Every Easter Egg We Found in MOON KNIGHT Episode 5 - Nerdist
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Every Easter Egg We Found in MOON KNIGHT Episode 5

Moon Knight episode five is here and it comes with a massive shift in tone. So big note: this episode and our Easter eggs will deal with childhood abuse, trauma, and more. Of course, this is a Marvel Studios show, though, so there’s a ton of hidden references and nods to other Marvel properties. Get ready to do a deep dive into Moon Knight episode five.

Not What It Seems
A still from Moon Knight episode 4 shows Tarawet the hippo headed goddess waving at the camera
Marvel Studios

Beginning exactly where we left off, Marc and Steven are still apparently trapped in the institution we saw them in last week. But as Taweret explains, they’re actually on a large Khufu ship sailing through the Egyptian underworld. This takes directly from the Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood series we talked about last week. Continuing the theme of balance, the pair are on their way to face judgment at the Gates of Osiris but their scale must balance before they do so.

The Ancestral Plane

During their pre-Duat chat with Taweret, the goddess mentions the Ancestral Plane. Yep, that’s a direct reference to Black Panther. The Ancestral Plane is where Black Panthers go to connect with the souls of their ancestors. It makes sense that Taweret mentions it here, as in Marvel Comics the Egyptian deities connect to Wakanda. How? There, Bast and Sekhmet traveled to the hidden nation and became the Panther God and Lion God.

That Name Sounds Familiar

Before they realize the truth of their situation, we see Marc dragged back into Harrow’s office. There he learns he’s in Putnam Medical Facility. It’s a direct nod to Moon Knight Vol. 8 #11, where Marc’s father Elias—who makes his first on-screen appearance this episode—checked Marc into when his DID first manifested.

Crawley and a Nod to a Noble Sacrifice
A still from Marvel Spotlight #28 shows an old man Crawley walking into a diner
Marvel Comics/Doug Moench/Don Perlin/Irene Vartanoff/Irv Watanabe

While we’ve seen Crawley throughout this season, this is the first time we hear Marc say his name. In case you don’t remember who he is, Crawley is the living statue who Steven called a friend in earlier episodes. In the comics he’s one of Marc and Jake Lockley’s allies. It’s a nice shoutout to Crawley, who in Moon Knight Vol. 8 #3 sacrificed himself to allow Marc and his friends to cross the Overvoid. Here, Taweret is sailing them to A’aru, the Field of Reeds, where they will spend eternity in paradise‚Ķ if their heart balances. The crux of the episode revolves around a ritual from ancient Egyptian myth where Anubis would weigh one’s heart against a feather, usually from Ma’at, the goddess of truth and justice.

If the scales balance, they could enter into the afterlife. If the heart was heavier than a feather, Ammit would turn the soul into lunch. While we’ve seen Arthur Harrow enacting his own version of this using his Ammit-endowed powers, the ritual is also depicted in detail in 2006’s Hellstorm: Son of Satan #3, right down to the precognitive aspect of Harrow’s plan.

Speaking of the Field of Reeds
A still from Moon Knight episode one shows a young white girl in a museum, under her the captions say And did it suck for you? Getting rejected from the Field of Reeds?
Marvel Studios

In the first episode of the show a rude little girl sasses Steven. When he tried to inform her about the museum exhibits, she snapped back, “And did it suck for you? Getting rejected from the Field of Reeds?” That seems like a very good bit of foreshadowing now we know where episode five will head. Well done to that small child in the National Art Gallery.

Magical Misery Tour

With Marc and Steven’s scales out of balance, they must frantically exhume the trauma of their past to find balance before they arrive at the gates. The first two memories are fairly recent: Marc as Moon Knight beating up the jackal monster at the museum and Khonshu altering the night sky before the Ennead imprisoned him in his ushabti. We’ll come back to the third door in a little bit. After, we enter a version of the psych ward’s rec room full of the corpses of everyone Marc Spector has killed in the name of Khonshu, surrounded by canopic jars. While Marc maintains they were bad people, their deaths weigh heavily on his soul.

Randall Spector… R.I.P.

