'Moon Knight': Episode 5 Details Log
“There can be no progress without understanding.”
Following the events of the previous episode of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight, “The Tomb,” both Marc Spector and Arthur Harrow have reached Alexander the Great’s tomb and found the imprisoned Egyptian deity Ammit’s ushabti hidden among her final avatar’s sarcophagus. Without Khonshu’s protection, Harrow shoots Marc twice in the heart, killing him.
Now, in Episode 5 “Asylum,” Marc has reawakened as a patient at Putnam Psychiatric Ward. Marc and Steven Grant, no longer sharing the same body, must travel the Underworld known as the Duat with the deity Taweret’s guidance. During their journey, their hearts will be weighed against the feather of Maat on the scales of justice. If, by the end of their journey, their hearts are balanced, they will be welcomed into the Field of Reeds for all of eternity. Unfortunately, for Marc and Steven, to balance their hearts, they must revisit hidden and painful memories from their past and hold nothing back from one another. Will Marc and Steven find glorious salvation or eternal damnation?
Sense vs. Nonsense
Marc Spector cycles through a series of fragmented memories, including a flooding cave with distant cries of help, a woman screaming with vitriol, and his first encounter with the goddess Taweret, before waking up in Dr. Harrow’s office at Putnam Medical Facility.
Harrow attempts to calm down a heavily bruised Marc telling him he did not shoot him. Addressing his patient, Harrow tells him that Marc’s mind is violently vacillating between sense and nonsense as his brain tries to cope with his very difficult reality. He reminds Marc that he is a patient here at Putnam with fantastical delusions of being a Super Hero, while refusing everything possible to look within himself. Retracing Marc’s account, Harrow reminds him that he moments earlier relayed that he was in a hospital just like this, except it was in Egypt, where he was in the company of a talking rhinoceros. Wrong, Harrow, it was a hippopotamus. Marc concedes that on the pendulum, that notion swings to the end of nonsense. Encouraged, Harrow states that a struggling mind will often build places to seek shelter for different aspects of the self from our most traumatic memories. Treading lightly, Harrow asks to revisit their early conversation involving a little boy. Thanking his doctor, Marc proclaims he feels so much better as he grabs a glass pyramid off of Harrow’s desk. Threatened, Harrow triggers a security alarm. As Billy and Bobbi arrive, Harrow doesn’t want them to lose all the progress they made today, reminding him that he’s not the enemy as the staff sedates Marc for his outburst.
Welcome Gentle Travelers to the Realm of the Duat
Back at the Egyptian mental hospital, Taweret informs both Marc and Steven that they are indeed quite dead. Remarking that it’s been some time since any soul had arrive here, Taweret tells them they’re in the realm of the Duat. Steven interjects, delighted and in awe, that they’re in the presence of the goddess of women and children who is guiding them on their journey in the Afterlife through the Egyptian Underworld. Marc, with incredulity and disdain, refuses to believe this is the Afterlife. Correcting him, Taweret reveals this is just an afterlife, not the afterlife, as there are many intersectional planes of untethered consciousness that exists, like the Ancestral Plane.
The true nature of the Duat is impossible for the human mind to comprehend, so they may perceive the realm as something easily recognizable; hence, the psychiatric facility. Marc retorts that they’re insane to a deflated Steven, frustrated that his reality now involves a talking hippo, a talking dead bird, Steven outside of his body, and now the afterlife. Dr. Harrow is right. Believing that he’s at Putnam’s, Marc walks through a pair of doors, only to find himself on the deck of Taweret’s massive boat as it navigates the Underworld desert.
Plucking their hearts from their chests, Taweret places them on the Scales of Justice where they’re weighed against the Feather of Truth. In the Weighing of the Heart, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the heart represented who they really were in life. If, by the end of their journey, the scales are balanced, their souls will be welcomed into the A'aru, or the Field of Reeds, where they will spend eternity in paradise. However, if they’re not balanced, they’ll be thrown overboard where the dead will drag them down into the Duat where they will remain forever frozen in sand.
Speaking privately to Steven, Marc refuses to go to the Duat or the Field of Reeds. He proposes they kill the hippo and steal her boat. However, their conversation is interrupted as Taweret notices their scales swaying wildly side to side. Holding their hearts in her palm, Taweret notes how neither heart is full; each one feels incomplete. She regretfully states that, without balanced scales, the Duat will eventually claim their souls. Rooting for them, she tells Marc and Steven that this boat contains all of their life’s memories. She doesn’t know what they’re hiding, but recommends heading back within and revealing the truth to one another so they can balance their scales before they arrive at the Field of Reeds; otherwise, their souls will be destroyed.
