Moon Knight Season 1, Episode 1 - 'The Goldfish Problem' Spoiler Review

After watching the first episode of Moon Knight I can say I have no idea what the show is doing, but I enjoyed the episode in spite of my confusion. If I compare the first episode of Moon Knight to the first episode of Halo, I think Moon Knight did a better job of delivering an entertaining episode. In my recent review of the first episode of Halo I came away disappointed with the choices that show made, but I feel like my lack of knowledge about Moo Knight the character will work in the shows favor. I know the story of Halo, and I felt the episode made creative choices did not work for me. I do not know too much about the character of Moon Knight, I have always liked the design of the character, but I have never read a Moon Knight comic. My lack of knowledge will allow me to judge the show based on the quality of what I am seeing on screen, I will have no expectations for the show. It is an interesting choice for the main character (Moon Knight) to appear in his full comic book outfit only once very briefly at the end of the first episode. I don't disagree with the choice to keep that reveal until the end, the episode was playing like a comedy until that point. This episode was very chaotic, the viewer is dropped into this story at a point where we have no idea what is going on. Ethan Hawke was recruited to play the villain Arthur Harrow who seems to be a cult leader, he appears to be a good man with a mission. We meet Steven Grant (played with panache by Oscar Isaac) and we immediately are made aware that he is an odd duck. Steven Grant appears to be a very ordinary and meek guy; I really enjoyed the performance given by Oscar Isaac.  

The character of Moon Knight is one that I think could have been a movie, but with Disney Plus needing new content Marvel did them a favor and made it a series. I like the series format as we have seen in thus far, but it at times becomes frustrating because of the wait in between episodes. Finally seeing Moon Knight in his costume glory was a tease that will have fans being impatient for a week. The way they could use Steven's blackouts to cut to the aftermath of an action scene was a unique choice that allowed the audience to feel Steven's confusion. Being able to empathize with Steven went a long way to me enjoying the episode, his reactions to his increasingly bizarre life became funnier as the episode went on. The promotional material for the show told fans that Steven suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID) which means he has multiple distinct personalities. We met Steven, and we sort of got to meet Marc Spector, but I think there will be at least one more personality to make an appearance. If the show handles the portrayal of DID correctly it will be one of the more heartwarming things Marvel has done. Representation does not solely extend to race, gender and sexuality, but also to people with disabilities. Marvel will hopefully make sure the portrayal of someone with a mental illness is done tastefully and will audiences a better understanding of what they go through. 


The episode opens with us seeing a table set with a walking stick, a small glass cup, a jug of water, a pair of shoes and a towel. A man the has a drink of water from the cup and then breaks the glass and pours the shards of glass into his shoes and places his feet in the shoes, gets up from the table and walks out of the room. Steven Grant wakes up from sleep, he removes a strap that is around his ankle that ties him to the bed, he then walks through sand that is around his bed, he removes a strip of tape on his front door. Steven is leaving a voice message for his mom while feeding his fish, he then takes the bus to work which is a gift shop employee inside a museum. Steven is berated by his boss for being late and being a tour guide when he is just a gift shop retailer. Another museum employee named Dylan comes up to Steven to confirm their date, which is scheduled for the following night. Steven possesses a lot of knowledge about the Egyptian gods and customs, which annoys his manager even further. Steven then has dinner while talking to a street performer who is colored gold and is pretending to be a statue. Steven prepares for bed by placing the strip of tape on his door, placing the sand around his bed, strapping his ankle to the bed and listening to an audiobook about staying awake. 

Steven falls asleep, but he wakes up outside on the ground with a broken jaw, he is somewhere far from home which is surrounded by mountains. Steven hears a voice in his head telling him to surrender his body to Marc; he sees a guy watching him from a window and someone else appears in the window and starts to shoot at him. Steven runs and ends up in a small town, but there appears to be more bad guys there too and he ends up in the town square where a lot of people have gathered. We see Ethan Hawke's Arthur Harrow walking through the crowd as if he is some figure of importance. Harrow takes a follower's hands in his and says he judges in Ammit's name; a tattoo on his arm of scale moves and the follower is judged to be a good man. A female follower asks to be judged, but she is not deemed to be good, and the tattoo of the scales shifts, and the woman dies. Harrow's guards tell Harrow that Steven stole something from him, Harrow suspects he is in the crowd. Steven is identified, Harrow wants the missing item returned a golden scarab. Steven tries to give the scarab back, but the voice in his head says he will give nothing to Harrow. Steven is attacked by Harrow's men and followers, and he blacks out; Steven comes to with blood on his hand and the scarab in his possession still and the attackers on the ground. As Harrower's followers close in, he jumps in a cupcake delivery van and takes it, he is chased by Harrow's men. Steven blacks out again and again during the chase and each time he comes to with fewer and fewer men chasing him. 