Moon Knight fans have long wondered if Marc’s brother Randall would show up. Well, he does. But instead of becoming an antagonist, he drowned in a horrible childhood accident. The pair’s mother decides Marc is to blame. While it seems bleak to talk about a child dying as a reference to the comics, it actually is. In the source material, Marc did kill his brother. But that was after Randall became a serial killer, was murdered by the Punisher, resurrected, and then put Marc’s beloved Marlene and their unborn child in danger. Instead the show reimagines his death as key traumatic moment in Marc’s life.

More of Marc’s Comic Book Backstory

In the comics, Marc Spector is Jewish. In this episode we get to see that for the first time. We see him sitting Shiva for his dearly departed brother. Even though it’s a weird, sad place for Easter eggs, we see young Marc at his terrible birthday party wearing a similar outfit to the one from Moon Knight Vol. 8 #10. It’s here that we also really begin to get into his mother’s abuse, which is a new invention for the show.

The parent we do meet from the comics, though, is Marc’s dad Elias. When it comes to the source material, Elias’ story has had several retcons. He first appeared and died of cancer in 1984’s Moon Knight #37. In most portrayals, Marc and his father are estranged. Here, though, he’s more of an ally to Marc. Elias’ co-creators, Bo Hampton and Alan Zelenetz, both receive thanks in the credits for this episode too.

Daddy Issues
A still from the recent trailer for Moon Knight shows May Calamawy as Layla in Moon Knight
Marvel Studios

In other dad related news, we see confirmation of what Harrow told Layla in episode four. As Marc and Steven traverse the former’s memories, we see Layla’s father killed in Egypt. He wears his Scarlet Scarab scarf and lies in the ruins where he was murdered. Marc refers to his comic book nemesis Bushman by name here for the first time. It was Bushman, his former partner, who killed the archeologists. But in a big change from his comic book origin, Marc isn’t almost dead when Khonshu connects with him. Instead, he’s about to kill himself out of guilt. But then Khonshu speaks to him, persuading Marc to become his fist of vengeance, and calls him “Moon Knight.” The moon god echoes his words from Moon Knight Vol. 8, a series that becomes ever more important to the show.

Back to the Past

In a big divergence from his comics origin, we learn about the origin of Marc’s DID here. The comics reveal his DID emerged after a brush with a Nazi serial killer who targeted Jewish victims. But here Marc’s abusive mother is the reason he created Steven. In a very grim sequence we see her break into his room with the intent to beat Marc with a belt. He looks towards a Tomb Buster poster that mentions Steven Grant and his fearlessness. Thus, Steven is born. It’s a huge revelation for Steven and a nod to Marc’s comic book past.

The Names on That Poster

While it’s a pretty bleak place to put some Easter eggs, the poster includes a ton. It begins with Doug Perlin, a combination of Moon Knight’s creators, Doug Moench and Don Perlin, who debuted the character in 1975’s Werewolf By Night #32. Melissa Russell is an actress, producer, and the wife of Moon Knight series creator Jeremy Slater; Dylan Beck is an assistant production coordinator on Moon Knight; some other possibilities include Wyatt and Dylan Curtis who could be related to producer Grant Curtis; Colleen Strzelewicz is the wife of Nick Pepin, who works in Marvel Studios production and development; Noor Ikbal Molvi is married to writer Sabir Pirzada; and Amy Sewart is the partner of director Aaron Moorhead. There’s also the fact that the film was made by “Timely Atlas Studios,” Timely and Atlas were both former names of Marvel Comics.

Jake Lockley, Is That You?
The many personalities of Marvel's Moon Knight.
Marvel Comics/Doug Moench/Bill Sienkiewicz/Frank Springer/Bob Sharen/Tom Orzechowski

After establishing that Marc’s mother is actually dead and the Steven personality took over the body around two months before the beginning of Moon Knight, we see a cab pass by. While it seems like a nod to Jake Lockley, we don’t get a concrete appearance here. Or do we? Earlier in Harrow’s office, another personality seemed to present itself. He had a bandage across his nose—like Lockley sometimes wears in the comics—a slightly different accent, and a tendency towards violence. We’ll have to wait until next week to discover whether that was really Jake, though.

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