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.
We are family. All my cousins, Red Daggers and me. On this week’s episode of Ms. Marvel, Kamala and her mother travel to Pakistan to visit Kamala’s grandmother as Kamala searches for answers about her powers and her family’s history.
At the core of the entire series so far has been family. Whether it be Kamala’s relationship with her parents, with her brother, or her great grandmother’s impact on the family, the theme of family has been central to the story. And this theme takes centre stage in this week’s episode. There is not much plot development, but it’s a necessary episode to further Kamala’s personal journey and to set up what looks like will be an emotional and important penultimate episode of the season.
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 begins with Kamala and her mother flying to Pakistan to visit Kamala’s grandmother. Her mother is upset at her for “ruining her brother’s wedding” but calls for a pause on Kamala’s grounding while visiting Nani. While on the flight, Kamala continues to text Nakia trying to explain her superpowers, but Nakia continues to ignore Kamala’s texts.
In Pakistan, Kamala and her mother are greeted at the airport by Kamala’s cousins and Nani. They go back to Nani’s house, and Kamala finds one room full of paintings. The paintings were painted by her Nani, capturing images of what was lost during the Partition. Kamala asks her grandmother why she sent the bangle to her? Her grandmother says that Kamala is a djinn, but not to fuss about it as it is all genetics. She knows that the bangle is important, as the last time it was used it saved her life, and she knows Kamala will do great things with it. Kamala asks if the last time the bangle was used was the day her great grandmother disappeared, while her grandmother was reunited with her father after being separated at the train station as a young child? Her grandmother confirms that this was the last time, and that the train they both saw in the vision the bangle created was the train from all those years ago. Nani says that the bangle is trying to tell Kamala something, and that she is here in Pakistan to figure out what that is.
While sleeping, Kamala is plagued by nightmares of the bangle, the train, and the Clandestine, but she is woken by her mothers and cousin who have made lunch plans for the day at the local boat club. However, as Kamala wears jeans to lunch, they are forced to eat on the patio. This instigates a shopping trip for Kamala and her cousins, while her mother’s friend at lunch reveals that her mother was a rebel while growing up.
During their shopping trip in the market, Kamala’s cousin’s show her Karachi. Knowing that the train station is important to her vision, Kamala separates from her cousins, telling them she wants to check out the train station and that she will catch up with them afterwards. At the train station, Kamala finds an older section that is currently being restored. She puts on her mask and enters this part of the station, where a dagger is thrown at her, nearly missing her head. Then, Kamala is attacked by a young man wearing a red bandana, and a fight ensues. The man tells Kamala that he sensed the Noor emanating from her, which led him to the train station. During their squirmish, Kamala asks the man who he is, to which he responds by asking what she is. He says that she is not a Clandestine and that she must have got the bangle from Aisha, which catches Kamala’s attention. Kamala asks him how he knows about Aisha, but they are interrupted by local police responding to the fight. Jokingly, the young man tells Kamala to come with him if she wants to live, a great humorous reference to The Terminator, as he always had wanted to say that. Being more transparent, he tells her that there is someone she needs to meet.
The young man takes Kamala to a Chinese restaurant, which has a hidden room within the restaurant’s kitchen. The room leads to the base of operation of the Red Daggers, an ancient group dedicated to protecting mankind from unseen threats. The young man introduces himself as Kareem, while the older member of the Red Daggers introduces himself as Waleed. Waleed knows that Kamala is a descendant of Aisha, telling Kamala that Aisha’s story is legendary. He explains that the red scarf they wear protects the identities of the warriors who have taken up the mantle of being a Red Dagger. Kamala then asks Waleed what is the Clandestine and what is she? Waleed explains that the Clandestine and Aisha are from another realm, and opens a holographic map showing their realm and the Noor realm. He continues, telling Kamala that there are multiple dimensions existing around them that they cannot see, but explains that their dimension and Aisha’s dimension are connected by Noor. He warns Kamala that if the Clandestine use the bangle to tear down the veil between the two dimensions, it will unleash their dimension onto ours which will destroy our dimension. He urges Kamala that the bangle must be kept safe, but then notices an inscription on the bangle that he had not heard of before in any records. Transcribing the inscription, he tells Kamala it reads “what you seek is seeking you”, but he doesn’t know what it means.
