Moon Knight: The Friendly Type

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Moon Knight, played by Oscar Isaac, travels to Egypt to stop Arthur Harrow’s evil plan but loses the favour of the Gods.

So for the most part I thought this was a good episode, however I did have one major issue with the episode, but first to the good.

I really enjoyed the ending of this episode wherein Khonsu, voiced by F. Murray Abraham, gave Stephen the power to turn back the night sky, I thought it was visually very interesting and also that it sets up a lot of tantalising possibilities for both the Moon Knight show as well as work the wider MCU.

I also thought the big battle sequence was really well done. I liked seeing Mr Knight make another appearance even if it was only brief and I applaud the show for once again pushing the violence and the gore. It is still for the most part fairly family friendly but it is on track to break bad if it keeps this tone, maybe other darker shows like a Punisher or a Ghost Rider would be able to take things even further.

However, my big negative for this episode was the court room scene wherein the various different Egyptian gods spoke to Marc. My main issues was that this scene which should have been very big and vey epic felt small and underwhelming, when they started talking about mental illness and safe spaces I really rolled my eyes, it didn’t feel like a meeting of the Gods but rather a counselling session.

Overall a weaker episode to the ones before it but still fairly good, hopefully the show will actually give us Jake Lockley in the next episode and stop teasing us constantly.

Pros.

Mr Knight

The violence

The ending

Cons.

The constant teasing for Lockley

The courtroom scene didn’t feel very epic at all

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Moon Knight: Summon The Suit

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Steven Grant, played by Oscar Isaac continues to learn about his other persona Marc Spectre, also played by Isaac, as well as their commitment to Khonshu, voiced by F. Murray Abraham.

This episode was a lot slower than the first, which was a negative for me but not hugely so. Mainly, the purpose of this episode is to set the stage and explain the series exposition for those unfamiliar, as such we learn of Steven/Marc’s death and rebirth at the hands of Khonshu, we learn about Marc’s wife Layla, played by May Calamawy, and about Arthur Harrow’s, played by Ethan Hawke, ultimate goal.

I think the highlight of this episode was the Steven/ Arthur conversation wherein Harrow can accurately guess what Khonshu is saying throughout and it is revealed that he used to be Khonshu’s avatar before Marc/Steven. I thought this whole sequence was both fun and also surprisingly tense, Hawke is really doing a good job in the villain role.

The introduction of Mr Knight, one of the various different persona’s of Moon Knight, was a mixed bag. On the one hand the look was fairly comics accurate and I like that he has been included, however, I don’t like how inept and jokey he is presented as being, as this is a far cry from the comics, though I will not judge the depiction just yet as it might get better as the series goes on.

Overall, a necessary episode to set up the world and things to come, if not the most exciting.

Pros.

Hawke

Isaac

More Khonshu

The comic accurate look of Mr Knight

Cons.

The slow pace

Making Mr Knight into somewhat of a joke

A lot of exposition

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Moon Knight: The Goldfish Problem

4/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Moon Knight, played by Oscar Isaac, makes his MCU debut.

I will preface this by saying comics-wise I am a huge Moon Knight fan, the Warren Ellis run on the character from a few years ago was fantastic, as such I have been very excited for this series. The first episode met my expectations for it, but struggled to exceed them as like many others have said this first episode was a lot of fun but it wasn’t perfect.

I enjoyed the fact that this episode felt like it had a different age rating from the rest of the MCU in that it actually allowed things to be gory or frightening and didn’t have to make everything so that it would appeal to audiences of all ages, this gave me some hope for characters like Ghost Rider and Punisher in the MCU.

Moreover, of what we have seen so far I appreciated Isaac’s performance, I know for some this accent is a little fake or grating, personally, though it may be a little confused, I didn’t find it off putting. Furthermore, I thought Isaac was good in his role as Stephen Grant, even though it is not comics accurate.

My one criticism of the episode would be that despite the mature tone of other parts of it the episode still forced in some of the MCU’s brand of ‘humour’ which didn’t land for me and instead often took me out of it. I hope as things get more serious we get less of it, but I know I am probably just wasting my breath.

Overall, a very promising start that looks set to make up for the short comings of other Disney + shows like Hawkeye.

Pros.

The blood and gore

Isaac

A fresh story in the MCU

It feels like how I would imagine Moon Knight from the comics

Cons.

Less humour please

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Hawkeye: Partners, Am I Right?

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Kate, played by Hailee Steinfeld and Clint, played by Jeremey Renner, are assaulted on all sides and must fight for survival.

I do think this episode is continuing the trend of the last and is heading in a better direction for the show, that is less tied down with teen angst and dysfunctional families and is more interested in expanding the adventure and seeing how that connects to the wider world.

In that regard this episode finally brings back Yelena Belova, played by Florence Pugh, after months of rumours and leaks. Sadly, Pugh isn’t given much to do before quickly being rushed off screen, I suppose she will be developed more in later episodes, also for those of you waiting for Vincent D’ Onofrio’s return as the Kingpin you will be waiting a while longer.

