REVIEW: ‘Moon Knight’ Finale

moon knight finale review

Over the course of its six-episode run, Moon Knight certainly turned heads at least a few times during its tenure. Some of Marvel Studios’ best television came through in the series, and Oscar Isaac left more than a lasting impression on the MCU with his performance. In a story with a near-infinite room to explore Ancient Egyptian gods and their relationships with humans, the Disney+ show ultimately proved that it can tell a phenomenal Marc Spector story. Moon Knight? Not so much—there is no joy in admitting that the Moon Knight finale failed to stick the landing and generally was an injustice to the aspects that the series that, up until this episode, were leading it to potentially be the best Marvel Studios series. This final episode likely takes the series out of that conversation.

The simplest way of describing what ended up being disappointing about the finale is bland. On one hand, every step of every character in this episode was met with zero resistance. All of the forgettable Arthur Harrow- or Ammit-related moves were too easy and predictable. Even the few positive moments were simply given the green light with no questions asked. 

Where the big psychological twist of the series came in so beautifully for the character-based aspect of Moon Knight, the hard plot really could have benefitted from something similar. Where the series had raised mystery and intrigue, it revealed that there was nothing special behind it. With Harrow, the mildly interesting villain had no other goal than to simply take over the world, and having that be the hook, line, and sinker for the big ending felt as generic as it gets. Forcing through Harrow’s and Ammit’s world domination plan felt like the equivalent of a B-movie plot, and it lacked any genuine impact or even threat of impact.

In a realm where so much is possible, and where so much rich creativity has been presented, the series ultimately hung its hat on perhaps the most generic incantation of new gods and those fighting for them. So much more could have been toyed with in a way that would have fit well with the intricacy of the character-based elements, but ultimately those get drowned out in a sea of uninspiring CGI and conflict with practically zero nuance. Even giant silhouettes of Egyptian gods fighting over Cairo could not make up for how the actual conflict did not rise to any occasion.

Similarly, Khonshu remained a relatively minor character by the end of the finale. While the post-credits scene hints at more, the god often—and ultimately—felt like an excuse for Marc and Steven’s involvement in the overarching plot rather than a meaningful or genuine inclusion. There are countless ways that Khonshu’s personality and deception could have played into the series’ story.

The psychological exploration of Marc and Steven was the highlight of Moon Knight by far. It was so incredibly well-done that it almost made it more difficult for the series to have a grand ending on a more physical plot. Still, the residue of that character development is what kept the finale afloat. The tender moment between Marc and Steven in the Duat was one of the most emotional, and Oscar Isaac’s fantastic final execution of playing both roles with rapid switching was sincerely the most exciting part of the finale. The best parts of the action-heavy episode came when Moon Knight and Mr. Knight teamed up. Even with a finale that did not cement the series as all-in-all outstanding, nothing can take away from Moon Knight’s character masterpiece.

Another positive element to come out of the finale was Layla’s development into being an avatar of her own. This was perhaps the most unpredictable moment, yet her possible relationship with Khonshu was teased from the beginning. Still, she ultimately—easily—became Tawaret’s avatar in order to fight against Harrow and his disciples. Her superhero moments were the best superhero moments of the entire series. While Layla requested that she be a “temporary avatar”, this character is very much MCU-unique, so her status could have substantial ramifications down the line. 

Lastly, Moon Knight finally introduced Jake Lockley, Marc’s third personality. After being the subject of much speculation over the course of the series, the character ends up being almost exclusively a post-credits tease. That is not too surprising, and it did have some positive impact on the ending of the series. We meet Jake right after Marc and Steven seem to be free from Khonshu and are living their normal lives together with two goldfish. But of course, Khonshu is still using Marc’s body as his avatar. This time, Jake Lockley seems to be taking on the “Moon Knight” mantle on his own.

Where the episode fumbles on this tease is that the series hinted at Jake being hyperviolent alter but never actually showed it. He had such a moment, in the end, to show that side of himself, to live up to Moon Knight’s violent expectations, and leave a strong lasting impression on viewers going forward. Instead, he simply shot at Harrow from the front seat of the comics-inspired SPKTR limo. It may have been a bit more intriguing if the audience got some sort of grasp of his personality as it differs from Marc and Steven.

Moon Knight will always be a memorable show. The character-based aspects and Isaac’s performance should go down as some of the greatest in the MCU. Nothing in the series finale takes away from those accomplishments, but the generally bland and generic ending does drown out some of it as the show came to an end. Ultimately, the wonderful twist and mind-bending energy that came with the psychological aspect of the show simply did not bleed into the main plot, and it was worse for it. 

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