Ms. Marvel S1 E4

SPOILERS

“Seeing Red”

One of the items that I have meant to comment on over the last few week of Ms. Marvel on Disney + was how effective this show is for drawing connections with the viewers. I mean, I am not a 16-year old Pakistani Muslim girl, but I can relate with so many other aspects of the series. I have seen plenty of online reactors who have found parts of the story, especially with the family or situations, that brought them back to their own childhoods or their lives in some way.

This works because the show has plenty of overarching themes such as family, relationships, love that are universal. Plus, there is an amazing amount of cultural information and scenes that show us the lives of Muslims in the MCU in a positive light.

This week we head to Karachi, Pakistan (and the show actually recorded there) and see what the city is like, filled with color and foods. I swear Kamala spent half the time eating in this episode.

We are introduced to several characters in this episode including Red Dagger, a Pakistani hero that had been introduced in the comics, and Kamala’s grandmother, who we technically saw on the phone Facetiming with Kamala in previous episodes. Noni is a spark of energy in a little old lady body. She was more like Kamala and you can see why they have such a close relationship and why she and Muneeba may have had some conflict. Muneeba claimed that Noni always was spouting her “crazy theories” which could explain why Muneeba called the bangle junk in episode one.

There was a lot more fighting this episode as Kamala and Red Dagger squared off at first in the typical super hero fight. Then we got the Kamala/Red Dagger fight with the ClanDestines who escaped from DODC custody. This included a chase scene through the streets of Karachi.

It was during that last fight scene where Namja stabbed at the bangle and sent Kamala somewhere else. It is not clear if it was another dimension or time travel, but Kamala wound up at the train station during the Partition.

With only two episodes left, things are picking up with Kamala. Ms. Marvel has been a fantastic series so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Ms. Marvel S1 E3

SPOILERS

“Destined”

Another fantastic week of Ms. Marvel! I love this show. There were some awesome character moments with Kamala and her family as the wedding of Aamir gets underway, some exceptional Bollywood dance routines and some serious action.

We learned of Najma, the identity of the mysterious woman who was the mother of Kamran. She is a member of a group of Jinn called the ClanDestine. The Jinn existed as invisible creatures or demons in early pre-Islamic religion and mythology. We saw a flashback to 1942 British controlled India, where Najma and Kamala’s eventual grandmother Aisha originally found the bangle on a chopped off blue hand buried in a ruin.

So when Najma helped rescue Kamala last episode, we find out that she wants Kamala to help the ClanDestine to get back to their own dimension. She left out the fact that this could be terribly dangerous, a fact that Bruno found out about later (shout out to Dr. Selvig!)

Kamala texted Kamran that she needed some time, but when Najma discovered that Kamala was not immediately wanting to help them, she and her group went to force her to help. This turned into a disruption at the wedding.

I loved the wedding scenes. They were so wonderful and colorful and full of love and life that is was totally charming. The dancing was such a treat. I am glad that they waited until “Brown Jovi” (Ha Ha) started to bring in the ClanDestine.

The fight between Kamala and the ClanDestine was really tense and exciting as Kamala used her hard light to keep them at bay. Both Bruno and Kamran helped in the battle, but it was not until Damage Control arrived that allowed Kamala to sneak out the back. This was also where Nadia saw Kamala use the hard light and realized that she was “Nightlight” the whole time. You could see the hurt in Nadia’s eyes because her best friend did not tell her about this.

This show has just been so great and it only continues to improve every episode. Again, Iman Vellani is unbelievably charming and full of so much energy and life. Knowing that this is her first acting job is mind-blowing and it goes to show that Marvel clearly knew what they had in her.

Ms. Marvel S1 E2

SPOILERS

Crushed

I love this show. It was “very pleasing.”

After only the second episode of Ms. Marvel, I have truly enjoyed the introduction of Kamala Khan and the development of her character. The way the show seamlessly melds the Pakistani Muslim background of the character into the show without making it feel like it is out of place is masterful.

This week we got even more of the culture of Ms. Marvel and we got much more with Kamala’s friend, Nakia, while introducing us to Kamala’s crush, Kamran. Bruno received some good news about Cal-Tech, but he was unsure how to feel about it, because of his feelings for Kamala.

