Moon Knight episode 3 — out now on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar — might have overhauled the visual template of the Marvel series, but I don’t believe the new episode made me feel differently about Moon Knight on the whole. It was fairly boring moment to moment, and I’m still waiting to be truly engaged. That said, after two episodes in London, it was nice to have a scenery refresh as Moon Knight episode 3 brought us to Egypt. We knew this was coming given how Moon Knight episode 2 ended, and we shall get at least one more Moon Knight episode in Egypt given how this one ends. Expect more clichés like going to the Great Pyramid of Giza, because it’s impossible for Hollywood to go to Egypt and not go to Giza, isn’t it?
Jokes aside, the moments inside the Great Pyramid of Giza helped expand upon Moon Knight‘s mythology in tangible ways. It told us how the gods can speak through their Avatars, why they aren’t actively involved in mankind’s affairs today, and how easily they can be fooled by mere mortals. More on that last one later. Calling a council of the Ennead — that’s the group of nine deities who were worshipped in Heliopolis, one of ancient Egypt’s oldest cities — is one of two major gambles Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) takes in Moon Knight episode 3. And ultimately, he pays a heavy price.
Additionally, Moon Knight episode 3 very briefly hinted that there might be a third personality in Oscar Isaac’s body beyond the American mercenary Marc Spector and British gift shop-ist Steven Grant. The third episode of Moon Knight might possibly include the only appearance for the late Gaspard Ulliel — he plays Cairo-based antiques dealer Anton Mogart on the Disney+ series — who died, before Moon Knight premiered, following a skiing accident. Mogart has a master thief alter ego in the comics as Midnight Man, but it’s unlikely we’ll see that now with Mogart’s death. Marvel Studios also has a habit of tweaking characters when it transfers them to screen — so there was no guarantee we would’ve got Midnight Man even if Ulliel was still around.
Moon Knight episode 3 — directed by Mohamed Diab, and written by Beau DeMayo, and Peter Cameron and Sabir Pirzada — opens with Layla El-Faouly (May Calamawy) preparing to go back home to Egypt after 10 years. She’s anxious to return home, she tells the woman making her fake passport. “Is it all the stolen antiques? Worried you might have burned too many bridges?” Layla notes that she doesn’t steal — after all, the antiques have already been stolen, she’s only returning them to their rightful owners. Though admittedly, she does keep a few to pay the bills. The passport maker Lagaro (Barbara Rosenblat) tells us that Layla learnt it all from her father who took her to dig sites, whom she misses just like Layla. Judging by how their conversation is going, I definitely feel like Lagaro is Layla’s mother.
Meanwhile in Egypt in Moon Knight episode 3, the villain Arthur Harrow has arrived and has found the location of Ammit’s tomb thanks to that magical Scarab. Arthur declares as much in Arabic to the digging contingent following him. I suppose he speaks Arabic and Mandarin both, though I would hope his Arabic is better than his Mandarin, given what Shang-Chi star Simu Liu and the Internet have told us following the release of Moon Knight episode 2. Just as Arthur is done speaking in Arabic, his fake-police lackeys tell him that Marc Spector is in Cairo.
Moon Knight episode 3 cuts to Marc running across rooftops, before confronting three men with knives. He’s looking for information on Arthur’s dig site, but it doesn’t look like they have any interest in helping him. As Marc dodges the knives and tries to stay alive, his attention is broken at crucial times with Steven speaking to him through all potential reflective areas. Each time that happens in Moon Knight episode 3, Marc loses minutes of his life. The knife fight and the chase through Cairo ends on a hill overlooking the city, where the three end up dead. Marc thinks the bloodiness is Steven’s doing — but he denies it. Wait, is Moon Knight hinting at another personality now? One that neither Marc nor Steven knows about?
Not left with any headway in locating Arthur, Marc wonders aloud to Khonshu if there’s another way to stop Ammit from being resurrected. Why can’t we seek the help of other gods? They ought to have a stake in this, “Asking for an audience with gods means incurring their wrath,” Khonshu says. As Marc wonders what’s the worst that could happen, Khonshu tells him that they could imprison him in stone. “I wouldn’t mind that,” Marc tells Khonshu cheekily. Khonshu seemingly agrees to Marc’s bizarre request, sending the other gods a signal they can’t ignore: a complete solar eclipse. He is the moon god after all. Elsewhere in Moon Knight episode 3, Arthur’s people get spooked seeing the eclipse, but he simply tells them to keep digging no matter what.
