Ms. Marvel is finally over. It has been a rough road, as the show was never able to hit the landing in terms of tone, and its place in the enormous Marvel Cinematic Universe. For six weeks, the show went on and on about things that didn’t feel at all like the best Marvel has to offer. Some of the episodes, especially in the second half, must be some of the most boring episodes in a Marvel Disney Plus show so far. And yet, the sixth episode of the show ends with a bang. Not because of what happens in the show, but what it means for Marvel.
What does this episode mean for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What is the big revelation? Well, that is rather easy to say and is that with this episode Marvel finally opens the door for Mutants to be back into the fold. The word mutant has been taboo for most of the MCU’s existence, and it was avoided like the plagued by every single movie and show. Even when characters like Wanda and Pietro were brought to the universe, they were given different origin stories, leaving the mutant fans on a limb.
Once upon a time, when Marvel was almost in the process of filling out Chapter 11, they started to sell the rights for some of their most important properties to movie studios. This is the reason Sony has Spider-Man, and the reason the X-Men were, for many years, part of the 20th Century Fox machine. However, when Disney bought Fox a couple of years ago, it was almost a sure thing that the mutants, the X-Men would come to the MCU. They are right here. This is just the beginning.
It is sad, though, that this is the only thing people will be talking about when it comes to this last episode of Ms. Marvel. Yes, the last episode isn’t particularly good, but it showed potential for what the character, a second season should look like. Of course, more than in any other episode, this is where Kamala uses her powers and where the action is better directed. The directors of the first episode of the season are back, and they have proven that they really were the best at their jobs during the season.
The episode has an energy and confidence that episodes 2 to 5 never managed to have. Marvel could be a great content machine, but the importance of a voice with a vision behind the cameras proves to be as important here as in any other production. Maybe, Marvel should let these guys handle the entire season next time, instead of giving the job to people that don’t have the right sensibilities to make this kind of TV series.
So, the direction is a lot better than in previous episodes, but the writing keeps being just very bad. Laughably bad. The writers try to pull off comedy bits at the worst possible moments, and the emotional conversations are so on the nose that they feel completely unreal. It is the kind of writing that feels like a complete fabrication, as it lacks nuance and understanding of how people talk in real life. And this is only when talking about the dialogue.
The plot of the episode really drops the ball. Many storylines are just dropped. All the setup that was done for characters like Nakia, and Bruno, ends up going nowhere. It feels like the resolutions to their stories were completely cut from the final product, which makes you wonder why were they there in the first place. The Marvel Disney Plus shows are really suffering from trying to adhere to a template that doesn’t allow for flexibility when it comes to telling these stories. Episode 6 is the longest in the season, and it didn’t feel long enough.
The acting is just as regular as it has been in the show so far, which is to say serviceable, and nothing more. Vellani keeps being the ace in the hole for the show. She brings charisma and warmth to her character, even when the dialogue she is given is just atrocious. We have to say that in this episode, her performance did feel a bit off, maybe she was asked to do things that were too new to her as a performer, but her reactions and delivery didn’t feel right.
The rest of the cast do their jobs, but really there aren’t any memorable characters in this cast. Kamala’s brother, Aamir, comes back after having been forgotten all season, and he just used to be around an awful rendition of Home Alone inside a school. Nakia, is also given no time to resolve any of her issues with Kamala or with her campaign for the Mosque Council. It all felt really rushed and unfinished.
Like many other Marvel TV shows before it, Ms. Marvel could not reach the highs the movies have us used to. Marvel might have nailed the formula when it comes to delivering superhero entertainment to the big screen, but when it comes to delivering that same quality in the TV space, they are way behind in the game. They will keep improving on the formula. Maybe.