‘Moon Knight:’ Meet Marc Spector’s Third Alter — Jake Lockley
"Marc Spector has no idea how troubled he truly is."
Just how broken is Marc Spector? According to Khonshu, so broken that he doesn’t even realize he’s got a third alter lurking around the corner — and he’s the most dangerous one. At long last, say hello to Jake Lockley.
While Episode 6 "Gods and Monsters" of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight ends on an ambitious note (Is Marc still in charge? Is Steven? Are they finally in a truly symbiotic relationship?), there’s still one more surprise. In the end credit tag for the episode, it’s revealed that Khonshu was never actually worried about losing Marc entirely as an avatar, because he’s got Jake. And clearly, Jake will do all the tough, dirty things that Marc (and/or Steven) never will.
This might be the first time we’re seeing Jake, but this isn’t the first time he’s been hinted at. All those times Marc and Steven blacked out and neither one of them was in control? That third sarcophagus? All Jake.
“We knew right from the beginning that fans were going to be on the lookout for references and clues that Jake Lockley is going to appear in the show,” head writer Jeremy Slater tells Marvel.com. The creative team realized that Marvel super fans — and ones familiar with the comics — would be searching for anything pointing to him, and made the decision to not worry about surprising fans who would be dissecting every single scene. Rather, the team focused on “everyone else who's totally unfamiliar with the character and the dynamic,” recognizing “we have to make sure that the mystery works as satisfying for the newcomers to the Moon Knight story.”
Calling it a full team effort for the entire crew, Slater continues, “It was really just a balancing act that definitely involved my team of writers, but also involved the directors, the executives, and ultimately, all the way up to Kevin Feige, in terms of how many breadcrumbs are we dropping? Is this a satisfying reveal? Are we telegraphing it too much? Or are we not telegraphing enough?”
The directors — Mohamed Diab who helmed Episodes 1, 3, 5 and 6, along with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead who did Episodes 2 and 4 — worked closely with the cinematographers to create moments of confusion where Jake could slip in and out. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of mirrors in the show, and a lot of trios of mirror that might not have been noticed the first time around. Going so far back as Episode 1 "The Goldfish Problem," cinematographer Gregory Middleton points out that after Steven wakes up in bed following the cupcake truck chase, “There's a shot of a [split] of mirrors and there's this barely third reflection.” Barely three reflections.
Heading into Episode 2 "Summon the Suit," Moorhead explains, “When [Marc] is talking to himself in the pyramid at the end of the episode, you'll notice it's actually a three sided pyramid that are progressively more and more broken. Third side represents his rage. The one that he kicks out and smashes is actually a tiny, tiny little clue to look out for three instead of two.”
Episode 3 "The Friendly Type" offers more clues to Jake’s role in everything, as racing through Cairo neither Marc nor Steven knows who’s in control and carrying out some of these bloody deeds. Middleton offers more information there, as “Mohamed really wanted it to be the Jake of it all, like, who did this other crime? This guy is obviously brutal.”
And by Episode 4 "The Tomb," there’s a mysterious sarcophagus looming over Steven and Marc as they travel through the Underworld together. Almost in unison, both Benson and Moorhead confirm, “That is intended to be Jake.”
“We were intentionally planting the seed,” Benson elaborates. “You're trying to ride this line of it being like, the mystery that may not mean a lot to people that don't know the Moon Knight canon super well. But that when you see the coffin, there’s that the movement and sound coming from it that may even feel like something supernatural or demonic. While also trying to ride this line that it's not literally going to be a creature from the descent popping out. It's going to be a person later. But trying to make it feel so dangerous; just a beat, a feeling there's something extraordinarily dangerous.”
When Jake finally does arrive, it’s a drawn-out moment leading to a slow burn for the full reveal of just who has come to claim Arthur Harrow and wheel him away from Sienkiewicz Psychiatric Hospital.
“When we did the shot in the bingo room, as [Jake] comes in, we filmed it so you sort of almost see him — but then you don't,” Middleton explains. “Then his hands come in. Even his hand gestures are kind of sinister, and as he goes away, we push the camera through into the glass. You can't quite see him, it’s all deliberately to stretch it out. If you were worried or hoping for Jake, hopefully, you're cheering and pounding the whole way through.”
Jake literally says two sentences over course of the entire scene, both in Spanish, but it’s enough to send a shiver down anyone’s spine. Having just completed nothing short of a marathon playing both Marc and Steven through the whole series, star Oscar Isaac was excited to “let instinct guide” him with Jake.
“I saw an opportunity to bring something of myself to it that's not just trying to pay service to some idea that was in the comics,” he explains. “The thought of, ‘He's just going to have the one line that he speaks, it should be in Spanish.’ There's something that's ominous about him, the kind of control that he has versus, you know, both Marc and Steven that have been so off foot. It just feels like it was just a really fun chance to let the instinct of, after having played these two guys, imagining what else could be in there and the excitement of shooting that scene.”
Diab “loves that he’s a Latino” character, and even as Jake walks through the hospital pushing Harrow’s wheelchair, he’s humming a Guatemalan hymn. And even though viewers only spend a few minutes with Jake, it’s clear that “this isn't Marc. So just imagine what's to come.” Diab continues. “I can't wait to see what's going to happen with the third completely different character with a completely different background.”
“The moment that Oscar comes out as Jake — he's scary,” consulting producer Sarah Goher adds. “But he’s such a stylish Jake. It's like if [you met him, you’d] be like, ‘wow, so you're Jake Lockley,’ in a way that you're kind of enamored and scared at the same time. Oscar just knows how to extract the most amazing things, and helps create a character that's so real and so palpable. Wherever he takes Jake, we're all going to follow.”
Now that Jake is out in the world, everyone’s excited to see just how viewers take to this third identity. And, for those looking for more Jake, a repeat viewing of the season might be in order, too. As Slater mentions, “The second time you watch it, everything neatly slots into place. Hopefully, you realize some of these mysteries were right in front of your eyes the whole time. That was always the goal and the ambition.”
All episodes of Marvel Studios' Moon Knight are now streaming exclusively on Disney+!
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