‘Moon Knight’ Episode 5 References ‘Black Panther’ And Explains Steven Grant’s Origin

*Warning: This article contains spoilers of Moon Knight episode 5.

Episode 4 of Moon Knight teased the potential debut of the third personality, Jake Lockley. But instead of gaining a character in episode 5, we lost one instead.

Episode 5 of Moon Knight picks up where the previous episode left off and sees Marc Spector and Steven Grant meet with the Egyptian goddess Tawaret. There, they learn that they are… well… dead.

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As Spector slowly freaks out about being in the afterlife, Tawaret corrects him that there are in “an afterlife” not “the afterlife” because there are plenty of versions of afterlives, including the Ancestral Plane. The Ancestral Plane is the afterlife seen in Black Panther. Moon Knight, whilst part of the MCU, has kept references to other TV shows to a minimum.

If recent memory serves, the only other reference made was to the city Madripoor which was seen in a few episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s a little mention that may not suggest much, or at all, but tiny references or suggestions that our heroes all live in the same world is exciting, and with Moon Knight set to be a limited series, there’s always the hope that our heroes may cross paths in movies instead.

Tawaret reveals that their souls are being judged and rips their hearts out and placed them on Anubis’ scales. If the scales balance out, they will spend eternity in the Field of Reeds. However, the scales won’t balance because their hearts are incomplete. She tells them to go back inside, revisit memories, and find out what is missing. 

We see Spector and Grant go through doors of memories, with one, in particular, explaining the origins of the ‘Steven Grant’ personality. In episode 5, it is revealed that a young Marc Spector and his younger brother Randall had gone adventuring to a cave nearby. It began to rain and Randall, unfortunately, drowned and died. Ever since then, Spector suffered from child abuse at the hands of his mother. In order to protect himself and block out horrible memories of the abuse, Spector created Grant.

The reveal was crushing not only to Grant – who for a long time believed he was the “original” personality – but also to viewers as Marvel rarely delves into dark topics such as loss, trauma, and abuse. The episode addressed the death of Spector’s brother, the abuse sustained by his mother, and his exploitation at the hands of Khonshu. Saying that he has had a rough life would be an understatement.

As if the episode wasn’t emotional enough, we then see Grant console Spector after learning of his abusive childhood, Spector breakdown at his mother’s Shiva and lastly, the presumed death of Grant after he saves Spector from being dragged into the Underworld. Grant’s death balanced out the scales, and the episode finishes with Spector in the Field of Reeds.

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As surprising as episode 5’s reveal was, it also manages to stay true to the actual mental illness it is portraying. Dissociative identity disorder often occurs as a result of trauma and/or abuse during childhood. Above all else, Marvel ensured that DID was being represented authentically, taking care not to trivialize the disorder in its portrayal nor shy away from its reality.

A good episode nonetheless, the episode doesn’t exactly address why villain Arthur Harrow is pretending to be Spector’s doctor and what is happening in the ‘real’ world since the last we saw them, they were shot.

Moon Knight only has one episode left, and like every Marvel Disney+ series, there’s no telling how it’s going to end and whether or not it will tie up all the strings. One thing’s for sure – it’s going to be incredibly epic, and possibly, just like episode 5, really heavy.