Chris Connor reviews the third episode of Ms. Marvel…
After a very promising opening two episodes, Ms. Marvel’s third episode continues the momentum and while audiences might not be flocking in their droves as they have for other MCU shows, ‘Destined’ continues the winning blend of humour, family and escapism as it reveals more about the series’ antagonists and where Kamala’s powers come from.
As much as the first two episodes were fun, the lack of narrative thrust was noticeable and so it is welcome that we gain some clarity here on the direction the rest of the series might take. The episode opens with an interesting flashback to British occupied India in the 1940s, offering some answers to the mystery surrounding Kamala’s great grandmother Aisha and the origins of the bangle that has given Kamala her newfound powers.
It turns out Aisha was from another dimension and is part of a race known as the Djinn. The group hope that the bangle and Kamala’s new powers can return them home. It seems likely this will be the main thrust for the remainder of the series, adding an extra layer to an already busy show what with Kamala struggling to adapt to her new abilities and her responsibilities to family and friends.
The continued focus on Kamala’s family is most welcome; the show could quite easily sideline them as has been the case at times in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man films but they remain front and centre here as the preparations continue for Aamir’s wedding which is a focal point of this episode. ‘Destined’ pays homage to Kamala’s Pakistani culture while continuing to feel perfectly at home in the broader MCU showing the franchise’s potential to continue to diversify. And speaking of the MCU, there are some subtle but well-handled links to the wider franchise which will likely please die-hard fans.
Action is sparse, but with Kamala continuing to learn how to use her powers there are several fun set-pieces at the wedding which must rank amongst the most enjoyable in the franchise to date, including the use of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer which coupled with the needle drops of the first two episodes shows this series has understood how to use music to good effect rather than just for the sake of it.
‘Destined’ continues the emphatic winning formula the show has employed to date adding extra menace and threat to proceedings whilst keeping the focus firmly on Kamala and her family and still brimming ear to ear with unabashed fun and enthusiasm. Iman Vellani once again proves she is the perfect Kamala Khan but the whole cast continue to impress, making this a much needed standout addition to a vast and sprawling franchise.
One can only hope that the remainder of the series builds further on the foundation laid here and of course in the comics to further establish Ms. Marvel as a fan favourite. It will be intriguing to see how much of what works so well here is retained for 2023’s The Marvels but that is perhaps something to worry about at a later date.