The Marvel director opens up about Marc Spector and Steven Grant’s origin story — and how the show was careful in its portrayal of dissociative identity disorder.  

Moon Knight (TV Series)

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Moon Knight episode 5.

Moon Knight is nearing its final phase.

Marvel's trippy adventure series will soon come to a close, with the last of its six episodes debuting next Wednesday on Disney+. Over the past five weeks, Moon Knight has slowly unfolded its sprawling narrative, following Marc Spector and Steven Grant (Oscar Isaac) as they navigated dissociative identity disorder (DID) and served as human avatars for the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

Moon Knight has always embraced the strange, but the fifth and penultimate episode, titled "Asylum," might be the most ambitious one yet, answering many of the show's lingering questions and serving as an origin story for Steven and Marc. The episode follows the two alters as they try to navigate the afterlife and their own memories while guided by the Egyptian goddess Taweret.

Ultimately, they come to understand the origin of their DID: As a child in Chicago, Marc experienced unimaginable trauma when his young brother died in a horrible accident in a cave. Wracked with grief and living with an abusive mother, young Marc started retreating into his head, developing the alter of Steven Grant — named after the British hero in his favorite adventure film — to cope.

Ahead of the episode's premiere, EW spoke to director Mohamed Diab, who called "Asylum" one of his favorite episodes, thanks to Isaac's "magnificent" portrayal of Steven and Marc.

"His performance is unbelievable," Diab says. "The difference between Marc and Steven is so huge, yet they're so similar. He did a fantastic job developing those characters, and when he inhabited the two, they're completely different. He made them his own."

Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) and Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in 'Moon Knight'
| Credit: Marvel Studios

The show has introduced Marc and Steven's DID before, but "Asylum" fully explores the condition and how it's shaped each man's life. Isaac previously told EW that while preparing for the role, he thoroughly researched DID, citing Robert Oxman's memoir A Fractured Mind as a particularly helpful resource. It was that level of care and insight that Diab wanted to bring to the series' final episodes.

"I was not educated enough about [DID]," he says. "We know about the multiple identities, but I never knew why. Through episode 5, you understand that usually people who have DID are traumatized when they're kids, and they create a character that can overcome their fear or shield themselves from their fear. They create a character that didn't go through that trauma. I love how that's integrated into the story — it makes the whole show."

Diab adds that when he first pitched the project to Marvel with his producer wife Sarah Goher, he was intrigued to explore Marc and Steven's story visually, shifting between characters but always grounding the narrative in emotion.

"We saw it as a show that is very trippy and very fantastical, but it deals with a lot of mental health issues," Diab explains. "The thing that would make it even more trippy is to deal with everything in the most grounded way, to make you feel like it's a documentary or something made with a handheld camera. The acting is so serious, yet everything is so weird. I thought that could actually make the show better, just sending [viewers] into more confusion. It works because you're seeing it from the point of view of someone who has DID. It's like a trip into their mind."

With only one episode left, Diab is tight-lipped about how Moon Knight will resolve Marc and Steven's story. But, he adds, if audiences should know anything by now, it's to expect the unexpected.

"I hope it's a satisfying wrap-up to our story," he adds. "I feel it is. There are some surprises. I think the audience deserves a big action sequence, but it's more than that. It has some twists and turns, and I really feel like it's a satisfying ending to our journey."

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Moon Knight (TV Series)
  • TV Show
  • 1

Comments have been disabled on this post