I thought the high point of the episode for me was seeing Kate and Clint bond. We get several nice scenes between the two of them that do land in a satisfying emotional way and that do make you feel warm inside.

I think the series needs to do something better with Echo, played by Alaqua Cox, as right now she is not in anyway likeable and is if anything actually quite annoying, they need to do something to make her more empathetic towards the audience, otherwise she is going to become another Captain Marvel.

Also the start of this episode is quite slow as it returns Kate to her family and has them have a long drawn out scene which honestly is the worst part of the episode. As has been a constant during my reviews of this show I will say again they need to move away from the family drama because honestly it is dull.

Overall, a better episode that marks continued progress in the right direction however I do wish they would leave the family drama out of it.

Pros.

Bringing back Yelena

The heart

Kate and Clint bonding

Cons.

Echo

The family drama      

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Hawkeye: Echoes

3.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Clint, played by Jeremy Renner, and Kate, played by Hailee Steinfeld must escape their bondage whilst being pursued by new character Echo, played by Alaqua Cox.

I think this episode was a big step up from the previous two mainly because Kate’s parents were barely in it and it focused on action and advancing the plot rather than mindless teen angst filler.

I thought Echo was done marvellously well and can see why she is getting her own show. Her origin story immediately makes the audience warm to her and hate Clint, honestly the series as a whole makes Clint worse as he faces no consequences for being a mass murder; hopefully he will face some kind of justice by the end of the series.

I also enjoyed the series continuing the tease out Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin returning the MCU, I hope they actually deliver on this and don’t full a Boner with this one as well, as I think that would really start to annoy the fans as the series clearly knows what it is doing.

I think the downside of this episode for me was the action sequence as tonally it was all over the place. The most teased trick arrows feel naff and also Kate seem unphased at the prospect at blowing up a truck full of people with one such trick arrow which I thought was a strange bit of character development.

Overall, better than the first two hopefully it keeps this pace and we don’t have to suffer through anymore family scenes with Kate’s parents.

Ps. When I say parents I mean mum and step father, just thought I would specify.

Pros.

Echo

Clint’s emotional moment with his kids

Echo’s back story

The use and restriction of sound

Cons.

Issues with the action sequence   

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Hawkeye: Hide And Seek

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, briefly teams up with Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld in order to defeat The Track Suit Mafia and free themselves from the grip of New York’s Underworld.

This episode was better than the first, not hugely so, and certainly nowhere near the level of other Marvel shows but it was a small step in the right direction. Why? Well because things actually happened here and the series covered more than just the inner squabbles of Kate’s family. I would very much like the series to leave her family behind and focus on her and Hawkeye taking down the mob.

Thankfully for the most part they ignore the murder mystery aspect and focus more on Hawkeye’s efforts to stop the Track Suit Mafia and get the suit back, which leads to two entertaining scenes. The first being the larping scene as having such a self-serious character as Hawkeye pushed into this silly situation is just funny no matter how you slice it. The other is of course the final scene introducing us to Echo, played by Alaqua Cox, which is fun as it teases out further heroes in the MCU and expands out the coming Daredevil mythos.

I still truly believe the major thing holding this show back is the family melodrama. Whenever I see Vera Farmiga’s mother character or her finance come onto the screen I turn off as I don’t want to watch another family spat, it was tiresome to begin with, now it is just annoying.

Overall, slightly better but still a long, long way to go.

Pros.

Echo

The larp sequence

The wider universe teases

Cons.

Still too much family drama

The pace is still deathly slow

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Hawkeye: Never Meet Your Heroes

2.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld, has her world turned upside down when she discovers and wears Hawkeye’s, played by Jeremy Renner, Ronin costume from Endgame causing her to become hunted by The Track Suit Mafia.

I think coming off the bat of the other Marvel Disney + shows this one felt disappointing. I appreciate the return to a more street level affairs but this episode is so deeply slow paced that it is almost a slog to get through. For the most part we are dealing with Kate’s family drama, which is neither interesting nor engaging: most of the scenes therefore drag on and on and you are left wishing for something interesting to happen.

The murder mystery angle doesn’t really come into effect until the end of the episode but it is mildly interesting at best, again from everything we have had before it feels very low stakes and honestly it would have been more interesting if Kate began investigating the criminal underworld of New York in order to find out more about The Track Suit Mafia and just left the mystery alone.

Vera Farmiga is in this series for some reason, she doesn’t do anything other than serve as a nagging mother figure for Kate, clearly the writers aren’t very good on this one, and Farmiga’s character is relegated to an annoyance whenever she does show up on screen.

Hawkeye is in this episode but he mostly doesn’t do anything either, he goes to an Avengers musical………. In my mind he only really appears for the last 5 minutes when he comes in to save Kate.

