Moon Knight episode 4 asylum twist explained | marvel comics clues

**Warning – this article contains spoilers for Moon Knight episode 4 from the start**

The new episode of Moon Knight pulls a huge rug out from under viewers, seeming to reveal that Marc has been in a mental institution this entire time, with everything we’ve seen just delusions manifested from objects and individuals in the real world. But is this the real world?

Based on the end of the episode, it seems there may be more to this reveal than meets the eye – and clues from the Moon Knight comics could reveal exactly what’s happening in this strange new twist.

Of course, this article contains spoilers, so read on at your own risk.

Are Marc Spector and Steven Grant really in a mental institution?

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT Marvel Studios

After taking a bullet in Egypt, Marc wakes up in a mental institution full of familiar faces and objects, implying the events of the series are the product of his disordered mind.

Then, Marc discovers Steven alive and separate – then, the pair of them meet a Hippo goddess.

So, what on Earth (or at least, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) is going on?

Considering how much the show has pulled from Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight comics run, we may have our answer.

The asylum could be a psychological manifestation of Putnam Psychiatric Hospital, the mental health center Marc’s father places him in Volume 8 – given that it appears to be Harrow heading this asylum, perhaps Hawke’s Harrow HAS been a deception all along, and this may be our first look at the true villain: Dr Emmet.

In Lemire’s run, Dr Emmet is the main antagonist who is connected to the Othervoid god Ammit, similar to how Harrow connects to her in the Moon Knight series. In the comic, he attempts to trick Marc into a false sense of insanity, thereby separating Khonshu from Marc and Marc from his alternate personalities from him.

This could very well be what’s happening in episode 4 – Hawke’s inquisitive rhetoric during their office meeting seems to reflect Emmet’s own attempts at convincing Marc he’s insane.

An alternative possibility is that this is Khonshu attempting to permanently take over Marc’s body as he seemingly passes over to the afterlife.

In the same comic-book volume, Khonshu appears to send Marc away to a mental hospital where he has to confront his alternate personas, similar to how (in the TV show) he literally has to release Steven from a sarcophagus. Initially, this appears as Khonshu performing a kind of psychological mutiny in the pursuit of Marc’s body. However, it ultimately transpires that it was a test in which to purge Marc of his insanity from him.

And, of course, it could hint at the secret third personality already teased in episode 3.

In the same scene, we see a second sarcophagus violently rattling – this may be our biggest hint at Jake Lockley yet, Marc & Steven’s third personality, and perhaps the mysterious third personality who committed some of the darker acts in Cairo.

Given that Marc’s escape from the illusory mental palace Khonshu placed him in is dependent on embracing his alters, we may see Jake Lockley finally emerge and the three personalities of Marc Spector finally interact on screen…

Moon Knight episode 4 comic-book influences

May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly and Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel Studios' MOON KNIGHT.

May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly and Oscar Isaac as Marc Spector/Steven Grant in Marvel Studios’ MOON KNIGHT. Photo by Gabor Kotschy

Of course, it wasn’t fair that big twist that took some inspiration from the Moon Knight comics, going right back to the titular character’s origin.

Finally, Harrow reveals to Layla what many viewers may have already realized: Marc was responsible, or at the very least involved, with the murder of her father. In the comics, her dad’s name is Peter Alraune, but given Layla’s own reinterpretation of her, he’ll likely be addressed under a different name for the show.

It’s also where we get our closest reference to Moon Knight baddie Raul Bushman through Marc’s mentioning of a ‘partner gone rogue’, a key aspect of Marc’s backstory. First appearing in Moon Knight #1 and re-addressed in Lemire’s comic-book run, Raul Bushman is a ruthless mercenary who indiscriminately shoots everyone at the excavation site he and Marc have captured out of greed. This includes Marc himself, leaving him for dead until Khonshu decides he’s a good candidate for his mantle.

Given how this episode unfolds, it seems incredibly likely we’ll get a flashback to these events, finally bringing Bushman onto our screens and perhaps finally shedding some light on the terms of Khonshu and Marc’s deal that lead to his possession.

It’s also possible that we may get a look at Marc’s brother, Randall Spector, in an upcoming episode.

Historically, Randall has despised Marc, at one point murdering one of his girlfriends out of hatred; During a mercenary mission with Bushman and sidekick Frenchie, Marc unknowingly shoots Randall who survives and is driven to kill Marc through his belief that Marc sought to murder him.

This leads to him becoming the ‘Shadow Knight’, a malevolent reflection of the titular hero (comics!). Up until now, the show has been intriguingly light on Marc’s family background, outside of a few faceless phone calls with his mother from him and a contradictory comment from Layla that casts doubt on their relationship. So who knows? Maybe it’s time for a family reunion…

Moon Knight episodes 1-4 are available to stream now on Disney Plus. New episodes Wednesdays. Check out more of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.

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