Ms. Marvel: Episode Two - 'Crushed' Spoiler Review

The second episode of Ms. Marvel is consistent with the first episode but loses some of its fun and replaces with a deeper dive into Kamala's family history and culture. Episode two that was titled Crushed was not a very big drop in quality from episode one, Crushed managed to delve deeper into culture which I think is a good thing for the MCU. The episode also has set up some mysteries that will likely be explored over the remaining five episodes. The mystery surround Kamala's mother's family history is very muddled right now, and the bracelet that gives Kamala her powers is part of it. After my first viewing, I was very perplexed by the story about the family history; but after repeated viewings I am starting to grasp what is happening. We met a new character in this episode, Kamran (played by Rish Shah) seemed so cool, but in reality, he feels like a spy. The end of the episode has Kamran saving Kamala from getting captured by Damage Control, how did he know it was Kamala, and what is his connection to the bracelet. I get the feeling Kamran's mother is the key because her reveal at the end felt like it was meant to be important. 

In my review of episode one I applauded Ms. Marvel for spending the time digging into the cultural and familial elements of the character, and episode two doubled down on it. I think I am enjoying the relationships of Kamala more than the superhero part of the show, seeing Kamala attempt to master her new powers. I am also still not past my issues with how she got her powers (bracelet), and how her powers are visualized (blue light verses stretchy skin). I have not seen enough of her using her powers in a way I find cool to make me accept this version of Ms. Marvel. I accept the portrayal of the character Iman Vellani, and I like what they are doing with her family, but her powers bother me. I hope there will be enough things I enjoy about the show so I will not keep going back to the powers. The character drama, and the family history mystery is fantastic so far. While this episode did feature Kamala using her powers to save a child in danger, there has not been a lot of action so far in the two episodes; but it has not needed the action to be interesting. 


The episode begins with Kamala going to school the day after AvengerCon, she is riding high on the previous night's events. Kamala bumps into Kamran, and then Bruno; and they realize everyone is talking about the events from AvengerCon. Bruno and Kamala are joined by Nakia (played by Yasmeen Fletcher), and they listen to Zoe (played by Laurel Marsden) recount the events of her being saved by Kamala. Zoe who over dramatizes the events decides to throw a party, she to sees Kamran and asks him to attend the party. Kamala and Bruno agree that Kamala needs to work on her skills to get better at using her powers. Bruno who is studying the bangle believes that the bangle (the bracelet) is unlocking power inside of Kamala. Bruno notices that there is writing on the bangle, but they cannot decipher what language it is. Kamala through practice is getting better at using the power, she is generating blue shields that she can step on and jump off of. 

Kamala and Nakia are late attending the mosque, but during prayer they can't help but notice the women's section is in disrepair when compared to the men's section. Kamala suggests that Nakia run for the mosque board position, Nakia agrees after having her shoes stolen. Kamala apologizes to her mother for lying and sneaking out, but she is also trying to get permission to attend Zoe's party. Nakia, Bruno and Kamala attend the party; and when Nakia and Kamala see Kamran without a shirt, they both develop a crush on him. The cops arrive to break up the party and Kamran gives Bruno, Kamala and Nakia a ride home in his very expensive car. Kamala and Kamran bond over some shared interests until Bruno interjects out of jealousy. Kamran drops them off and gives Kamala his phone number so she can call/text him for driving lessons. Kamala is smitten and arrives home and we get a song and dance number while she makes her way through her house and back to her room. Kamala doodles a picture of her and Kamran together and then her nose glows blue, so she panics and runs to the washroom. Nakia calms Kamala down by sharing that while she makes everything look easy, but everything was a struggle until she found her place. 

Bruno meets with the guidance counselor Mr. Wilson who informs Bruno that he got into CalTech, but Bruno is reluctant because it would mean leaving Kamala. Kamala meets Kamran after school to go driving, but she is forced to blow Bruno off who wants to talk to her about something. Kamala and Kamran end up going for dinner, and they talk about moms and Kamran says he and his mom are close as they have had to move around a lot. Aamir (Kamala's brother) and his soon to be wife (Tyesha) come into the same restaurant as them. Kamala panics because she knows her brother would be upset if she was on a date, so she tells Aamir that Kamran is their cousin. Kamala is at the dinner table with her family when her father tells Tyesha the story of Muneeba's (Kamala's mother) family history. Muneeba's family left for Karachi, and Muneeba's mom Sana went missing, but somehow, she managed to find her way to the train and her father before the train had left. Sana had told her family that she found her way back by following a trail of stars, Sana's mother also disappeared that night and was never seen again. After telling the story the bangle causes Kamala to have a vision of someone in a doorway of light; Kamala comes to with her family around thinking she fainted. 

