Moon Knight season 1 episode 5 recap & review: Asylum

Episode 5 of Moon Knight revolves around Marc and Steven aiming to balance the scales of their life by exploring their deepest darkest memories to move on to the afterlife.

Recap

A memory of a woman screaming at someone telling them it’s their fault flashes on the screen. Marc reawakens back in the office where Dr Harrow is having a chat with him. Harrow tells him that his mind is in a constant state of struggle because of his past trauma.

Marc has a difficult time accepting where he is and as soon as he begins to show signs of discontent the ward employees sedate him. That’s when he goes back to the halls of the ward and sees Steven and the Hippo.

After some quick introductions, it becomes clear that the Hippo is Taweret, the goddess of women and children, and she’s there to guide them on their journey to Duat, the Egyptian afterlife. They’re sailing on her ship across the sands of Duat.

To decide their fate, she must balance their hearts on the scales of justice against the feather of truth.

When the scales do not align, Taweret tells them that they are hiding something from themselves that they need to go back and accept. She tells them to explore all their memories and find the closure that should balance the scales.

The first room they enter houses all the people Marc killed on Khonshu’s orders. He shows remorse for carrying out those actions and the scales slow down. Then they see a young boy who runs off as they approach.

The next memory they’re drawn to is of Marc’s childhood. He and his younger brother go out to the cave near their house although it is raining and tragedy strikes as the cave floods in and only Marc survive.

Steven wants to explore more memories of his childhood by Marc is apprehensive. He sees glimpses of his mother blaming him/Marc for the death of their younger brother. As the years go by she is crueller towards him and this builds up the contempt that Marc has for his mother.

They explore the memory of the time Khonshu reached out to Marc and manipulated him into becoming his avatar. There is also a moment where Marc finds himself in the office once again talking to Harrow.

They finally visit the moment where Marc is hiding from his mother and that’s when he switches to his alter, Steven, just before his mother enters the room and beats him. Steven finally realises that he was created by Marc to avoid facing the troubling truth in his life.

Taweret takes them towards Osiris’ gate so that they can return to the overworld but because their scales haven’t balanced yet, they have to contend with other unbalanced souls who want to drag them to the sands of the afterlife to be frozen forever.

After a brief scuffle, Steven is dragged off the boat and freezes in the sand while Marc watches on from the boat. It is at that very moment that the scale is finally balanced and Marc finds himself in the Field of Reeds, the Egyptian equivalent of heaven.

Review

  • This episode has a lot of emotional heft to it. The exploration of childhood trauma and the idea of mental health is portrayed healthily and feels cathartic.
  • Watching Steven freeze right at the end there was heartbreaking. Realising that for Marc to attain peace, he must let go of his alter ego was not something many would have expected at the beginning, although hopefuls may not believe this to be the end of Steven.
  • The character of Taweret was a nice cheerful addition to the episode, as a guide to lost souls who seek to travel to the afterlife she seems like the perfect choice to carry out such a task.
  • The transitions between the hall of memories and Harrow’s office were done brilliantly. It showed the inner turmoil that Marc was going through in his mind and how he struggled with the concept of reality and imagination.

Rating: 4/5


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