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Moon Knight Episode 1's Time Jumps Explained

Contains spoilers for "Moon Knight" Episode 1.

On March 30, Marvel fans everywhere saw the introduction of an all-new Steve into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but he's certainly not as calm, cool, and collected as the late, great Steve who carried a star-spangled shield. Oscar Isaac's meek museum gift shop worker, Steven Grant, is thrown into the deep end of a life-changing mystery in the debut episode of "Moon Knight" and, to make matters worse, he's having to do so while being yelled at by a lethal mercenary inside his head and an Egyptian god who looms close by. Certainly not your standard superhero issues — unless maybe you're Deadpool.

If conversations between two other tenants in his frontal lobe weren't bad enough, the first episode of "Moon Knight" reveals that poor Steven also deals with blackouts. That's right: As Steven begins to untangle the nature of his reality, which includes chaining himself up before he goes to bed and a deep fascination with ancient Egypt, he is also forced to grapple with shocking gaps in his consciousness. These aren't just any regular time gaps he's unable to account for, either; Steven snaps in and out of consciousness on the fly, often finding himself the only person left standing in a shocking sea of carnage.

So, just what is happening in these skips through time, and what does it mean for future "Moon Knight" episodes? Well, for that, we turn to Steven's other personality, the somewhat suspicious Marc Spector.

In Moon Knight, when Steven checks out, Mark checks in

In the first instance of Steven experiencing a time jump, the shy Brit wakes on a picturesque hillside in the Alps in the middle of the day. It's deeply unsettling because, as far as Steven knows, he had just settled into bed for the night back in London. As he tries to make sense of what's going on, an unseen presence berates him. "Go back to sleep, worm. You're not supposed to be here," the voice booms, much to Steven's confusion before it asks him to "surrender the body to Marc." 

From here, Steve goes through multiple blackouts in the same location. First, he is shot at by non-descript guards. Then, he is in a town square where numerous residents gather to be judged by Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke). Next, he regains consciousness and sees the bloodied bodies of Harrow's henchmen around him. Then, he passes out and wakes up during a car chase sequence. It's here in these time jump moments where Steven finds him holding a gun, or worse, driving in reverse down a mountainside. It's not because he is losing his grip on the situation, but because the Marc Spector personality is actually taking control of their shared body.

In this episode, every time there's a cut, it's a sign that Marc is taking over the body and handling a situation Steven isn't cut out for. The Alps sequence shows how it can happen a handful of times, for varied periods of time. The change from Steven to Marc also reveals how the latter personality manifests the Moon Knight suit, as seen in the final moments of Episode 1.

Marc isn't the only personality sharing Steven's space in Moon Knight

So, how is it that two people are sharing the same body, and why are they so drastically different from one another? Well, it's here's where we refer to the comics to find out just what's happening and what's making both Steven and Marc tick.

Within Marvel Comics' expansive universe, we know that Moon Knight is the superhero form of Marc Spector, a mercenary who, after a mission gone sideways in Egypt, becomes the human avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon. The ominous supernatural being is described as a protector of those who travel at night and tasks Marc to become his vessel for justice and the "fist of Khonshu." Complicating matters further is the fact that Marc lives with dissociative identity disorder, which results in other personalities emerging as time goes on. So, per the comics, there is Marc, who is arguably the prime personality, and Steven Grant, the second personality able to wrest control of the host body from Marc. The duties of Khonshu not only are Marc's burden to bear, but they're also Steven's.

So far, only two of the three personalities who inhabit Marc's body (Marc included) from the comics have made an appearance. But, what's interesting is that Steven is the more dominant one on "Moon Knight" so far. There's no confirmation yet if Marc is the primary personality and if so, how that will affect the nascent relationship between the two. It'll also be interesting to see what both are capable of in their own right, and how that impacts the Moon Knight's power overall. 

We'll have to see how they get along when "Moon Knight" returns to Disney+ with a new episode on April 6.