Overall, an incredibly slow start, with a weak mystery and annoying side characters. Of course it is watchable and Steinfeld is promising but the series as a whole really needs to improve.

Pros.

Steinfeld

The ending

It is watchable

Cons.

Vera Farmiga

The family drama

Terrible pacing

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The Eternals: The New Gods Of The MCU

4.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

A race of space faring beings known as Eternals have been on Earth for thousands of years and now they are finally stepping out into the limelight in order to save the world, naturally.

Major Spoilers Incoming

The trailers for this film did it no favours. Then the critics reviews came in and savaged it for the most part. I went in with incredibly low expectations, however I was pleased to say this might have been one of the best MCU films so far.

To address the main concern up front the action in this film is used sparingly, as in to say there is less here then in other Marvel films, however what is here is used well. The action scenes often carry with them a large amount of tension and stakes that help them to feel more than just the standard mashing of two CGI figures together. A good example of this is the jungle action sequence in which the Deviants have tracked the Eternals down and ambush them this feels incredibly tense.

A lot of people have said that this film has pacing issues, is too long, and is too talking heavy. I disagree with all of those statements. I enjoyed the character focus, it was a nice change from the bang bang nature of most MCU films, the conversations were mostly always incredibly impactful either to establish MCU lore, which this film does beautifully, or to create a connection between us the audience and the characters.

Speaking off, every character here is done well and you become attached to them. Over the course of the film you really do become enamoured with the character drama and are excited to see where it goes. Even bit characters like Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman aka Black Knight are given moments to shine. Speaking off make sure to stick around until the second post credits scene as there is an incredibly exciting one teasing out the future of Harrington’s character and Blade?

My one complaint of this film would be the Deviants. This complaint is threefold, firstly the Deviants all look the same, bland CGI heavy baddies that feel cut and paste with a deeply uninspired design. Secondly, the film does nothing interesting with them, midway through it plays with the idea of Deviants being a sentient race who are just trying to stay alive, just like the Eternals themselves which creates a nice dichotomy however the film does nothing with it. Thirdly, in the final act of the film they just abruptly kill off their leader and that is the end of the Deviant threat as other characters and beings rise up to become villains of the piece.

Overall, one of the most meaningful and impactful films in the MCU a real gem in its hat, if only the Deviants could have been used better.

Pros.

The characters and performances

The post credits scenes, mainly the final one

The emotions and the powerful dialogue scenes

Using action in a smart way

Breaking the MCU formula

Cons.

The Deviants

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What If: The Watcher Broke His Oath?

3/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Uatu, voice by Jeffery Wright, assembles the Guardians of the Multiverse to fight back against Ultron.

This was a good episode, but it wasn’t as good as the previous week’s episode and that is the crux of why I feel disappointed.

There was infinite possibilities for what they could have done here, but the no new characters rule again hamstrings the series. Instead of new characters and abilities we get the same old same old, Thor, voiced by Chris Hemsworth, using his hammer, Gamora, voiced by Cynthia McWilliams, using a sword, etc- we have seen that before. The only interesting part of the battle was seeing the various monstrosities that evil Dr Strange, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, could summon out of him.

I thought the ending had promise, though was also a little bit sloppy. The ending sees the evil Dr Strange holding the warring factions in a pocket dimension never to be allowed out, they will obviously escape. I just think they could have done so much more with it, with Zola and Ultron and maybe a combination of the two, but no.

I liked that this episode brought back a lot of characters from most of the episodes of the show and helped it feel connected together, rather than just a series of one-offs.

Overall, a strong ending but not as good as the penultimate episode.

Pros.

Assembling a new team

The animation

The promise of what the ending brings

Cons.

The ending feels a bit too easy

It would have been nice to see some new characters feature

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What If: Ultron Won?

4.5/5

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

Ultron, voiced by Ross Marquand, is not defeated and has achieved his aim in removing life from the universe, now he has his sights set on the multiverse.

This was what I wanted from What If right from the beginning. Finally, after almost the entire season the show gets me to stand up and take notice. Why? Well for two important reasons. Firstly, this episode fixed one of my biggest issues with the show as a whole namely that Uatu, voiced by Jeffery Wright, is barely a character and has no purpose beyond reading out exposition. Here he had a central role, and we explored his character further. Secondly, this episode also bucks the trend of keeping things self-contained and brings in characters from other episodes.

I am very excited to see where the show can go from here because with it now becoming a whole narrative rather than separate individual tales it means we could see a new team arise in the final episode, a defenders of the multiverse perhaps; that will of course carry over to live action.

Furthermore, I think this episode does justice to Ultron. The threat is very present here and Ultron becomes a rival to Uatu himself which highlights just how powerful and intriguing the character can be when Joss Whedon is not writing him.

Overall, a stellar episode and one which has me excited for what is to come next week.

Pros.

Getting Ultron right

Having characters crossover

The ending

Giving Uatu focus and exploration

A strong sense of threat

Cons.

The human story was less interesting and felt like a distraction

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