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.
Aisha’s story is explored in this week’s episode as Kamala learns about the origins of her family’s powers.
From the first episode, Ms. Marvel has been a breath of fresh air in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its joyful hero and focus on family. While this week’s episode is focused on Kamala’s great grandmother Aisha, it fits perfectly into the tone of the show. The historical setting of the Partition in Pakistan was a nice backdrop for a Marvel show, grounding it unlike the more fantastical entries we are used to in the superhero genre. The importance of family and the mother-daughter relationships are at the heart of the episode’s story, creating a great episode that feels like the perfect season finale as it wraps up the stories explored throughout the show.
Of course, there is still one more episode left in the season, and the episode ends on a cliffhanger introducing a new concept to be explored in the finale. I have my concerns that what is introduced is too much to fully explore in the finale, possibly setting up an action packed finale with little story development, which has been a downfall of too many Disney+ Marvel series. But the star-making performance of Iman Vellani will make whatever is to come in the finale a wildly entertaining ride as her journey in the MCU continues to unfold.
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 a historic newsreel, detailing the political change and civil unrest in India following the British relinquishing control of the country. Riots have begun between India and Pakistan, which is where we first see Aisha, running from British soldiers. She kills them with her knife, and eventually finds her way to a small village. There, she meets Hasan, who will become her husband. He offers Aisha a place to stay and food, but she resists and stays in the fields outside Hasan’s house. However, that evening she gives in and joins Hasan inside his house. There, they learn each other’s names, and Hasan explains the meaning of Aisha’s name: she who lives.
We then jump through time, seeing Aisha pregnant with Sana, Sana as a baby and growing up. Hasan describes the way that Sana looks at Aisha as if she thinks Aisha is magical. One day, one of their neighbours brings food and milk to their home, which upsets Hasan as he and Aisha can’t go into the market to get their own supplies due to the growing conflict. But, as the man leaves their house, Aisha spots a figure shrouded in darkness in their field.
Going out to see who is in the field, Aisha discovers it is Najma. Najma tells Aisha that the Clandestine thought she was dead, but now that they have found Aisha they can put their plan into motion to return to their home. Aisha tells Najma that of course she wants to help them get home and return with them, but that she has hidden the bangle for safekeeping and it will take time for her to retrieve it. Not buying this excuse, Najma tells Aisha that they will return the next day at sundown to return home to their dimension.
Aisha returns to her house, and quickly begins packing. As packing, she tells Hasan that they need to leave due to the growing conflict as the riots are spreading. Hasan is conflicted about leaving his home and what he has inherited from his family, but Aisha tells him it’s too risky to stay. Aisha then gives her bangle to Sana, promising her that it will keep her safe.
The following night, Aisha, Hasan and Sana leave their village. There is a mass exodus heading towards the train station so people can flee the conflict, but Aisha senses they are being followed. Hasan, seeing that Aisha is uneasy, asks her who that woman was and why they are actually leaving. Aisha shows him the bangle and its powers, catching Hasan by surprise. He asks her why she never told him about this, and she says that she’s telling him now that he has asked. She tells him that she is choosing their family, and whatever happens that Hasan must get Sana onto the train and away from the conflict. Hasan promises Aisha that nothing will happen to them.
At the train station, Aisha tells Hasan that someone is watching them. She gives him Sana and urges them to get on the train. In the crowd, Najma reveals herself and heads directly towards Aisha. She asks Aisha where the bangle is after accusing Aisha of turning her back on her family and own people. Aisha tips her hand and gives away the fact that the bangle is with her daughter. Knowing this, Najma stabs Aisha, and tells her that she will get the bangle if it is the last thing she does. Aisha warns Najma that the bangle won’t take them home, but Najma ignores Aisha and begins hunting down Sana.
Trying to get onto the train, Hasan has lost track of Sana, who has begun looking for her mother. As she is bleeding out, Aisha can hear Sana calling for her and crying. Aisha then pulls out a family photograph from her pocket of her, Hasan and Sana, and recits the inscription that is written on the bangle: what you seek is seeking you. As she says these words, her eyes begin to glow purple. At the same time, Sana drops the bangle which has begun glowing as well. Then, at the exact moment, Kamala appears in the train station.
