Chris Connor reviews the fifth episode of Ms. Marvel…
After the cliffhanger ending of last week, Ms. Marvel’s penultimate episode had to tackle the question of how Kamala would deal with being transported back to the 1940s. While the episode does of course address this plot point, we are treated to a lengthy portion dedicated to Kamala’s Great Grandmother Aisha’s story which has been heavily referenced in earlier episodes. This episode, along with the penultimate episode of Moon Knight, feel like some of the most introspective and risk taking storytelling in the MCU, both coming close to the series finales.
Roughly the first half of the episode depicts how Aisha met her husband and the childhood of Kamala’s grandmother. While these segments are sweet and different in nature to anything we’ve seen in the series to date, it is slightly jarring when the story does revert back to Kamala. It is a heartfelt and personal story for the most part reflecting the struggles of the community in the run up to partition and having the backdrop of the story play out against real events may divide some but gives an already lofty story some additional weight.
The two storylines don’t carry marry up perfectly here and ultimately it is the central storyline of Kamala that suffers with the resolution of her sudden jump to the 1940s dealt with in a matter of minutes. It certainly would have been enjoyable to see her interact more with the unfamiliar time period and world but with the finale looming this may have been one story thread too many. As such we quickly jump back to the central conflict against Najma which again feels resolved all too quickly although with an episode remaining there may well be some carry over into the finale.
It is a tad frustrating that a series whose pacing has been one of its strengths feels rushed all of a sudden, however there is the opportunity for the finale surprise. As with the previous episode we are treated to a cliffhanger although an all the more abrupt one, and it will be intriguing to see how the finale resolves some of the series’ threads ahead of Kamala’s return in The Marvels.
‘Time and Again’ doesn’t derail Ms. Marvel but it may prove to be one of its more divisive episodes. The continued focus on Kamala’s heritage and family is a clear strength and the opening half is a moving story that makes the most of a relatively short amount of time to capture the love of her grandparents and the risks they would take to keep their family safe.
Sadly when the main story continues the pace quickens, resolving a surprising amount of threads and leaving some nagging questions for the finale. While not perfect, this penultimate episode should still whet fans’ appetites for the finale of what has been one of the MCU’s strongest TV endeavours to date.