At this point, I’ve made my feelings about Moon Knight clear. The first half of the six-episode series seriously dented my enthusiasm for Marvel TV shows. Then I came away even more disappointed when I came back to give Moon Knight a second chance.
As stated in the last time, I had every intention of leaving the series after four episodes and even not finishing Moon Knight. However, the reaction to my critical opinion of the series by Marvel fans has been passionate, to put it mildly.
Many readers argued that it was unfair to judge the show without having finished it first. So, after careful consideration, I decided that the only course of action was to continue the Disney Plus series and see this journey through to the end.
Giving Moon Knight One Last Chance
Before I launch into my thoughts on the final two episodes of Moon Knight and the series as a whole, a bit of background. I think it’s important to state that you can express a valid opinion about a television show without having seen all the available episodes of said series.
For example, I didn’t need to watch more than one episode of Netflix’s tasteless cooking show Is It Cake? knowing that the series was not to my liking. Plus, I’m willing to bet the vast majority of people criticizing Selling Sunset on social media haven’t watched all 44 episodes before expressing their strong dislike for the brilliant reality series. A story-driven show is a beast of a different variety, however.
Nonetheless, I was determined to go into the final two episodes of Moon Knight with an open mind in hopes of finally finding something about the series that would grab me. If I was going to give the show a third chance, I was going to do it right.
After watching Moon Knight until the end, I still maintain a muted overall opinion of the entire series as a whole. That said? I was pleasantly surprised by several aspects of Moon Knight’s final two hours.
Moon Knight’s penultimate chapter is a winner
The biggest twist in Episode 5 of Moon Knight isn’t that Marc/Steven wakes up in a mental hospital and is greeted by a hippo-headed woman. Instead, I was surprised at how the lackluster show so far suddenly becomes quite good.
Episode 5, titled “Asylum”, explores the backstory of Marc Spector and Steven Grant. And for the first time in the series, I felt engaged by the protagonist of the series. Sure, his late development doesn’t retroactively make Marc/Steven an interesting character in the previous four episodes, but it certainly makes for an engrossing hour of television.
Episode 5 also showcased the talents of Oscar Isaac. I’ve argued that for the first four episodes of Moon Knight, Isaac has grappled with a character that’s little more than a collection of eccentric personality ticks, but by this time Marc Spector finally has some substance . The revelation that Spector created his alternate persona to escape his feelings of guilt and traumatic upbringing was a real punch.
That stronger, more laser-accurate focus also helps the episode, and contrasts sharply with much of Moon Knight, which wasted all potential with an often uneven pacing and screen time dedicated to Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke). ) and Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy), who came across as rather boring.
I’m not saying “Asylum” is one of the greatest TV episodes you’ll see this year. It’s by no means perfect, the Egyptian mythos is still underutilized, and the episode is understandably weighed down by the bag of what has come before. Still, since up until now I thought Moon Knight didn’t have a single standout episode, I was just thrilled that when the credits rolled I was actually eager to see what was to come next.
Moon Knight doesn’t quite stick the landing
Unfortunately, Moon Knight Episode 6, “Gods and Monsters,” comes close in quality to the first four episodes of the series. Though I will say, it’s still an improvement and kept me entertained throughout, which is definitely more than the sleepy central part of the series.
Asylum’s interesting character exploration is instantly traded in for pure spectacle, and to the show’s credit, I was very impressed with the special effects. The battle scenes of the titan-sized Egyptian gods Ammit and Khonshu are as beautiful as anything from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Plus, it was nice to see Moon Knight back in action after being away for so long.
However, all that hugely expensive CGI can’t quite make up for the rush of Moon Knight’s conclusion. This latest installment tries to cover quite a bit of ground at near lightning speed. If someone like me, who isn’t the most invested viewer, found this frustrating, I can imagine the rush to tie things up was a huge disappointment to someone more committed to the show.
As for the big Moon Knight post-credits scene where we learned that Marc/Steven actually had a third personality, Jake Lockley, who is still associated with Khonshu? I liked it.
It’s pretty clearly telegraphed during the final showdown with Harrow, but that doesn’t make it effective as a final twist. As a result of this development, I’m actually surprisingly excited to see where the character goes next. There’s no denying that the finale leaves Moon Knight in a pretty interesting place.
Maybe Moon Knight should have been a movie
The biggest takeaway from enjoying the last two episodes of Moon Knight more than I expected is that I wish Moon Knight had gotten its own movie instead of a Disney Plus series.
While I’ve seen some fans express gratitude that a slightly more conceptual hero has had more time to introduce Marvel audiences, from my perspective the six-episode series had about two hours of pretty solid material, then a horrible lot of filler.
Episodes three and four are the most glaring example of this. These episodes slow the pace considerably and feel extremely meandering. Moon Knight’s main story doesn’t really support the show’s nearly five-hour total runtime, which resulted in plot points stretching and my interest rapidly diminishing.
Removing the fluff and converting the project into a feature could have done wonders for Moon Knight. This would have allowed for more focus on Steven and Marc’s backstory with some extended action sequences thrown in for good measure. Maybe it’s the Moon Knight we have somewhere in the multiverse?
My perseverance paid off (almost)
I think the most remarkable thing about the last two episodes of Moon Knight is that they’ve done just about enough to make me at least reasonably excited to see the character appear in future MCU projects.
I can’t say I’m particularly interested in a possible Moon Knight season 2, but if Steven Grant/Marc Spector/Jake Lockley appears in another Marvel show or movie, I’d be curious to see how the character interacts with others. . That might not sound like high praise, but after four episodes of Moon Knight, my enthusiasm for the hero was pretty much nil, so it’s definitely a pleasant surprise to end up here.
In this case, my decision to reluctantly persist with Moon Knight actually paid off, pretty much. However, it should be noted that as someone lucky enough to write about the TV shows, among other things, to make a living, I had extra motivation to finish the show. If I had watched Moon Knight without that extra incentive, I certainly wouldn’t have given it a third chance to convince me.
Now that I’ve seen the whole series and can pass final judgment on Moon Knight, I’m still not a huge fan of the series. It’s a cut above the likes of Falcon and Winter Soldier and Hawkeye, but not by far. A really good episode just isn’t enough to excuse the series’ battered middle and rushed ending.
If nothing else, the final two episodes clearly demonstrate the character’s potential going forward. I’m crossing my fingers that the next time he appears in the MCU will be in a project that really uses him to the fullest.