Moon Knight episode 5 unlocks two key questions that we’ve had since the Marvel series began: how did Marc Spector develop his alternate personality, Steven Grant, and how did he come to be the avatar for the ancient Egyptian god Khonshu? Warning: spoilers ahead.
“For me, it was really important that everything in the show visually, thematically, all of it, is an outward expression of an internal struggle that Steven and Marc are having. The idea of Khonshu, for me, was more about the symbolic power of what Khonshu represented,” Oscar Isaac, who plays both Marc and Steve, tells Total Film when we caught up with the actor ahead of the series premiere.
“Whether that’s the voice of addiction, or the voice of vengeance and punishment towards those that abused him when he was very, very young, because Dissociative Identity Disorder, for the most part, happens over sustained abuse at a very young age, and that’s the case with Marc.”
In episode 5, the hippo goddess Taweret tells the pair that they have to revisit their pasts in order for their souls to balance so they can pass safely through the Egyptian afterlife. During these various trips down memory lane, we learn that, as a child, Marc’s younger brother drowned and their mother blamed Marc for the accident. The abuse that Marc suffered at the hands of his mother resulted in him retreating into Steven’s personality.
Another flashback shows Marc on the verge of shooting himself after a mercenary mission gone wrong – the same incident that resulted in the death of Layla’s father. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger, he hears the voice of Khonshu, who recruits him as his avatar.
“For him, this vengeful God that has given him life right at the moment that he was going to maybe end his own life is like this idea of punishment, and justice, and then that gets pushed up against the idea of this other form of justice, which is pre-emptive,” Isaac continues. “That speaks to the parts of him that are saying, ‘Well, if you never would have been born none of this would have happened.’ There were just very clear psychological connections that helped orient the performances [as Marc and Steven].”
You can check out our Moon Knight release schedule to find out when exactly the finale drops in your time zone, and in the meantime, you can read more from the show’s star in our full Oscar Isaac interview. If you’re not signed up already, subscribe to Disney Plus (opens in new tab) here.