Perhaps my favorite scene was Kamala returning home from the party where she met Kamran for the first time, dancing to the song “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes.

The show started looking closer at the mystery behind Kamala’s great grandmother and what the bangle is. We learned in this episode that the powers Kamala has gained did not come from the bangle, but was inside her and was unlocked by the bangle.

I hope the fans are not going to be criticizing the show for the fact that we have not gotten a ton of action scenes or that we have not seen Kamala in her costume much. I heard a lot of the complaints during Moon Knight and this feels the same in that way. They are spending plenty of time working on the character outside of the super hero, which is certainly the Marvel way. Kamala Khan is a fantastic character and I am looking forward to seeing how the show continues to grow with her.

Oh, and Iman Vellani is so perfect in the role of Kamala Khan. Marvel has done a historically great job of casting, outside of a few kinks, but this one feels on that next level: like with RDJ as Tony Stark, Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role already.

I enjoyed the rescue the kid moment for Kamala, but the kid’s dialogue left something to be desired. Ice Cream Pizza? It did a nice job showing that Kamala has improved her skills with her powers (thanks to some Bruno training), but that she is not incredibly smooth with it yet. She got the job done, though it may not have been without a hiccup or two. She did get to pull out a “super hero landing” though.

We learned this week that Kamala’s parents owe their marriage to Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet.” I loved that little detail as well as Kamala’s brother’s response of “That’s gross.”

I do wonder how the Dept. of Damage Control can interrogate these children without their parents or a lawyer there. They did it in Spider-Man: No Way Home too. I also think that they were using some drones from Spider-Man: Far From Home when they were chasing Kamala.

I spend the entire show laughing and sitting with a big smile on my face. Nightlight? How funny was that? This is so well written and brings every character on the screen to life with details specific for every one of them. I feel as if I am meeting these real people and that I forget at times that this is a superhero show.

Keep it going Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel S1 E1

SPOILERS

“Generation Why”

The newest Marvel Disney + show debuted this morning and it was Ms. Marvel. I’m not going to lie. I was not sure how this would work. I have enjoyed the character of Kamala Khan in the comics, but I was unsure how that would translate and would I enjoy watching a coming of age version of the character?

The answer is…very much so.

I really enjoyed the first episode of Ms. Marvel, which brought a fun. energetic burst of energy to the screen. Colorful, charismatic and charming, Ms. Marvel Episode 1 combined the feel of a John Hughes high school film with that of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Kamala Khan was a 16-year old High School Junior who daydreamed her way through the day with visions of Marvel superheroes bursting form her imagination. Creating fan fiction on YouTube, Kamala was able to create adventures for her favorite superhero, Captain Marvel.

With the first ever Avengercon coming up, Kamala, and her best friend Bruno, tried to figure out a way that they could convince Kamala’s overprotective parents, Yusuf and Muneeba, to let her go.

The show has played with the origin of the character of Ms. Marvel. In the comics, Kamala Khan is an Inhuman and gained her powers through exposure to Terragin Mist, as the other Inhumans have. However, here she found a arm band of some kind and it gave her these light based powers. Her TV show abilities are still undefined as of yet, but I saw some highlights on Jimmy Fallon showing Kamala and Bruno working on them on a roof top. I know there has been some controversy over changing Kamala’s powers, but that does not bother me. These seem to be a interesting variation of them and we do not know where the show will be taking them. I’m fine with what we got.

Easily, the best part of this show is young actress Iman Vellani, who, in her first acting role, is so charming and so realistic that you can’t help but be swept up in her life. She may be the perfect casting for the first Muslim superhero to have her own comic.

The cast around Iman is amazing too. I immediately loved everyone in her family, Bruno, the actors at school. It all just flowed so wonderfully.

I also loved how they worked in the Pakistani culture while still making me relate with her. I am looking forward to expanding that culture.

The visual style of the show is unlike anything that we have seen in the MCU yet and it is so full of humor and creativity. There are some amazing shots included that create a style all of its own.

I am excited to see what comes next in this enjoyable new show.

