moon knight has come a long way since it started as a psychological thriller about a man named Stephen Grant (Oscar Isaac) with a split personality who can turn into a superhero. He teamed up with Layla El-Fawley (Mae Kalamawi) to stop cult leader Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) from resurrecting the Egyptian goddess Ammit while traveling the world. Indiana Jones-esque adventure that took us to the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, Episode 4 is changed when Harrow shoots Stephen, who wakes up in a mental hospital. It seems that all his superhero adventures took place in his head.
«Hideout» is the fifth episode of the miniseries, and it takes a path that viewers never expected from the series. It’s another great addition to the series as it maximizes the backstory of Mark Spector and Stephen Grant and does a phenomenal job of blurring the line between fiction and reality. After the big twist of the previous episode, it’s interesting to see Spector and Grant communicating with each other through different bodies as the show takes a whole new direction than it did in the first half.
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The episode properly introduces us to Tauret (Antonia Salib), one of the Enneads, who appears as a talking behemoth. It’s an original idea for Marvel that they execute very well. Salib does a great job of bringing a chaotic-optimistic energy to the character. If I told you while you were watching iron Man in 2008 that a few years later friendly talking hippos with a British accent would appear on the same series, you would laugh. And yet, here we are with an instantly engaging character as she clumsily rummages through her cards and haphazardly takes Spector and Grant’s hearts out of their chests.
The notable change in pace of this show comes from the way this episode provides answers to Grant’s backstory. Because Spector and Grant’s hearts are imperfect, they must dig through their memories to get to the Reedfield. Specifically, Spector’s past is explored as he witnesses all the people he has killed before. The episode reveals that Spector was an original personality and that his younger brother Randall drowned at a young age while playing with Spector. It’s a well-written tragic backstory for a character that just continues to evolve.
The episode continues, showing that Spector’s mother blamed him for Randall’s death and became abusive towards him. The abuse led to his dissociative identity disorder, resulting in Grant’s personality. It’s a phenomenally executed episode, as Grant sees his younger self see and do things for the first time without sharing Spector’s memories. As Grant realizes that his mother abused him and is now dead, this episode takes him on a tragic journey of self-discovery, setting this show apart from other MCU projects as a very dark take on Spector’s trauma.
On a plot level, this episode strongly resembles the penultimate episode. WandaVision, both explore the protagonist’s past tragedies and how it has affected the character he is on the show. In addition, the episode is written quite emotionally, as you feel for Spector and Grant, especially in the scene when Spector is standing across the street and refuses to go to his mother’s funeral.
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What makes most of the episode so fantastic is the performances. Isaac signed up for a franchise project that could have been a one-time entertainment, but he shows such a wide range and charisma. He can be funny, serious and speak with different accents. However, in this episode, he outdid himself with a dejected expression, showing pain and acceptance. Now that Harrow appears to be a psychiatrist, Hawk is now portraying a different character than he was at the start of the show. He plays both well, hitting the right notes with his fantastic versatility.
However, the problem with «Asylum» is the balance of tone. It’s a strange experience to see a talking hippo next to authentic scenes of abuse and trauma. The storylines don’t connect at all, and Tevaret’s underworld scenes are so heavily baked into the CGI that it becomes noticeable and hard to believe. However, the show lands on two legs with this episode. It’s not what we expected, but it’s interesting to see. There may be too much to decide in the next series finale, but we can all cross our fingers and pray that Disney survives the landing.
As explained in ComingSoon’s review rules, a score of 7 is «Good». A successful entertainment that is worth a try, but it may not be to everyone’s taste.