Director: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Writer: Fatimah Asghar
Starring: Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Laurel Marsden, Azhar Usman
The fifth and penultimate episode of Ms. Marvel is quite different to what’s come before it. Instead of focusing on Kamala (Iman Vellani), we spend most of the episode in the 1940s with a lot of time spent unravelling backstory. The Indian partition had already been mentioned in the show, and with this episode we get to see the history of Kamala’s family during that period.
The episode starts with some archival news footage showing the effects of the partition and then dives into 1942 with Aisha (Mehwish Hayat) on the run and finding Hasan (Fawad Khan). The couple fall in love and start a family while the tension in their country starts rising.
Ms. Marvel has been at its best when its focused on family and been more dramatic rather than a typical superhero story, and this episode is no exception. It feels like a history lesson hidden inside a fantastical adventure, in a similar way to classic Doctor Who episodes. The focus on the relationship between Aisha and Hasan is really well done, and doesn’t feel forced or rushed, even if it’s only for one part of one episode.
Kamala doesn’t even appear in the episode until it’s well over half way through, following up on the cliff-hanger ending of last week’s episode. When she does appear it’s all go, with some of the best moments of the series so far. The last ten minutes are excellent and perfectly set up what will hopefully be one hell of a great finale.
Ms. Marvel is genuinely a joy to watch every week. As the series has progresses it’s lost some of it’s more cartoony quirks, but it’s still very entertaining. The characters are magical and feel like real people. This week’s episode was something special with the long flashback and world building. It also manages to sidestep one of the most frustrating clichés of superhero shows later in the episode. Let’s hope the final episode sticks the landing.
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