Moon Knight episode two delves more into Oscar Isaac’s fractured mind as the series loses grip of sensibility.
Moon Knight episode two gives clarity and more oppurtunity for Isaac to excel after the show debuted with a confusing opener but the show teeters into murky waters with comedy that doesn’t work and continuously ill-defined characters.
Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) in episode one was introduced as a British Museum gift shop clerk for a confusingly located museum who was conflicted with American mercenary Marc Spector who lived within his body.
Episode two contextualises the confusion from the first, giving us clarity to both Isaac’s split personalities, but also Ethan Hawke‘s motives as judge, jury and executioner, Arthur Harrow, revealed to be a former Moon Knight operative for Egyptian God Khonsu (F. Murray Abraham) who now gives Isaac’s Grant/Spector the same abilities.
Though, with the show now two episodes into its six-episode run, I am worried that we aren’t getting into the meat of the series and the series will run out of steam before it gets going.
Comparably, Hawkeye established in episode one its characters, the arc, the threat and the risks. Yet I am uncertain of anything for Moon Knight aside from Isaac’s inability to perform a convincing cockney accent, even after he rolls his sleeves down and declares “wagwan” after punching yet another hellhound.
This is ultimately the downfall of Moon Knight. As a premise, I am very excited to see how this experimental historic story develops.
In execution, its comedy falls flat, characters are still underutilised, and I doubt I’ll get any clarity on who, or what is going on until the finale.
Admittedly selling Moon Knight to audiences given the complexity of the Marvel comics was sure to be a hard sell, but from the complete tonal shift from the opening episode, I would have expected better ways of telling this fractured story.
Instead, what was a jump-cutting masterpiece of fluidity and set pieces from the debut episode became a grey palette of exposition dumping, fighting, and lazy gags like the British roadman language, and riffing off the superhero landing joke in Deadpool, that’s been repurposed for the third time appearing recently in both Black Widow and Hawkeye from Florence Pugh’s Yelena Romanov.
I appreciate that Moon Knight is most definitely Marvel’s attempt at maintaining momentum ahead of Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness release in a month’s time when the series climaxes, but with the proven talent of both Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke, the show could become worryingly bland, with their talents going underutilised.
Or worse, the show could continue unravelling convoluted threads with none of them necessarily coming into fruition enough for audiences to care long enough before the next large concept is introduced.
Egyptian God Khonsu allows a man with split personalities the ability to turn into a moon-based superhero whilst Ethan Hawke uses scales, and powers from another Egyptian God, Ammit, to determine behaviour before it happened in true Minority Report-style. This is all whilst the pair fight over a scarab beetle compass, and in this episode now involving Isaac’s estranged soon-to-divorce wife Layla (May Calamawy)
I really hope the series pulls its mummified threads together, else this could easily unravel and become an incoherent mess.
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