Warning: Contains spoilers for Moon Knight episode 5.
The reference to Ned Flanders in Moon Knight episode 5 hints at a possible Arthur Harrow twist. For most of the series so far, Arthur has been framed as an evil man who wants to punish people for wrongs they have not yet committed, but Moon Knight episodes 4-5 have challenged what viewers know to be real about him—and everything else. It’s possible that Steven Grant’s sarcastic comparison of Arthur to the animated character Ned Flanders may be more than just a bit of irony.
Ned Flanders is a next-door neighbor character in The Simpsons who is typically portrayed as being a friendly and good-natured person, if sometimes a little annoying. Homer Simpson especially loathed him despite his generally likeable persona, making for plenty of fun interactions between them over the decades. . Yet, the casual reference to this character in Moon Knight may actually be hinting at what’s to come in the show.
Referring to Arthur Harrow as Ned Flanders in Moon Knight episode 5 could be setting up for a reveal that the Disney+ series’ main villain was never actually the bad guy. The end of episode 4 introduced a surprising turn of events when Marc Spector seemingly woke up inside a mental health facility, where he presumably had been staying for some time with Arthur as his psychiatrist. Then in episode 5, Marc and Steven appeared to jump between realities, unsure which one of them was real — the world with magic and gods, or the one inside the psychiatric facility. If in fact the latter turns out to be true, then it would mean that Arthur was actually good all along, which would make for a much bigger twist than anything Moon Knight has done so far.
It’s difficult to ascertain at this point in the show whether everything that had happened in the beginning of Moon Knight actually did take place, or if it was all a series of hallucinations, as Dr. Arthur Harrow suggests in episode 5. If Arthur was indeed just a psychiatrist all along as he claims, then comparing him to Ned Flanders would be shockingly accurate. Just as Homer Simpson hated Ned without much of a reason for doing so, this reveal would make Marc and Steven’s dislike of Arthur just as unwarranted. Of course, this detail could just as easily be part of a larger misdirection in order to confuse the audience into not knowing what to believe.
Comparing Arthur to The Simpsons‘ Ned Flanders in Moon Knight episode 5 is either a great irony — since one character is truly evil while the other is inherently good — or it’s setting up for a great twist that Arthur was actually good all along. With only one episode remaining, Moon Knight has a lot of ground to cover in order to wrap up its many plot threads. Hopefully, at the very least, the show will definitively answer whether or not Arthur is actually as bad as he first seemed.
Next: Moon Knight Credit Twist Mirrors Episode 5’s Major Marc & Steven Change
New episodes of Moon Knight premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.