Moon Knight Unwrapped: Ep. 5 – Asylum

Only one . . . more . . . episode . . . to go . . .

I can hardly stand it. But it’s not quite time to talk about that yet. It’s time to talk about Episode 5 – Asylum.

Eeek!

Ok. Really quickly, if you If you’re interested in catching up on any of my previous posts about this show, please check out my Moon Knight Unwrapped tag. I have some posts about Moon Knight Comics too, or you can just check out my a general list of Moon Knight posts as well.

Finally, I should probably start this episode with a bit of a content warning. The episode depicts: sibling death, parental violence (physical and psychological), loss, grief, PTSD, death of a main character.

Ok. Deep breath. Here we go.

This episode was such a heavy hitter in so many respects, and there were so many choices here that I just absolutely loved.

First, let’s talk about the the . . . Ancient Egyptian-ness of this episode. Of course, as usual, Roxanne Bicker does an amazing job talking about the history behind this episode in her „Moon Knight“ – Die altägyptischen Hintergründe erklärt, Teil 9 (google translate is our friend).

The part I was probably most excited to see, was the barque of the Sun God, Ra, on which Marc/Steven are traveling through the Duat. Tawaret, a goddess of Motherhood and Childbirth, is not typically responsible for escorting souls through the afterlife, and it’s obvious from the very start that she is uncomfortable in her new role. There’s a ton of speculation that she is filling in for Ra because so many of the other Gods are imprisoned in the Ushabti, as Khonshu was at the end of Moon Knight Episode 3 – The Friendly Type.

I think this is probably true, but I have also been wondering if there isn’t a second meaning as well (there is a duality to everything in this show). Revealed in this episode, is Marc’s abuse at the hands of his mother, after his brother Randall (RoRo!) passes away. My theory is that Tawaret’s appearance — being a goddess of Motherhood — is another attempt of Marc’s mind to cope with being dead and perhaps a yearning for a positive motherly influence, only it’s influenced by Steven’s fascination with Ancient Egypt.

Of course, I hoped for/predicted the scales of Anubis back before the show was released, and I was not disappointed in their depiction within this episode. I though the porcelain hearts, seemingly made of a similar material to the canopic jars Ancient Egyptians used to store their organs for the afterlife was a really neat, and probably less gruesome way to depict this essential part of Ancient Egyptian epistemology: Judgement.

Finally, since this post is already going pretty long and there’s still the predictions and theories to go through, I’ll end by saying my final favorite shot, was of the Khonshu-like bird skeleton we see before entering the flooded cave. So much to unpack there certainly, but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ve landed on a good explanation of what it implies. Perhaps that Khonshu has been with Steven for longer than we realized? Either as a part of his psyche, or active in his life as a god like we see later? Maybe that really was just a dead bird which Marc has projected onto the form of Khonshu and mythologized over time . . . Perhaps Khonshu isn’t real at all and Marc received super powers some other way . . . and his mind is trying to cope . . . I don’t know.

Anyway, RIP Steven (omg I think I actually cried). I hope, as they say in The Mummy that “Death is only the beginning” and that we see you again soon.

Predictions

Steven will return?

This is more or less what happens towards the end of the Lemire comics. In the final book, Moon Knight Volume 3: Birth and Death, we see much of what we saw in this episode (#5) with a flashback to the first time Marc imagines Steven (although it doesn’t have anything to do with any British archeologists, or child beating thankfully). We also see some of his time in Afghanistan, and how he meets Duchamp (Frenchie), and his origin with Bushman (VERY briefly brushed over in this episode which is probably good).

Finally we see Khonshu’s tomb and the creation of the figure Moon Knight, which we saw in this episode as well. The third story we get in that series is Spector’s return to the asylum, and his eventual fight with Khonshu. In order to return to the asylum he must find Anubis’ wife (Anpu) and ALL of his alters return to help him escape a kind of weird Ancient Egyptian inspired alien planet before he faces Khonshu “alone” (the implication being that Marc IS all of his identities and so he can call upon any of their traits and powers even without having to manifest them).

Khonshu Freed (along with other gods)

Another logical assumption we can make, is that our (my?) beloved Khonshu will be freed from his stone Ushabti this episode, and possibly so would the other gods. I think this would be amazing as it would open up so many possibilities within the MCU! Also I just want to see the Ancient Egyptian pantheon running around (you can see which gods specifically I’m excited for in 9 Things About Ancient Egypt I Hope We See In Marvel’s #MoonKnight) because that would be dope as hell.

Harrow vs Moon Knight Fight . . .

Again, not much of a prediction considering we’ve seen footage of the two fighting in trailers that we have yet to see in the show (although I suppose sometimes trailer footage doesn’t make it into the show always). However, what they’re fighting about and why is the much more interesting question. From the souls we saw falling into the Duat, it seems clear that Ammit has been freed from her ushabti and is wreaking havoc on the world above.

It seems reasonable to assume that there will be some way to imprison her again, and that Harrow will be fighting to stop that process from happening. In ancient times, Ushabti could be made of many materials, but many were created from a kind of glazed earthenware known as Egyptian Faience. In Moon Knight, it seems the figures are made from stone, and created using a ritual performed by the Ennead. Perhaps this divine group has seen the error of their ways, and led by Hathor/Sekhmet, is attempting to complete this ritual and imprison Ammit once again. Maybe they’re down a member and need a recently freed Khonshu to step in an help? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Moon Knight will return in . . .

I just can’t abide that this show will only be a one season as Oscar Isaac has claimed or that we won’t see Moon Knight again in the MCU. Right now, I have pretty little interest in the Midnight Sons theory as aside from the Netflix Daredevil show, I don’t think we’ve really had any compelling versions of these characters (Punisher, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Blade) in the MCU as of yet. In Moon Knight Essentials Vol 1 we saw MK team up with Spiderman, Hulk, and a few others which could be great (I’m always up for more Spiderman!!).

And of course there’s always this Moon Knight series/season finale tweet to read too much into.

The Wait is Almost Over

Welp, that’s all I have so far. Soooo looking forward to tonight’s episode. There’s only one more to go! I’m sure I’ll be back next week with another of these posts, but in the mean time, help me wait with a little speculation of your own. Which theories did you like the best? What didn’t I mention (probably a lot).

Please leave your thoughts in the comments. Can’t wait to catch up with everyone on this! See you next time.

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