“Summon the Suit” gives us plenty of new information from various perspectives, and we get our first glimpse of the Moon Knight in action.
This recap of Moon Knight season 1, episode 2, “Summon the Suit”, contains spoilers.
It’s the morning after the night before. Steven wakes up as he normally does, chained to his bed, but this time with pretty vivid memories of a night spent playing hide and seek with a mythical jackal and allowing a dangerous superhero to take control of his body. So, he interrogates his reflection in the mirror and heads to work. The place is being taped off thanks to a “burst pipe” in the bathroom, but Steven assures his security guard mate that if they go over the CCTV footage together, what he’ll see will “blow his mind”. Only, it doesn’t. The CCTV footage doesn’t show anything except Steven hiding, crying, running into the bathroom, and then leaving while looking directly at the camera. His argument that the man who looks exactly like him isn’t actually him… well, it doesn’t ring true.
Moon Knight season 1, episode 2 recap
The museum’s HR department thinks Steven’s mad. Steven thinks Steven might be mad. His only hope is to try and track down the storage box he has a key to. Luckily, the attendant recognizes him, so Steven is allowed entry. The box contains a single military-style cot, several supply crates, and a duffel bag full of guns, money of various currencies, a passport for one Marc Spector, and the golden scarab from his “dreams”. It floats around like the Golden Snitch and seems to be pointing in a particular direction, like a compass. For now, it points directly at Steven’s reflection, which talks back to him. Marc explains, briefly, how he’s an avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian God of the moon, and how his deal with the deity is contingent on Steven staying out of things. So, if he’ll just politely give Marc his body back, all will be well. But Steven isn’t keen on the idea. Instead, he thinks he’s losing his mind, so he plans to take the bag full of illegal items, present it to the authorities, and hopefully get himself locked up and heavily medicated.
After escaping the maze of containers, through which Khonshu himself chases Steven in a stylish-looking quasi-horror sequence, Steven runs into Layla, Marc’s wife. In my preview for this episode, I predicted we’d learn more about Marc, and it seems I was half right. We are learning more about Marc, but second-hand, still rooted in Steven’s perspective. Layla is a good source of information. She and Marc are getting divorced, and she clearly doesn’t know about his alternate personality, but she’s also at least cursorily familiar with the golden scarab in Marc’s bag, which she claims points to “Ammit’s ushabti”. (Apparently, an ushabti is a funereal figurine.) While all this is happening, Marc himself, who can communicate with Steven through mirrored surfaces, implores Steven not to let Layla see too much, lest he put her life in danger. It’s all still very vague, but we’re at least beginning to get a sense of the larger picture.
The theme continues when Steven is “arrested” by a couple of police officers who find his Marc Spector passport and discover Marc is an international fugitive, on the run after hitting an Egyptian dig site with a team of mercenaries and executing all the archaeologists there. Of course, they’re part of Harrow’s cult and take Steven to him, all while Marc begs him to cede control of their body over to him. But after seeing what Marc supposedly did in Egypt, Steven isn’t willing to hand over control. Through Harrow, we learn a little more. He suggests that maybe Khonshu chose Steven/Marc as his avatar because his mind was already broken, creating some ambiguity, and he knows that Khonshu is stood behind them, demanding that Steven break Harrow’s windpipe. But without Steven/Marc’s express permission, Khonshu can’t do anything besides petulantly knock over some bins. He’s powerless.
Harrow has rebuilt a previously crime-ridden neighborhood as a kind of independent utopia, where people grow tomatoes and share knowledge. They aspire to learn three languages. They’re totally into Harrow’s beliefs, which are rooted in the idea of preventing injustice and suffering before it happens, rather than avenging it after the fact as Khonshu does. Harrow, apparently Khonshu’s first avatar, believes that the difference between a cure and poison is simply the dosage, and sometimes you have to cut off a small piece of the organism for the good of its overall health. Steven, though, quibbles with the morality of this. If Ammit judges someone before they sin, then is she not judging an innocent? Can you really consider a child as being equivalent to a diseased limb in need of amputation?
Naturally, this causes a bit of a disagreement, but Layla arrives in the nick of time to break things up. Harrow wants the scarab, which she’s carrying, but both Marc and Khonshu are adamant that he doesn’t get it, so Steven and Layla escape together. She implores him to “Summon the Suit”, which eventually he does after being knocked out of the window by another of Harrow’s jackals, which Layla can’t see. Hilariously, Steven interprets “suit” as a literal Savile Row fit, not the usual ceremonial armor that Marc wears. Luckily the style doesn’t really matter — Steven is imbued with Khonshu’s powers just as Marc is, though problematically he has no idea how to use them. After a delirious fight with the jackal, which flits back and forth between Steven and Layla’s perspectives so that sometimes it seems like a cool action sequence and the rest of the time looks like slapstick nonsense, Steven finally lets Marc take control. He’s able to lead the jackal away and kill it without anyone getting hurt, which is our first proper glimpse of the Moon Knight in action.
In the aftermath of this big sequence, some things happen. For one, Harrow gets the scarab, which was left abandoned during the kerfuffle. Marc also ends up in control for once, leaving Steven a chattering, frantic reflection, unable to influence what’s happening. Marc owes a debt to Khonshu, but he’s also being manipulated by him. The god is threatening to make Layla his next avatar, so Marc has no choice but to do his bidding in order to protect her. And his bidding takes Marc to Egypt, hot on Harrow’s tail. As “Summon the Suit” ends, we see a drunk Marc — with a terrified Steven hiding under the bedcovers in the cracked reflection of a nearby mirror — open the curtains to a beautiful, sun-drenched vista, the great pyramids looming on the horizon.