Kamala Khan is transported back in time to when India and Pakistan were divided during Partition in the latest episode of the Marvel and Disney+ Original Series, “Ms. Marvel.” In this episode, we finally learn about Kamala’s great grandmother, how she left the Djinn to start a family and how one particular Djinn took her life when she refused to open the veil between dimensions. We also learn how Kamala’s great grandmother was instrumental in bringing Kamala to the past to make sure her grandmother, who was a toddler at this time, was able to find her father and stay safe.
This is my favorite episode of the series to date. I loved learning about the Kamala’s great grandparents and how she was actually instrumental in her grandmother’s Partition story. As an American who is neither of Indian nor Pakistani descent, I will never be able to understand the importance of Partition to them. But I can appreciate how it’s being used as an effective storytelling device in the backstory of Ms. Marvel. I can appreciate the concept of a woman with a past just wanting to live with her family, losing that opportunity, but still making sure that family is able to live together even if she can’t join them. That story is powerful whether it’s real or fictional and it just plain works.
What doesn’t work is the slow pacing of Kamala learning her powers. While I appreciate that she’s a teenager and it will take her longer to learn how to control her powers than it would Tony Stark to learn how to operate the Iron Man suit or Steve Rogers to learn how to use the heightened abilities the super soldier serum gives him, she still needs to learn how to do more, faster. Right now, I’m having a hard time believing that she would be as helpful as she has been while knowing as little as she seems to know.
The other thing that didn’t work for me in this episode is the special effects when Kamran’s mother gives herself to the veil. When she turns into a skeleton, it’s an odd sight. While I understand that’s a weird thing to say following the events of “Moon Knight” where a giant bird and a giant lizard were fighting each other in Egypt, I thought those effects looked better. I can accept the fantastical nature of her turning into a skeleton, I just think it could’ve looked better.
All in all, I was wary of this series when it was announced. It’s not that I didn’t think it would be good, but rather that I wouldn’t enjoy it. I knew I wasn’t the target demographic. But the last two episodes have been right up my alley. I’m glad I stuck with it through the first three episodes that were clearly trying to appeal to someone younger than me. This is still my least favorite of the live action Marvel series released so far, but it’s still really good.
Ranking: 3.5 stars
What did you think of this episode of “Ms. Marvel?”