Marvel Explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Marvel shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry explores Moon Knight Episode 6 and considers the unanswered questions dangling beyond its climax. Yes, prepare for SPOILERS.
You can’t keep a good god down. Nor a bad one. Moon Knight Episode 6 wraps up the season with two titans smashing into each other while the citizens of Cairo have their souls ripped from their bodies. Just another day in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If there’s not a beam of light in the sky, can you even trust you’re in the right reality?
The season finale sees Marc (Oscar Isaac) rescue Steven (Oscar again) from the underworld, proclaiming his fractured self as a superpower rather than a hindrance. Layla (May Calamawy) frees Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham) from his stone imprisonment, rejects his Moon Knight avatar offer, but reluctantly agrees to be one for the hippo goddess Tawaret (Antonia Salib), gaining a snazzy costume in the process.
With Marc and Steven operating together, they bounce back and forth, controlling the body when their abilities prove the most useful. Together with Layla, they bring the hurt to Harrow (Ethan Hawke) and his giant croc goddess Ammit. Although, not enough hurt, as Harrow nearly eradicates the body before Marc blacks out. When he awakens, another persona has apparently supplied the crucial finishing moves.
Khonshu wants vengeance, meaning a dead Harrow, but Marc and Steven deny his bloodlust. They ended the god war, wanting freedom from Khonshu’s mission. The bird-headed deity accepts their offer and skedaddles. All is good in the world…until that expected end credits scene where we meet the third persona who sometimes pilots the body. Jake Lockley finally makes his presence known.
Moon Knight Episode 6 is a much tidier conclusion than expected. Sure, that last little bit gives us pause, but it’s also just a doorway for further Fist of Khonshu adventures. Where we go from here is a little murkier. Marc and Steven have embraced, each giving space to the other within the body. But Jake poses a threat, and their god-boss is certainly not done with them yet. Let’s consider a few unanswered questions left dangling post-post-end credits scene with that in mind.
Who is Jake Lockley?
Short answer: he’s the third persona living inside the body. While Marc and Steven have struck an agreement, they seem unaware of Jake. They probably suspect someone is hiding in the shadows, but they don’t appear to have placed a name on them yet.
In the comics, Jake Lockley exists on equal footing with Steven Grant. He’s the cabbie, the street-level sleuth who can navigate the seedy underbelly where Marc or Steven would stick out. He’s a bit of a bruiser, but he’s not a bad guy.
When we meet Jake during Moon Knight‘s end credits scene, he’s removing Harrow from the Sienkiewicz Psychiatric Hospital (a lovely nod to Moon Knight artist Bill Sienkiewicz). Jake dumps Ammit’s lackey into a white limousine where a sharply dressed Khonshu mocks his enemy. Harrow thinks he’s safe since Marc and Steven refused to kill him. Khonshu scoffs, explaining he still controls the body through Jake Lockley’s existence.
“He has no idea how troubled he truly is,” says Khonsu and taps on the window. The driver lowers his divider, we see Jake’s face, and he puts two bullets in Harrow’s face. The limousine drives away, revealing its SPKTR license plate. It doesn’t really matter who has the wheel as long as Khonshu barks the orders.
Will Marc and Steven free themselves of Khonshu?
While Moon Knight Episode 6 concludes with Marc Spector embracing his dissociative identity disorder as a necessary part of himself, it also reveals how Khonshu used his condition to manipulate. The Egyptian god wormed his way into the body as it was dying, and once he was there, he discovered a fractured mind defenseless to his machinations. Khonshu developed unique relationships with each persona, using them against each other. He’s making sure that he can never be kicked out.
When Marc and Steven hesitated before delivering the killing blow against Harrow, Layla told them they had a choice. The choice itself revealed their independence from Khonshu. They could grant their own freedom; they didn’t need Khonshu’s permission.
Khonshu only left because he knew he had Jake Lockley (and who knows who else) in his back pocket. Whenever Marc and Steven reappear, they will need to address their master more forcibly. In the Greg Smallwood/Jeff Lemire comic book run that heavily influenced Moon Knight‘s first season, Marc, Steven, and Jake eventually confront Khonshu and reject his control over them. This feels like the next step for the MCU iteration.
Are Marc and Steven free of Dr. Harrow?
Yes, Harrow gets a bullet in the head, but that does not mean Ethan Hawke cannot return. When Khonshu supposedly releases Marc and Steven from his hold, the two awaken inside the mental health hospital we first saw in Episode 4. We learned the hospital stood in as a visual metaphor for the afterlife in that chapter. But the Dr. Harrow we meet in Episode 6 is not necessarily the same Dr. Harrow we met in Episode 4. Nor is it the same hospital.
This Dr. Harrow attempts to confuse Marc and Steven, to tell them that the reality they’re experiencing is wrong. Marc and Steven say they choose to believe in their reality. The rejection reveals blood leaking from Dr. Harrow. He’s wounded and weak.
We see the Body’s mindscape continuing the metaphor they first experienced in the afterlife. This is where they can return to converse or battle internal negative forces. Here is a realm where they could square off against Jake Lockley. It’s also probably true that they’ll never shake a doubting Dr. Harrow.
Will Layla remain Tawaret’s avatar?
Through her relationship with Marc and Steven, Layla knows the destructive power the gods sway over humanity. She wants little to do with them, certainly the mean bastards like Khonshu. However, she allows Tawaret to give her a little superpower juice in a pinch. And the result is a badass heroine who saves the day, inspiring a young Egyptian onlooker. The veneration that child gives Layla may persuade her to stay in the avatar game for a little bit longer. Let’s hope so anyway, as May Calamawy is a stellar butt-kicker, and we need more action hero couples than Brandan Fraser and Rachel Weisz from The Mummy.
How will Moon Knight connect with the rest of the MCU?
Or, we could rephrase it, “Where is Gorr the God Butcher?” Many expected the Thor: Love and Thunder villain to appear in the post-credits scene. If Marvel Studios wanted to establish him as a threat, Gorr slaughtering a bunch of Egyptian gods, including Khonshu, would sure do the trick. Ah, but Moon Knight was not interested in playing with the other MCU toys. The show wanted to establish itself without distraction.
The Moon Knight folks did such a good job setting Marc and his pals apart from the MCU; it’s actually a little hard to imagine him popping up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or Ant–Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marc and Steven don’t seem ready for the Avengers yet. They need to work things out with Jake Lockley and Khonshu first. They need to get their house – their body in order.
Moon Knight Episode 6 is now streaming on Disney+.