“You had one job and you STILL failed.” This sentence has provided an endless amount of memes across the internet for many years and it probably isn’t going away any time soon. Although, as memes are known to do from time to time, this idea can be found in other aspects of life. In this case, it has found its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the latest episode of “Moon Knight” on Disney+.
In “The Friendly Type,” the third episode of the latest Marvel Studios original series about a hero closely tied to the gods of Ancient Egypt, we finally start making moves towards solving the many mysteries introduced in the first two episodes. However, these clues could have come along a bit easier if everyone had just been a little better at doing their jobs.
Let’s start with Moon Knight himself. When Marc Spector and Khonshu are preparing to appear before the Ennead Council to call out Arthur Harrow for trying to resurrect the deadly Ammit, the moon god says that their case needs to be “indisputable” in order for the other gods to take action. But instead of outlining all the things that Harrow has been doing like recruiting an army, chasing them around the world, and combing the dessert for Ammit’s tomb, they basically present the verbal equivalent of the Will Smith meme where he has a serious face and outstretched arms to nonverbally say, “JUST LOOK AT THIS!” They even got a second chance when the council decided to talk to Marc instead of Khonshu to see just how unwell the avatar actually is. Obviously, this is far from the indisputable defense that they talked about initially.
Later, when Layla El-Faouly catches up with Marc in Cairo and decides to help him with his mission, they find themselves face to face with black market antiquities collector Anton Mogart. But instead of playing it cool or even letting Steven Grant take control of their body since he actually has a modicum of knowledge about the artifact they need to see, Spector throws the backstory that he and Layla came up with out the window and hesitates when Mogart starts questioning their motives. Marc is supposed to be a mercenary, right? This is hardly the behavior of a mad secret agent or something.
Of course, Marc isn’t the only one failing at their job. Even though the gods clearly don’t want to be dealing with Khonshu, who was banished from their group for nearly exposing their existence (or for not abandoning humanity, depending on who you ask), they don’t even ask Arthur Harrow any questions that might support the possibility that the moon god is raising a legitimate concern. These all-powerful gods that are supposed to be using their avatars to observe aren’t doing a very good job at observing Harrow’s activities. Instead, this scene just mirrors that gif from “Parks and Recreation” where Harrow is Jenny Slate’s character saying, “I have done nothing wrong, ever, in my life,” and the council is Henry Winkler saying, “I know this and I love you.” Talk about petty. Even though this matter could affect the fate of Earth, the Ennead are just concerned with avoiding their ex friend. So rather than actually having a productive meeting, Osiris dismisses the proceedings entirely. At least Hathor was willing to provide a bit of assistance to Marc in his mission to stop Harrow.
Speaking of Harrow, even he starts slacking off in this episode. The villain must have forgotten the second rule of Zombieland because instead of fully making sure that the sarcophagus of Senfu is fully destroyed so that Marc and Layla are thrown off of his trail, he shoots his energy blast and walks away like some cool guy in an action movie. If he had just double tapped, the star chart would be nonexistent and Harrow’s minions could dig up Ammit unbothered.
Despite the various failings all around, I still enjoyed this episode and found a lot of this stuff amusing. Marvel’s philosophy has always been, “The world outside your window,” which means that the characters from the House of Ideas tend to be more realistic as opposed to the old stereotypes tied to superheroes where they would fly in, save the day, and fly off again. Instead, Marvel’s characters (and most superheroes in the modern day) are complex and flawed individuals. This apparently includes ancient deities as well.
But that idea also applies to Moon Knight. It can’t be easy when you’re doing something, you black out because another personality or a god takes over, and then regain consciousness in the middle of a conversation or in a completely different city. Even for a master mercenary, you can’t do your job if you don’t have all the necessary information required to complete your task.
While everyone in “Moon Knight” is working through their shortcomings, we’re getting an exciting and endearing action adventure steeped in Marvel and ancient Egyptian mythology. The last two episodes have been like “The Mummy” starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, except in a TV show. And now that a bunch of exposition has been released out in the open at the midpoint, things are really starting to heat up. With only three more episodes left, it’ll be exciting to see where we go from here.