolytes of Harrow laying around him. Another such incident happened during the climatic fight with Harrow in “Gods and Monsters”. With Harrow seemingly about to achieve his victory (and Ammit overwhelming Khonshu in the background), Marc’s eyes roll back into his head. A moment later, Marc comes back and sees everyone who was still fighting on the ground, including Harrow.

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The third Alter is Jake Lochley (who is also one of Marc’s alters in the Moon Knight comics). Just like in the comics, Jake is a driver (although in the comics, Jake drives a cab so Marc can collect information from street sources) but the MCU version of Jake is also a capably violent man, with little regard for killing people on Khonshu’s orders. We learn from Khonshu in this stinger that he was never really after Layla to be his next Avatar because he has Jake, who is more than capable of fulfilling the role of the vengeance guardian Khonshu wants. Without any hesitation, Jake puts two bullets in Harrow and the credits roll.

At this stage, there’s no confirmation on if there will be any further Moon Knight stories in the MCU. Oscar Issac is already on to other projects and he apparently only signed on for a single season of the show. While this doesn’t mean that the character Moon Knight can’t return in the future, it does appear that there won’t be anything more for the foreseeable future. For the time being, I’ve enjoyed the journey this story went on and how it managed to capture both my imagination and my emotions throughout these six episodes. That is ultimately a credit to the creators, the writers, the actors, and everyone else responsible for Moon Knight.

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