DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Moon Knight episode “The Friendly Type” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Marvel fans! We’ve reached the halfway point in our Moon Knight journey, and folks, things are heating up. “The Friendly Type” is the most eventful one yet, complete with intricate fight choreography, a propulsive plot, stunning visuals, pulsating action and fantastic performances.
Oscar Isaac continues to kill it, seamlessly switching between Marc Spector and Steven Grant and slipping on their accents like Mr. Knight’s gloves. It’s so fluid that you forget it’s the same person portraying two vastly different people. Ethan Hawke gets more time to shine as the antagonist, injecting Arthur Harrow with nuance and depth. He’s a multifaceted character.
The late, great Gaspard Ulliel finally makes his debut on Moon Knight, charming our socks off as Anton Mogart.
Ready to dig deep into “The Friendly Type”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Layla (May Calamawy), getting her photo taken for a passport so that she can return to Egypt. She vents about Marc to the passport forger, Lagaro (Barbara Rosenblat), who knows her late father. Side note: I believe the forger’s surname is a nod to Lagaro, a.k.a. Dynaman, born during the 4th dynasty of pharaonic Egypt. I could be wrong, though.
Lagaro worries that Layla’s barreling headfirst into danger by returning to Cairo after a 10-year absence.
Meanwhile, in Cairo, Arthur (Hawke) utilizes the golden scarab to pinpoint the location of Ammit’s tomb. He succeeds. Marc (Isaac) chases a man who might know where Arthur is; however, a handful of Arthur’s lackeys/informants kill said man.
So, Marc proceeds to fight his new foes; when Marc’s about to dole out a critical blow, Steven (Isaac) urges him to stop.
Marc wakes in a cab bound for the airport, courtesy of Steven. Marc spots the two men he fought attempting to flee and flags them down again. Then, Marc blacks out, regaining consciousness outside the city limits as he stabs one of the men. We see a slew of bodies circling Marc.
Marc accuses Steven of retaking the wheel, but Steven claims he’s innocent. Khonshu is interfering more frequently. Marc notices a teenage boy is still alive, and as the latter scrambles to his feet, Marc asks him about the location of Ammit’s tomb. Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham, physically acted by Karim El Hakim) orders Marc to dangle the kid over the cliffside. Unfortunately, the teen cuts himself free in the name of Ammit and falls to his death.
Next, Khonshu summons the gods to council with them. He can ask them to act against Arthur for trying to resurrect Ammit. So, we see the sun disappear — an eclipse — and Arthur takes special note of this, but he urges his followers to continue digging.
Khonshu informs Marc that the gods’ avatars convene for a meeting in the Pyramid of Giza. Marc encounters Yatzil (Díana Bermudez), the avatar for Hathor. Yatzil explains how it all goes down. The gods possess them, and they communicate via avatar. We see Horace, Isis, Tefnut and Osiris are in attendance. Osiris, whose avatar is Selim (Khalid Abdalla), leads the charge.
We learn Khonshu faced imprisonment in the past, but the gods will turn him into stone if he interferes with nature again. Khonshu possesses Marc, and he states his case for putting the kibosh on Arthur’s mission.
Arthur arrives to make his case, claiming that Khonshu was abusive toward him when he was the god’s avatar. In addition, he informs the council of Marc’s dissociative identity disorder (without officially naming it). Khonshu tries to strike Arthur as Marc, but Osiris stops him.
Much to Khonshu’s dismay, the gods side with Arthur. After the meeting, Yatzil pulls Marc aside and gives him a lead. She tells him about a Medjay named Senfu, tasked with recording the location of Ammit’s tomb. Not even the gods know where her tomb is. So, if Marc finds Senfu’s sarcophagus, he’ll obtain what he needs to locate Ammit. Unfortunately, his sarcophagus was stolen and sold on the black market.
Later, Marc reunites with Layla in the streets of Cairo, and she reveals she knows who harbors Senfu’s sarcophagus — Anton Mogart, a black market dealer.
The soon-to-be-ex-couple takes a boat to his swanky pad. Layla reassures Marc that she would’ve understood if he’d come clean about Steven at the beginning of their relationship. Of course, Marc didn’t want to paint a red target on her back. They briefly reminisce about their wedding after a song triggers some happy memories. Isaac and Calamawy boast terrific onscreen chemistry.
Once they arrive, they meet Bek (Loic Mabanza), Anton’s security guard. Layla and Bek know each other, and she introduces Marc as her husband, Rufino. Meanwhile, Anton (Ulliel) partakes in a rousing game of El-Mermah (Egyptian fencing competition).
