The Key to Moon Knight Episode 4’s Complicated Ending: Is Marc imagining everything?

Marvel’s Moon Knight seems to have taken quite a dark route. In Episode 4 of the series, titled “The Tomb”, Marc is shot by Arthur Harrow and he sinks into a pool of water. When Marc regains consciousness, he finds himself in a mental hospital.

What was more shocking was seeing many characters, including Layla, as patients in the same hospital. And to add to the shock value of it all, Arthur Harrow seems to be running the hospital. While this might seem pretty strange to those who are not familiar with the comics, it seems to be a direct adaptation of one of the most popular Moon Knight runs.

I am referring to issues 1 to 14 of the series, published in 2016 by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Greg Smallwood. According to directors Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, they were even inspired by Smallwood and Lemire’s work.

Nevertheless, even if it is inspired, there’s a lot to explain there. So, for all of you who are waiting for answers, here’s my version.

Is Marc mentally ill?

One of Lemire and Smallwood’s biggest contribution to the Moon Knight canon is the mental health angle, where they portrayed Marc’s mental health as not exactly broken or something that is wrong with him, but as a different way of seeing the world.

Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight | Official Trailer | Disney+

Marc may have a mental condition, namely Dissociative Personality Disorder, which creates his alter egos, such as Steven Grant and Khonshu. This is a personality disorder, which in clear psychological terms is different from a mental disorder.

The personality disorder he is suffering from may be his own defence mechanism against Harrow. While Harrow dictates reality like most cult leaders generally do, Marc seems to be fighting it by creating his own reality, different from Harrow’s.

But having DPD does not prove that whatever happened in the series is Marc’s imagination. It is true that Steven Grant and Moon Knight are both alter egos of Marc, but that does not mean that nothing that was shown took place in reality.

Are Khonshu and Steven Grant real?

In the end of the third episode, we see Khonshu being punished by the gods by being buried in stone. This way, they cut off Marc and Steven’s source of power. The show even hints at the fact that Khonshu is responsible for the divisions in Marc’s psyche especially since they’re so recent that even Layla did not know about them.

The Key to Moon Knight Episode 4’s Complicated Ending: Is Marc Imagining Everything?
Moon Knight

According to the comic books, the story is a little different. In the comics, Khonshu is way more meddlesome than he is in the series. The show definitely takes the same route but there’s no concrete evidence or even hint that Khonshu is manipulating reality for Marc.

Mostly, the mental hospital scenario is probably Marc’s way of establishing his own freedom by undermining Khonshu. In fact, the alter ego Steven Grant could be one of Marc’s strategies to escape Khonshu.

Now coming to Steven Grant, it could easily be possible that Marc created his own version of Steven Grant out of Khonshu’s influence to preserve a part of his identity. The transition from Egypt to the mental hospital was connected in the series to adventurer Steven Grant from a ’90s film.

What if Marc watched the Steven Grant film as a child and that inspired him to become an adventurer? That way, it explains why he may have had his own version of Grant to protect his individual identity.

In short, Steven Grant and Khonshu are both manifestations of Marc’s own personality or alter egos. So, technically, they are real because Marc is real but they are not separate human beings and outside Marc’s mind.

Is it all in Marc’s imagination?

First of all, it is probably clear for everyone that Marc is not dead since Marc and Steven appear in the mental hospital, that too with memories of their past. However, they are in separate bodies. So, I won’t say that everything we have seen so far is Marc’s imagination and he has been sitting in a mental asylum all along.

The Key to Moon Knight Episode 4’s Complicated Ending: Is Marc Imagining Everything?
Marc Spector

What the twist does suggest is that the events we saw in the earlier episodes are actually part of Marc’s imagination, inspired by a VHS of a rip-off of an Indiana Jones film, called Tomb Busters. However, this is what alt-Harrow tells Marc as the doctor in the hospital, so I am not sure that is entirely true.

This is exactly similar to the comics, where Marc was told that there was never a Moon Knight and it was all his imagination. There are many hints—Harrow’s shoe being the same style, familiar statues and paintings which suggest that it was all Marc’s imagination.

But again, nothing can be taken at face value. There is also a chance that all of what we saw in the earlier episodes did actually take place and Harrow is simply trying to convince Marc otherwise.

What does the ending of Episode 4 mean?

I have to admit, the ending was quite confusing. After Marc discovers Steven Grant in a tomb, he finds a third tomb. They do not open it and end up running into a strange hippo-shaped deity. When she says “Hi,” Steven and Marc scream and the episode ends.

The Key to Moon Knight Episode 4’s Complicated Ending: Is Marc Imagining Everything?
Moon Knight

The hippo is most likely to be Taweret, the goddess of fertility and childbirth. She may be another member of the Ennead as well. Since two more episodes of Moon Knight are left, I am guessing she will have a bigger role to play in these episodes.

We do not know much about why this hippo goddess is trapped in this mental hospital. The makers may or may not follow the comic route. Since she is the goddess of childbirth, it may have something to do with Marc’s alter egos or fractured psyche in a metaphorical sense.

We have to wait and watch for more since Taweret is missing from the MCU as of now.

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About Moon Knight

Moon Knight is an American superhero television series created for Disney+ based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The 6-episode series is directed by Mohamed Diab and the team of Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead. Jeremy Slater is the head writer for the sixth MCU Show.

The series follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.

Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, and Ethan Hawke star in the Disney+ series.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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