Moon Knight Episode 1: Deities, Mental Illness, and Gus the Goldfish

Marvel released the first episode of Moon Knight, entitled “The Goldfish Problem”, and in the fashion of MCU TV Shows, it has left us with many questions.  Join us as we jump into and decode the episode.

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Marvel’s Moon Knight has finally had its MCU debut! Starring the loveable Oscar Isaac, who plays the titular character, Moon Knight has noticeable differences from the comics. The show can go in any direction due to the character’s constant retcon and lack of mainstream popularity. Despite that, we will still try to figure out the meaning behind this fast-paced episode, predict what is yet to come, and discuss significant points of the episode, such as mental illness and the fate of Gus the Goldfish. 

Moon Knight’s Origins and Multiple Personalities

Image VIA Nerdist

Despite Marc Spector being the primary personality focused on in the comics, Steven Grant takes the wheel in the show. Originally a millionaire Wallstreet financier, Marvel has reinvented the character into “Steven Grant of The Gift Shop.” Marc Spector used his other personalities in the early comics as tools to investigate, but eventually, the character evolved, and these chosen identities were retconned into a new world where Marc Spector had Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Bringing Spector’s other personalities into the forefront works for Marvel’s new focus on the character’s mental illness.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Marc Spector is Steven Grant’s Main personality, as in the one he possessed before coming in contact with Khonshu. In the comics, Marc Spector is an ex CIA Agent and Mercenary who died and was revived by the Egyptian Moon Deity Khonshu, assuming the role of “the moon’s knight of vengeance.” Marc has always dawned on four personalities in representing Khonshu’s four facets; pathfinder, embracer, defender, and watcher of overnight travelers. Of the many personalities he has taken on in the comics, we suspect the four the show will focus on will be Marc Spector, Moon Knight, Steven Grant, and Mr. Knight.

Jake Lockley is another personality of Marc Spector, who we often see in the comics and plays an integral role as the detective personality. It may be possible we see this personality, but since there already seem to be four identities present, it is unlikely. However, it doesn’t mean there won’t be an easter egg or mention. 

Gus The Goldfish

Image VIA Distractify

Each Marvel Show has had a loveable animal (or non-human) friend. Wanda-Vision had Sparky, Falcon and the Winter Soldier had Redwing (Sam Wilson’s falcon in the comics), Loki had alligator Loki, and Hawkeye had Lucky the Pizza Dog. Now we have Gus The Goldfish, whose disappearance has left us wondering what happened in those 72 hours Steven went missing.

Gus holds more importance than just being a loveable goldfish; otherwise, the episode would not be named “The Goldfish Problem.” This problem is not only in reference to Gus’s disappearance but to how goldfish have remarkably short memories; therefore, the goldfish is symbolic to Steven himself.

Harrow

Image VIA The Cosmic Circus

Arthur Harrow, our main villain, has also sustained significant changes from the comics. Originally a mad scientist at Auschwitz, Harrow has become a religious cult leader who believes in the power of the Egyptian Goddess Ammit and seeks to restore her power. 

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Image VIA Geek Anything

Dissociative Identity Disorder is the presence of multiple identities, sometimes accompanied by complete histories and often triggered by trauma. In the older comics, the topic of Moon Knight’s mental health was often misinterpreted and insensitively handled, confusing Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia and largely labeling him as “crazy.” The new focus on Moon Knight’s mental health status gives hope that the narrative will change to include a positive light on mental illness as something that should be discussed and normalized and not shunned. Let’s hope they continue to display mental illness accurately.  

Possible Future Plot Points

Image VIA CBR

Moon Knight’s lack of mainstream popularity gives the writers plenty of opportunities to go off the books and create something truly original. Still, there is plenty of content they can and probably will pull from, even if loosely. 

Although our main villain seems to be Harrow, it is equally possible that Khonshu will end up as our antagonist. In Avengers: The Age of Khonshu, Moon Knight struggles with aiding Khonshu in his fight against Mephisto as Khonshu orders him to break up the avengers.

Two other characters will undoubtedly play a large part in the show, Layla, who is presumably a substitute for Marlene Alraune Spector’s long-time love interest, and Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp. Both characters’ names appear in the show when Steven Grant looks at the caller history on Marc Spector’s phone. Both characters are close confidants to Marc Spector and know of his life as Moon Knight, even aiding him in his vigilante endeavors, and both seem to be worried about his well-being.

The show seems to be set sometime after the events that gave Marc his abilities as Moon Knight, making it plausible we may see his daughter, Diatrus Alraune, in the show. In the comics, he shares his daughter with Marlene, and when he leaves due to the high stakes of his job, he gives Frenchie the responsibility to look after his daughter and wife. 

There is also a possibility of Marvel introducing The Midnight Sons. During Doctor Strange’s Damnation Storyline, Wong recruits Moon Knight as part of the Midnight Sons along with Blade and Iron Fist, who also recently joined the MCU, possibly setting up a live-action version of the team. The MCU may even bring in Dane Whitman as a new member. If you have watched the Eternals movie, you know Mr. Whitman teaches at the Natural History Museum, located not too far from the British Museum Steven Grant works, and has been in contact with Blade. The possibility of all the characters knowing each other is not out of the realm of possibility, especially as we have seen Steven Grant’s friendly disposition. 

This is only the first episode meaning the show can go in just about any direction. For more Marvel content, click here.

Featured Image VIA The Verge