On another note, Bek brings up Madripoor, where Anton was. If you’ll recall, Madripoor is the small island nation wherein Bucky, Sam and Zemo travel to search for clues regarding the serum the Flag-Smashers stole in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. They encounter Sharon Carter, who’s now a black market art dealer. I think Anton purchased something from Sharon. Perhaps Senfu’s sarcophagus?
Marc meets Anton, and the latter takes him and Layla to Senfu’s sarcophagus. While they examine it, Layla urges Marc to allow Steven to resurface. Layla notes the inscriptions within the sarcophagus help guide the dead, but they don’t denote the location of Ammit’s tomb. We see Steven in a reflection telling Marc he must unlock the info because it’s coded.
Layla distracts Anton and Bek while Marc confers with Steven. Marc tries to combine the pieces of parchment inside the sarcophagus that boast star patterns.
However, before Marc and Steven get too far into the decoding process, Anton’s men hold Layla at gunpoint. He catches on to their ruse. Meanwhile, Arthur appears with the scarab in hand, trying to appeal to Anton and smearing Marc and Layla’s names.
Arthur pours salt into Layla’s wound by mentioning her father’s murder and Marc’s involvement. Arthur showcases the power he has courtesy of Ammit by casting a spell with his staff, destroying Senfu’s sarcophagus. After Arthur departs, Marc disappears, emerging as Moon Knight.
Moon Knight leaps through the air with the luminous moon as his backdrop. Even his cape takes on a crescent shape. He shields Layla while Anton’s men start firing at them. Moon Knight battle’s Anton’s lackeys while Layla returns to the remnants of Senfu’s sarcophagus, pocketing the starry parchments. But Bek impedes her escape, and the pair duke it out.
Steven attempts to gain control of his body. He does, temporarily, re-emerging as Mr. Knight. Steven orders everyone to “chill the f out.” I adore one Steven (with a “v”) Grant. Unfortunately, Anton’s men impale Steven multiple times, so he implores Marc to return.
Layla stabs Bek and runs to Marc’s aid, who takes the reins from Steven. Marc does have the healing suit courtesy of Khonshu. Anton, now on a horse, smacks Layla with a pole. Marc pulls her out of harm’s way, throwing one of his crescent darts at Anton.
Later, Layla and Marc drive to the desert post-battle to regroup and decode the parchments, a.k.a. the map to Ammit’s tomb. Layla inquires about her father’s death, asking Marc for clarification regarding Arthur’s statement. Marc claims Arthur’s playing head games and encourages her to pay him no mind.
While out in the desert, one of Arthur’s disciples spots their vehicle. Marc and Layla struggle to piece together the puzzle. Layla insists they need Steven, so Marc relents, bringing his alter to the forefront.
Steven rearranges the parchments while Layla watches in awe. She’s taken a shining to our fave cupcake-wielding hero. He positions said parchments into a star, and the pinpricks reveal the night sky’s constellations. Layla tries to scan it to triangulate the constellations into coordinates, but Steven reminds her that stars drift over time. The sky doesn’t look the same as it did 2,000 years ago.
Khonshu tells Steven he remembers that night. He claims he can recreate the sky 2,000 years ago with Steven’s assistance. So, Steven transforms into Mr. Knight, and Khonshu instructs him to mimic his hand motions. The duo moves the sky, turning back time.
This scene is breathtakingly ethereal, with stunning graphics of a clear, starry sky. The gorgeous score complements it perfectly, too.
Arthur watches this display in Cairo, noting that Khonshu will get himself into trouble. We see the avatars of the gods assemble to cast a spell that’ll turn Khonshu into stone for his transgression.
Layla successfully snags the coordinates after Steven and Khonshu change the sky. Khonshu slowly fades away, but before the gods transform him into stone, he urges Steven to make sure Marc releases him. Steven collapses, weakened from the endeavor.
Meanwhile, Arthur visits Khonshu’s stone statue after Selim informs him that the god can hear him. It appears the gods are on Arthur’s side. Arthur thanks Khonshu for molding him into the person he is now. He wouldn’t possess the drive to resurrect Ammit without Khonshu’s incessant abuse.
I love that Moon Knight lives in its insular world. It makes this series more accessible to non-MCU viewers. Besides the Madripoor reference, the show is refreshingly bereft of MCU nods.
Hesham Nazih’s immersive, cinematic score might be my favorite out of the live-action Marvel shows thus far. It perfectly punctuates the action.
Do you think we’ll see Anton Mogart again? Will our heroes stop Arthur from resurrecting Ammit before it’s too late? Will Marc persuade Steven that it’s best for them if they free Khonshu? Join me next week while I recap Moon Knight, only on Geek Girl Authority.
In the immortal words of Steven Grant, “Laters, gators!”
Moon Knight streams new episodes every Wednesday on Disney Plus.