Spoiler Free Review
NO PLOT DETAILS ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS POST, BUT THE IMAGES ARE TAKEN FROM MOON KNIGHT EPISODE 2
A new week and a new episode of Marvel’s Moon Knight premiered on Disney+. Moon Knight Episode 2 picks up right after the first one (Spoiler free first episode review here) and continues the story almost seamlessly. I understand the business logic in a weekly release, but in the modern world of binge watching and continuous narrative arcs I can’t help but think all these series would be better watched in one block. I’ve thought this about every MCU Disney+ series so far. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to wait for the six-episode event to end, but beware – spoilers plague the internet. Thankfully, not in this review!
The runtime is just over five minutes more than episode one, however, some of that is taken up by a ‘here’s what happened last time’ montage. With the weekly wait for each episode, this is sadly needed. The episode packs a lot in once again, new character introductions, action sequences, character development and more. It didn’t feel too much, and it certainly never felt off in terms of Moon Knight Episode 2’s pacing.
Much like in episode one we are following, for the most part, the perspective of Steven (Isaac) as he tries to come to grips with what he believes is a mental breakdown. Without going into too much plot detail Isaac has really nailed this role. The anger, the anguish, the defeatist attitude is all spot on. The English accent is still a little ropey but as an Englishman I’m nit-picking. Isaac also does a fantastic job acting against himself when Steven talks to Marc and visa versa. This isn’t easy to accomplish without it looking ‘hammy’ and I am genuinely drawn into how this dichotomy of personality is conveyed.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is still very stigmatised and badly portrayed. I do feel that the writers have done a good job avoiding some of these more harmful stereotypes. It was reassuring to find out the series used a specialist consultant. Isaac specifically wanted the series to also be a character study. We as the audience experience the events unfold through the eyes of otherwise oblivious and innocent Steven. This character study is accomplished, hands down.
Moon Knight Episode 2 goes further. We learn a lot more about Ethan Hawkes character as well as meet Layla properly for the first time. The episode serves as a staging ground for the more ‘Indiana Jones’ style action-adventure set to come. We learn more about the ‘great plot’ and we also start to see some of the origin behind Moon Knight’s power. For me, a comic book fan of the character first, it’s nice to see them hint at the less-than-perfect nature of this character.
The action sequences are beautifully shot. We get treated to more suited-up Moon Knight which is great to see properly. The suit design is gorgeous, it stays true to the comics but also adds some MCU flair. In addition, we get a nod to another version of the titular hero. The show continues to blend comedy well, but there is an overall tone of darkness to the series so far. It’s very much the midway point between the MCU and say the dark grittiness of the Netflix Marvel content. The directors also dabbed their toes in the world of horror. With sequences showing the Egyptian god Khonshu being shot specifically to entice the audience into fear and shock.
Also, make sure you look out for the QR Code during the episode. As in Episode 1 there is a free comic available!
Overall, Moon Knight Episode 2 builds on last week’s premiere and takes the show forward without feeling like a filler. If the show continues this strongly it might just be the best Disney+ addition to the MCU.