Moon Knight Ep 1: The Goldfish Problem

Marvel’s Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke, premiered this past Wednesday, and I was very much entertained.

Isaac’s Steven Grant is a “gift shoppist” in a London Museum, and is, quite frankly, wishy-washy. But the reason for this is that his life is, well, kind of falling apart. It soon becomes apparent why he goes to bed with leg restraints, has a circle of sand around his bed, and tapes up his door. He has very real “nightmares” in which he finds himself in strange places and has no idea what’s going on.

In this first episode, he finds himself in what looks like Switzerland, being chased by two men with guns. He runs into a town where a bizarre cult-like meeting is going on. Hawke’s character, Arthur Harrow (who puts crushed glass in his shoes in the opening scene…uh, okay) uses some ancient-looking cane to judge people’s souls, the results of which show on the shape-shifting tattoo of scales on his arm. He seems to be the vessel for an ancient Egyptian goddess (whose name escapes me right now).

Arthur asks politely for the scarab.

Anyway, the two guys with guns work for him, and Steven comes to his attention. He apparently has some scarab jewel that Harrow wants, and Steven very much wants to give it to him so they’ll leave him alone. But he can’t–at this point, he figures out that he’s sometimes under the control of someone else, and can hear a voice in his head (who calls him “the idiot”). This person makes it impossible for Steven to give Harrow the scarab.

A chase ensues. He’s cornered, and something happens–he blacks out, and when he comes to, Harrow’s pursuers are dead around him. He steals a cupcake truck and flees, and more henchmen pursue him down the long, windy roads of Switzerland. Steven, of course, is completely out of his element–but when things seem to get really bad, he blacks out, and someone ends up dead. And the voice continues to insult him in his ear. The most he can do is smash cupcakes into some guy’s face, which was hilarious to me.

Anyway, he finally wakes up in his own bed and laughs because of course it was a dream. Right? But things get worse from there. There’s something different about his goldfish–it’s got two fins instead of his usual one. He’s lost two days, because somehow he’d made a date with a hot chic (this is a guy who has no friends and talks to a statue) for Friday night, but it’s now Sunday. He finds a burner phone and calls someone named “Layla” who calls him Mark, and who is confused by his British accent. There’s also a key to…something. Then something weird starts to happen in his apartment; it begins to shake like there’s an earthquake. He runs into the hallway and into the elevator, and some strange being in white robes and a beak mask nearly attacks him. But it’s only an old lady, who thinks he’s a little bit cuckoo.

Steven was a little late for his date.

The next day he goes to work at the museum, but he see Arthur Harrow on the bus. He runs into the museum, and Arthur corners him there. He uses the weird cane to judge him, and the scale tattoo shifts. He tells Steven, “Your soul is chaos.” No kidding. They’re interrupted by museum goers, and Harrow lets him go.

Steven goes to work pricing souvenirs like nothing’s happened (I think I’d go straight to the nearest mental hospital and check in). Naturally, he’s one of the last people there, and as the lights start to go out, he hears something. Like a fool, he goes to investigate, and ends up getting chased by some kind of Anubis-looking creature, clearly at the behest of Harrow. He runs like hell and ends up in a bathroom with lots of mirrors. That’s when he hears a voice–not the insulting voice of before, but his own voice, in an American accent. Steven finally looks over to the mirror, and sees himself there, but it’s not him, either. The other Steven (or Mark, I’m guessing) pleads with him to let him help. As the creature claws through the door and leaps, Steven passes out and Moon Knight, in white robes and mask with glowing eyes, appears and slaughters the thing. And that’s the end of Episode 1.

“Let me help us, Steven.”

So yeah, it was just about as crazy as I figured it would be. I’m liking it, though. I need to keep watching so I can figure out WTF is going on, lol. It’s all tied up in ancient Egyptian lore and gods, and I’m wondering how Mark is inhabiting Steven (multiple personalities?) but who is the other, insulting voice, voiced by F. Murray Abraham and identified in the credits as Khonshu? So many questions…

I’m pretty intrigued and am looking forward to the rest of the show.

Did you watch Moon Knight? What did you think? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!