The Partition of Indie is one of the most complex events in the history of the region. The end of the British Raj brought with it consequences that are still being felt today. A move made out of spite, or something that was awarded to the people who ask for it. The event can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but one thing is clear, it was an event that destroyed families and hurt the region for decades and generations to come. This is why it is so interesting that Ms. Marvel makes it a big part of this new episode.
As we know, Kamala’s family comes from Pakistan, and in one of the latest episodes, the road Kamala has been on has now taken her back to her family’s roots. The last episode gave us the revelation that the vision Kamala is seeing because of the bangle, is not hers alone. The visions are being shared between her and her grandmother. It is in this way that both Kamala and her mother manage to go to Pakistan, to visit grandma, and for Kamala to finally get some answers about what is happening.
Episode 4 brings a great change of pace, as well, as a very welcomed change of setting. The urban setting of the first episodes will always be welcomed, but the series knows that it can become tiresome very easily. So changing the setting feels like the right choice at this point in the story. Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan. And also one of the biggest cities in the world makes for a fantastic setting where Kamala can get in touch with her past and also her future as she meets some new allies.
The episode serves as the introduction of Waleed, and Kareem, members of the Red Daggers, an ancient organization that is focused on protecting the world from menaces coming from another reality. It is nice to see Kamala meeting people who actually know what is happening to her, and with whom she can share her questions and doubts about her getting these superpowers and the responsibility that is attached to them.
However, while this episode has the most instances of Kamala using her powers, and that is pretty cool. The episode also feels off in ways that the previous ones didn’t. Episode 4 is directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and she certainly knows how to bring Karachi to life, and depict it as a huge and powerful modern metropolis. Sadly, Chinoy is having a really hard time doing everything else. From the weak action sequences to the strangeness of the actors in these new locations, episode 4 seems quite strange, and not in a good way.
The acting is the thing that stands out the most as off during this episode. When Kamala arrives in the city, for example, she meets two cousins she hasn’t seen for a long time. These two actors look the part and of course, they are well-intentioned, but they definitely don’t feel like real actors at all. Not because of how they look, but because their acting is pretty terrible, it doesn’t feel even one bit natural, and when acting in contrast with Vellani who keeps killing it as Kamala, the bad acting is quite noticeable.
The same thing happens when it comes to the action sequences. The choreography feels very limited, and it isn’t very impressive at all. The episode really pushes Kamala to use her powers more than ever, but while they are cool powers, they are not used very well. Their integration into the fight choreography leaves a lot to be desired. It is during these sequences that the episode finally reveals something about the Clandestines, our villains.
The Clandestines are not really good antagonists at all. Kamala basically hasn’t really had the time to know them, and they are already spitting the word betrayal, all around. The show hasn’t really made a compelling case for why are these people dangerous, what are their powers, and why they want to go home so bad? The motivations behind the villains are completely obscure, and they don’t look formidable at all. So, every time they appear to make Kamala’s life harder, they feel like fluff.
The episode does end on a very interesting note that could lead to an amazing episode next week, but only time will tell. We need fewer poor-quality action sequences and more character development, more lore, and stories about the djinns and about Kamala’s family origins. We are apparently getting all of that next episode, so we can hardly wait.
In some ways, episode 4 really packs a punch in comparison with the three previous episodes, but in some other ways, it could have been better if the show didn’t try to be an action TV series. The show doesn’t have the resources or the talent behind the camera to do it properly. The show should really just focus on Kamala as a character and develop the more magical, and mystic side of her story.