The penultimate episode of Marvel Studios’ and Disney+’s Moon Knight has arrived at the streaming service. This fifth and second to last episode of the series entitled “Asylum” hits off with a psychiatrist meeting between “Doctor” Harrow and Marc where the former informs Marc of the notion that he is indeed insane and these superhero-related stories are all a part of his imagination. Yet, upon receiving a certain dosage, he is zapped back to a mental asylum under the guise of the Egyptian goddess of mother and children Taweret.
In the halls of this asylum, Marc and Steven are introduced to the beginning of their trip to the afterlife after being shot by Harrow. Taweret (with affirmation from Steven) explains to the duo that they will need their respective hearts weighed which will indicate whether or not they will be admitted into the Field of Reeds or the afterlife within Egyptian mythology. However, upon the Scales of Justice, the two hearts are not full indicating that the duo does not know each other’s full memories. This brings upon the much-needed and wanted backstory of the characters.
Marc and Steven return indoors from the boat to come across varying memories. After Steven stumbles upon a room full of Spector’s mercenary victims, he is led by a young child into an early memory of Marc and his brother Randall playing in their backyard. Steven follows the pair as they skirt off to play in a nearby cave, much to Marc’s disapproval. After it begins to rain in the memory, Steven realizes that Marc and his younger brother are going to be trapped inside the cave which ultimately leads to his premature death of Randall. The ensuing memories are of Marc’s childhood, particularly a handful of his birthdays, where Steven is revealed that Marc’s mother was verbally and physically abusive to the child.
Following this reveal, another memory is stumbled upon regarding Marc’s past as a mercenary under his former CO Bushman that saw the militant murder of Layla’s father and the accompanying diggers at an Egyptian tomb, and nearly fatally injure Spector. This leads to the event that saw Khonshu take advantage of the damaged Spector and take him as his avatar in order to salvage his fading life. Returning to Tawaret, they are alerted that the Scales of Justice are still not complete which leads to another two trips to Dr. Harrow one for Marc and one for Steven. Marc is informed that he must open up about Steven’s creation to which Marc unveils that Steven was created as a split personality to cope with his mother’s abuse and give him an outlet to live a normal experience while also concealing the fact that his mother has passed away. Meanwhile, Steven and Marc reconcile and come to terms with their existence with one another, yet this was not accomplished in a timely manner and the duo will be sent overboard into the sands of the afterlife forever.
Marc and Steven fight off the undead figures that are attempting to drag them into the depths. The duo fights valiantly with Steven demonstrating some determination and fighting ability. However, during an exchange, Steven follows overboard into the sands while Marc is zapped into the Field of Reeds.
This penultimate episode proved much need exposition for the series as well as engaging sequences. For one, the split personality is explained brilliantly with a more dynamic and compelling backstory for Spector is unveiled. The depths of his dark path are explained and provide further insight into his personality and character development as well as the unnerving nature of Khonshu upon humanity, something that is not accepted within the court of fellow Egyptian Gods.
Although it is uncertain how the series proceeds and Harrow’s actions in the living world are pushed off into the final episode, there is much excitement to be had for the sixth and final installment. I believe that the memories in this episode also could have explored Spector and Layla’s past as a married couple further besides Spector’s brief connection with her father in Egypt. Yet, the sixth episode can go deeper into this and not leave Layla out in the full scope of the story and Oscar Isaac brought major intensity and depth to this role in this short forty-minute run.