Kamala finds Aisha as she is dying. Aisha mistakes Kamala as a grown up version of Sana, telling her that the bangle brought her back but they don’t have much time. She tells Kamala that the bangle will protect her, that she has everything she needs and that her daughter is now safe as Kamala is here. And before she can say anything more, Aisha dies. Kamala then begins searching the crowd for Sana.
After searching the crowd, Kamala finds young Sana and picks her up. She begins searching for Hasan, and eventually finds him on the other side of the crowd. She creates platforms with her energy to help Sana through the crowd to get back to Hasan. However, the platforms fail and Sana drops to the ground. But, Sana then creates stars, which make a path that leads her back to Hasan. Hasan thinks that Aisha has reunited him and Sana, as he embraces Sana and takes her onto the train. But Kamala knows the truth and that it was Sana who created the stars.
Kamala then wakes up back in the present in the marketplace. The Clandestine and Kareem wake up, and they all notice that the Veil has been opened.
At Sana’s house in the present, Kamala’s mother is calling Kamala’s phone, but Kamala is not answering. Her mother is freaking out, while Sana tells her not to worry. However, Kamala’s cousins suggest that they login into the phone plan account and use Find My Phone to locate Kamala. Like any good mother, Kamala’s mother questions why she is just finding out about this now!
Back in the market, one of the Clandestine tries to go through the Veil. But, the Veil causes her to crumble to stone and the Veil becomes more unstable. Kamala tries to use her powers to stabilize the Veil, while telling Kareem to get everyone out of there. Trying to plead with Najma, Kamala tells her that the bangle won’t help them get home and begs Najma to help her close the Veil. She tells Najma that she needs to think of Kamran, and not to leave him behind like she forced Aisha to leave Sana and her husband behind. But Najma tells Kamala that she has left Kamran behind because he chose to turn his back on the Clandestine, and tells Kamala there is only one way to close the Veil. She runs into the Veil, says Kamran’s name, and crumbles to stone. This causes the Veil to close, but it releases an energy that injects itself into Kamran back in the United States.
After closing the Veil, Kamala’s mother and grandmother arrive in the marketplace. While her mother is shocked at what she is seeing, she is more concerned about whether Kamala is ok. Kareem quickly leaves, but Kamala’s mother figures out that Kamala is Night Light. Sana quickly cuts in, telling Kamala’s mother that she kept telling her that their family was magical even if she wanted to deny that fact. Kamala gives her grandmother the photo of her with her parents, telling her that the story of being saved by the stars as a young child is all true. But Kamala tells her mother and grandmother that she has something to do and will see them at home. Before heading back home, Kamala’s mother picks up Kamala’s necklace, which has broken into the shape of a thunderbolt.
Kamala tracks down Kareem. Kareem tells Kamala that he has to tell the rest of the Red Daggers what happened, while urging Kamala to share this time with her family. Being concerned about Kareem, Kamala asks him if he will be okay. He says he will be and that he is proud of her. Kamala thanks Kareem for everything, and Kareem reminds her that he is just a phone call away if she needs anything despite warrants out for his arrest by the US government. As a parting gift, Kareem gives Kamala his red bandana.
While Kamala shares a beautiful moment with her mother and grandmother, looking through family photo albums and having her mother and grandmother mend their relationship, Kamran is on the run back in the United States. He tracks down Bruno, saying that he needs help. He tells Bruno that he needs to hide out at Bruno’s place so that his mother can find him. But a drone has tracked Kamran to Bruno’s home. Though, thanks to the energy from the Veil, Kamran unleashes a blast of power, destroying the drone. The drone crashes to the ground, but an explosion goes off in Bruno’s family store, as the scene cuts to black.
Again, slightly varying the comics, but Kamran now has his powers from the Noor energy. It’s not the Inhuman origins he has in the comics, but it looks like Kamran is about to follow in his villainous footsteps in the comic. The late introduction of his powers hints at another Ms. Marvel project to explore this plot line, as it seems too much to wrap up in the season finale next week given its recurrence in the comics. But it’s a good indication of a second season or big screen adventure for Kamala, which I will not say no to as Vellani is a delight to watch every week!
Will Kamran follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a villain? What is Agent Cleary up to? And will we get a big cameo setting up Kamala’s part in The Marvels? Check back next week for the recap of the Ms. Marvel finale to find out if we learn any of these answers as the wondrous origin story of Kamala Khan concludes its first chapter!