The Following Recap/Review Contains Spoilers for Episode 3 of ‘Ms. Marvel’
Ms. Marvel returns with a third episode filled with new developments expanding the mythos of Kamala Khan. Episode 2 was light on typical MCU-fare but filled to the brim with charming character moments. Since the first two episodes, Ms. Marvel as a show set itself apart from the rest thanks to the personality imbued into it by its creators. Episode 3 is somewhat of an exception.
Following the cliffhanger which saw Kamala escape Damage Control thanks to Kamran and his mother, episode 3 continues the angle of Ms. Marvel’s powers being a part of her heritage and culture. The episode opens with a flashback to British-occupied India in the 1940s. Focusing on Kamala’s great grandmother, Aisha, discovering and putting on the bangle while escaping British soldiers. It is then revealed that Aisha’s friends in the flashback are still the same age in the present day. Being from another dimension, their separation from Aisha leads to them discovering Kamala and the Bangle.
Compared to the previous episode, episode 3 of Ms. Marvel features a lot more of the exposition typical of an MCU project. The positive part of the episode comes from Kamala’s reaction to all of it. Her interactions with Bruno while trying to handle the gravity of the situation make those stereotypical superhero moments more interesting.
Another interesting angle is Kamala’s friend Nakia’s poor reaction to Kamala’s alter ego. Again, typical superhero fare, but something that is rarely seen in the MCU because of the lack of secret identities. Kamala’s inner circle is disapproving of her heroics, without knowing that it’s her. The family dynamics continue to be the strongest part of Ms. Marvel, and this episode is no exception. These internal struggles lead to some great moments with Kamala and her family, as she deals with these changes in her life. This is all done against the backdrop of a Nikah Ceremony, tying the story of Ms. Marvel and her culture.
Bruno’s part of the Ms. Marvel lore in this series helps to give an outsider take on the culture as well. The fact that Ms. Marvel is revealed to be a descendant of beings from another dimension known as Djinn, the way Bruno learns about what Djinn is through the eyes of Kamala’s father by telling him the story of Djinn helps viewers to understand the exposition much better. Bruno and his relationship with Kamala and her family is a very wholesome part of the show.
Speaking of these changes to Ms. Marvel’s origin story to be a descendant of interdimensional beings trying to get home using her powers is… Interesting, to say the least. Moreover, the way this ties into the overarching story of this first (and possibly only) season of Ms. Marvel
Still, though, the way this series is heading seems to be a very archetypal story grounded with some truly compelling characters and familial dynamics. While most of the MCU up to this point has had archetypal stories with sometimes not-so-compelling characters, it’s good to see that this show tries to fix one of those issues and therefore make it stand out from the rest of what Marvel has put out this year.
Najma, Kamaran’s mother, discovers Kamala’s hesitation to help the Djinn get to their home and decides to make Kamala help forcefully. This revelation comes just before a hilarious and heartfelt wedding dance scene that shows Ms. Marvel knows how to balance dramatic moments with moments of levity as well. The choreography is charming and helps ease the tension of viewers before the big dramatic moments.
What follows is an equally well-choreographed fight scene between Kamala and the Djinn in the kitchen as Kamala calls off the wedding to get everyone to safety. While some of Ms. Marvel’s powers make the choreography boring at times, such as the shield she puts up to protect herself, at other times it’s incredibly satisfying to see her use a giant fist to knock three enemies away at once. When all is said and done, Nakia discovers the truth about Kamala, and Kamala herself struggles to open up to her family about her struggles. The episode ends on a promising note, with her grandmother contacting her to reveal their connection through the Bangle and Kamala’s need to visit her as soon as possible.
Overall, episode 3 of Ms. Marvel is filled with exposition that manages to stay entertaining enough, although the story the series seems to be heading is a path that has been trodden many times before. Still, though, the creative team and cast behind the show put enough heart into it to make Ms. Marvel unique despite some of the cliche routes it takes its main character. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Grade – 8.5/10
Ms. Marvel Airs New Episodes Every Wednesday on Disney+