Moon Knight returns with its sophomore episode and while it may not be quite as intriguing as the premiere, the episode gets the ball rolling in the narrative department and offers some insight into what’s going on with the whole Steven/Marc thing.
This episode does feel a little different than the much more grittier and chaotic opener. The trademark Marvel humour does poke its head out a few times during the runtime and I found that it did detract and deflate some of the tension in some key scenes. In fact, it felt downright silly at times. Nothing wrong with humour, but it has to be used right and I was much preferring the darker tone the first episode had set up. The lighter tone is where we meet Mr. Knight, a variation of the Moon Knight costume, but for when Steven is in control. Sporting a dapper suit, Mr. Knight feels like something like an oddball and his scene felt very slapstick.
This episode also introduces us to Layla El-Faouly, Marc’s wife who helped him acquire the golden scarab. I found her motivations to be a bit inconsistent in this episode. When minions working for Arthur Harrow come knocking on Steven’s door, Layla is smart enough to hide both herself and the golden scarab. But when Steven is taken to Arthur’s hideout, she not only follows him but marches into the lion’s den and reveals to have the scarab in her possession. She gives it to Steven, who almost immediately drops it, thus giving it to Arthur. It felt very convenient.
We got a bit more backstory on Harrow as well and his objective. He was the previous avatar for Khonshu, the Egyptian god that Steven can hear in his mind. Voiced by F. Murray Abraham, Khonshu is something of a brat or a petulant child, lashing out when things aren’t going his way. Harrow saw Khonshu as punishing events after they had been committed, thus the suffering still happened. He seeks to prevent said suffering by effectively amputating it before it happens. This plan reminds me a lot of what Hydra/S.H.I.E.L.D. were doing in The Winter Soldier, where the helicarriers would eliminate targets preemptively. Captain America would then cite that the punishment was supposed to come after the crime. Harrow will attempt to resurrect the god Ammit to fulfill his vision. By the end of the episode, Marc finds himself in Cairo in an attempt to stop Harrow, who will use the scarab to find her tomb.
Apart from Harrow’s plan, we did get some answers today to questions posed last week. Marc is a mercenary who serves as the avatar for Khonshu. The god found Marc half dead and seemingly made a deal to save his life. Where Steven came into play remains unknown, however. The show implies that Marc might be the “real” version of this character, having been married to Layla before. I also like the way the show deals with the personality who isn’t in control. They’re left being a voyeur, trapped in the other side, only able to observe through mirrors, something that takes a lot of energy to do Marc claims.
I did enjoy Summon the Suit overall. It had important insight into the story, Marc and Harrow. It felt a bit inconsistent tonally from the previous episode and the writing didn’t feel quite as sharp. I’m still on board, but I’m less “wow” than I was last week.