The Tomb opens with a surprisingly well-directed suspense sequence as May Calamawy tries to escape the bad guys. It’s even more surprising because Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are directing this episode, and they were terrible on the last one they did. Eventually, the direction becomes a lot more middling—eventually being about five minutes—but for a while, at least “Moon Knight”’s disappointing in one fewer quadrant.
And this episode might be the best. There aren’t any lousy fight sequences, mainly because Oscar Isaac no longer has F. Murray Abraham possessing him, so he can’t do costume stuff. The moments where Calamawy and Isaac moon at each other (no pun) are more effective than I was expecting, especially since Calamawy’s got the hots for hapless Isaac’s personality, even though she married badass Isaac. We get some backstory on their courtship and badass Isaac’s motivations for seeking her out. It’s pat, forced material, whereas hapless Isaac infatuated with his literal alter ego’s wife is at least quirky.
Albeit boring, because it’s still “Moon Knight,” after all.
The episode’s about Isaac and Calamawy getting to the—you guessed it–Tomb level in this video game of a television show. There are actually not a lot of video game action sequences, except the one where Calamawy’s got to hop across ledges. There’s actually a lot of great Egyptian tomb production detail. The NPCs in this episode are zombies? We don’t get to see them, but they’re zombie Egyptian priests set to turn anyone living into a mummy, except Ethan Hawke and his mercenaries. It’s unclear if Hawke knows about the zombies and why they don’t bother him and his gang.
Hawke’s got a great villain monologue. The performance anyway. The content’s not good at all and leads to a pointless (“Moon Knight”’s keyword) scene between Calamawy and Isaac. But at the very least, Hawke’s reliable. Is he enough to make “Moon Knight” worth watching? Heck, no. But he’s excellent.
However, the show finally figures out a way to connect with the audience. It just has to pretend it’s something it hasn’t been in four and a half episodes, shucking everything it’s done until now to do a Twelve Monkeys rip-off. Even if the episode didn’t end on two strong points, one because of Parent Trap-like twins’ banter, one because of a sight gag, the Twelve Monkeys stuff would be the best the show’s ever been.
When the best you’ve ever been is the least you’ve ever been like yourself….
Also, there’s a really brief sequence of F. Murray Abraham’s statue being put in the prison with the other Egyptian gods turned into statues, and there are a whole lot of them. The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Ancient Egypt looks very packed. Maybe they can do a Thor crossover, after all.
At this point, I’m guessing the only actual MCU connection will come in the last episode’s end credits, some giant shoehorn.
The next episode should at least be more engaging than usual. Unless they don’t deliver on their promises, which seems more likely the more I think about it, so I’ll stop.