DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Moon Knight episode “Summon the Suit” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Marvel fans! Marvel’s Moon Knight chugs along with another banger of an episode. The second outing peels back the layers of Steven’s connection with Marc Spector and Khonshu. We also get a proper introduction of Layla El-Faouly, Marc’s wife. Well, soon-to-be ex-wife.
I’m 99 percent certain Layla’s based on Marlene Alraune, Marc’s wife in the Moon Knight comics. There are also whispers the writers derived inspiration from Mehemet Faoul, a.k.a. Scarlet Scarab, for Layla. She could be his daughter. We’ll see!
“Summon the Suit” delivers action-packed goods with more intricate fight choreography, Marvel magic, gorgeous cinematography and brilliant performances from the main cast.
Ready to dig deep into episode two of Moon Knight? Let’s get to it.
We open with Steven (Oscar Isaac), waking in his bed after the incident with the jackal at the museum. He confronts his reflection in the mirror, hoping to summon Marc Spector.
Later, Steven arrives at the museum for his shift but spots DB (Alexander Cobb), the security guard, cordoning off the section where the jackal chased Steven. Steven begs DB to let him view the security camera footage. When said footage plays, the duo only sees Steven, not the jackal attempting to kill him. That’s not suspicious at all!
Steven meets with the Head of HR, who reassures the former the museum doesn’t want to press charges for the copious vandalism. The HR rep provides a therapy pamphlet and offers to schedule an appointment for Steven with a trusted therapist. Then, he asks Steven to hand over his badge.
After getting sacked, Steven has lunch with his fave silent street performer, a.k.a. Bertrand Crawley. The lightbulb goes off in Steven’s head, and he visits his storage facility for more answers.
However, more questions bombard Steven than answers. He finds a duffel bag full of wads of cash, a gun and a passport for Marc Spector. Additionally, there’s a military-style cot. Oh, and that blasted golden scarab resurfaces!
Marc (Isaac) speaks to Steven through his reflection. Marc finally divulges the goods, revealing he’s a mercenary and an avatar for Khonshu, god of the Moon. He carries out Khonshu’s will by helping those who need it and acting as a conduit for justice against evil.
The deal between Khonshu and Marc is contingent on Steven’s lack of interference, so Marc urges Steven to relinquish control of his body to “finish this.” But Steven, with a “v,” won’t go down without a fight, so he grabs Marc’s bag of illegal stuff and flees.
Steven catches a glimpse of Khonshu (performed by Karim El Hakim) in the corridors and runs in the other direction. However, he eventually collides with Khonshu, who tells him to “give it back” (voiced by F. Murray Abraham).
Later, Steven stumbles into the busy streets outside, where Layla (May Calamawy) almost hits him. She refers to him as Marc again and gives him a ride back to his apartment. Layla lets slip that they’re married (she and Marc) and chastises Steven for going radio silent for so long.
Layla examines Steven’s humble abode. She doesn’t buy the “Steven Grant” thing, believing it to be a charade. Marc yells at Steven through the various reflective surfaces in his flat. He demands Steven keep Layla out of the Khonshu/Arthur Harrow business.
Layla procures divorce papers from her backpack, claiming Marc never signed them even though he asked for said divorce. Steven believes Marc’s a twat for wanting to separate from Layla, and he almost shows her the golden scarab until Marc fervently urges him not to put Layla in danger.
But Layla finds the scarab anyway, and she knows what it is.
Meanwhile, two officers, Bobbi (Ann Akinjirin) and Billy (David Ganly), barge into Steven’s apartment to inquire about the vandalizing incident at the museum. You know, all the destruction wrought by Marc.
Then, Billy finds his passport and what Steven claims is a pyramid paperweight. Bobbi and Billy arrest Steven, handcuffing and throwing him into their vehicle. Bobbi discloses part of Marc’s dark ledger — there was one event wherein he bound someone by their wrists and shot them in the back of the head, firing squad-style.
Billy and Bobbi take Steven to a mysterious location and not the police station as he initially thought. We glimpse the scales tattoo on Billy’s forearm, identical to the one Arthur Harrow has. They’re Arthur’s lackeys!
The man himself (Ethan Hawke) appears, unlocking Steven’s handcuffs and introducing our hero to his cultist compound. The work of Ammit never ceases, and Arthur and his followers are hellbent on creating a new paradise for the Egyptian goddess.