Agent Carter S2 E4-10

I ripped through the final seven episodes of the second season of Agent Carter last night, once again not wanting to stop to write up a review for each episode. As I did for the first season, I would get to the end of an episode and just wanted to continue immediately. I very much enjoyed the second half of the second season as the stakes were upped with Whitney Frost and her quest for the Zero Matter.

Let’s hit some of my favorite moments:

  • The entire Jarvis and Ana relationship is the best relationship on television and right near the top of the MCU. And, of course, when Ana was shot by Frost, it shook Jarvis to his core and truly messed with his relationship with Peggy. Guilt and blame flew freely in some powerful scenes between these two fantastic actors.
  • I did not have near the emotional connection to Dr. Wilkes as I did when I originally watched Agent Carter on ABC. He was fine, but I remember rooting for him to be with Peggy. Now, not so much.
  • Peggy being impaled in episode 5 and being back to full strength by 7. I have to say that this was a bit iffy. Peggy may be remarkably trained and talented, but she is not super human and that sure looked like a killing blow.
  • Whitney wiping out half of the Council of 9 was quite the power move.
  • Howard Stark returned for the final episode once again, delivering a great line about Jarvis hitting a woman with the car when Jarvis drove into Whitney Frost.
  • I appreciated the use of secondary characters Rose and Aloysius Samberly in helpful, yet comedic ways. Samberly in particular was the total antithesis of a spy character.
  • The use of Dottie Underwood was interesting as they continued to set her up as Peggy’s arch nemesis but someone who has a healthy bit of respect for Carter.
  • Just how untrustworthy Jack Thompson is and whose side is he actually on. I loved how Peggy just went about her business even after Jack tried to find dirt on her to “balance the scales” between them. Peggy just said that she would never reveal his confidence, and we believe her.
  • Jack ending up in a bloody pile on the floor of his hotel room in the post credit scene was something I did not remember. However, it sure looked like the assailant was Ray Wise to me. Of course, this is a forever dangling plot since Agent Carter was not renewed for season three. I assume Thompson died there.
  • Musical dance numbers are always a plus!
  • Gamma cannon setting up a future issue for Bruce Banner?

I did enjoy a lot of the humor in this season, but there was quite a bit that felt forced as well. Anything between Peggy and Jarvis though, gold.

I wish this show had more of a following, because it was so well done. I am sure we will be getting more Agent Carter, in the form of Captain Carter as the MCU continues. I am happy with Sousa heading off into the multiverse with Quake from Agents of SHIELD.

Agent Carter is able to be binged and streamed on Disney +.

Agent Carter S2 E2-3

“A View in the Dark

“Better Angels”

The second season picked up quickly with some great scenes in the second and third episodes, setting the stage for what was coming next for Agent Carter.

The show reestablished the connection between Peggy and Jarvis with a wonderful scene of Jarvis working out and challenging Peggy to a little sparring.

What I loved about this was how confident Ana Jarvis was. She knew exactly what was going on and she did not even once think that anything was going on between her husband and Peggy. A lesser show would have tried to use this as a way to create conflict, instead of a great character bit.

I have found something interesting about the show on this rewatch. Peggy and Dr. Jason Wilkes got close during these two episodes and Peggy believed he had been killed in the Zero Matter explosion. I remember, when this was first on, I was rooting for Jason and Peggy to get together, even though I could see that the show was working towards Peggy and Sousa. I wanted Peggy and Jason together. Now, I found myself thinking that this relationship had come out of nowhere and did not feel reasonable. I wonder if the fact that at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Peggy and Steve wound up together affected my thoughts on Peggy with another man. Add to that all of the Peggy and Steve stuff from What If…? that I found this to be happening too quickly for my tastes. Fascinating result.

Howard Stark’s reappearance always brings a ton of energy as well. Despite his being a massive playboy, Howard always seemed like a big brother to Peggy. Again, I loved that Peggy had a relationship with Howard Stark that did not include an intimate component.

I also remember how much I disliked Jack Thompson, even more than season one. He has looked like a crooked agent, bowing to the wants of Kurtwood Smith and the group behind the scenes. I do not remember if Thompson takes a turn for the better as the series goes on, but the newspaper headlines that Peggy told him she saw the day before, about a rigged election, made him raise an eyebrow.

Oh…and this guy isn’t long for the series.

