The most recent outing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins with Arthur Harrow’s (Ethan Hawke) hands filling a glass with water and taking a sip before breaking the glass, filling his shoes with the shards, and taking an awkward walk. If that doesn’t do a wonderful job of setting the tone for Disney+’s new psychological miniseries. moon knightI don’t know what I would do. “The Goldfish Problem” is an excellent series premiere filled with burning questions and a gripping performance from our leading man.
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We are first introduced to Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) in his bed, his ankle chained to the bedpost. He has a one-fin goldfish named Gus and he wakes up every morning feeling like he’s been hit by a bus. Isaac’s portrayal of Grant is riveting, using a British accent to sound completely different. He brings all of his charm to his portrayal of a knowledgeable Egyptian museum worker who fancies himself a tour guide. While establishing the character, writer Jeremy Slater (the umbrella academy, The Exorcist) also generates a lot of intrigue around the story.
The difference between this and other MCU miniseries is that ever since Wanda Vision started the tradition of Disney+ Marvel shows, this is the first time they have introduced a new character to the universe. As a result, this premiere doesn’t rely on the audience’s prior knowledge of the inner workings of Marvel’s canon to stick with the content. Instead, this show kicks off with an original and mysterious story, as Grant suddenly wakes up in a field with a dislocated jaw and is chased by armed men trying to kill him.
The episode then formally introduces us to Harrow, a cult leader who wants a beetle that Grant has. Grant tries to give the scarab to Harrow, but a voice in his head prevents him from doing so in a scene that Isaac sells perfectly with plenty of physical comedy. After Harrow passes out and discovers that he has murdered the henchmen, he escapes in a car chase with a strange needle drop. Unfortunately, the use of “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! it doesn’t fit the scene well, and the car chase may have matched the most intense tone of the series without the inclusion of the song.
After Grant wakes up from the events that appeared to be a dream, he notices that Gus now has two fins instead of one. As Grant sits in a steakhouse waiting for his date, he discovers that it’s been two days and he’s missed it. Mohamed Diab directs the scene very well, framing it in a long take that allows Isaac to deliver a gripping dramatic performance. The scene expertly captures Grant’s discontent with his dissociative identity disorder, and the moments of human drama wonderfully ground his character.
Grant makes some discoveries at his house, when the lights begin to flicker and he has visions. During this sequence, Diab leans fully into the psychological horror genre with the perfect use of a handheld camera to add intensity to the scene and capture Grant’s panic. Harrow reveals that he is a servant of the goddess Ammit and sends a monster after Grant. Grant’s reflection speaks to him as an alternate identity, Marc Spector, who gets Grant to relinquish control of his body to him. Marc kills the monster in his white Moon Knight costume, ending one of the strongest series premieres in MCU history.
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Marvel has used its Disney+ miniseries to experiment with multiple genres, moving the franchise away from the standard action blockbuster and playing around with a lot of different things. This episode begins a fascinating experiment with psychological mysteries and a unique premise. Its mysterious narrative raises many questions to keep viewers begging for more. However, unlike boba fett book, this show does not rely on your pre-existing enjoyment and knowledge of a franchise to continue viewing it. Instead, the premiere of moon knight is a wonderfully unnerving thriller with a touch of horror.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equals “Excellent.” While there are some minor issues, this score means that the art is successful in its goal and leaves a memorable impact.