Arthur reveals he knows Steven’s an avatar of Khonshu, and Marc is his alter. Arthur correctly guesses everything Khonshu says to Steven. We see the god of the Moon standing off to the side and hurling demands at him.
Steven and Arthur enjoy some lentil soup together, and the latter fills in the gaps regarding his mission. Arthur used to be an avatar for Khonshu, so, at one point, he had a direct line of communication with the god. He urges Steven to exercise caution — Khonshu incessantly lies. Arthur asks to speak with Marc, but Steven refuses to give Marc the reins.
They debate the merits of judging someone before they sin, as Ammit does. Arthur hopes to eradicate sin and evil while ushering Ammit into a new world. We learn the scarab acts like a compass, directing the way to Ammit’s tomb. Arthur wants to resurrect her.
After they eat, Arthur becomes less amiable and demands to see the scarab.
Of course, Khonshu and Marc strongly advise against giving it to Arthur. But we know he gave it to Layla at his apartment. Suddenly, Layla appears with the said scarab, which she shoves into Steven’s hands. Layla urges Steven to “summon the suit,” but our protagonist has no clue what that means. Layla fights off Arthur’s henchmen while Arthur utilizes his magical staff filled with a sliver of Ammit’s power to summon another jackal.
Steven and Layla escape, and the latter persuades him to remember who he is: he’s Marc Spector, the avatar of Khonshu.
Steven spots the fearsome jackal and flings himself out of the window, and he calls out for the suit. However, once he lands on the ground, we see he’s dressed as Mr. Knight. Okay, so it’s not the suit, but he does look quite dapper.
Then, Steven takes on the jackal. He notices his newfound immense strength and agility. Layla attempts to pitch in, even though she can’t see the beast. Steven gets a couple of decent hits, much to his delight. Admittedly, his glee is utterly adorable, considering Steven’s lack of confidence. Protect Steven Grant at all costs!
After Layla and Steven suffer at the paws of the jackal, Marc orders Steven to give him control. Then, we see Marc overtake Steven’s body, and the Moon Knight suit materializes.
Layla witnesses the transformation and urges Marc to lure the jackal away from the masses. The creature chases Marc across the London rooftops while the moon hangs high. I think this episode boasts some of my favorite sweeping shots out of the Marvel live-action shows.
Finally, Marc defeats the jackal by shoving the beast onto the spire of a church. He reverts to his civilian clothes and cries out when he realizes he no longer has the scarab.
Meanwhile, Layla observes from afar while Arthur asks a homeless man to give him the scarab. Arthur apologizes to the man for not living long enough to see the new world they create, and the said man keels over. He spots Layla while she watches him.
We see Steven in Marc’s reflection, and he tells Marc he doesn’t enjoy being second fiddle to his body. Steven implores Marc to return the autonomy reins, but Marc refuses. Khonshu appears and reminds Marc that he owns this vessel, and Marc must ensure Steven stays out of the way. Otherwise, Khonshu’s next avatar will be Layla, which is something Marc vehemently opposes.
Marc suggests getting to Ammit’s tomb before Arthur does since he has the scarab. Khonshu sends him to Egypt, where we see him on the floor of his room. Marc wanders to the window and pulls back the curtains on a breathtaking sight of the pyramids. It’s about to go down!
Isaac kills it in this role, putting his versatility as a performer on display by portraying both Steven and Marc. The character disparities are evident. That said, I want to see him pull off a Tatiana–Maslany-in-Orphan–Black-level performance. Throw in Jake Lockley! I want to see him playing five characters at once!
What’s interesting is the angle they’re taking with the alters. Marc Spector is the “primary” in the source material, but we see this world through Steven’s eyes. Is Steven the prominent alter, or does he merely think he is, and Marvel will give us more of Marc in charge later?
On another note, I love the lack of connection to the MCU. Moon Knight doesn’t coast on a sea of Marvel references like its predecessors that worked overtime to ensure the audience knew there was a universal tether. In a way, this series seems like an island, and I dig that.
So far, Steven doesn’t seem aware of his dissociative identity disorder. I wonder if we’ll see him visit a psychiatrist in the future. Will we ever see Frenchie and Gena Landers? Also, where the hell is Midnight Man? I have too many questions and not enough answers.
Regardless, I’m here for the wild, chaotic, moon-fueled ride, so join me next time while I recap Moon Knight, only on Geek Girl Authority.
New episodes of Moon Knight are available to stream every Wednesday on Disney Plus.