Whitney Frost has the Zero Matter inside of her and it is slowly destroying her face (not to mention absorbing this guy’s entire body). She is a little scary and losing her grip on reality.

Agent Carter S2 E1

“Lady in the Lake”

The second season of Agent Carter saw some loose ends tied up at the very beginning (or is it just setting up for more to come?) when Peggy and the SSR captured renegade Dottie Underwood and took her into custody. This at first felt as if they were just wrapping the first season’s arcs up so they could start off season two with a much different story.

Off to Los Angeles goes Peggy to meet up with Sousa was the chief of the new West coast branch of the SSR. Again, it felt as if the headaches from the New York branch were being sent away to a brand new world.

There seemed to be a murder of a woman in a lake in LA that was tied to a killer who had been quiet for several years. This body had been found frozen in a block of ice. Of course, Peggy’s instincts tell her that there is more to the case than what we see, and she is 100% correct.

We get a chance to meet Jarvis’s wife, who we only heard about in season one, and she had a short moment of screen time, but I fell in love with her immediately. She is a great bot of casting, bringing a character with such an opposite energy than Jarvis had. You could tell she and Peggy hit it off immediately.

They continue to build the romantic tension between Peggy and Sousa, but they tossed in a mysterious woman that Sousa was kissing at the end of the episode.

We are introduced to actress Whitney Frost is our main antagonist at the start of season two, as the wife of bigwig Calvin Chadwick, but he definitely did not feel like the person pulling the strings. Frost felt much more dominant than he did.

Dr. Jason Wilkes is introduced as well. He becomes an important piece of season two.

It is a fun start with a season that feels like a fresh reboot, keeping the best parts of season one.

Agent Carter S1 E6-8

Last night, I decided that I was going to pause with the write-ups after the episode because I absolutely wanted to finish season one and, if I took the time to write about each episode, I would not have been able to finish the show. So tonight, after seeing the last three episodes back to back to back, I am doing one overall write-up.

Man, those three episodes were great. Building upon episode four and five, which I loved, these three eps just knocked it out of the park.

Some of my favorite moments:

  • The use of Howard Stark in a conclusion that is meant to bring us full circle from Captain America: The First Avenger.
  • Peggy telling the SSR the truth! It is a strange story beat to tell the truth is so uncommon. How many times can stories be fixed if people just talked to each other. I loved when Peggy and Jarvis just laid it all out.
  • The death of Chief Dooley was extremely well done and surprisingly emotional.
  • Speaking of emotional, Peggy pouring the blood of Steve Rogers into the water nearly brought me to tears. Powerful end for the series.
  • Peggy and Jarvis handcuffed to the table… LOL
  • Peggy showed off her skills and the SSR realized how kick ass she truly was.
  • Daniel Sousa picked up some slack in these episodes.
  • The massacre at the movie theater was brutal.
  •  Ivchenko. Come on. Gotta love those mentalists.
  • Post credit scene:  Ivchenko and Arnim Zola in the same4 cell, with Tobey Jones right there to play the role of Zola. I do not think this gets used in season two (I might be wrong about that) and that is a total shame.

This was so great. It felt like a series ahead of its time in the MCU. Peggy Carter brought such a gravitas in this series and Edwin Jarvis, and his loyalty to Agent Carter, was a special relationship. Howard Stark arrived as a total jerk with the heart of gold. We got to see the façade of Howard Stark crumble away in the finale and get a glimpse into the soul of Howard Stark.

Agent Carter S1 E5

“The Iron Ceiling”

Another boomer of an episode as Neal McDonough reprised his role at Dum Dum Dugan, member of the 107th aka The Howling Commandos.

After breaking a code from the mysterious message that came across the typewriter at the end of last episode, Peggy talked herself onto the team that was heading to Russian to try and find out what they could on Leviathan and the connection with Howard Stark. Although, technically, Peggy wasn’t going to be allowed to go even after breaking the code. It required her delivering the Howling Commandos to be the ground support to get her on the team.

As soon as the adventure began, it became clear that Peggy was in her element and that Thompson was not the leader that he seemed. This episode really dove into his background, giving him reason to reconsider his stance on Peggy.

