‘Moon Knight’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 5 “Asylum”

10 Min Read
Marvel Studios

In last week’s episode of Moon Knight, Marc Spector’s entire reality shifted as he found himself in a psych ward full of familiar faces, including Dr. Harrow. Now, Marc and Steven must work together to discover the truth behind their joint lives.

The line between fantasy and reality

Dr. Harrow informs a very confused Marc that he’s a patient at Putnam Medical Facility in Chicago, Illinois. His superhero identity is just a fantasy that he created in his mind. Marc, unable to believe what he’s hearing, repeatedly tells Harrow that he’s not a real doctor. Harrow explains that his brain has constructed these scenarios to deal with his trauma. Marc stands up, angry and upset, and the orderlies inject him with a sedative.

The underworld

Marc returns to the hallway where he was standing with Steven and Taweret, the latter of which informs them both that they’re actually dead (from when Harrow shot Marc in the tomb). They’re now in the realm of the Duat, and Taweret is guiding them on their journey through the afterlife. Marc isn’t impressed that his afterlife is apparently a psych ward, and he resigns himself to the fact that he’s insane. He throws open one of the doors in the hallway, expecting to find a bunch of patients, but instead he sees that they’re on a ship in the underworld. Taweret pulls out Marc and Steven’s hearts, because she must weigh them on the Scales of Justice to determine if they can pass into the Field of Reeds.

Marc frantically begins to make a game plan to “kill the hippo” and “steal the boat,” which Steven isn’t on board for. Meanwhile, Taweret is concerned, because the scale is rapidly tipping back and forth, which she has never seen before. She tells Steven and Marc that their hearts aren’t full; they each feel incomplete. The boat contains all of the memories from their lives, so they must go searching to discover what else is missing. Steven and Marc make their way back down the hallways of the psych ward, and they see memories playing out behind each doorway. Steven hears a boy yelling for help, and they run into a dark cafeteria filled with dead bodies sitting at each of the tables. Marc recognizes them as the unsavoury figures that he’s killed for Khonshu. As he begins to tell Steven about it, the scales start to slow down.

Remembering Randall

They notice a boy standing on the other side of the room, and despite Marc’s protests, Steven runs after him. Steven follows the boy into a memory where a young Marc is in the backyard with his parents and the boy — his little brother, Randall. The boys head off into the woods to play, and it starts to rain. Steven follows them into a cave, which is rapidly filling with water. He cries out for them, because he can sense the danger that’s ahead. Randall drowns in the cave.

Steven and Marc are in their childhood living room, following the death of Randall. Young Marc walks down the stairs and his mother begins to scream at him furiously, telling him that it’s all his fault. Upstairs, an additional memory awaits — it’s Marc’s birthday, and his mom refuses to join him and his dad for cake. We see another birthday, and Marc’s mom comes to sit at the table this time. She calmly tells Marc that he was always jealous of Randall, so she should have known that he would do something like that. Young Marc runs upstairs to his room. Marc doesn’t want Steven to see what happens next though, so he grabs him, and then they’re outside of the house. We see an older Marc leaving home, despite his father’s protests.

The night Marc Spector died

Marc and Steven are in the middle of the desert. It’s the night that Marc Spector died. Marc tells Steven that he was discharged from the military because he went AWOL in a fugue state, so he took on a work-for-hire gig with his old CO, Bushman. As look down at the dead bodies of the archaeologists scattered around in the sand, Steven asks Marc what happened to him that night. They walk into a tomb — Khonshu’s tomb — and see Marc from the past crawling to the foot of the statue. Past Marc puts a gun to his head, and Khonshu’s voice rings out, “What a waste.” Khonshu makes him an offer to save his life, to which he agrees, and we see Marc rise as Moon Knight for the first time. Meanwhile, the scales have almost balanced.

The truth about Steven Grant

Marc and Steven exit the memory, walking back out to a commotion on the deck of the ship. Taweret tells them that fear is spreading in the upper world because unbalanced souls are being judged before their time. Marc and Steven beg her to send them back to the upper world. If Khonshu is freed, they’ll be able to recover from the gunshot wound. Taweret begins to steer the ship toward the Gates of Osiris, but Steven and Marc still need to finish balancing the scales. They go back inside, but Marc begins to have a meltdown, because he doesn’t want Steven to look behind the last door that he wouldn’t let him open. Marc is now sitting beside Dr. Harrow again. Harrow questions if Mac thinks he created Steven to hide the awful things he did in his life, or did Steven create Marc to punish the world for what his mother did to him? He needs to open up to Steven in order to discover the truth.

Marc and Steven are finally behind the door, standing in young Marc’s room as his mom pounds on the door outside. Young Marc sits on the floor, upset as he listens to his mother screaming at him, and … he becomes Steven — accent and all. Now calm and relaxed, young Steven begins to clean up his room so he doesn’t upset his mother. Older Steven looks at a movie poster on the wall, reading out the quote, “When danger is near, Steven Grant has no fear.” He realizes that Marc created him. Marc’s mom makes her way into the room, grabbing a belt as she approaches the young boy. Marc pulls Steven out of the room before he can see the abuse that took place. Steven is distressed to learn that he’s not real, but then he’s positively distraught when Marc informs him that his mother is actually dead. He refuses to believe it. This time, it’s Steven who panics and finds himself back in the room with Dr. Harrow. As Harrow offers to call his mother, Steven accepts that Marc was telling the truth.

Finding balance

Marc and Steven are in another memory that takes place during Marc’s mother’s shiva. Marc’s dad looks outside to see his son standing across the street. Marc walks away, because he can’t handle going inside, and he collapses to the ground crying. And suddenly … he becomes Steven. Steven stands up, completely unbothered, and he calls his mom. Marc explains that this was two months ago, and it’s when their lives started bleeding into one another. Steven assures Marc that what happened to Randall wasn’t his fault.

The ground begins to shake; they have arrived at the Gates of Osiris. Back on the deck of the ship, Taweret informs Marc and Steven that, unfortunately, their scales never balanced. The unbalanced souls of the Duat begin to climb onto the ship, attacking them. Marc begins to fight them off by himself, until Steven realizes that he can fight, too. Steven ends up falling overboard, and when he tries to run after the boat, his legs won’t move. He turns to stone. The scales finally balance, and Marc finds himself in the Field of Reeds.

Catch the Moon Knight finale exclusively on Disney+ on Wednesday, May 4. Stay tuned for all of our coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more.

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By Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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