Steven wakes up in bed as if he just had a nightmare, Steven prepares for his date, and he goes to the restaurant to meet her. When Dylan doesn't arrive, he calls her, she is mad at him for blowing off their date. Steven believes it is Friday, but Dylan says it is Sunday and hangs up on him; Steven then asks the waiter what day it is. Steven is confused at how he lost two day; he is walking home leaving his mom another voicemail. Steven then finds a compartment in his ceiling; inside the compartment he finds a set of keys and a phone. Steven looks at the phone's call logs and sees a lot of missed calls from a Layla, the phone rings from Layla again and Steven answers. Layla says she has been trying to get a hold of him for months, Layla refers to Steven as Marc. Steven hears his name being called, he looks in a mirror and the reflections tells him to stop looking. The building starts to shake, and Stevens runs into the elevator, he sees a large figure with a bird face walking towards him. Steven wakes up, but this time he is on the bus and when he looks out the window, he sees the bird face figure on the street. Steven gets off the bus, and he sees that Arthur Harrow was on the bus with him. Harrow confronts Steven in the museum, he tells Steven that the scarab belongs to Ammit. Harrow says that had Ammit be freed she would have prevented all of the evils of the world. Harrow says that he knows about the voice in his head, Harrow then judges Steven and the scales balance, but Harrow says there is chaos in him. Harrow tells his followers to let Steven go, it is later in the day and Steven is going home. Steven hears the howls of dogs; he is chased by demon dogs to the bathroom where he locks the door and the voice in his head implores Steven to give control to Marc. Steven gives control to Marc; we see Steven get wrapped in cloth and a fight ensues in the bathroom. The demon dog is bested by a robed figure with glowing eyes our hero Moon Knight as the episode ends.


I did really enjoy the episode; the performance by Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke proves that it is worthwhile to invest in gifted actors. The episode was largely based around Steven and Arthur, and if you didn't like their performances than the episode would fall flat for you. The character of Steven was a likeable fool, he was a pushover, and nobody seemed to care about him except for Dylan who would wants nothing to do with him after he missed their date. I get the feeling that Marc will be a much different personality than Steven, part of my enjoyment of the episode was the performance of Oscar Isaac. I am excited to see him switch between the personalities, we barely got any of Marc in this episode besides the talk in the mirror. Ethan Hawke's character is very interesting too, he does not seem like a villain at all. Arthur Harrow seems like a man who is a servant of justice, I am sure more will be revealed about his reasons in the next few reasons. The episode did a good job of making sure the audience tunes in next week. We want answers, and we would like to see more of Moon Knight fighting people. 

The mythology being explored in the show has always fascinated me, the Egyptian, Roman and Greek gods are never not interesting. We got to two Egyptian gods mentioned in this episode, in Khonsu and Ammit we have two gods one who represents birth/rebirth and one who represents death. Ammit is a god who is known as devourer of the dead, if a person's heart was judged to be impure Ammit would eat it. Khonsu, meanwhile would look after travelers at night and was known to promote fertility. One god is about the end of life (Ammit), and the other is about the beginning of life (Khonsu). These two opposing Egyptians gods will be important figures going forward, the MCU continues to expand its universe. I have been trying to think of a way in which Moon Knight ties into other characters, but I can't. I think Moon Knight will work better as an independent series rather than something more connected to the MCU. There will be plenty of interesting MCU connections developed from a show featuring Egyptian gods. With two lead actors like Isaac and Hawke I think this show could be something truly interesting. Based on the actors in this show it could tell an interesting story that uses the actor's performance to lead the show with the action taking a backseat and I would be fine with that. I am hoping that the MCU begins to diversify their properties by taking advantage of the various genres of movies. Moon Knight has started off feeling like a comedy, though the opening and ending scenes were more intense than the middle part of the episode. 

While the first episode did not deliver much of the traditional MCU action, it had action and it featured a strong performance from Oscar Isaac. The episode felt like a mystery because we were trying to figure out what was going on for a majority of the running time. I really enjoyed Oscar Isaac's performance, and I think Ethan Hawke makes for an interesting antagonist. This episode was very different from what I was expecting, but I think it delivered a very entertaining episode that I am going to rate a 7/10. The only thing holding this episode back from an 8 was that I wish we saw more of Moon Knight in it. I think that Marvel is viewing these Disney Plus shows as long movies, the series have taken their time telling the stories they have wanted to tell. The MCU has earned my patience since WandaVision; I have enjoyed all the series so far and I expect that to continue with Moon Knight. 

Thank you for reading, and please tell me what you thought of the first episode of Moon Knight.

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