One of the best parts of the show was how Dum Dum and the Howling Commandos just accepted Peggy into their ranks and listened to what she said. Peggy hasn’t had this kind of respect from anyone in the SSR and watching even Dum Dum Dugan ask for Peggy’s leadership was awesome.

The raiding party was able to find a psychiatrist in the Russian prison who was there trying to keep a scientist balanced so he could design a weapon from Stark blueprints. They also saw more of the Black Widow program, including a little girl who wound up killing Junior Juniper, of the Howling Commandos.

I love how this still feels as if it is in continuity of the MCU. Agents of SHIELD was initially in continuity but, as the years went on, it evolved into what had to be considered an alternate universe (perhaps somewhere in the multiverse), but Agent Carter fit right in with the MCU timeline.

We see more of Dottie and her search of Peggy’s place, as well as some flashbacks to her youthful training. She does not find the stash of Cap’s blood, thankfully, but she does find photos of Stark weapons Peggy had hidden.

Chief Dooley approached Jarvis again, with a bit of an olive branch, telling him that he just wanted the truth and that he would love to hear what Howard Stark had to say.

And Agent Sousa discovered a link between the blonde in the photograph they had from a few episodes ago and Agent Carter. Sousa was not sure where to go from here.

Agent Carter S1 E4

“The Blitzkrieg Button

As good as episodes 1-3 of Agent Carter were, “The Blitzkrieg Button” was easily the best of the series so far. One of the big reasons was the return of Howard Stark to the show’s canvas. Nothing like a dose of lies and manipulations to spice up a secret agent show.

We also got the obligatory Stan Lee cameo. It was unexpected, but there he was, sitting right next to Howard Stark, asking for the sports section. I miss Stan.

So many things happen, including the reveal that Stark had a vial of Steve Rogers’ blood among the weapons that the SSR currently had. He manipulated Peggy into stealing it back by saying that it was a bomb that would cause a massive blackout if activated. Peggy was too quick for Howard though as she picked up the tells from him and from Jarvis (scratches his ear when he lies) and she discovered the blood inside the weapon.

The confrontation between Peggy and Howard after that was fire and the right cross was well deserved. Peggy kicked Howard to the curb and kept the blood for herself.

We also discovered that new girl at the hotel, Dottie, turned out to be someone special. I remember from the first time that Dottie came from the Black Widow program, though they have not revealed that yet. The acrobatics Dottie executed on the unexpecting Russian was epic. And it was all over a cool gun he had that she wanted.

SR Chief Dooley went to Germany to find out information about this mysterious Battle of Finow from former Nazi colonel Ernst Mueller. Dooley offered Mueller a cyanide pill to avoid the scheduled hanging that he was headed for in exchange for info. Mueller told Dooley that there was no battle and that it was just a group of mutilated bodies.

Lots of excitement heading forward. Pieces are falling into place and we have four more episodes in season one.

Agent Carter S1 E3

“Time and Tide”

At the end of last episode, the guys at the SSR had found the bumper of the Stark car in the remains of the Roxxon plant. This set them on the trail of Howard Stark, indirectly through the path of Edwin Jarvis.

In this episode, we learn a little bit more of the past of Jarvis and the SSR attempted to have him and his wife deported. Thankfully, through some sneakiness of Peggy, Jarvis is set free.

Peggy consistently is shown as quick-thinking and intelligent. She is very much the opposite than what the others at the SSR seemed to think of her.

Peggy and Jarvis wind up finding the missing Stark tech and they report in anonymously. Peggy wanted to do it herself, but Jarvis correctly convinced her that the people she worked for would not see it as a positive. They would see it as a way of tying Peggy to Stark and questioning her motives. Still one of the best parts of this series was how Peggy, the most capable person in the room, was mistreated or disrespected by her colleagues.

There was also a cool fight scene with a guy. Peggy needed the help of Jarvis or else she would have been killed. Then she was able to use one of the Stark toys against the guy, breaking his arm. With Peggy and Jarvis out of the way, the SSR arrived and found the witness. He was in the car with Krzeminski and about to blow Peggy’s cover when another car struck them from behind. That led to a person assassinating both Krzeminski and the witness.

This was the first death of a member of the SSR that we got to see and it was quite dramatic. Peggy was hit harder than she thought.