Doorways to Past Memories
Back within the boat, Marc still thinks his plan to commandeer Taweret’s boat is better than overcoming their past blockages. Ignoring Marc, Steven approaches one door which shows the moment he allowed Marc as Moon Knight to take over their body to handle the jackal Harrow released in the museum (as seen in Episode 1 "The Goldfish Problem"). Moving to another doorway, Steven recalls the recent evening where he as Mr. Knight and Khonshu cycled across a thousand Egyptian nights to find the specific location of stars in the sky (as seen in Episode 3 "The Friendly Type").
Peering through another doorway, Steven comes across one of Marc’s memories; however, Marc refuses to revisit every single memory he’s ever had. Suddenly, Marc and Steven hear a distant cry for help from a child’s voice. Steven takes off running down the hall as Marc follows him. They enter a cafeteria filled with dead bodies as Steven spies their scales violently sway back and forth. As Marc navigates the room, he recalls where he encountered each person in life. Steven is aghast that Marc had killed every single person present, and remembers them. Marc explains that each of the bodies there belonged to a criminal – murderers, predators, the worst of the worst. Khonshu wanted all of these individuals punished, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t weigh on him taking a person’s life. With that admission, Steven notices the Scales are slowing down; acknowledging the hidden parts of their past is working!
Suddenly, in the corner of the room, Steven spots a little boy and is upset that there would be a child in a room full of people Marc killed. Mortified, Marc begs Steven not to go near him. Ignoring Marc, Steven runs after the scared through another doorway; Steven locks the door preventing Marc from following them.
Taking in a new memory, Steven suddenly spots his mom Wendy barbequing outside as his father Elias builds a child-sized play home. The young child Steven followed is Randall, who their mom adoringly refers to as ‘RoRo.’ A young Marc appears and makes fun of Randall’s drawing of a goldfish with only one fin. Wendy chides the young Marc for teasing his younger brother. Steven is bewildered that he didn’t know he had a younger brother. The young Marc asks Randall to explore a cave with him before dinner. Wendy and Elias allow their sons to go play but reminds the young Marc he is to watch over his younger brother.
The young Marc and Randall walk through the woods reenacting a scene from Tomb Buster with Marc portraying Dr. Steven Grant and Randall as Grant’s ward. Steven, trailing behind them, is perplexed by the mention of Dr. Grant. As they approach the entrance of the cave, the weather changes as it begins pouring. Worried, Randall reminds Marc that their mom didn’t allow them to venture into the cave when it’s raining, but Marc dismisses it saying they’ll be fine. Steven follows the two young brothers into the cave growing concerned as the heavy downpour begins to flood the interior of the cave. He calls after the lads, hoping to draw them out before anything bad happens. Distressed, with water levels above his chest now, Steven can hear the distant cries of Marc and Randall as they’re caught in the flooded cave.
Meanwhile, Marc paces the hallway trying to find another entrance to the memory Steven stumbled upon. He’s startled when he sees his mother staring coldly at him through one of the doorways. Overwhelmed by Steven’s voice and the cries of his younger brother Randall, Marc closes his eyes reminding himself this is just a memory. A different doorway opens for Marc allowing him to re-enter his childhood home as his family holds a shiva for his brother Randall. As he approaches his parents, he sees Steven across the room, soaking wet and despondent. Marc and Steven witness Wendy telling Elias all she wants is her RoRo back. However, she snaps when she spies the young Marc coming down the stairs, berating him for not keeping his younger brother safe. Marc pleads with Steven for them to leave this memory as Steven’s horrified to see his mother blaming the death of Randall on the young Marc. Upset, the young Marc rushes back upstairs as Steven chases after him.
On the next floor, Steven witnesses another memory of Elias begging his wife to come out and celebrate their son Marc’s birthday. Making an excuse for Wendy, Elias tells the young Marc that his mom isn’t feeling well so they’ll just celebrate this year with just the two of them. Sad, the young Marc solemnly blows out his eight birthday candles.
Following the young Marc up the stairs again, on the next level, Steven witnesses another birthday. Elias enthusiastically makes Marc’s favorite cake for his 12th birthday. However, the drunk Wendy saunters over to the dining room table to berate Marc believing Marc has always been jealous of his younger brother ever since he was born, and that she should have known he would have done something like this. The young Marc, upset, leaves the dining room and runs upstairs to his bedroom. Steven doesn’t understand why his mom would behave this way, and just as he was about to enter young Marc’s bedroom, Marc pulls them both back out onto the street.