As the world is engulfed in darkness during the day, Khonshu explains the basics to Marc. All the nine gods’ avatars will be called upon — remember Steven’s mention of the Ennead in Moon Knight episode 1, where he pointed out that Ennead meant nine gods? — with a portal presenting itself wherever you are, so that the meeting of the Ennead can be fulfilled. While Marc steps into his portal on Moon Knight episode 3, Khonshu notes that he was banished last time he spoke to the other gods. As Marc wonders why Khonshu is walking in the opposite direction of the portal, the moon god shoots back: “Oh I’ll be there.”
The meeting of the Ennead takes place inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, something the knowledgeable Steven instantly points out via another reflection. There, the other Avatars start filtering in. Among them is Yatzil (Diana Bermudez), Avatar of Hathor, who tries to make small talk about Hathor and Khonshu’s last interaction but Marc isn’t really in that mind space. (Once again, everyone says Avatar like they are American. Can’t anyone say it like it’s meant to be pronounced?) As the meeting convenes on Moon Knight episode 3, Yatzil tells Marc that he will feel a strange sensation, before walking away to her spot and seemingly becoming possessed. “In attendance, Horus, Isis, Tefnut, Osiris, and Hathor, to hear the account of Khonshu,” Yatzil says. What happened to the other three, I wonder?
Now speaking through his Avatar — this was the strange sensation Yatzil spoke of — Khonshu demands judgment on Arthur who is also summoned to the chamber in Moon Knight episode 3. The moon god says Arthur is trying to release Ammit from her tomb, who in his defence claims he’s simply a tourist. “If visiting the sands was a crime, the line of sinners would be longer than the Nile.” I’m sorry, what is this useless excuse? Are the gods blind? Can’t they see the diggers he’s brought?
Anyway, Arthur then turns the tables on Khonshu, noting that the moon good has searched for Ammit’s tomb since he ensnared Arthur to his service. Arthur calls Khonshu jealous and paranoid, who retorts by dubbing him a deceiver. Both of those are possibly true. “Do not trust the word of a shamed god,” Arthur adds, “Khonshu is unhinged and his servant unwell. This man does not know his name, he speaks to himself, and I’ve no idea how many personalities he possesses.” As the god committee looks on in Moon Knight episode 3, Arthur continues: “This is a deeply troubled man. Khonshu is taking advantage of him the way he abused me, the way he aspires to abuse this court.”
The gods wish to speak with Marc, so with a wave of his hand, Osiris’s Avatar Selim (Khalid Abdalla) brings out the human. He admits he is unwell, before repeating Khonshu’s accusation that Arthur is dangerous. But the gods have been swayed by Arthur’s words, it seems. They conclude the matter and walk away, as does Arthur. Marc is left defeated on Moon Knight episode 3. It’s funny that Khonshu called for an audience given he knows how unstable Marc/Steven are.
As Marc leaves the Great Pyramid of Giza, Yatzil speaks to him again on Moon Knight episode 3. This time, it’s no small talk — she has important stuff to say. Yatzil tells him that Ammit was buried in secret, the location hidden even from gods. But a medjay named Senfu knows the location of the tomb. This was done in case the gods decided to change their minds and show mercy on Ammit. If Marc wants to locate Ammit’s tomb, he should find Senfu’s sarcophagus that was sold on the black market.
Marc clearly doesn’t know what to do, because his best idea is to approach a juice seller in a Cairo square and enquire about Senfu’s sarcophagus. Like are you kidding me? 😂 This is so absurd and stupid. Anyway, it’s just a ploy to bring Layla into the story on Moon Knight episode 3, as she finds Marc and tells him she can help. Though she’s not really there for him, Layla says later on a boat as they head for Mogart’s. She’s here to save the thousands who will die if Arthur succeeds.
Their fractious dynamic undergoes a change as their boat mates start ululating and dancing to music. Apparently, it’s the kind of music that was played at their wedding. Layla tells Marc that he should’ve told her about Steven. “We could’ve handled it together,” she notes in Moon Knight episode 3. Marc says he had it under control until very recently. And it’s not like being open and talking is something he does very well, with Layla finishing his sentence.
At Mogart’s, Layla reunites with a bodyguard named Bek (Loic Mabanza) who tells her that Mogart’s looking forward to seeing her before namechecking Madripoor. If you’ll recall, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — one of the Marvel series last year — took us there. Anton Mogart (Ulliel) is happy to see Layla, who introduces Marc as her husband Rufino. As they walk, Mogart says this is more than a collection to him. “Preserving history is a responsibility I take very seriously.” Layla and Marc ask Mogart if they can have a look at Senfu’s sarcophagus — he obliges. But as Marc studies it alone and tries to deduce clues with Steven’s help, Mogart sends his men in and asks Marc to get on his knees in Moon Knight episode 3. Um, what just happened?
