Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Ms. Marvel and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Kamala’s high school life gets more dramatic as she develops a new crush while trying to hide her powers on the latest episode of Ms. Marvel!
While the premiere episode was focused on establishing the characters and their relationships, the second episode of Ms. Marvel begins developing the mystery that the rest of the season will discover. New characters that are positioned to be major players for the rest of the season are introduced, while the plot thickens as we learn about Kamala’s heritage and how it could potentially tie into her newly discovered powers. There are enough breadcrumbs dropped now that fans of the comics can begin to guess the series’ direction, but there are still lots of unanswered questions that keep the mystery alive. The performances continue to be excellent, and the film truly embraces its John Hughes roots with lots of high school drama and a couple of great soundtrack selections. While we are only two episodes into the series, I am already enjoying it way more than Moon Knight and think this could be as excellent as other Marvel series like WandaVision and Loki.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of Ms. Marvel, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt this week…
The episode opens with Kamala at school, telling Bruno that she has tested her powers’ limits to see what she can do. Unfortunately, she cannot fly or talk to ants. But the school is buzzing, talking about Zoe’s near death experience at Avengers Con and the new hero that saved her, who they are calling Night Light. Zoe describes the whole ordeal as life changing, which has inspired her to throw a party on Friday night to celebrate the fragility of life. And her first order of business: inviting the new student Karman, who Kamala has a crush on. Instantly, Kamala wants to attend the party.
After school, Kamala and Bruno begin training to test how powerful she is. They discover that the energy can be used to create a larger, heavy fist and small disc shaped platforms of energy. The scene turns into a montage sequence, during which Kamala quickly learns that she does not have super strength, but begins to get a handle on her powers. While training, Bruno is monitoring the energy, discovering that the powers are not coming from the bangle, but within Kamala. He theorizes that the energy has always been in Kamala, and that the bangle has somehow unlocked it.
Next, we see Kamala at her mosque with her friend Nakia for prayer. While the prayer is being delivered, Kamala interrupts pointing out the disparity in the conditions for the front half of the mosque where the men are compared to the back half where the women are allowed. The men and the imam do not appreciate the interruption, because this is how things are. However, this sparks Kamala to suggest to Nakia that she should run in the mosque board so she can effect this change.
That evening at home, Kamala apologizes to her mother about sneaking out to Avengers Con. Her mother tells her that she just wants her to be safe. With this reconciliation, Kamala then asks her mother if she can go to Zoe’s party, noting that Bruno, Nakia and her other friends will be there. Her mother agrees, but asks that Kamala come home through the front door this time.
At the party, Kamala is tricked into drinking an alcoholic drink and has an encounter with a shirtless Karman as she is standing on his clothes as he emerges from the pool. They share a brief exchange, but they are interrupted by cops busting up the party. Karman quickly offers to Kamala and her friends to drive them home in his car, and they leave the party before being arrested.
During the car ride, Kamala and Karman discover that they have a similar taste in music and film, much to Bruno’s distaste as he clearly has feelings for Kamala. While dropping them all off at Bruno’s, Karman gives Kamala his number so that they can arrange for “driving lessons” so he can teach Kamala who to drive. Very smooth Karman, very smooth…
Coming home from the party, Kamala enters her house, dancing to The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” as she can feel her love blossoming with Karman. He then texts her, and the two of them make plans for their first driving lesson.
At school the next day, Kamala’s nose begins glowing with energy. She quickly runs out of class and hides in the bathroom before anyone can see her nose. Nakia follows her to the bathroom, offering her hygiene products thinking that something else is happening to Kamala. Kamala kindly rejects them, telling her that it’s not that and the energy eventually disappears. Nakia tells Kamala that she knows she has been acting weird and tells her that she can confide in her about whatever she is experiencing. Kamala tells her that everything is changing really fast, and that she feels like she cannot keep up. She then asks Nakia how she makes everything look so easy. Nakia responds by opening up about her struggles, but that she finally realized that she didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Instead, she has to just do what makes her feel like herself, and decides that she will run for the mosque board. Before departing the bathroom, Nakia gives Kamala a gift for her first driving lesson with Karman: a scarf and a pair of earrings.
Bruno is meeting with the guidance counsellor, who has news to share with Bruno. Bruno has been accepted into an early immersion program at CalTech, fully paid for. However, Bruno is hesitant to accept on the spot. The counsellor tells him that this is his lead character movie moment, that Bruno is being offered a job working for a fashion icon and that he is Meryl Streep in the scenario (a fun reference to The Devil Wears Prada), and that Bruno just needs to say yes to the opportunity. But Bruno is concerned with the program being in California… most likely because it is far away from Kamala.
After school that day, Bruno tries to catch Kamala as she is leaving, wanting to train her powers with her. However, Kamala has plans with Karman, and tells Bruno that she can’t train but asks if he will be coming to dinner. Bruno says yes and that he will see her later, then watches upset as Kamala jumps in the car with Karman.