Kamala calls her Nani through video call, and she asks her about the bangle and Nani replies that it belonged to her mother Aisha and then she says she has spoken too much about the bangle. Kamala asks her mother about Aisha, and Muneeba says that Aisha brought shame to the entire family. The family attends the Eid celebration at the mosque, and Bruno attends to help Nakia with her attempt to secure a position on the mosque board. There are factions within the mosque, and Kamala is to secure the votes of the illumin-aunties which is one of the toughest groups to crack. Zoe has been brought in to be questioned by Damage Control about the events of AvengerCon; Agent Cleary bonds with Zoe to try and get more information out of her. Agent Cleary's partner, Agent Deever manages to get that the superhero at the convention was of South Asian descent. At the mosque, Kamala is asking the illumin-aunties about her great-grandmother, they say she brought curses to those around her, she had a secret family and that she killed a man. A young boy wanting to take a cool selfie ends up dangling from the roof of the mosque. Kamala puts on her costume to save the boy, she manages to save him using her blue steps, but she has another vision, and the step disappears. The vision this time is clearly a woman (possibly her great-grandmother) whose hand is reaching out towards Kamala. When Kamala comes back to reality the boy is falling, but she is able to slop his fall by making blue steps appears to slow the boy down. There are police sirens, so Kamala attempts to escape except Damage Control drones find her and she is forced to use her powers to destroy the drones. The Damage Control teams is distracted by the explosion allowing a car to pull up (its Kamran) and drive Kamala away. Kamran has another passenger in the car, his mother who says she has been waiting a very long time to meet her as the episode ends.


Ms. Marvel has delivered another solid episode, but the question for me is why then do I find myself not caring about the show as much as I am. I like Ms. Marvel, but as I am currently watching The Boys and Obi-Wan Kenobi as well I find those shows are connecting with me more. The Boys is a show that I think is one of the most underrated shows out there, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is a continuation of a story Star Wars fans never thought they'd see. Ms. Marvel is a fun show, which has a lot of heart to it, but I wish I could connect with it more. I think learning more about the mystery of the bangle, and Muneeba's family history will help. I don't really understand how her powers work, and Bruno in this episode said the bangle is doing nothing but activating something inside of Kamala. An unfortunate trope of TV is the need to drag out reveals over the course of a season, if something is a limited series, I do not see the reason to drag things out. Ms. Marvel hopefully will start to reveal some of its mysteries in episode three. 

The mystery being teased in Crushed makes me think that Kamala's great-grandmother Aisha had a connection to the bangle. I also am going to theorize that Kamran's mother is Aisha's granddaughter making Kamran and her cousins. I am not sure how all of this will fit together, but I have a feeling that Kamran and Kamala are related. I also hope Bruno gets to talk to Kamala, I feel they left things in a bad place after she ditched him for Kamran. I know Bruno said the bangle is not supplying the power, but what else could be the source of the power. The depiction of Kamala's powers (blue steps) is a little bland, but I think there is room for it to get better/more interesting. To really appreciate all of what is happening you need to see the episode more than once, and you need to listen to almost every word of dialogue. There was even a Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani's character in Eternals) reference in the episode, could Kingo possibly be related to Kamala (which is why she has abilities). Since Kamala's powers are not based on the comic book version of the character, I am not sure where anything is going. 

I am going to give episode two of Ms. Marvel an 8/10, I think the topics being explored on the show are important. This episode explored the politics of the mosque (and the gender bias in it), and it also covered the Partition which is a terrible even in Indian/Pakistani history. I thought the first episode was deep, but I think the show is moving deeper now as the mysteries have expanded. I also found Kamala's parents even more likeable, her mother is showing a softer side that is hiding something painful. Ms. Marvel has done a fantastic job with the family and culture stuff, but so far has been lacking in the hero stuff. There have been enough good things about the show so far to keep me invested, but for a Marvel show I am not feeling wowed yet. Despite all the negative stuff I feel that Ms. Marvel is an enjoyable show to watch, and it rewards its viewer if they pay very close attention. The visual style of the show is cool, the cinematography is blah, but the animation style is really cool, and it adds something to the show. 

Thank you for reading my review of Crushed and stay tuned for my review of episode three. Let me know on how you are feeling about Ms. Marvel after two episodes. 

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