The series continues to build its central mystery and progress every episode. Carter and Jarvis continue to be an awesome pair and the stakes continue to rise.

Agent Carter S1 E2

“Bridge and Tunnel”

In episode two, Peggy Carter continued her attempts to prove the innocence of Howard Stark while trying to prevent her co-workers from discovering that she was working the case.

Peggy went to investigate the missing molecular nitramene bombs from the milk truck from last episode and trying to discover more about the mysterious Leviathan.

Running though the episode was clips from the “Captain America Adventure Program” which was a radio show detailing fictionalized adventures of the war hero Captain America. Poor Peggy was reduced in the show as a damsel in distress and the real Peggy kept hearing the show wherever she would go.

There was an exciting fight on the top of the milk truck that ended up off a cliff and imploding in a massive implosion. Again, it showed the relationship between Peggy and Jarvis. Not that there was ever going to be anything between the two besides friendship. It was not that sort of vibe. Jarvis is able to convince Peggy that she could not take everything on herself and that she needed to have help. He was meaning himself, but it also led Peggy to take an apartment that she turned down before because she was afraid that she brought danger to people around her.

Roxxon is included in the show as well. Roxxon has always been the evil corporation of the Marvel Universe and this would be no exception. It was awesome to see Ray Wise (Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks) make his appearance as one of the heads of Roxxon.

Agent Carter S1 E1

“Now is not the End”

After watching the Agent Carter Marvel One-Shot for this past Saturday Shorts day, I decided that I would begin a rewatch of Agent Carter’s ABC TV show that ran for two seasons after Captain America: The First Avenger. I remember that series being a lot of fun and ahead of its time.

Peggy Carter is working at the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) in New York City, but the other agents are anything but welcoming. One of the key sections of this series was the inclusion of how men treated women in the mid 40s and how Peggy Carter was not going to take such behavior.

Howard Stark, played in this series by Dominic Cooper, is believed to have sold some of his weapons to enemies of the USA and has become a fugitive, wanted as a traitor. Howard approached Peggy, along with his butler Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), and asked her to investigate this case. He needed her to prove him innocent. Peggy decided to help him, even though helping him might be seen as her turning traitor too.

Peggy is shown as remarkably capable and she is able to retrieve one Stark bomb and disable it. However, it led to the death of her roommate. This scene and the following one of Peggy with Jarvis at the restaurant was pretty strong. Hayley Atwell is an excellent actress and can take the material to another level with her performance.

There is a great chemistry between Peggy and Jarvis, and their bickering and interactions are funny and endear us to the characters immediately. Comic fans knew of Jarvis, since he was the comic book butler for the Avengers and in the MCU is the person whom Tony Stark originally named his AI in his armor.

The show started by highlighting Peggy’s co-worker, Daniel Sousa, who had been wounded in the war and needed a crutch to move around. I have a much more positive memory of Sousa from later when he joined Agents of SHIELD and was matched up with Quake.

This introduction does a great job setting up the series and what is to come.

Moon Knight S1 E6

SPOILERS for FINALE

Gods and Monsters

Moon Knight came to a conclusion this morning with a fantastic finale episode that should have given those people complaining about a lack of Moon Knight or a lack of action just what they wanted.

For the record, I have not been complaining about this at all. I have thoroughly enjoyed following the life of Marc Specter, either as himself or his alter Steven Grant. I consider having Marc on screen the same thing as having Moon Knight on screen.

But there was plenty of Moon Knight (and Mr. Knight) in the finale as he took on Harrow in the streets of Cairo. Meanwhile, gigantic Ammit was fighting Khonshu outside the pyramids. The action was planned out well and then the blackout moment that we haven’t seen in a few episodes took me by surprise. Jake?

I’m jumping around, but the post credit scene with the official debut of Jake Lockley, still under control of Khonshu, arriving to kill off Harrow was an awesome moment. I had a sneaking suspicion that Jake would show up and be named in the post credit scene. I was not sure how that would be done, and I did not see the way they did it coming. It was great.

