Hmm, we thought we had it all figured out! We thought Moon Knight had settled into its groove as a globe-trotting adventure series in the vein of Indiana Jones or The Mummy. Sure, the show certainly had more mysteries to unravel, including Marc’s connection to Layla’s father and the third personality vexing him and Steven. And we expected that the show might jump from the Cairo setting of episodes three and four, in the same way it jumped from the London of episodes one and two, but we didn’t think the next location would be a mental hospital.
Thirty-five minutes into Moon Knight episode four “The Tomb,” Arthur Harrow shoots Marc and watches him sink into a golden pool of water. When Marc awakes, he finds himself in a clean, white mental hospital. In an unbroken one-shot, the camera floats through the space, revealing many of the side characters we’ve seen to be either orderlies and patients, including Layla. Even worse, Arthur Harrow appears to be operating the hospital, diagnosing Marc as suffering a mental breakdown.
For viewers of the show, the change seems to come out of nowhere. But readers of the comics will recognize the shift as a direct adaptation of one of the best Moon Knight runs, issues #1-14 of the 2016 series by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood. “Personally, our biggest inspiration was the Lemire and Smallwood run,” directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson tell Den of Geek. “Within the pages, you turn the page and you start to see them reflect on each other in a Watchman-esque way.”
With that in mind, the Lemire and Smallwood run can provide some answers to what is surely the most confusing MCU episode since WandaVision.