In “The Goldfish Problem,” we were introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Moon Knight. I’ve been reading comics a long time, and the character has been a favorite of mine for years. This was a unique take on the character, and was acted brilliantly by Oscar Isaac. Now we’ve met this incarnation of Steven Grant, and gotten at least a glimpse of Marc Spector, Moon Knight, and Khonshu. We’ve met Arthur Harrow, a very unusual villain, and gotten an idea of the problems facing all of them. After a big confrontation in a museum bathroom, the plot thickens in “Summon the Suit.”
In the aftermath of the fight, Steven has another sudden transition, waking up at home in a burst of fear and adrenaline. Not knowing what else to do, he goes to work, where he sees plenty of signs that he didn’t imagine at least some of the events of last night. Considering the cameras don’t pick up everything that happened, Steven has an uncomfortable meeting with HR, and they’re remarkably nice, all things considered. His life continues its downward spiral, and he ends up out on his own. He has an even more desperate meeting with Crawly the human statue, and manages to weird the artist out, which is impressive.
At loose ends, Steven decides to follow up on the mysterious key and cellphone he found last episode. To his surprise, he actually finds the place the key is for, and has yet another disconcerting meeting with someone who knows him that he doesn’t know. Finally, he finds what, or at least where, he was looking for, and gets a lot of surprises inside. He has another intense conversation with Marc, learns the man’s last name, and has an understandable reaction to a very bizarre-sounding story. Determined to do the right thing, Steven makes a hard choice and has another run-in with a very powerful, eerie figure. Staggering outside, he falls at the feet of the mysterious Layla, the woman from the phone call last episode. She offers him a ride, has a lot of questions for him, and the poor “gift shopist” gets more and more confused as the conversation continues.
Back at his flat, which we also learn a bit more about, Steven has a confusing conversation with Layla, and Marc. Marc grows increasingly frantic and finally, some of his worry starts to get through to Steven. The chaotic, multi-part conversation comes to an end when some of London’s finest stop by, acting aggressively, if not questionably. I don’t know enough about the law in Britain to know if they were out of bounds or not. Steven, still trying to do the right thing in a situation where that is increasingly unclear, goes along, Layla having pulled a slick move to stay away from the police. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he’s made a mistake, although he does hear some worrying things on the trip.
Shortly after this realization, there’s a conversation, not a confrontation, between Steven and Arthur Harrow. It’s a really interesting debate on a few levels. Of course, all the best villains believe they are doing the right thing. In this instance, Arthur makes a good case for his actions. There are clearly a lot of benefits to what he’s been doing. Steven, very much out of his depth, has a lot of doubt about what to do. Finally, Arthur goes a bit too far, being calmly honest about something horrifying. Even the mild Steven Grant has had enough, and then manages to make a break for it with some timely assistance from an unexpected quarter. After an escape attempt, a summoning, and some conversation Steven doesn’t fully grasp, there’s another big fight against a powerful mystical creature. The line between Steven and Marc is blurring more and more, and Steven does his best to offer up a good fight. He doesn’t manage to get the look quite right, and it’s a nice nod to one of the more unusual versions of Moon Knight from the comics. After some good lines and desperate fighting, Steven once again agrees to let Marc step in. This is the first time we get to see Moon Knight fully in action, and it’s really impressive.
After the fight, Steven and Marc have another conversation that’s more of an argument. The two really don’t agree on much, and Marc is much more ruthless and strong than Steven. Finally dealing with Steven, Marc has a much more difficult meeting with his supervisor. There are some fascinating hints about Marc and Steven’s past, and I’m really curious about what happened before this series began. Finally, there’s another sudden location shift and Marc ignores Steven, now reduced to a voice in his head, as he takes in the sights of what will likely be the setting of a very interesting third episode, or at least part of it.
What I liked: This is a beautifully done series. The visuals are striking, the transitions are really well-executed, and Oscar Isaac is doing a great job of showing us which character is in control without us needing words to see it. The writers are throwing in great twists, and they balance humor and action really well. I’m intrigued by Layla, since she’s both a badass in her own right, and, as far as I know, an original character for the series. The interplay of the different characters is really well done. Ethan Hawke is doing a great job with Arthur Harrow, and makes a compelling case for his actions.
What I didn’t: Really, not much. I have a lot of questions, but I can’t really complain about the pacing, and I have faith that at least most of them will be answered. I do wish more aspects of the comic book version would show up, but I also completely understand why they might not.
I’ve enjoyed all the Disney Marvel series, and admire that, while they are all superhero stories, they’re all very different. I’m giving this episode a 4 out of 5. I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s continuation of the story.