TV review: Moon Knight Episode 4

Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Moon Knight
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Moon Knight's fourth episode is a thrilling tomb raiding experience, with enough action to jumpstart the ailing series – here’s our review.

Spoilers for Moon Knight episodes 1-3 ahead. 

In a sharp turn away from its previous preoccupation with dialogue and exposition, Moon Knight's fourth episode, The Tomb, gives all the action and adventure you could wish for. And, despite being over halfway through its episode count, it proves that it isn’t beyond being able to surprise you, either. The twists and turns of this dungeon delving instalment just about makes up for the slow start the show got off to. Just.

Picking up where last week’s episode left off, Steven and Marc know the location of Ammit’s tomb, but at the expense of their patron God, Khonshu. Having altered the night sky to help them find the location, the Moon God has been trapped in stone, unable to help them further and leaving them bereft of their powers and suit.  What follows is a fun and thrilling dive into an Ancient Egyptian tomb.

We’ve been told that Layla’s father was an archaeologist, and now we get to see her skills in action in an episode that emulates the escapades of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones. The upside to Marc and Steven’s lack of power is that we get to see more of her capabilities. Until now, she’s been a bit of a flimsy supporting character. However, if you were doubting that she could hold her own, The Tomb shows that she absolutely can. It’s good to see the character taking a more active role in the narrative, rather than simply following Marc around like an angry lost puppy.

Oscar Isaac continues to be excellent in the leading role, and again the dialogue between Steven and Marc is really amusing. Without the support of Khonshu, the two are forced to fight over whose skills are more needed, as well as over Layla. The playful animosity displayed during these scenes never gets old, and I applaud Isaac for being able to have such good chemistry with himself. His casting is a big part of why the show works. We may not get to see him as Moon Knight in this episode, but that means Steven gets to show off his intellect.

May Calamawy as Layla in Moon Knight

Which brings me to one of the best things about The Tomb – its homage to action-adventure genre cave delving. As soon as we’re taken below ground we’re in a world of winding corridors, prized historical artifacts, and clues to be solved to find the entombed Ammit before Arthur Harrow. It’s a Tomb Raider/National Treasure hybrid that’ll appeal to those who love history, adventure, and a bit of the supernatural, too. It’s a refreshing new direction for the show, despite it being set up all the way back in the first episode, when Steven’s knowledge of Ancient Egypt was made apparent through his gift shop work. If anything it feels slightly overdue, but it’s such a welcome bit of action (after such a slow start) that it’s mostly a relief that it’s finally arrived.

But just when you think Moon Knight has kicked into high gear, it swerves yet again. It throws such a huge spanner in the works that it’s impossible to say much of anything without spoiling it. All I can really say is that things get quickly and unexpectedly surreal, and it’s a game changer for the story of the entire series. It opens the gates to a new realm of possibilities, and you can look forward to the last episodes knowing that they can do pretty much anything from here on out.

The Tomb is an episode that takes not one, but two thrilling turns. Layla and Steven’s skills get more of the spotlight, and there’s plenty of adventure and surprise. Moon Knight has run on exposition for the last couple of episodes, but The Tomb has done an excellent job of single-handedly reviving a series that was on the verge of becoming stale.

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