Moon Knight (season 1?) has come to an end which means it's right about time to discuss the finale in full spoilers glory. The first five episodes left us with a number of unanswered questions, will Khonshu be back? Will we see Jake Lockley? Will Marc return? Will Arthur Harrow manage to release Ammit? With Moon Knight's being the shortest Marvel finale yet that's a lot of ground to cover. I'll only be covering episode six here since we covered episodes one through five in depth on the cloven hoof podcast so you can look there if you're hoping for more talk about the full season.
The episode picks up where we left off in episode four, Marc is still "dead", Layla now has the scarab and Harrow is on his way to release Ammit. We then get one of the most unintentionally funny lines from a Marvel villain yet when Harrow's convoy gets stopped by what looks to be Egyptian border control, "I don't need to show you my papers, you need to show us your souls." He then proceeds to remove their souls with the staff of Ammit (or the crocodile stick as I'm going to call it). In the same scene we find out Layla has snuck into the convoy and is being asked to stop her attempts to kill Harrow by Marc and Taweret. It's great to see that they haven't neglected Layla's storyline and are instead setting her up to become an avatar herself, in most shows of this kind the side characters tend to be pushed into a backseat role towards the end but they've done the complete opposite and elevated Layla into a more important role.
We see another God in this episode with Ammit making an appearance and it's at this point that we also get quite an interesting moment in Arthur Harrow's character arc. Ammit tells Harrow that his scaled at imbalanced which is interesting because you would think that as someone who lives their whole life around these scales he himself would balance them. Even more interestingly, he completely accepts this and says that he is willing to face the consequences in order to stop any future pain that he might bring, it was great to see that he would hold himself to his standards which is something I don't think any other Marvel villain would do (do you think Thanos was willing to disappear in the snap?). I did find it a little odd that Ammit's plan was to "purify Cairo and then the world", if you can just "purify the world" in one go why slow yourself down by doing Cairo on its own first? Plot convenience is obviously why, I just wish it wasn't quite so obvious.
Throughout the season Marc and Steven have built up a bond, going from fighting over the body and constantly throwing insults at each other to coming to have a complete understanding of each other by the time we came to the last episode. At the start of the season it would have been completely unexpected to see Marc willingly give Steven control of the body let alone risk his life by venturing into the sands to rescue Steven. It's at this point we hit a little more obvious plot convenience though because for some reason Marc has enough time to find Steven in the desert, go to him, kneel down beside him, deliver a monologue to him, and share his heart with him before he freezes while Steven only had literally a couple of seconds before freezing in the last episode. It might sound like I'm just being nitpicky about plot convenience, a device that every show employs, but it does feel like something that could have been avoided with a slightly longer episode so that these plot points could be wrapped up organically and without the need for just glossing over these details. Either way, it was still a very good moment that brings Marc's character arc to quite a nice point of completion.
Moon Knight and Mr Knight's exchange with Khonshu is something that, should they do a second season, I'd love to see more of in the future. Something I was quite critical of in the podcast was that they didn't feel like two distinctly different characters and that Mr Knight just felt like a bit of a gimmick but in bringing them together as a "package deal" the show has made them a great deal more interesting. I like the idea of seeing Marc, Steven and Jake Lockley all switching at will to deal with different issues in the same way that Mr Knight came out to to negotiate their deal with Khonshu and handing it back to Marc later on.
It's at this point that we come back to Layla, she has decided to fill the role as Taweret's avatar. Taweret also tells Layla that she met her dad when taking him to field of Reeds which on the contrary of what I was saying earlier feels like an organic way to bring closure to that plot point rather than relying on a little bit of sloppy writing to deal with it. It's always a bit disappointing when a show of this quality doesn't stick the landing and wrap up well so I was glad to see them deal with that in an interesting way. And on an equally important note, Layla's costume is also very cool in that it looks like a mix of Taweret's gold armour and Moon Knight's linen heavy design, and with the wings it reminds me a lot of that horrible eagle armour from Wonder Woman 1984 but if it was actually a good design. It also makes me wish that we had got to see Ethan Hawke in a cool crocodile suit but I guess we can't have everything can we.