Just then, out of nowhere, Arthur and his men show up. Being told of an interested third party, Mogart steps out to have a word with Arthur who offers him the Scarab. “Why settle for a clue when you can have the treasure?” Arthur then gets in a few words to Layla, claiming that Marc had something to do with the murder of Layla’s father. This is further sowing seeds of doubt between them, what with their relationship already in a rocky place. Arthur then turns his attention back to Mogart on Moon Knight episode 3, and in a bid to give proof to his tall claims, casts a spell with his supernatural cane that destroys Senfu’s sarcophagus.
Meanwhile, Khonshu keeps telling Marc to summon the suit and give everyone what they deserve. I can’t tell why Marc is hesitating — I would understand so if it was Steven in control of the body — other than the fact that Arthur is around. It’s only when Arthur walks away, that he finally does it. Definitely feels like a case of plot armour, allowing Moon Knight to have more episodes beyond episode 3. As Moon Knight takes on Mogart’s men, Layla is confronted by Bek. But in the middle of the fight, Steven takes control from Marc. He foolishly asks everyone to calm down, and gets impaled twice for his efforts. He quickly hands the body back to Marc, who gets impaled a few more times.
Elsewhere in Moon Knight episode 3, Layla brings out her weapons — the ones hanging around her collar until now — and puts an end to Bek. She then runs to help Marc who is essentially stuck in one place. But before she can get to him, Mogart comes around on his horse and whips her to the ground. Seeing this, Marc goes into a rage, kills the men around him in a swift motion, and heals himself of all the wounds caused by the impaling. As he confronts Mogart, Layla is lying in the middle. Both run towards her, but Moon Knight gets there in time — and as he rolls out of Mogart’s way, he throws one of his crescent blades at Mogart, wounding him severely if not killing him.
As they drive away on Moon Knight episode 3, Layla (naturally) brings up what Arthur said earlier: about her dad’s death. Marc says that Arthur is just trying to mess with her mind. “He’s just trying to divide us, don’t let him get in your head,” Marc adds. But this isn’t an isolated incident for Layla. After all, Marc has kept things from her before — as we learnt on Moon Knight episode 2. “Every time a new secret pops up, it’s like I haven’t known you at all,” Layla adds. Marc suddenly gets very serious, telling her that she doesn’t and hasn’t really known him. As they drive off in silence, a voice from afar says it has spotted them — I’m guessing this is another one of Arthur’s followers.
Having stolen a piece of fabric off Senfu’s sarcophagus before it was destroyed by Arthur, Layla and Marc now try to piece the clues together in Moon Knight episode 3. But as Marc struggles, Layla says they could use Steven’s help. He is an expert on all things Egypt after all. Marc reluctantly lets Steven back into the body, who to his credit, pieces it all together. (Sidenote: is Layla falling for Steven? See that smile she gives him on Moon Knight episode 3.) As Layla tries to scan the fabric to figure out the location, Steven notes that stars drift over time so it’s no use. Unless they knew what the sky looked like on the night that Senfu marked the location of the tomb.
Thankfully for them, Khonshu says he remembers every night. I mean, once again, he is the moon god. In a manner of speaking, he is the night. As part of his powers, Khonshu can turn back the night sky. But it will come at a cost and he cannot do it alone. When the gods imprison me, tell Marc to free me, Khonshu says as he and Steven reverse the night sky. As the stars rotate out of position, Layla scans it with her iPad on Moon Knight episode 3.
Elsewhere in the Great Pyramid of Giza, the gods gather again to imprison Khonshu in stone. Out in the desert in Moon Knight episode 3, Steven can feel his power leaving him and Khonshu seems to be slipping away too. This is a big sacrifice just for the location of Ammit’s tomb, I must note. Couldn’t they just track Arthur to the location? Or one of the thousands working for him? Just as Khonshu disappears and Steven loses consciousness, Layla exclaims that she’s got the location.
Back to Giza in Moon Knight episode 3 where Osiris’s Avatar Selim is taking Arthur to see the stone Khonshu. I’m a little curious why the gods are regularly catering to mere mortals now. Like, why is he talking to him? Just because he was right about Khonshu? Selim says that Khonshu is tethered to his place like many before him. “Can he hear us?” Arthur asks, and Selim replies in the affirmative.
As Selim walks away in Moon Knight episode 3, Arthur speaks to stone Khonshu. He says: “I enjoyed dealing out pain on your behalf. That is the greatest sin I carry. But had you not broken me so completely, I might never have known the value of healing. I’m going to do what you could not. And when it’s finished, I want you to know my torment forged me. I owe my victory to you.”