Moon Knight has been twisting and turning for a number of weeks, but no episode swerved more than the fourth episode of the Disney+ show. Episode 4 ended on a major bombshell, placing Marc Spector and Steven Grant in a mental institution before having them run into… a hippo goddess? With only a few unseen bits of footage and a baffling ending to go off of, it's safe to say that many fans had no clue what to expect going into the fifth chapter of Moon Knight's story.
Episode 5 picks right up after the previous installment’s cliffhanger and arguably leaves Marc and Steven in an even more confusing situation than the previous episode. In an episode filled with tragedy and plenty of surprises, it's time to break down just what Moon Knight's latest episode means for the finale.
Moon Knight Episode 5’s Ending Explained
Warning - the rest of this article contains major spoilers for Episode 5 of Moon Knight.
Throughout the episode, Marc and Steven embark on a journey through memories past in an attempt to balance their hearts against the Feather of Maat. As they delve deeper into the recesses of their shared mind, a stunning revelation is uncovered.
Steven Grant is revealed to be a personality created to protect Marc from the abuse he suffered from his mother. With this knowledge now out in the open, the hippo goddess Tawaret attempts the weighing of the heart ceremony again. Sadly, the scales still remain unbalanced, preventing the two from entering the afterlife. As their Khufu ship barrels towards the Gates of Osiris, the group is ambushed by a horde of zombies.
Even with Steven steering the ship to lend him a hand, Marc is quickly overwhelmed by enemy forces. With no other options left, Steven stands up to the undead, now realizing that he is just as capable since he is Marc too:
“But if I’m you, that means I’ve got this too.”
After taking down a couple of sandy zombies, Steven runs to stop a creature trying to pull Marc overboard. Marc is saved by his alter ego, at a cost. Steven is flung off the side of the ship and plummets into the dunes below, turning into a statue made of sand. Marc is devastated by Steven's loss, but is interrupted by the ship finally reaching its destination.
Marc finds himself in an endless field of wheat, the heavenly land golden with the sun's setting rays.
Where has Marc ended up?
What in Khonshu's Name is Going On?
After an arduous and painful journey, Marc Spector has seemingly reached the Egyptian afterlife: Aaru, The Field of Reeds. As alluded to in the episode, the realm belongs to the god of the dead, Osiris. With Steven Grant gone and long-hinted personality Jake Lockley locked up in a sarcophagus, it appears that Marc has been deemed virtuous enough to live in pleasure for the rest of eternity – if he so chooses.
But why would the loss of Steven be what it takes to prop up Marc? If anything, Steven is much more virtuous of the two, given his naivety and soft-spokenness compared to Marc's history of ruthless violence. Could Steven's 'death' represent how Marc is now refusing to let his past abuse define him, allowing him to move forward into the afterlife?
The blurred lines between reality and delusion also make Episode 5 difficult to decipher.
Clearly, something is amiss.
Is It All a Trick?
Killing off a character and sending him on his merry way to live out his days in the afterlife would be a ballsy move for Marvel, and Moon Knight still has some butt left to kick in its finale.
One possibility is that the asylum, the hippo goddess, the Khufu ship, everything has been a big ruse by Harrow to separate Marc from Steven. Back when Harrow approached Steven in the museum and passed judgment on him, he mentioned that "there's chaos in you."
Since then, Harrow has held great interest in Marc's dissociative identity disorder, questioning Steven about it and using it as evidence against Khonshu when addressing the Ennead. Perhaps Harrow may have realized that Steven is what makes Marc strong and vice versa, so sought to drive a wedge between the two in order to weaken the only person capable of stopping him. The cuts back to Harrow's office could be representative of this, symbolizing the villain trying to extract information and force the two apart.
Of course, there is the possibility that Marc has actually ended up in the afterlife, and will be forced to find a way back to the land of the living. Wakanda's astral plane was name-dropped specifically by Tawaret and T'Challa was able to cheat death in his solo film. Perhaps Marc will pull a Black Panther and find a way to revive himself, potentially by seeking aid from Osiris.
The deity is the god of the afterlife after all, so he may be the key to getting Marc out of it – especially since his avatar has already appeared in the show. If Marc can convince him, Osiris may be the only being capable of reuniting Marc with Khonshu and thusly restoring his powers.
A darker path that Moon Knight could take is the idea that Marc and Steven's delving into the Duat could be an extended delusion created by themselves while they are in the asylum. Perhaps Marc and Steven's mind has indeed created this adventure to the afterlife to cope with the demons that have knowingly and unknowingly tormented them for all these years and to reckon with the harsh reality of being stuck in the mental institution.
Moon Knight's Other Way Out
Looking at Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke's comments about Steven Grant/Marc Spector's trajectory for the season, it seems that the titular hero superhero will be achieving a level of integration. Isaac noted how integration would help his character to heal:
"We really tried to do is map out the journey of integration and then how that is a step in healing from trauma."
Hawke had similar sentiments, explaining that the integration would make things "clearer:"
"His journey is to integrate all his selves into one, and as he integrates it, reality itself gets clearer."
Steven's loss feels more like a rejection of Marc's own self rather than an integration if anything, indicating that Steven will be back to be fully embraced by Marc.
With no one else to call on for the time being though, perhaps Marc will have to search deep within himself to request help from Jake Lockley to get him out of this delusion – whether it is real or not. While Jake's personality isn't typically the most violent of the alter egos in the comics, evidence from the show seems to be pointing the potential character in that direction.
From possibly being responsible for killing several enemies in various episodes to punching Steven in the face in Episode 4, Lockley has clearly been left to rattle in his tomb for a reason. Jake being the most brutal of the bunch would undoubtedly make Marc reluctant to relinquish control, the perfect kind of conflict that would make for a gripping finale.
However the Disney+ series decides to wrap itself up, there's no doubt that Moon Knight's conclusion will be a mind-bending ride.
The final episode of Moon Knight premieres May 4, exclusively on Disney+.