Marvel Mondays – Ms. Marvel: Episode 5

Plot summary: Kamala learns the truth about her ancestry and things start to heat up for Kamran back in New Jersey.

Notes

Episode Title: ‘Time and Again’

Air Date: July 6th, 2022

Directed: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (2)

Written: Fatimah Asghar (1)

The manner in which people die from the Veil of Noor vaaaaguely resembles the way Agents of Shield showed Terrigenesis, the transformation process that gives Inhumans their powers. I maintain AoS is not canon to the MCU, but speculate away.

Kamran glows blue when using his powers. In the comics, he is blue all over and has bioluminescence abilities.

Kamala’s broken necklace previously said her name in Urdu and now resembles her Ms. Marvel logo.

Aisha’s appearance while pregnant exactly matches one of Sana’s paintings of her from Episode 4.

Recap

In 1942 India, Aisha meets and falls for Hasan. The two have a child together, Sana, but are later forced to flee to Pakistan to escape a vengeful Najma.

Unfortunately Najma fatally stabs Aisha, and Sana becomes lost in the crowd. Kamala sees this and conjures a series of ‘stars’ with her powers to guide her back to Hasan.

Back in the present, the Veil of Noor has begun to open and kills anyone it touches, including Najma and the remaining Clandestine.

Kamala bids farewell to Kareem and has a heart to heart with her family.

Back in New Jersey, Kamran inherits Najma’s powers. Freaked out, he goes to Bruno for help.

Damage Control track him down, and while Kamran destroys one of their drones, but it blows up Bruno’s shop on its way down.

Review

They should have done a full episode set in 1940s.

I’ll talk more about the acting below, but Aisha and Hasan’s relationship was plenty interesting enough to carry an entire episode. If I had my way, we’d get even more of Aisha separating from the Clandestine, her time as a vigilante on the run and founding The Red Daggers (implied last episode). I would also have shown a few more scenes of her and Hasan’s life together.

What I would have done aside, this section of the episode was head and shoulders above what came after it, and is more in line with the version of the show we all felt more enthusiastic about early on. Why? Because it was carried by acting and human connection. Well… human and Djinn. Whatever, it was charming and wholesome and should have lasted longer.

I didn’t HATE the rest of the episode, it’s just that it was difficult to feel much about it at all. The Clandestine have sucked from the jump (more below), mudding up the entire show quite honestly. Every time they’ve appeared, things have taken a downturn. Worse than that, their teased Bad Thing That Might Happen, the opening of the Veil of Noor, kind of just… came and went. We got a small tear, it killed whoever touched it, Najma sacrificed herself and it closed. Back to New Jersey we go, I guess? Obviously they could return to it, with Kamran (accidentally or not) starting to open a different tear stateside, but alllll of this stuff has been uninteresting. Also I went from feeling that a one episode break from Bruno, Nakia etc. was fine and refreshing to thinking they made a mistake by leaving them out of a third of the show. Sure, Bruno is back for 2 minutes at the end, but still.

They did manage a few cute moments with Muneeba, particularly the old photo of her Bon Jovi days, and her acceptance of Kamala. Plus as I mentioned in previous episodes, I love how her costume is gradually being assembled one garment at a time, with her gaining Kareem’s scarf in their farewell (he and The Red Daggers now feel a little bit of a waste of time in retrospect).

There should probably have been eight half-hour episodes too, because this is yet another instance of Marvel trying to land a lot of plane with not very much runway. They’ve eliminated the worst part of the show for the most part, and can just get back to New Jersey where the fun cast are, but I can’t even really imagine what the end of this show looks like. Sometimes that’s a good thing, as you don’t want to be too predictable. But that kind of ending is done on purpose and in a shocking ‘whoa, how the hell are they going to get out of this one?’ manner. This feels like they’re going to try and cram multiple episodes’ worth of material into 40 minutes and we’ll all hate it. On the one hand, the directors of the first episode are back for it, on the other, those damn What If…? boys are back too. Truly, it will be a coin flip as to whether we talk about this show in ‘what might have been’ terms, or if it manages to steer itself back in a more favourable direction.

We’re not going to talk about The Rules of Time Travel. Endgame breaks its own logic at the end, and Loki lets them hand wave everything anyway.

Most Marvellous Player

The Queen is Dead. Long Live the Queen… and King. Yes, despite closing in on the unheralded honour of me choosing her as the best actor for every episode of an MCU show, Iman Vellani falls at the penultimate hurdle. She was still good, but with so little screen time she didn’t really stand a chance.

Instead, I’m going with joint winners in Mehwish Hayat and Fawad Khan as Aisha and Hasan. I will qualify that this was by no means Emmy-worth acting, but the pair were excellent individually and had lovely chemistry, and as mentioned above, I would have happily watched a whole episode of them. Aisha’s prickly exterior giving way to a loving woman who truly seemed at home made complete sense, because Hasan was one charming dude. You can run all the strats you want, but a one-two punch of self-deprecating humour and being able to recite poetry is undefeated. Plus he was a proud activist who quite rightfully told the British to go to hell. Truly, a babe.

Zenobia Shroff was good again too, and in my opinion hasn’t been praised enough throughout the show.

Villain Watch

Lolololol. RIP, Clandestines. You died as you lived: ineptly. Truly, why even bother with them? Every one of them went down in unmemorable fashion, leaving minimal impact on the show. Najma is the one exception in that she has ostensibly passed her power to Kamran, who could end up as the villain of Season 2 (I’m not saying that’s a good idea). But really, this is a bottom of the barrel entry in a long line of underwhelming antagonists.

Damage Control tracking down another South Asian teenager with a drone is the kind of villainy I’m looking for from this show. It fits the narrative, ticks a box in terms of art imitating life, and is a very small-scale level of evil, rather than say a door to another dimension that could kill everyone on the planet. I’m not saying they’re Good, but they’re a more organic choice.

Plugs

My MCU podcast, Ben & Matt’s Marvellous Journey has already finished for another year, taking a look back at Marvel’s 2021 projects alongside Ben Phillips. We’ll cover this show and the rest of the 2022 fare early next year.

In its place, There Will Be Movies returns THIS WEEK for its fourth volume, wherein Ben and I will look at 25 of our favourite films from the 1980s.

Published by

Matt Waters

Brit dude who likes both things AND stuff and has delusions of being some kind of writer or something. Basketball, video games, comic books, films, music, other random stuff.

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