Moon Knight has finally arrived on Disney+, allowing fans to dive into the conflicted mind of Oscar Isaac's Steven Grant. The show received wide praise from critics ahead of its premiere, lauding the series' performances, tone, and intriguing narrative. In a season premiere that's completely disconnected from the wider MCU, Episode 1 of Moon Knight introduced fans to the show's titular character in addition to Ethan Hawke's mysterious lead antagonist.
Marvel fans have come to expect bombshells, teases, and cliffhangers-a-plenty in the final moments of the MCU’s Disney+ series, and Moon Knight is no different. Oscar Isaac's show manages to successfully build a compelling mystery for fans to dissect, much like WandaVision before it.
With a number of questions now raised about just where the Disney+ series is headed, here's what the season premiere's ending could mean for the rest of the show.
Moon Knight’s Ending Explained
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Moon Knight.
After a late night of doing inventory at the museum, Marc hears an odd, dog-like noise echo from the dark artifact-filled halls. Believing it to be a canine friend lost in the museum’s halls, Steven seeks it out.
The first sign of trouble occurs when Steven’s mirror reflections don’t follow him, a shot previously seen in past trailers. As Steven continues to investigate the origins of the snarling, he soon comes to realize that he is way in over his head. While he attempts to hide from the beast before him, a voiceover from Arthur Harrow booms over the speakers with a simple request:
“Steven Grant of the gift shop, give me the scarab and you won’t be torn apart.”
A scared Steven throws his bag to distract the jackal, but this does little to stop the monster from giving chase. Cornered in a bathroom with few options left, Grant's alternate identity Marc Spector shows himself to Steven through the surrounding mirrors and asks for control. After relinquishing his autonomy, Marc suits up for the very first time on screen and shows the jackal who’s boss.
How do Moon Knight's powers work? What is that monster-beast-thing? Where will the show go from here? Let's break these questions, and more, down.
The Powers of Moon Knight
Just in the knick of time, Steven Grant's powers kick in and he transforms into the white-robed Moon Knight. This brief display shows that he is adept at giving baddies a beatdown, with Steven's blackouts earlier in the episode demonstrating that these can be lethal. Other footage has also provided a glimpse at the rest of Moon Knight's repertoire, including his crescent-shaped boomerangs and lunar-themed cape that grants Grant the ability to briefly glide.
But are they really Steven's powers?
Before Steven turns into Moon Knight in Episode 1's final moments, he is forced to give up autonomy of his body to Marc Spector, the other identity bouncing around his brain. This is the first display of another identity present in Steven Grant's mind, a symptom of his dissociative identity disorder.
This mental health condition creates alternate, distinct personalities in a person, often brought on by past trauma. The MCU is using DID to explore how Steven Grant has to live with an alternate identity that happens to be a superhero, among others.
So, how do Steven or Marc's abilities work? It’s unclear how in control Marc is, as Steven doesn’t give full control back when first encountering Harrow and has to relinquish control to Marc at the end for the powers to work.
Marc is able to take over in life or death scenarios though, possibly indicating that Moon Knight's powers can act in a reflexive manner when there is a significant enough threat. This can be seen during Steven's escape from Harrow, where Marc takes over to dispatch some goons, causing Steven to briefly blackout.
Perhaps Marc is able to take charge when he and Steven are on the same page, as both of them are intent on getting out of their precarious situation during the car chase. In contrast, Steven being unwilling and scared to fight could be why Marc is unable to unleash his powers, as Steven either has to cooperate with his other identity or submit to him.
Therefore, it seems as though Steven Grant holds the most power and autonomy over his body, whereas Marc Spector is able to access his superpowers but can only use them when Marc is willing or unable to interfere (like when he's asleep).
More Moon Knight Identities?
With another identity thrown into the mix, this raises questions as to who else Steven Grant will be grappling with in his mind. Avid fans will already know that one more personality has already been revealed outside of the show: Mr. Knight.
Little about this identity is known, but in the comics, the alter ego functions as more of a go-between for Moon Knight and the authorities. It's unknown whether the MCU's incarnation will keep Mr. Knight's 'approachable chap' attitude from the illustrated page, as his promotional imagery seems to double down moreso on his 'tough guy' physique.
It's unclear how many other personas are present in Steven Grant's mind, but the mirror reflections that choose not to follow Steven as he roams the museum could be a hint at more. There are two reflections that choose to stand their ground, which could imply that one is Marc Spector and the other is another identity altogether.
One prominent personality in Marvel Comics is taxicab driver Jake Lockley, so perhaps Steven will morph into this identity when there's a need to put the pedal to the metal.
We Know Jack All About the Jackal...or Do We?
Another mystery lies in the killer monster in hot pursuit of Steven in the final moments. The beast seems to be affiliated with Ethan Hawke's Arthur Harrow given the timing of the attack, likely to retrieve the suspicious scarab that seems to be so sought after.
But what exactly is the creature?
The pursuer appears to some sort of jackal, an animal that has ties to the Egyptian god of the dead Anubis. The jackal is seen in another piece of footage from a recent trailer, though it is unclear whether this is the same creature or another monster like it. If the former is true, perhaps this could be Anubis himself.
This connection, in tandem with Harrow's weighing scale ability to judge others and the mention of Ammit earlier in the episode, may give some insight into just what Ethan Hawke's character is planning.
In mythology, Anubis weighed individuals' hearts to determine whether their soul was worthy of entering the realm of the dead. If they were deemed unworthy, the spirits would be sent to the crocodile-headed Ammit to be devoured.
Harrow seems to be working with the gods of old to rid of those who are unworthy to Ammit, and forge a path for the chosen few to a heavenly plain. It is unclear how the coveted scarab could fit into all of this, but perhaps it could allow Ammit to extend her plans to a global reach.
Alternatively, the jackal beast could be entirely separate to Harrow and Ammit's nefarious plans. At one point, Harrow mentions to Steven that Ammit "was betrayed… by indolent fellow gods.” Could Anubis have been one of those conspirators? The weighing of the heart that Harrow performs is usually a duty that Anubis takes on, so Ammit may have enforced Harrow in his place. Learning this, Anubis may have sent one of his servants or gone after the scarab himself in order to stop Ammit's plot before it can go through.
What Comes Next for Moon Knight?
With Steven now keyed into Marc's existence, there are a number of avenues that Moon Knight could explore. Viewers will likely get more insight into Marc Spector's identity and how he came to be, as the show could potentially dip its toes into the inciting incident that led to Steven creating another personality. Did Marc Spector's powers cause him to be created, or did they come later? Why can Marc seemingly only access Moon Knight's powers and not Steven?
Also in question is how long Marc Spector's persona has existed. Has Marc been around to take licks for Steven since childhood, or has his appearance been a more recent occurrence?
Or will Moon Knight twist and turn to reveal that Marc was the original personality and created Steven instead? Steven does seem to be leaving voicemails for a mother that won't answer, so perhaps he receives no response because this maternal figure doesn't exist – at least, not in the way he thinks she does. This would raise even more questions as to why Marc would splinter into another identity that is more timid in nature – why does Steven exist?
Moon Knight's second episode may also peel back the curtain on May Calamawy's Layla, now that she knows Marc is alive and well. Episode 2 could see Layla seeking Moon Knight out, revealing more about just who the hell this Marc Spector guy really is.
Moon Knight's season premiere is streaming now on Disney+.