At first I wasn't quite sold on the fight scenes on offer in this episode, the initial fight between Khonshu and Ammit gave me flashbacks to Morbius with its over reliance on characters turning to smoke and zipping about, but as soon as Layla and Marc/Steven team up the fighting is some of the best we've seen. Weirdly though it's not as a direct result of them teaming up but it just so happens to be at this point that it improves. There is a point where Mr Knight is wielding his batons in a sequence that is largely reminiscent of Daredevil, this sequence then leads into a very cool transition in which Marc takes over mid-fight which is exactly what I was hoping for more of earlier. Admittedly the fighting between Harrow and Layla and Marc feels a little bit weightless and uninteresting but I think this is more as a result of the fact that Harrow isn't necessarily physically geared towards fighting given his need for a cane but all in all it is still a pretty good fight. I would give anything to see a midnight sons movie or series with team ups like the one between Moon Knight and Layla.
I want to interrupt this review and take a moment to point out that Arthur Harrow is an upsettingly sweaty man in this episode. I get it though, I too would be that sweaty if I was getting beaten to a pulp by an Oscar Isaac that has been imbued with the powers of a god.
Back to the review. There's a moment where Layla rescues a woman who asks "are you an Egyptian superhero?". At first I thought that this line was a bit silly, it's extremely clunky, if I got saved from a glowing purple laser where I live my first question wouldn't be "are you an English superhero?". The line does raise a good point though, we haven't ever seen a mainstream superhero from a real African place. I know Black Panther did a great deal to promote African culture in the mainstream but Wakanda isn't real, so it's really great to see Disney commit to establishing a superhero who represents a woefully underrepresented group of people. So while the line is a bit on the nose, I do absolutely appreciate that it stands for something great even if it is massively overdue at this point. It's also great to see a good amount of actual Arabic rather than the classic English with an accent that we've grown so accustomed to.
This time there's some actual stupid writing. "Had Ammit been allowed to rule young Randall's life would have been saved". No, no it wouldn't. This line is said by Harrow with the implication that Ammit would have killed Marc before Randall ever could have gone to the cave with him. It also suggests that what Marc did was evil, you can work out why this is stupid for yourself, I shouldn't need to point out why that's wrong. This might seem like a minor oversight but it does a great deal to undermine the great character development that Harrow had earlier in the episode.
It's time to talk about the greatest thing to ever happen in the history of television. Not quite actually, but there is a moment that completely redeems every single less than positive aspect of this finale. Harrow gets defeated off screen in a great throwback to the first episode, Marc blacks out and wakes up to find the villain out cold on the floor. Jake Lockley is here. Finally. Except he's not, not fully. Marc is back in control of the body and it turns out he no longer likes killing or something, even though both Ammit and Harrow absolutely deserve it more than most that he's killed. One "laters gators" and one last throwback to the first episode later the credits roll, but we all know that credits don't actually mean the end with Marvel. Jake Lockley is here. Actually for real this time. The end credits features one of the best reveals in Marvel history. Harrow is being held and sedated in a psych ward not too dissimilar to the one featured earlier in the series, when a man in a hat that most moon knight fans will recognise arrives to pick him up. Also a quick sidenote, Khonshu is looking extremely dapper in his nice new suit. Anyways, this Jake Lockley seems to be slightly different to previous incarnations of the character, he seems to be a mixture of the comic book Steven Grant (in that he's evidently rich with his brand new Rolls Royce) and the classic Jake Lockley, except he's also Spanish rather than being a cab driver from Brooklyn. The end credit reveal pretty much also guarantees that we'll be seeing Moon Knight again, there's no way that they reveal Jake Lockley and never use him again.
That brings us to an end for not only Moon Knight but also this article. If you want more you can check out this podcast episode or you can check out one of the articles linked below. Isn't that great? You might also feel inclined to leave your thoughts on Moon Knight season one in the comment section below (that's a thing you can do).