With a brief stint behind the wheel that is slightly better than her driving test, Kamala and Karman stop for Indian food. However, they are busted by Kamala’s brother and his fiancee, but they manage to trick her brother into thinking that Karman is a distant cousin of theirs. His fiancee is not buying it, but Kamala’s brother is fooled as his fiancee drags him away to give Kamala time with Karman.
That night at dinner, Kamala’s parents talk about how they came to the United States so that their children could be whatever they wanted to be. The conversation changes to Kamala’s mother’s family history, and the story of Kamala’s great grandmother’s disappearance during the violent Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As her father tells the story, something magical helped Kamala’s grandmother get on the train after she got separated from her father, but this event was also the day that Kamala’s great grandmother disappeared. But as he tells the story, Kamala’s mother is in the kitchen, visually upset by this story, indicating the effect this event had on her family and upbringing. Though, after the story is over, the bangle begins glowing and Kamala see’s a vision of a woman, causing Kamala to faint.
After dinner, Kamala calls her grandmother in secret from her bedroom. She is looking for answers about her great grandmother, but her grandmother won’t disclose any information as she claims it will upset Kamala’s mother. Hearing her on the phone, Kamala’s father tries to enter her room but Kamala uses her powers to keep him out, hoping to get any little bit of information out of her grandmother. But her grandmother hangs up on her, with Kamala learning nothing about her great grandmother. Kamala lets her father enter her room, who asks if anything is wrong. Hiding what she is up to, Kamala tells him that everything is fine.
The next morning, Kamala asks her mother what really happened to her great grandmother. Her mother says that she brought great shame upon the entire family, and that she had to move to the United States to escape the shame Kamala’s great grandmother caused. She has made it her mission to move beyond this shame, and she advises that Kamala should as well and stop asking questions about what happened.
Kamala meets up with Bruno and Nakia at an event for the mosque, and the three of them begin campaigning for Nakia’s run for the mosque board member position. Nakia corners Kamala’s father and tries to guilt him into voting for her, while Kamala promotes Nakia to the mosque aunties. However, she also digs for information about her great grandmother. They provide a great amount of rumours, including how her great grandmother may have killed a man. But, it is clear that they are not fans of hers, like Kamala’s mother.
Back at the Department of Damage Control, Agent Clearly has called Zoe in for questioning about the events of Avengers Con. He gets her talking by saying that he’s a fan of her video about low calorie popcorn. Zoe tells him that Night Light saved her, but that she did not know who the enhanced individual was. But Zoe does indicate that Night Light is of south Asian descent. Knowing this, Cleary orders that every temple and mosque be searched trying to find Night Light, but to be careful as the FBI is monitoring the situation.
A young boy is in the tower of the mosque, but falls out the window and is hanging onto a curtain for dear life. Kamala and the rest of the crowd see this, and Kamala quickly runs off and changes into her Captain Marvel costume. She uses her powers to create a path to get in the air below him, and creates a platform for him to fall on. The crowd from below cheers, capturing the entire event on camera, which begins to go viral. However, at this moment Kamala sees another vision of the woman, causing her focus to break and the platform saving the young boy disappears. He falls, but Kamala snaps out of her vision and saves him with her powers. He does injure his ankles, but otherwise is unarmed. Kamala is shaken by the whole event, and runs away.
While catching her breath in a nearby alley, drones sent out by the Department of Damage Control locate Kamala. She begins running and destroying drones, but is surrounded by the Department of Damage Control. Using her powers, she launches over their cars and sees a black car race up to her. It’s Karman and she jumps in the car. Once inside Karman’s car, she takes off her mask, revealing Night Light’s identity to Karman. At the same moment, Karman introduces Kamala to his mother who is in the back seat of the car, who has been wanting to meet Kamala. When Kamala turns around to look at Karman’s mother, she sees the woman she has been having visions of. Karman’s mother says to Kamala that she has been waiting to meet her for a long time, as the episode ends.
The plot thickens with the introduction of Karman and his mother this week. Without diving too deep into Karman’s mother, as we do not know much about her yet on the show, the introduction of Karman could have some larger MCU tie-ins. In the comics, Karman has Inhuman heritage that he discovers after being exposed to Terrigen Mist, and while he at first appears to be an ally to Ms. Marvel, he is the exact opposite of this. In fact, one comic storyline involves Shang-Chi, which could be a potential tie to that Marvel film as I already theorized last week about a potential connection between Kamala’s bangle and the Ten Rings. This would not be the first time we have witnessed Inhumans in the MCU, as they were featured in both ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans, but both shows have been largely written out of the main MCU timeline (Inhumans for obvious reasons, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at a great injustice), so this could be the beginning of a proper re-introduction for Inhumans in the MCU.
What are Karman and his mother up to? How is Kamala’s great grandmother connected to her powers? And why is Agent Clearly so intent on finding out Night Light’s true identity? Check back next week for the next Ms. Marvel recap to find out if we learn any of these answers as the next adventure in the MCU unfolds!