Back in the United States at the Damage Control maximum security prison, the Clandestine prisoners are being moved within the facility by guards. However, they overpower the guards and escape. But, Najma orders that they leave Kamran behind as he decided to betray them and help Kamala instead of them.
Back in Karachi, Kamala returns to her Nani’s house and finds Nani on the rooftop patio, hiding from Kamala’s mother who is on a cleaning rampage. Nani asks Kamala if Kamala found what she was looking for? Kamala says that it is an education, but she is still trying to figure everything out. Nani tells Kamala she is still trying to figure herself out at her age. Hearing this, Kamala is surprised and asks if she thinks she will ever figure it out. Nani tells Kamala, why rush and just to enjoy life. It’s a wonderful moment between Kamala and her Nani. Then, Kamala receives a text from Kareem inviting her to a bonfire with his friends. Nani tells her to go, to enjoy being young and that she will distract Kamala’s mother.
While Kamala is at the bonfire, her Nani and her mother talk. Her mother tells Nani that it is time for her to move to the United States to live with them. The conversation moves to why Kamala’s mother originally left Pakistan, and she tells her mother that she didn’t want to leave her, but that she needed a change in her life. Kamala’s mother says that she was tired of being shunned because of her mother’s crazy theories, which hurt her. But Nani insists that the theories were true; but Kamala’s mother says that she didn’t need theories but her mother.
The next day, Kamala is back at the Red Daggers headquarters, where she is discussing her powers with Kareem and Waleed. Waleed believes that it is Kamala’s genetics that allow her to utilize Noor in this dimension, that it is her humanity which ties her to this dimension and makes her powers unique. As a gift, Waleed gives Kamala a fabric vest that he tells her is infused with history. However, the Clandestine break through the roof and attack Kamala, Kareem and Waleed. Kareem gets Kamala out of the room, as Waleed fights off the Clandestine. The three of them meet up in the street outside the Chinese restaurant, and begin driving away on a scooter. The Clandestine escape the Chinese restaurant, and follow in pursuit.
As they are chased throughout the city, Kamala uses her powers to protect civilians and stop the Clandestine from attacking them. Their scooter eventually crashes, causing the chase to change to a foot chase. Kareem and Waleed separate from Kamala, trying to lead members of the Clandestine away from her. Kareem becomes surrounded by the Clandestine, but Kamala drives a truck into the Clandestine members, giving Kareem and her an opportunity to escape. The Clandestine members who chased Waleed end up stabbing and killing Waleed.
Kamala and Kareem end up in a market, where Najma and the Clandestine surround them and they begin to fight. However, one of Najma’s daggers hits Kamala’s bangle, which causes Kamala to see another vision…
She is back at the train station during Partition. But this vision is different. Kamala is able to walk around and interact with the environment. It becomes evidently clear that Kamala has been transported back in time as the episode ends.
While the final moments of the episode raises some questions as to the powers of the bangle which will be explored next week, the big MCU moment of the week was the introduction of the Red Daggers. In the comics, Kareem, the Red Dagger member that Kamala is closest to, becomes a love interest for Kamala. So I’m certain that will cause even more trouble for Kamala, Bruno and Karman in the remaining episodes and in the future of the MCU. Also, with the ever growing nature of the MCU, I would not be surprised if Kareem takes a larger hero role going forward as Red Dagger.
What will Kamala learn in the past? Will she find Aisha? And will Karman join his mother or stand with Kamala. Check back next week for the next Ms. Marvel recap to find out if we learn any of these answers as the wondrous origin story of Kamala Khan continues!