Kamala Khan Finds Out About Her Heritage, Bollywood Songs Become Important Part of MCU

Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest mini-series Ms Marvel is ticking all the boxes when it comes to minority representation and is giving Bollywood fans many reasons to rejoice as well. After mentions of Shah Rukh Khan and Ritviz’s songs in the previous episodes, the third episode has fully incorporated Bollywood as a part of MCU. However, it has more than that. The third episode titled ‘Destined’ picks up after the events of the second where Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel was chased by drones and saved by her friend, Kamran.

The episode begins with Kamran’s mother telling her about her great-grandmother Aisha and her heritage and takes us back to British-occupied India. Aisha, along with Kamran’s mother Najma and others, is looking for a magical bracelet that can help them go back ‘home.’ However, Aisha disappeared and since then, they are here in our dimension. While telling Kamala the story, Najma reveals that they are Djinns (much to her horror) and are exiled to our dimension. They need Kamala and the bracelet to go back to their own place. They are also called the Clandestine.

However, sending them back home would mean interdimensional travel which, no points for guessing, is an extremely risky thing to do. But the Djinns are in no mood to listen. While Kamala is happily dancing on Bollywood songs at her brother Aamir Khan’s wedding, they crash it only to attack her mercilessly. Kamran, after realising her mother wants to kill Kamala, decides to help her. Along with him and Bruno, Kamala tries to fight off the Clandestine. Her arm elongation and cosmic power come to use and she has a narrow escape with Bruno. However, the agents who were behind her and the bracelet, reach the scene and capture Kamran’s entire family.

While running away with Bruno, Kamala accidentally exposes herself in front of Nakia, who is visibly and understandable confused and angry. The episode ends with her getting a call from her Nani (grandmother) in Karachi who has the same vision of the train that Kamala had. She demands that both Kamala and her mother Muniba need to come to Karachi soon.

Unlike the other recent Marvel series such as Hawkeye or Moon Knight, Ms Marvel is till now low on action but it focuses on strengthening the character arcs and their bonds with each other. Family values and their importance is emphasised throughout the episode- whether it is Muneeba opening up to Kamala or Yusuf giving a pep talk to Aamir before his wedding.

The makers are also very careful and unapologetic while representing her religion and Pakistani or South Asian cultures or traditions. The powerful moments are in the simplest scenes and dialogues, like the Mosque committee member asking the agents to open their shoes next time they barge into their place of religion to find an enhanced human being.

The inclusion of Bollywood songs in the episode has also struck a chord with the fans who are happy to see a desi MCU wedding. All in all, the three episodes that have aired till now show the series as a teen comedy mixed with action and family values. The series is also about finding one’s identity and figuring out where one belongs. To say whether it is MCU’s one of the best is too early, but we can definitely call it one of its unique and quirkiest shows.

Ms Marvel is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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