Ms. Marvel has reached its fifth episode and with it has proven that the Marvel Disney Plus shows have not really pushed forward the medium in the way they were supposed to do it. The Marvel shows seem to be following a sort of template that really doesn’t allow for any sort of exploration or development for its characters. Everything seems to be rushing to that sixth episode, and yet, none of those resolutions feel satisfying enough to warrant another season, with Loki being the sole exception.
Episode 5 of Ms. Marvel chooses to spend more of its running time one exploring the life of a character we have known nothing about. And while it relates to the family life of our main character, it feels like this is something that we should have learned so much earlier. What this episode tells us doesn’t really feel like the great revelation that should come out of an almost-season finale. It is very much a shame as the actors are not allowed to explore their characters to their fullest potential.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Ms. Marvel episode 5. Read at your own risk.
What Happened to Kamala’s Great Grandmother, Aisha?
Episode 5 turns back in time and gives us a history lesson. We are placed in the time of the British Raj, a government established by the British in India. At this time in history, India is a British colony, and it is looking for its independence. When India finally manages to become independent, the British Raj is abolished and their governors are getting ready to place the government of the country in Indian hands.
However, in one last act of dividing and conquering, the British Raj separates India by creating what is known as Pakistan, a territory that the Indian Muslims can call their own. This act separates the country and divides families. It is one last slap at the face of India before leaving. People are losing their homes, and a giant exodus begins. Before all of this happened we turn to Aisha, Kamala’s Great-grandmother, and we see what happened to her after she separated from Najma and the rest of the djinn.
Aisha is lost and has nowhere to run as she is being followed by British guards. She kills a couple of them before entering a village where he sees a man preaching about how India should be independent, and how this is the only way to create a future for their kids, and their country. Aisha is enthralled by the man’s passion. The man introduces himself and gives Aisha food and shelter. He is a simple flower salesman, but Aisha sees so much more in him.
They fall in love, and together they build a family. A baby is born. This is Sana, Kamala’s grandmother. While the couple is very much in love and happy about their family, they do have problems relating to money, and being Muslims. Muslims are not well accepted in their village. The scene really shows why when the new territory is created, many people choose to leave for a place they can belong to.
Najma discovers Aisha, and she also sees that Aisha is content with the life she has built in this realm, she doesn’t need to go back to the Noor dimension. Aisha tells Najma she has hidden the bangle. When the Partition begins and people have to run from their homes, Aisha and her family go to the train station, where they are separated. Najma kills Aisha. This is the moment when Kamala appears and is asked one last favor from her great-grandmother, to keep Sana safe.
Kamala received a picture from Aisha, and she helps Sana to find her father, who gets on the train not knowing his wife has died. Kamala jumps back to the future, where we see a portal to the Noor dimension has been opened.
What Happened To The Clandestines At The End?
With the portal to the Noor dimension opened, the last two djinns, Najma, and another one are excited that they can finally go home. When the other djinn tries to go through the portal, she is turned to dust. Kamala tries to stop Najma from doing it as well. Namja says she can go through it, she needs to do it. Kamala reminds Najma that she would be leaving Kamran behind, but the djinn doesn’t care. Najma turns to dust as well, and the portal closes as Kareen and Kamala use their powers to close it.
Kamala’s mother and Sana arrive to witness the closing of the portal. Kareen says goodbye to Kamala, saying he will always be at a call distance. Kamala’s mother is surprised to see that Kamala is the superhero that has been going around the neighborhood. Sana explains their family is magical. Kamala gives the picture to Sana, who recognizes the people in it. Her mother and father.
At the moment Namja dies and the portal closes, Kamran, who has been escaping from Damage Control, feels it, and he gets his bioluminescence powers. Without friends or family where to turn, he visits Bruno late at night. He introduces himself once again and finds out that Bruno is not really Bryan. He apologizes. However, Damage Control has followed him to Bruno’s place, and as he gets scared his powers go out of control. The episode ends with the store below Bruno exploding.
Did Bruno die? Will Kamala be capable of saving Kamran from Damage Control? We’ll get the answers to this in the season finale next week.