Leyla, the newly minted avatar of Taweret, is amazing. Her wings were stunning and looked so bad ass. I loved how they carried out her story. I was afraid that they would have her take the power of Moon Knight instead and I’m not sure how I would have felt about that. She has been a secondary character and the show has been about Marc and Steven. No one else should be finishing up a fight but them (or… I guess, Jake).

I thought the special effects were just spectacular, especially with the god fight. There was a shot of harrow walking with Khonshu and Ammit fighting behind him that was just exceptional. All three of the Egyptian deities that we got in this series (Khonshu, Ammit, Taweret) were brilliantly designed and the execution of the CGI was seamless.

I will say that this week’s finale was a bit of a step back from last week’s brilliant episode, but that is to be expected. Last week was one of the best episodes of TV that Marvel Studios have put together so far. The finale pacing did feel somewhat rushed. It would have been nice if the episode was closer to the hour mark than it was to the 40 minute mark. That would have given some of the emotional parts (such as an excellent scene with Marc and Steven in the sands) some time to breathe. I’m not sure why the finale turned out to be the shortest of the episodes, but that is what happened.

In fact, I think there was enough story here that they could have had 7 episodes instead of six. It is not a complaint that is going to ruin my love of this series, but it is more of a wish instead.

Here is my list of Marvel Studio Disney + series so far.

  1. WandaVision. This continues to be my #1. A lot of emotion and so much fun. I could not wait for the next episode to arrive every week.
  2. Loki. Very close to WandaVision. I loved the creativity and the craziness of Loki.
  3. Moon Knight. Close to Loki, but just behind. Oscar Isaac is the MVP and probably the best actor of any Marvel series (with Elizabeth Olson right there too).
  4. Hawkeye. Lots of fun and a great Christmas tone. Kingpin returned. Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh were sensational both together and with anyone else who shared scenes.
  5. Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This moved up a notch because of some of the emotional moments I recently revisited. It was messed with during COVID so I give it a bit of a break.
  6. What If…?. This is a vital series for the upcoming Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The animation was astounding, but the fact that it is animation moves it back a tad.

We are about a month away from Ms. Marvel. We’ll see where that one falls.

Moon Knight S1 E5

SPOILERS For Moon Knight

“Asylum”

Wow.

Episode 5 of Moon Knight was off the charts. I have been singing the praises of the acting skill of Oscar Isaac all season long, but he took it to another level in this episode. Oscar Isaac is just spectacular, covering every possible emotion with this performance. If he does not receive an Emmy for this, there is something wrong with the system.

What makes it even more impressive is that Oscar Isaac has been doing a ton of acting by himself. When he is acting opposite Steven or Taweret or Khonshu, there is nothing actually there. Some of his work as both Marc and Steven is transitional.

I am not sure that Marvel Studios have ever done anything like this before. This is so dark and traumatic that is all centered in character. The tragic events that were shown from Marc’s childhood that led to the creation of Steven are some of the deeply disturbing images in the MCU. It was extremely heavy and dark. Amazing with a show that is featuring a giant talking hippo.

This episode took us on a journey of self-discovery for Steven that, quite possibly, could have been the best episode of Marvel television yet.

I have heard this referred to the Bing Bong moment. It was amazing how close it was.

There are plenty of people out there who will claim disappointment because of the lack of Moon Knight in this episode. I have heard this complaint of the series so far, and I could not disagree more. Marc Specter is Moon Knight and Marc (and Steven) have been on screen constantly. The amount of the costume is not what makes this a brilliant series.

Moon Knight is exceptional when dealing with the DID suffered by Marc Specter. Every step of the way with Marc and Steven felt accurate and truthful with how this disorder affects the person. I have also heard complaints about the lack of the third identity (aka Jake Lockley). Moon Knight has certainly teased the possibility of Jake, who is a known alter from the comic books. Personally, I believe that is how the series comes to a close, with cab driver Jake taking control of the body. But if that does not happen, I would not be disappointed. I trust Marvel to do what is best for their character.

The ending of the episode was difficult too. I mean, the episode was almost an hour long, but it felt like it flew by and when the screen went dark, I desperately wanted more. As the scale was finally balanced and Marc found himself in the Field of Reeds.

With just one more episode remaining, Moon Knight is right up with WandaVision and Loki as the best Marvel Studio’s Disney + series.