Steven is upset that Marc would remember their mother that way; this is nothing like her. He demands to go back inside and find out what happened in their bedroom. They’re interrupted as another memory pours out onto their neighborhood street. A young Marc storms off with a duffel bag as Elias pleads with his son to come back inside; he can’t lose another son. Elias promises that Wendy will get help and that they’ll fix it. A heartbroken Marc snaps that he’s supposed to fix this and doesn’t understand why his father hasn’t yet.
You Are A Worthy Candidate to Serve Me During This Time
As Marc tackles Steven from re-entering their childhood home, their scuffle lands them in another memory in the Egyptian desert. Steven takes in the aftermath of a massacre at a dig site, recalling Harrow telling him that Marc was a mercenary who killed hostages. Marc is stung that Steven would believe such a thing.
Marc reveals that going AWOL when you’re in a fugue state gets you discharged from the military. With few options for work, he went work-for-hire for his former commanding officer Bushman. The job was just to raid an Egyptian tomb, but Bushman changed the plan and called for no witnesses, just as Steven discovers the body of Layla’s father, Dr. Abdullah El-Faouly. Unable to live with his partner’s plan, Marc remorsefully recollects that he tried to get all the hostages away but they didn’t make it, himself included.
Marc and Steven spot a mortally wounded younger Marc, in the distance, crawling into Khonshu’s temple. Just as he was about to put himself out of his misery, Khonshu’s disembodied voice offers the younger Marc a proposition. Khonshu reveals he can feel the pain and fractured mind within him. Instead of wasting his life, the stone statue reveals himself to be the god Khonshu in need of a warrior, and asks if Marc will be his hands, his eyes, his vengeance. If the younger Marc chooses life instead of death, he will be bound to Khonshu, swearing to protect the travelers of the night and bringing his vengeance to evil-doers who would do harm. Marc looks back on the memory with a combination of disdain and gratitude for another shot at life. Steven views the scenario differently; that sneaky old vulture has been manipulating and taking advantage of Marc since the very beginning. Steven spots the Scales again, seeing it slowed down further, as Marc believes Khonshu’s offer stopped him from being what he’s always been – a killer. With his final moments nearing, the younger Marc agrees to the exchange and promises his servitude to Khonshu. Soon, he’s imbued with Khonshu’s light and protected by the healing ceremonial Moon Knight armor.
Marc and Steven are pulled from the memory once more from a disturbance caused by baboons – creatures that the Ancient Egyptians viewed as the dead who oversaw the Duat. Returning onto the deck of the boat, Tawaret tells Marc and Steven that fear is spreading in the Underworld because unbalanced souls in the land of the living are being judged and condemned to the stands before their time – an evil act of Harrow’s doing. Steven begs Taweret to help them go back; even if she could return them, they’d just be returning to a body with a bullet in it without the ability to heal. Steven begs Taweret to get a message to Layla to free Khonshu. She doesn’t understand why he would want to be with Khonshu again when Marc looks like he really wanted to get away from him. Conceding, Marc admits that he did, but this is their only option now. Throwing caution to the wind and noting that Osiris will not be pleased, Taweret turns her boat around noting that Osiris’ gate is the only path back. As she does this, she urges Marc and Steven to go back inside the boat; they don’t have much time left to get their scales balanced.
Steven demands to go back into the house to Marc’s childhood bedroom believing that’s the key. Marc doesn’t think they need to go back through the memories all over again; they can just talk. He pleads to Steven to not make them go through it all again; it’s not worth it. Stevens responds with incredulity towards that statement; they’re about to lose everything. If we don’t get back and Harrow succeeds, and all those people die. If Layla dies, that’s on your head. It will be all your fault. Losing it, Marc shouts at Steven that he can’t, he won’t do it, as he begins to slip into a narcissistic rage episode.
There’s Only One Way to Know
Back in Dr. Harrow’s office, Harrow tells Marc to stop his self-injurious rage. As Marc gets his bearings, Harrow laughs off the notion telling Marc he watches too many movies; they can’t involuntarily sedate patients. Harrow lathers praise onto Marc stating he’s so proud of him for tackling the traumas of his past over the past few hours. It’s not easy peering inward into all the moments that make you you. With this progress, Harrow poses a question: does Marc think he created Steven to hide from all the awful things he’s done in his life? Or does he think Steven created Marc to punish the world for what his mother did to him? To know for certain, Harrow advises Marc to open up to Steven.
