Moon Knight is really gunning for the title of Marvel’s most unpredictable show. That’s a hard superlative to score with WandaVision and Loki in the MCU, but Moon Knight’s fourth episode really does pile on the WTF moments. This week’s chapter, titled “The Tomb,” brought big surprises and reveals as well as one helluva twist ending. If you thought you knew what was going on, you have now been proven wrong!
With only two episodes left in this season, it’s time we braced for a whole bunch more reveals and hopefully a lot more answers. Until then, though, we just have our speculation. It’s a good thing that we love to speculate! So, are you ready to find out what you might have missed in this week’s Moon Knight episode? SPOILERS ahead, because we gotta talk about these moments.1
Layla and Moon Knight’s intertwined origins
After lots of hints last week about Layla’s origin, we finally learn the whole truth this week — and it ain’t pretty. Layla is indeed based on the comic book character Marlene Alraune, and that means she has all of that character’s trauma too. As happened in the comics, we learn that Layla’s father was killed by a band of mercenaries who attacked his dig site. Marc Spector was one of those mercs. And like in the comics, Marc tried to save Peter Alraune’s (named Abdullah El-Faouly on the show) life and failed. Still, that insubordination got him shot and left for dead… until he was resurrected as Khonshu’s avatar.
These stories more or less play out the same way in the comics for Marlene and on the show for Layla, with one big difference. In the comics, Marlene was also present at the dig site, witnessed her father’s death, and Moon Knight’s resurrection. On the show, Layla was not at the dig site and only finds out about Marc’s connection to her father Abdullah’s death right now — after they’ve been married for years.2
‘Tomb Buster,’ a show within a show
We first get the feeling that something ain’t right when the show switches to a show within a show. The aspect ratio switches to 4:3 and a videotape grain takes over the screen. This is a scene from Tomb Buster, a fictional show or movie that Marc Spector loves. This could also be a fun nod to another bit of Moon Knight history.
In the 2011 Moon Knight comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, Marc Spector used the riches from his Steven Grant identity to fund his own syndicated action/adventure show called The Legend of Khonshu. Yes, he based the show on his own life story and also put his name on the credits. Who needs a secret identity when you can have an executive producer credit? So in the comics, Marc Spector based a TV show around his Moon Knight origin. And in the TV show, it’s implied that Marc Spector based his Moon Knight persona around a low-budget show.3
Everything in the psych ward
The overall Easter egg here is the nod to writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood’s Moon Knight series from 2016. That storyline began with Marc Spector in a psych ward and at the mercy of Khonshu and Ammit. This comic has been a major source of inspiration for the TV series from the beginning, so we really shoulda seen this twist coming!
As we see more and more of the psych ward, though, it becomes clear that this is like the turducken of Easter eggs. There are eggs within eggs within eggs here, all of them referencing the events of the previous episodes. Here are the ones we found.
The low-budget Tomb Buster movie/show we see stars an English adventurer named Steven Grant. That explains why our Steven has an over-the-top accent; he stole it from his favorite pop culture character.
People from Steven’s life, like his silent “friend” Crawley and his boss Donna, are in the psych ward too. Donna’s even clutching a scarab plush.
The orderlies are Billy and Bobbi, who we previously saw as cops in the thrall of Harrow. Now they’re orderlies, which is exactly the role they played in the comics.
Cupcakes, Khonshu, and Steven’s goldfish all pop up in the background.
No matter where she is, Layla likes to snack on marshmallows.
Marc is clutching a makeshift Moon Knight figurine which, in our reality, is a Moon Knight figure. The figure in question is the Marvel Legends Moon Knight figure from 2020, which was a Walgreens exclusive.
Dr. Harrow’s office is full of Easter eggs, including a poster of the Alps and mundane versions of his cane and sandals.
The episode ends with Marc and Steven running into a giant hippo goddess, and this isn’t the first time we’ve seen her. Back in episode one, Steven actually picked up a box of Taweret plush dolls and said her name. We don’t know what role Taweret will play in the show, but it’s very likely that this hippo is a sign of hope. In ancient Egyptian religion, hippopotamus goddesses are seen as protective figures. Taweret is the goddess of childbirth and fertility — and if anyone could use a rebirth after getting shot and left for dead in a pool of ancient tomb juice, it’s Marc Spector. Maybe Taweret is there to help Marc on his way back to the land of the living, or maybe she’s there to help a new personality — Jake Lockley? — emerge.5
The rattling sarcophagus
Yeah, Jake Lockley! We’ve already gotten one hint that Marc and Steven aren’t the only ones in control of the body. Now there’s a rattling sarcophagus in this presumably metaphorical psych ward. And since Marc found Steven trapped in a sarcophagus, it’s very likely that there’s another personality in there waiting to bust free. That personality could be Jake Lockley. In the comics, Lockley is just a street smart cab driver and not the bloodthirsty ass-kicker that’s been teased in previous episodes. But also Steven Grant is a suave millionaire in the comics so, liberties have been taken.
By Brett White | Decider