SPOILERS for MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 1
“The Goldfish Problem”
Oscar Isaac has entered the MCU with his portrayal of Moon Knight, one of the myriad of characters from Marvel that just a few years ago, seemed to never have his own TV show. Yet here he is, with a huge name star playing him.
We are introduced to Steven Grant (That is Steven with a V) and it is clear that he has been having sleep problems. Little did he know how many problems Steven was going to have.
Steven worked at a museum in London, with an Egyptian exhibit. Steven knew a lot about the Egyptian mythology, but it could not get him any further than the storage room. Steven was a sad, bumbling man who seemed very disoriented. There were moments when he was unsure about things that have happened.
When Steven awakes, face down in a field of grass with a dislocated jaw, he is even more confused. Then, people started shooting at him, chasing him over a gold scarab.
Steven winds up in a group of people who were watching judgment being laid out by Arthur Harrow, a cult-like leader who crushes up glass and puts it into his sandals to walk on in the morning. Harrow had a tattoo on his arm that moved when he was judging a person, not only what the person had done, but what they may do in the future.
Harrow is the avatar of Egyptian deity, Ammit. Harrow pursued Steven back to his museum and unleased a jackal to attack him.
We learn that Steven has D.I.D. (Dissociative identity disorder) and that one of the personalities is a mercenary named Marc Specter, who is a clear bad ass and who jumps back into control of the body when Steven found himself in several major problems.
The DID was shown in serious light. You could see how scared Steven was, how confused he was as the strange things continued to happen to him and he could not explain it.
Oscar Isaac is a sensation actor and he shows it with every scene, not just the over-the-top spots. There was a quiet moment where he had lost time and thought it was Friday night, instead of Sunday. He was supposed to meet a woman at a steak house for a date (a date he did not remember making, by the way) on Friday and he waited for the woman to show up on Sunday, thinking it was Friday. This is an impressive performance in this small point.
Ethan Hawke is sinister too. I can’t wait to see more from him as the season progresses.
The visuals of this show are amazing. There are a lot of practical effects for the show, with a limited amount of CGI/green screen. From that, the show looks wonderful. It is extremely cinematic and some of the shots are exceptional. There are some frightening moments in the show, most dealing with Khonsu, the Egyptian deity that speaks in Steven’s head. Voiced by F. Murray Abraham, Khonsu is incredibly designed and looks just stunning.
The Moon Knight costume, which we do not see until the very end of the episode, is beautiful. It works so well with its practical design. An all white outfit should not work outside of the comic book page, but this costume design is spectacular. The wrapping cloth around Moon Knight is a great visual and brings up an amazing image.
There was so much character development in the first episode, and it did not lack excitement. The car chase scene through the winding mountain was expertly shot and carried out perfectly. Directed by Mohamed Diab, you can see how talented he is with the camera and the visual picture of each scene.
The use of mirrors in the episode is a great way to show the contradiction between the identities. The confrontation between Steven and Marc in the bathroom at the end of the episode was thrilling and led to our reveal of the titular hero. Another key to the episode is that everything was shown through the POV of Steven Grant. Every time Marc would take over, we would see Steven’s eyes go white and the scene would jump ahead to when Steven retook the body. It was very effective and helped to build the character of Steven.
The mystery of the show and what is going on is going to keep the audience guessing and Moon Knight feels like something different in the MCU. It is fascinating that there was no mentions of the greater MCU that usually happens in these shows. It builds a new section of the MCU and I look forward to learning more.