There are some spoilers for this discussion and review The Moon Knight episode 5, “Asylum”, on Disney +.
It is fitting to some extent that it is one of the most obscene and abstract episodes Knight Moon it will be followed by one of the most generic and direct.
Like its protagonist, Knight Moon he found himself between two extremes. On the one hand, it’s a series that clearly wants to try new things in the framework of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, at five episodes from a six – season run, he’s still largely disconnected from the more divided universe. Perhaps the most experimental of these streaming series in terms of its narrative since then WandaVisionand is built largely around the insideity of its protagonist.
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Moreover, Knight Moon he always knows that his audience could be alienated if he allows it to go too far with a trial. Harrow (Ethan Hawke) uses a “pendulum” metaphor to describe Marc and Steven’s (Oscar Isaac) volatile view of reality, and that image applies to the series itself just as easily. Every time then Knight Moon it seems to promise his boldest and most interesting idea, he returns to something more comfortable.
“The Tomb” was an interesting episode as it plunged into the existing nightmare of a concept such as Knight Moon. It was an episode built on the notion that mankind is inherently alien to each other and that the process of knowing and understanding another person – or even the self – is essentially an excavation. It was about gathering clues, understanding the context, looking for impressions in the sand.
“The Tomb” ended with a bang, as Marc and Steven found themselves imagining life inside a mental institution while questioning the nature of its reality. It was a strong hook for the series, though it felt a little frustrating knight of the moon he could not really play with that kind of ambiguity only two – thirds of the way through the season. The twist should have been unpleasant and surprising to the audience, but instead seemed like one more way to expand the plot.
Yes Moon Ridire which opened up to Marc and Steven in that psychiatric institution, as Legion opened with David Haller (Dan Stevens) in boarding school, there may have been some tension about what was in fact and what fantasy meant. However, four episodes into the season, the public is already clear about the Knight’s rules. the moons. The sanctuary does not interfere so much with the mind and other new aesthetics superimposed on a common story.
It seems like little more than a continuity joke. Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s Series the lunar knight started with the hero in such a place, and the series seems to be taking inspiration from that image rather than using it for any purpose. It’s like the decision to dress Steven in the character “Mr. Knight”, created by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey, with no compensation for his use. The choice says nothing about Steven as a character, but he is an attractive image.
This is typical of how Marvel Studios tells these stories, especially in the streaming format. When the company launched WandaVision on Disney +, it hosted the multi – episode premiere. This is the only time Marvel has taken this approach, and it seems to have been a calculated choice to ensure that fans were not feeling too alienated by the more surreal elements of the first episode, and the premiere ending with the transition to color from the first episode, black and white
So, after “The Tomb,” it’s a frustratingly generic and most quaint quaint TV episode, trying to fill in all the narrative gaps suggested by the previous episodes in a pedestrian way. There are interesting similarities with “Monsters,” a recent episode of Star Trek: Picardwho resorts to similar narratives and clichés, trying to add his pathology to his main character by adding a mentally ill mother and strongly suggesting child abuse.
As with “Monsters,” the revelation about Marc and Steven’s relationship with his mother (Fernanda Andrade) in “Asylum” would be stronger for her Knight Moon the basic work would have been done to correctly predict that history of trauma and violence. In a better version of Moon RidireSo this season’s final storyline would feel like a satisfying addition to an idea that has been seeded and built through the previous episodes. After all, a troubled parent-child relationship creates a very strong drama.
Instead, it seems like a cynical weird choice in the penultimate episode of the season, an attempt to invent a tragic story that neatly explains and rationalizes a complex contradictory character through a convenient chain of cause and effect. The horrors that Marc and Steven suffered at home seem to have been intended to allow the audience to apologize for, rather than question, Marc ‘s violence and brutality. Marc is a victim, so his own actions are not his fault.
Once again, it seems Knight Moon you want to tackle big, prickly ideas, but you are not willing to compromise. It’s like the end of WandaVision, where the rape of Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is taken on a town full of trite “They will not know what you have sacrificed for her.” Early in the program, Steven is horrified as he faces a room full of the people who killed Marc. Steven does not seem to be comfortable with Marc’s claims that they are bad people.
After the revelation, however, those same victims return as zombies to claim Marc. Steven shows no suspicion or introspection. Marc’s trauma goes a long way to unleashing any guilt or moral ambiguity that results from his transformation into a proper killing machine. It’s all frustratingly clean, avoiding any of the nagging or awkward questions suggested in early season episodes. So Marc and Steven’s childhood trauma seems to have been calculated gambling.
Here are some interesting ideas. More clearly, “Asylum” makes a clear connection between the couple’s abusive mother and the vengeful deity Khonshu (F. Murray Abraham), whom Steven explicitly describes as a “cunning old vulture” and admits to taking advantage. its own territory. Khonshu’s characterization is a good fit to this point, but it might not have worked better if the Khonshu series did not cast as a comic relief.
Likewise, the revelation that Steven is the alternate personality and Marc is the original personality at this point of the story is a solid narrative development, which is nice. Knight Moon don’t throw it like a cliffhanger from the last episode. “Did you make me up?” Steven, realizing that Marc is the alternate personality created to deal with the abuse he received at the hands of his mother, seeks to serve as Marc’s “stress ball”.
Once again there is a feeling that the lunar knight he is cautious about making the dynamics too serious or too disturbing. In particular, Marc Steven did not create to abuse him. Instead, Marc Steven created a remote and ideal part of himself, a part that was removed from the trauma to the point where he could maintain a healthy relationship with his mother. There is a feeling that if Marc had proved that Steven was suffering instead, even though he was a child, that might make Marc unpleasant to the audience.
It is predictable that Steven may be an alternative personality to the original. Since much of the series has been articulated from Steven ‘s point of view, revealing that “it’s not true” is a solid twist. It might also help to explain the taste of Oscar Isaac cartoons. However, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it. In many cases, the best plot moments are the ones that flow naturally from the story being told, and this certainly fits.
This is probably the biggest problem with “Asylum”. Episodes are about messy and complex central characters who are adamant that everything must fit neatly into a predetermined template.