Moon Knight Recap: Episode 3, “MooniKnights Unite”

Moon Knight’s third episode opens on further clarification that May Calamawy’s Layla El-Faouly is the MCU’s own Tomb Raider reboot. Her dad taught her to be a real Indiana Jones knock-off, and here we see her teaming with her own personal counterfeiter to make a fake passport and head to Egypt. Because that’s where Moon Knight is. Remember?

Last week’s episode closed with Marc Spector awakening in a lovely little place adjacent to Cairo’s pyramids, and now we see that he is not the only one with a local Airbnb. Ethan Hawke is there too!

Who knows how long either of them have been there, but it’s apparently long enough that we’ve missed all the build-up to Hawke reaching the much-vaunted tomb of Ammit. The golden scarab has already led him to the burial site, so now he’s just like, “Alright, fellas. Dig here, where the magic bug is pointing.” So they do.

Meanwhile, Spector is off being clumsily green-screened over Ming-Na Wen onto the rooftops of Tatooine (See The Book of Boba Fett, Episode One, dear readers!). He’s fighting three or so guys to, like, get information about where Ethan Hawke is next performing Hamlet or whatever. One guy does the thing where a tough dude licks his knife for some reason, but as he’s doing it, Spector punches him. The writers/director clearly thought this was going to be this cool thing like when Indiana Jones shoots the guy who’s doing sword moves, but it really isn’t. Partially because the entire enterprise increasingly looks like Syfy made a new Stargate spin-off movie.

Throughout all this and soon after, Marc and his British alter ego, Steven, go back and forth a bit, sharing this handsome 43-year-old Guatemalan man’s body like a couple divorcées on a singles cruise. Finally, F. Murray Abraham’s insufferable bird-skull-god intervenes to say, “Fuck it; I’ll just abruptly create a solar eclipse that will awaken my fellow Egyptian gods, create portals for their so-called avatars, and then all the avatars can have a little mixer where they meet up in the Great Pyramid of Giza and eventually discuss whether Ethan Hawke should be allowed to dig, should make another Before entry, etc.”

The show about a man with multiple personalities wielding the powerful suit of a moon god he talks to is starting to get a bit convoluted.

And, sure as X-Men: Apocalypse was a nearly unwatchable movie, sending Oscar Isaac back into an ancient Egyptian tomb indeed proves a very bad idea in terms of both performance and narrative.

Inside the pyramid, all the avatars have their meet-and-greet. Then, shifting to their sort of trial, they all begin channeling the voices of the gods themselves. For most of the avatars, this just means their eyes gleam white, but for some reason with Isaac, he has to do this whole over-the-top bullshit. Every time F. Murray Abraham wants to speak through him, Isaac does this pained chest thrust like he’s getting Fire in the Sky’d. He does this throughout the entire scene. Will no one tell this guy to tone it down a touch?

This little mock trial goes nowhere, and the entire point ends up being that, shortly after, Marc gets some info from this other avatar that maybe represents F. Murray Abraham’s ex? It doesn’t matter, honestly. The important part is the reveal of the next MacGuffin: a sarcophagus with a map to the tomb Ethan Hawke is after.

Spector’s idea for finding this sarcophagus? Just sort of asking whoever. He goes to a little market square in Cairo and immediately asks this guy who’s selling beverages about it. Why not!

Shockingly, that doesn’t work—though, rather than acting completely baffled, the guy almost acts afraid, as if everyone knows you aren’t supposed to talk about this sarcophagus no one has heard of.

Lucky for Moon Knight, it turns out Tomb Raider is also at this little market square, and she apparently has learned that Bleu de Chanel model Gaspard Ulliel (RIP) is in possession of the fancy coffin. So they’re off to take a party boat that apparently goes to his place.

They get there and straightaway there are these guys having little horseback spear fights in the front yard. Tomb Raider is like, “Yeah, those guys are the best at doing that, and Chanel gets trained by them.” Is that ever a Chekhov’s horse-based wooden lance thing or what?

Chanel really wants to make it clear that he’s French, so he’s got all the Egyptian artifacts he collects housed in little glass pyramids that look suspiciously derivative of the Louvre. He agrees to let Spector check out the sarcophagus, but Spector is, of course, not the code-cracking Eyptologist of the Moon Knight brain-iverse. He needs Steven’s reflection to help him out, telling him, “Oi, bruv, ya gotta fold up the burial shroud scraps to make it into a constellation map!”

Spector starts doing so, but Chanel’s head of security is rightfully like, “Hey, what the fuck? Are you doing some Mad Magazine fold-in shit on a priceless artifact?”

Suddenly, Ethan Hawke hobbles up, and he’s like, “You think that folding some fabric swatches up was ruining your priceless artifact? Behold, the power of Ammit!” And he just blows the shit out of the whole sarcophagus.

Then he just saunters off! “Soooo…”

Chanel and his guards seem to accept that walk-off, because they’re still just pissed at Spector. But he’s gone! Wait—he’s on a Louvre replica now! And he’s in his complicated Moon Knight jammies!

So finally we get this brouhaha that culminates in the loosely promised battle between Moon Knight and horsemen. Moon Knight does not fare all that great.

Hindered intermittently by Steven’s Mr. Knight persona, the horsemen absolutely spear the shit out of our man. It’s actually sort of disappointing in the interpretation of the character: Moon Knight is more fun as a street-level brawler akin to Daredevil, but now we know he can have a half-dozen sticks going in his torso and it barely fazes him.

He and Tomb Raider ultimately triumph, though. They finish off Chanel (goodbye again) and his cronies, and they’re off to the desert.

In the dark desert night, Steven and Lara Croft have a little chat that clearly furthers her wishing she could have her soon-to-be ex-husband and Steven in one mental package. Then it’s back to these map scraps.

They finally get it together, and son of a bitch if it doesn’t work. The map is based on the stars, but it won’t line up because the sky has shifted too much in the millennia since this map was buried with a guy. Don’t worry, though, because F. Birdie Abraham is here with a solution: he can just spin the stars back to their positions back then while Tomb Raider looks it up on her iPad. Sure, why not.

Meanwhile, nefarious things are afoot in the Great Pyramid of Giza. The other avatars are summoning a little Khonshu figurine, and that’s evidently going to “tether” him to the pyramid. F. Murray is on house arrest, and this is his ankle bracelet.

Please help these sad nobodies and: