Oh, you wanted answers? Moon Knight will give you answers — and those answers will raise even more questions! That’s definitely the vibe coming out of this week’s penultimate episode of Moon Knight. The episode, titled “Asylum,” took us deep into Marc Spector’s (Oscar Isaac) psyche and showed us a whole lot of the skeletons that he keeps in his closet. It also showed us a lot of the corpses he keeps in a cafe, but that’s a whole other thing. Now that we know Moon Knight’s past, we can look ahead to the future and start wondering how the hell this guy is gonna get himself together in time to stop Harrow from terrorizing all of humanity with a very judgey god.
But hold up — there was a lot of info in this week’s episode. We gotta analyze all of it, especially since we have a week to wait until the finale! 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.
Putnam Medical Facility
At the beginning of the episode, we find out that Marc’s breakout moment at the end of Episode 4 was another delusion (except it wasn’t, really?) and he’s actually still in Dr. Harrow’s office. That’s when Harrow tries to ground Marc by saying that he’s not talking to a giant hippo. He’s actually at Putnam Medical Facility. That’s more or less the same name that writer Jeff Lemire used when he retold Moon Knight’s origin in the comics in 2017.
Back in Marc’s delusion / afterlife adventure, that very-much-there hippo goddess (named Taweret) explains that our hero is very much dead. He’s making his way through the afterlife as represented in ancient Egyptian mythology, and this holding place can take the form of many different locations. Of course she’s never seen it depicted as a mental hospital before but, here we are. She also says that there are many different in-between places for souls, and that the Ancestral Plane is “just gorgeous.” We know she’s right, because we’ve seen it before.
The Ancestral Plane is the realm that the Black Panther travels to in order to communicate with their ancestors. This is also one of the very few explicit connections to other Marvel Cinematic Universe properties that we’ve seen so far, following that GRC banner on the side of a bus and the offhand mention of Madripoor.3
Marc Spectors origin
We finally get to see Marc Spector’s origin story, along with Steven Grant’s and Moon Knight’s. Marc’s childhood as depicted on the show is drastically changed from the comics. On the show, pre-teen Marc and his even younger brother got trapped in a cave as it was flooding. Marc’s brother died and his mother never forgave him. She became neglectful and, later, abusive towards Marc — so much so that he created Steven (in the image of Tomb Buster hero Steven Grant) as an escape.
In the comics, Marc’s younger brother did not die and neither of his parents abused him. Instead, his traumatic incident came when he discovered that a family friend was actually a Nazi deserter and serial killer. When teen Marc stumbled across his “uncle’s” murder den, he was instantly traumatized and created Steven Grant to deal with it. His brother Randall also grew up to be an adult … and, um, had even worse mental health problems. Randall eventually became convinced that he was Khonshu’s avatar and took on the name Shadowknight. He then went on a killing spree and had to stopped (re: killed) by his brother, Moon Knight.
While there are very few similarities between TV Marc and comic Marc’s childhoods, there are tons of visual references to Greg Smallwood’s artwork in this formative Moon Knight story from 2017. For example, his childhood bedroom has the same Star Wars poster and a race car bed.
Kid Marc wears the same jacket in the comics and on the show.
And even adult Marc’s rebirth as Moon Knight at the foot of a Khonshu statue has the same vibe — and Oscar Isaac’s even dressed a bit like Marc from the comics with the short sleeves and scarf.
In order to balance their scales and prevent themselves from entering into eternal torment, Marc tells Steven everything — and that includes his history as a mercenary. We’ve known this was Marc’s gig for a while now, but it’s taken until this episode for him to mention the name of the guy he worked for: Bushman.
So, this is interesting. In the comics, Bushman is the Bushman — as in bush man, as in a man from the wilderness of Australia or New Zealand. The way Marc pronounces it, though, is as if it was a surname like Goldman or Rushman or Hoffman. In the comics, Bushman’s real name is Raul Bushman — but “Bushman” wasn’t revealed as his last name until 2006. The character debuted in Moon Knight #1 in 1980, so he existed for 26 years known primarily as Bushman (read like Batman).5
The ‘Tomb Buster’ poster
You better believe that Marc Spector, the world’s #1 (and possibly only) Tomb Buster super fan has a poster from the film hanging in his bedroom. While most of the names on the poster don’t seem to have an immediately clear connection to Moon Knight, one does: Doug Perlin. That’s the name given to the fictional actor who plays Steven Grant in the fictional film. Moon Knight was created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin. Another fun Easter egg: Tomb Buster is a Timely Atlas Studios feature film. Timely and Atlas were the two names Marvel Comics went by before become Marvel in the early 1960s.
By Brett White | Decider