BSO Review: Ms. Marvel Episode 5 – BlackSportsOnline
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BSO Review: Ms. Marvel Episode 5

Ms. Marvel has struggled greatly with one simple aspect over its run, they simply didn’t give this show enough time in the oven. They rushed it out to meet the demand and it’s largely ready except for the length of the show. It’s just not long enough. It feels like they’re telling two different stories in this show and trying to cram it into one, even more so with the addition of not just Kamran, but also Red Dagger. By trying to give fans everything, they’ve barely given them anything.

I don’t know if the show’s main villain, Najma, has seen the end of her days or not, but if that was her story… Woof. She spent the entire show willing to harm anyone and anything to get back home. She even killed one of her own people. One of the four original Djinn of ClanDestine to be expelled with Najma, she decided was an impediment to the plan and stabbed her. So when we get to the end of the episode and Najma oddly sacrifices herself after a speech from Kamala, things really don’t make sense from her perspective. Who is this woman? A determined killer or a wishy washy servant of life? The writing sure didn’t help.

But even within these limitation, Ms. Marvel has definitely been able to stress the importance of family within the show. One of the most talked about, written about, and tweeted moments from last night’s show was Muneeba, Sana, & Kamala all healing three generations of their family’s hurt. The show has powerful moments throughout, it’s just these sudden wrap-ups to storylines that weren’t given enough time and space to come to life.

But I also want to talk about some positives the show did during this episode that I feel may become background noise because of the Marvel Machine’s workings. I first need to specify that I am a white bisexual male and I have never faced the kind of discrimination or cultural quirks that people feel dominate the TV whenever people are lucky enough to see representation of theirselves. For example, I haven’t had to live through years of seeing South West Asian and Non-Asian parents as tiger moms who are constantly disappointed in their daughters for the littlest thing. But the way they brought Kamala, Sana, and Muneeba together at the end of the train station if nothing else because it was genuinely different from the norm. Disappointment gave way to the amazement of having such a wonderful daughter and an incredible family.

These types of moments are important to people who don’t see it often on TV. People are multitudes of things; nice, angry, patient, impatient, hopeful, or distraught. We’re never one thing in one moment and for too long it has felt like that moment for SWANA mothers has been “disappointment,” but Marvel did anything but and it was a joy to see how something simple can have such a profound effect on the perception of something. Mr. Marvel has not been perfect on these issues, far from it. But perfect can be the enemy of good and it was good that Ms. Marvel opted to go this route and say we’re going to be different.

While the show felt like it had wrapped up the Noor, Unseen, Djinn portion of everything, I’m sure that’s by design. I hope and pray to Galactus that Marvel doesn’t do the “reveal the real bad guy in episode six” thing that they’ve been doing for so many of these shows, but there are a ton of questions that need to be answered and the most important one of these questions is about the origin of Kamala Khan and Kamran’s powers. Are they Inhuman? Are they DjInnhuman (I just made this up, but I really like it). We still have one more episode and I can’t wait to see how they explain all of this. There’s also one more bangle that is supposed to complete the power set, so that may also offer more answers as to the full origin of the DjInnhumans and their exile.

While we won’t get the full answers until we see Ms. Marvel returns in The Marvels with Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau, Marvel fans everywhere hope we at least get a solid glimpse of where this is all headed for these characters and the new powerful items they’ve introduced in Phase 4. Even outside of Kamala, we’re also trying to figure out the origin of another deeply Asian artifact in the Ten Rings Bracelets. Could the two items be connected? It could be possible and it would certainly be interesting to see how it worked out if they were. All in due time, though. For now we wait one more week. The answers are almost here.

Ms. Marvel airs new every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+ streaming service.

Kane Webb covers video games, comics, and film/tv for BSO and The Marvel Report. He also covers the USC Trojans for Athlon Sports. He is an entertainment journalist and you can follow him for more on Twitter: @FightOnTwist.

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