In his childhood bedroom, a young Marc pushes all his Tomb Buster toys off his desk. Steven tells Marc he remembers this bedroom but he doesn’t remember this memory. A terrified young Marc hides in the corner pleading out loud, “it’s not my mom,” as Wendy pounds on the bedroom door demanding to be let in. As the young Marc’s eyes roll back, the young Steven takes over their body. Steven suddenly notices a Tomb Buster poster hanging on their wall. When danger is near, Steven Grant has no fear…
Steven suddenly realizes that Marc made him up! However, the moment is interrupted when Wendy barges into the room as their younger version tidies up the room. Grabbing a belt off the wall, Wendy threatens the young Marc will be made to listen. Before Steven can witness more of the memory, Marc pulls him out of the room so he doesn’t have to witness their mom beating the young Marc. Marc sharply states that Steven wasn’t meant to see that; that’s the whole point of you. In reaction, Steven punches Marc in the face, upset that he was made up to just be Marc’s stress ball. All this time, Steven thought he was the original.
Frustrated, Marc explains Steven got to live a happy, simple, normal life thanks to him. Who cares if it’s a lie? Why would anyone want to live with the truth that he had a mother that beat him, that hated him, that made his life a living hell. Marc ensured Steven got to live a life that he has a kind mother who loves him and is still alive. Steven believes Marc’s just trying to hurt him with this revisionist history of their mother. Elaborating further, Marc reveals that dad called him after all these years letting him know about mom’s Shiva, but he couldn’t bring himself to go. Steven shuts down and demands to be let out.
Suddenly, back in Dr. Harrow’s office, Steven is rattled by the latest revelation and Harrow’s presence, questioning the environment, wondering if it’s a test. Dr. Harrow tells Steven it’s good to see him again; he was worried that they might never speak again. Harrow apologizes revealing that he was the one who told Marc to open up to Steven, and asks how their conversation went. Harrow reminds him that when Steven first arrived at Putnam’s, he didn’t think Steven would ever be able to acknowledge Marc. It was Steven who brought them to this psychiatric hospital after his mother passed. Steven admonishes Harrow; his mother hasn’t passed. Calming Steven down, Harrow asks if he would like to speak to her, that they’ll ring her up on the phone, to which Steven intensely refuses. He doesn’t want to bother his mum. As Harrow hands him the phone asking if he would like to speak to his mother, Steven hesitantly approaches the phone as tears stream down his face. Holding the phone receiver, Steven acknowledges that his mum is dead.
Revisiting the first memory that appeared in the doorway, Elias is holding a shiva for the late Wendy Spector at their home. He suddenly spots the adult grieving and conflicted Marc through the window, outside across the street drinking from a flask. Elias motions for Marc to come inside, but he refuses and walks away haphazardly. He does not want to give his mother that satisfaction. Steven witnesses the younger Marc distraught by the matter, falling to his knees in the middle of the street. Steven then sees himself taking control over the body in a fugue state. Unsure of where he is, the memory Steven rings his mother amused that he is once again lost, unsure of exactly how he ended up where he is. Marc appears sharing that this moment was two months ago; it was their mother’s death and shiva that led their lives to bleed into one another. Marc regretfully admits he couldn’t face their dad after all the things he’s done. Steven reminds Marc that all the horrible things their mother said to him was wrong; none of it was his fault. Through pain and tears, Marc believes it was his fault; he shouldn’t have brought his younger brother Randall into that cave. Gently, Steven reassures him that Marc was just a child; it was not his fault. Their moment interrupted once more as Taweret’s boat stops in its voyage.
Rushing back onto the deck, Steven and Marc spot the gates of Osiris. Taweret regretfully informs them that the gates aren’t open because their Scales never balanced. Their journey has come to an end and she can’t stop the inevitable; the unbalanced souls of the Duat will now claim theirs. Armed unfriendly souls begin to overtake the boat as Marc tells Steven to hide; he’ll handle it. As his past emerges to haunt him, quite literally, Steven acts quickly to prevent the Marc from being thrown overboard. With a sudden epiphany, Steven realizes if he’s Marc, then that means he’s got this as well. Steven suddenly charges at the dead dragging Marc and impressing his other half as he eliminates the threat. However, as another unbalanced soul nearly pulls Marc overboard, Steven rushes to the boat’s side removing the soul’s grip on Marc. However, to Marc’s horror, Steven goes overboard onto the sand with the unbalanced soul. As Steven tries to run after the sailing boat, he succumbs to the nature of the Duat and is frozen in sand.
With Steven’s sacrifice, Taweret discovers that Marc and Steven’s hearts have finally balanced on the Scales. Marc suddenly finds himself in the Field of Reeds.
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