by John Downey '23 on April 22, 2022
Arts & Entertainment
By Abigail Levasseur ’24
To the delight of Marvel fans everywhere, the creative geniuses behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe have released a new comic-inspired series, Moon Knight. The Disney+ exclusive’s first episode, “The Goldfish Problem,” premiered on March 30, followed by “Summon the Suit” on April 6, and “Moving Heaven & Earth” on April 13. The remaining episodes of the series will be released each Wednesday leading up to a May 4 finale.
The role of the titular Moon Knight is played by Oscar Isaac, who is best known for his roles in Star Wars, Addams Family, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse. Other featured actors include the late Gaspard Ulliel as Anton Mogart, Ethan Hawke as the villainous Arthur Harrow, and May Calamawy as Moon Knight’s love interest, Layla El-Faouly.
Moon Knight’s series premiere raked in 1.8 million views, tying The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, surpassing Hawkeye’s 1.5 million views, and falling short of Loki’s 1.9 million views.
What, exactly, is the premise of this buzzworthy show? Before this reporter answers that question, it is only fair to warn that there are spoilers ahead.
The premiere episode of Moon Knight, “The Goldfish Problem,” depicts the average day in the life of gawky social outcast Steven Grant (Isaac), a lonely man who is constantly tardy to his job as a gift shop salesman at the British Museum. From the first few minutes of the episode alone, it is clear that Grant is no superhero, especially in comparison to his fellow MCU Stevens—Steve Rogers, otherwise known as Captain America, and Doctor Stephen Strange. (Seriously, when will Marvel come up with names for its characters other than “Steven” and its miscellaneous variants?)
Just as quickly as viewers realize that Grant is not their average MCU Steven, however, they also realize that he is not an average Joe, either: his bed sits before a sand pit and contains foot shackles. These oddities owe to the fact Grant has an alternative identity, Marc Spector, who is a mercenary working under the name Moon Knight with the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Spector’s role is unclear in the first episode, as his violent actions appear offscreen, left open to the audience’s imagination—likely to keep the Disney+ show family-friendly.
Nonetheless, by the end of “The Goldfish Problem,” viewers realize three major plot points: Grant and Spector occupy the same body, Harrow is the show’s “big bad,” and the episode’s violence, chase scenes, and overall action are centered around an instrument called the golden scarab. It remains to be seen, however, why this macguffin is significant. Although certainly enthralling, “The Goldfish Problem’s” dealings with multiple identities, invisible Egyptian jackals, and an alternate universe leave viewers wondering whether they are seeing the show’s reality, or if Grant is just dreaming.
The second episode, “Summon the Suit,” begins to offer clarity. It does an especially good job of advancing viewers’ understanding of the complicated relationship between Grant and Spector by introducing Spector’s wife, Layla El-Faouly. Yet this plot advancement raises another question: how real are Grant and his life?
El-Faouly and Grant begin working together to protect the golden scarab. She instructs him to “summon the suit,” which he royally messes up, refusing to allow Spector to take control over their shared body. The subtleties of El-Faouly and Grant’s relationship, including his refusal to finalize her and Spector’s divorce and their shared interest in Ancient Egypt, leads viewers to wonder: is a complicated love story brewing?
Overall, lovers of ancient Egypt, in addition to fans of the MCU, will certainly take an interest in Moon Knight and its action-packed adventure story. For those who have not seen its first few episodes—and for those who are already itching to rewatch them—Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+.