After starting its run at the end of March, the finale of Moon Knight, the latest Marvel TV series, premiered on May 4 on the streaming service Disney+. When the first episode premiered, 418 million viewers tuned in to watch the first Marvel series whose titular character has not yet appeared in a film.
Combining the appeal of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider with the dynamic action sequences that make Marvel so widely popular, Moon Knight was both enthralling and refreshingly unique from the past shows in the franchise, most of which draw heavily from the content of the films. The inclusion of Egyptian mythology, especially with Egyptian gods as characters, added an interesting layer of mysticism as well.
One of the biggest draws of the show has to be the main character’s dissociative identity disorder. The show follows Steven Grant, an expert on ancient Egypt with a seemingly uneventful life, who is soon revealed to also be mercenary Marc Spector who draws power from the Egyptian god Khonshu to become the titular vigilante.
While the complexity of DID is not something I am qualified to explain, what matters is that Marc and Steven’s experiences speak to viewers who have mental health issues themselves and feel understood seeing how this character handles similar struggles to the ones they face. Furthermore, the show’s fifth episode certainly didn’t shy away from being clear about how the traumatic experiences in Marc’s life led him to develop DID, which reflects how DID often emerges as a response to trauma.
Layla El-Faouly, played by May Calamy, was also a stand-out in the series. Her resourcefulness and charm made her instantly likable, and I appreciated how her past romantic relationship with Marc did not overshadow her essential role in the story. While I do wish her appearance as Scarlet Scarab in the concluding episode had come earlier, I was touched by the scene in which a young girl is excited to learn that she’s as an Egyptian superhero, regardless of how cliché it was.
While the limited-run series was enjoyable while it lasted, I must admit that the pacing seemed somewhat rushed. Looking back on the show, I feel that the series had an enormous amount of potential — almost too much to be limited to just six episodes, despite a total run time of 302 minutes. With how intriguing watching Marc and Steven’s history was, I think revealing more about other characters such as Layla and Harrow would’ve added more context to the conflict. I understand that directors may not have wanted to take focus off of the titular character, but it was difficult to understand each individual character’s motivations when viewers really only understood Marc and Steven’s.
Still, the finale does imply that viewers haven’t seen the last of Moon Knight or Khonshu, the latter of whom seems interested in continuing to wreak havoc (SPOILER: Jake Lockely’s brief cameo reveals that Marc and Steven aren’t alone). While nothing is confirmed yet about the future of these characters, the popularity of the show implies that many are eager to see where they go next.
Aditi Hukerikar is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves as an Assistant Arts Editor on the 140th Editorial Board. She can be reached at [email protected].