Ms. Marvel 1×03 “Destined” explores Kamala’s whirlwind emotions as she grapples with the reality of her powers. Her new abilities, which prove to be more of a menace than a saving grace, make her rethink her destiny and think about the terms “good” and “evil.”
Kamala is a sweet, adorable, angel-energy woman who tries her best to help the people around her. During this entire episode, she is troubled by all those who have been questioned or are concerned about Ms. Marvel’s intentions. She is primarily concerned with the way her powers reflect on her community.
She thinks she is “evil” or destined to be Djinn. However, towards the end, as she focuses on saving lives with some old-school tactics, she realizes that she can’t “be” good; she has to “do” good. And she does. She does good by helping everyone get away safe from the Noor clandestine.
Kamala worries about burdening all those around her, and if she asks for help, what collateral damage will she cause? So the question is, who will end up hurt? Sometimes, destiny is just another word for collateral.
“Yeah. We’re Pakistani. We roll pretty deep.” IF THAT AIN’T THE TRUTH.
As someone whose sister’s wedding reception is in a few days, I feel this statement on a level above personal. Family does not just equate to immediate; it includes extended, removed, relocated, relinquished, etc. If you had chai and a samosa at our house? Yeah, you’re now a cousin.
The wedding scene was beautiful, from the clothes to the Henna party, to the wedding reception design, to the Nikkah. Every aspect of this wedding was rich in culture and not glamorized for consumerism. I want to note that dancing is not specific to all South-Asian weddings; sometimes, religiously, dancing is not part of the reception.
While the dancing may not be specific to every South-Asian wedding, I did love the routine and honestly believed Bruno was included so that all the aunties could laugh. His dancing is what I like to call “moves-adjacent.” It’s not exactly right, but A for effort.
Also, it would not be the wedding it is without aunties passing their comments about some young woman. I mean, it’s just not complete without some level of passive-aggressive generational vendetta.
Overall, the wedding and cultural inclusion were spot-on and well done. It added that lightness that countered the moments where Kamala was struggling.
For immigrant parents, their greatest dream is to come to a country that offers them and their future family security and safety. This is Muneeba and Yusuf’s hope, and while they may be doing well now, “the American dream” isn’t everything it’s chalked up to be.
Many immigrants work so hard for so little when they first arrive. As Kamala said, you want something so much, and when you finally get it and it’s not as great as you imagine. It takes so much for many immigrants to make their homes and lives stable, let alone anything else.
This is why Muneeba emphasized that the mosque made her feel less alone. Even if those at the mosque are not immigrants, they still understand the culture and values at the root of many immigrant Muslims. They can understand the struggles of culture in the new world, allowing newcomers to feel less lonely.
Aamir even expresses his frustration when he talks about his financial struggles before his wedding. He brings it up because he only wants to ensure his wife has the best possible life he can give her. Aamir leans on his family because, after all, home is where family is.
Families help us through every struggle, and I’m not just talking about blood family, so I genuinely hope Kamala tells her family about her newfound powers. She will never feel at home unless she has the support of those around her. Family is home because a home requires support, and that’s exactly what people can do for you.
Noor, or “light,” is a common word and name used by Pakistani Muslims. That was one aspect of the beginning scene that had me floored, even though the undercovers may be evil. The amount of Urdu used within the correct context in Najma and Kamala’s conversation made my heart swell.
Speaking of the clandestine, I don’t know what to think of them yet. It seems they may be evil; as Kamran so adequately put it, “they will kill everyone.” However, what is it that they have done? What are they looking to do? Is it just about going home?
The fight sequence was an outstanding masterpiece of awkward and eloquent fighting. Kamala isn’t a perfect superhero with years of masterfully honed self-defense moves. She’s a teenager. She’s an awkward teenager. But still, she fights with instinct and everything she has, and she has help.
Bruno helps in the fight- sort of, and Kamran KICKS ASS. Ultimately, they manage to save everyone, the clandestine get arrested, and we are left with far more questions than answers by the end of the episode. All we know is that we don’t know. Noor may be misunderstood, or they may be evil.
Just hear me out.
I ADORE Kamran, like fully adore. He helped out Kamala and warned her, against his mother’s wishes, and he is focused on helping her understand her new powers. He may be mysterious and suspicious, but he is pure good… so far.
Culturally, I would be THRILLED if Kamran and Kamala end up together to eliminate the idea of a white savior and to be a little more culturally appropriate to most Pakistani-Muslim relationships. They would defy the odds.
On the other hand, I’m torn. Bruno knows her better than anyone; he would be her goofy sidekick while she locks in all the attention. He is familiar with her family, and everyone loves him. I’m a sucker for the best-friend trope, but the only problem is the potential for that relationship turning into a white savior trope.
While the tension between Kamala and Bruno is palpable when he tells her about his plans at Cal-Tech, and while they dance, I don’t know how to feel about them.
Then there’s this woman. She not only stuck it to some Damage Control agents, but she managed to gain the mosque’s trust and got elected to the board. Nakia has been putting the mosque and her community first. She is focused on improving her community and not becoming a target in the process.
I understand what Nakia must be feeling. Getting the spotlight is dangerous when you already have a target on your back. Mainly because “the spotlight can turn into an interrogation lamp pretty damn fast.” It’s like trying to maintain average while new concerns pop up.
It’s also frustrating when your best friend doesn’t tell you something that could help you. Nakia must be frustrated by being blindsided by Kamala, but I have no doubts Kamala will explain everything, and they’ll work it out. After all, Kamala never wants to hurt anyone, and Nakia knows that.
This episode was more woes than wins, and things will only get more complicated before they improve. But here’s one thing we know. Kamala Khan is born to be Ms. Marvel, and she is born to do good.