It’s Marvel Wednesday and, I’m pretty sure you all know what that means, we’re here to talk about Moon Knight – Spoilers ahead for episode 4 “The Tomb”!
What was it about?
Steven and Layla embark on a dangerous adventure to get Ammit’s totem before Harrow can find it.
So … this episode was something! I’m a little unsure how I feel about the final couple of scenes, but as a whole – I love it? I’m sorry for ending all my sentences with question marks, but I’m still a bit confused. Let’s try and break down what happened.
- The opening shot shows one of the other god’s avatars put the totem Khonshu was imprisoned in into an alcove of a place where many a god seems imprisoned. From that shot alone, we could see a total of 10 other deities having been robbed of their freedom.
- After that, we get back to Layla and a still unconscious Steven. They get ambushed in the desert, but Layla’s badassery saves the day and they manage to make their way towards Ammit’s tomb.
- I cannot stress this enough, but I adore all forms of Marc/Layla/Steven moments. Their dynamic is just so intriguing and continues to grow more complex throughout the episode. Clearly, Steven doesn’t want to surrender his body again, while Marc just wants to protect Layla and Layla feels like she isn’t given enough choice and honesty in the matter. All of that even culminates in a kiss between Layla and Steven, which I’m not entirely certain even she knows how to feel about. I just know that I didn’t mind it?
- Layla and Steven find Harrow’s abandoned-looking campsite, but also traces of struggle within the tomb. I loved the archaeology vibes that ensued from there on out. I was obsessed with Tomb Raider style quests when I was little and always wanted to become an archaeologist myself back then, so Steven’s glee at everything he discovered just made it more enjoyable for me. (I was living vicariously through him.)
- That tomb was a tomb of horror though. The dead Heka priest, that eventually separates Layla and Steven, was absolutely terrifying with its odd clicking sounds and I wasn’t 100% sure that Layla would make it. But I’m very glad she did!
- While Steven/Marc find the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, something believed to have been lost to time and history, Harrow taunts Layla with the tale of her father’s death, more importantly, the involvement of Marc in it.
Layla’s backstory: Now that we’ve learned what truly happened, it very much sounds exactly like Marlene Alraune’s traumatic life story. In the comics, Marc also tried to save her father, which got him shot. So, they may have combined her with another character, but more on that later.
- She ultimately catches up to Steven, but demands to speak to Marc and confront him about her father. It was heartbreaking to learn that they only met because he felt guilty. Imagine marrying the man, who was indirectly responsible for your parent’s demise? They cannot argue for long though, because Harrow is about to catch up. Marc sends Layla away to hide, but is no match for bullets without Khonshu’s magical protection. He gets shot twice by Harrow and lands in a pool of water.
- What happens from here on out is debatable. Is this reality? Did they fake out with psych ward plot twist? While a lot of detail was put into the sequence (and I mean a LOT. Every single thing Marc/Steven saw and/or experienced could be explained away with his surroundings. I can only recommend you look up breakdown videos for this!) would make sense in the big picture, I choose to believe this is more of a metaphorical plane of existence.
More comic book connections: The entire show was heavily inspired by the Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood run of Moon Knight from 2016. That one, too, takes place in a psych ward with Marc being at the mercy of Khonshu and Ammit. As a viewer, this definitely felt like a very unpredictable move, but maybe it wasn’t so for people more in tune with the source material.
- In this version of “life”, Marc is in a psych ward with Harrow as his doctor. When he tries to escape, he finds a rattling sarcophagus, which holds … wait for it … Steven. Those two meeting, face to face, being able to touch – a peak moment for me! They come across another rattling coffin, which is likely hinting at their third alter ego. We don’t know for sure, as there have been no definitive hints, but it very much could be Jake Lockley, as I mentioned last week.
- Most of the episode felt quite perilous and dark, but they really ended on a good laugh. As Marc and Steven, now each in their own body, try to escape wherever they are, swinging doors open to reveal a talking hippo figure – which can only represent the goddess Taweret!
There is far too much to analyze for me to even know where to start. Is it a coincidence that they come across the goddess of fertility and children? Taweret was mysteriously missing from the chamber meeting last week. Why was Isis on Steven’s sarcophagus and Ra and Horus on that of the unknown rattler? Why do scarabs basically seem to stalk Layla (her father called her “little scarab”, at the beginning of the episode, we see a scarab before we pan to her and Steven in the desert, etc.)? Could she be set up to become the Scarlet Scarab?
The Scarlet Scarab: I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about this particular character, but with Layla’s father being Abdallah El-Faouly and at least one of the Scarlet Scarab’s identities being Abdul Faoul, maybe they really are setting her up to become this hero? She just needs to get her hands on a power-enhancing scarab now.
This episode definitely left me with more questions than answers, but, maybe for the first time since the show started, I’m actually really pumped to find out what happens next. This raised the stakes for me and I just hope they’ll manage to bring it to all to a close with the two final episodes.
3 thoughts on “Moon Knight: Episode 4 “The Tomb” Review”
Okay, I’m just as confused by the ending as you are, though I love how Taweret just shows up at the end and is like, “Hello!” Like, “It’s a rather pleasant day, isn’t it? I fancy a cup of tea with you!” Honestly, next week’s episode will be fun…though I hope it’s not so dark at parts that I have trouble seeing what’s on my screen. That was a pain.
And yeah, the Heka priest was hecka terrifying. Reminded me of the clickers from The Last of Us, who are basically zombies that click their teeth and use echolocation to find prey. Wouldn’t be surprised if the latter inspired the former.
I agree that parts of it had very bad lighting. I turned up the brightness on my laptop to the max.
The Heka priest definitely reminded me of zombies and echolocation techniques, but I’ve never had anything to do with The Last of Us. I think it’s a pretty common zombie trope.
Maybe, but I know a lot of other people were associating them specifically with the clickers from The Last of Us.