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With this six-episode cadence that Marvel/Disney+ shows all follow, they have a lot of work cut out for them. Sometimes, they must present a new character, the main goal within a supporting world, develop an antagonist, and tease story elements for the future. Ms. Marvel‘s (hopefully season) finale does a lot to solidify all these factors with the strong pillars it’s built. Before ‘No Normal,” Kamala (Iman Vellani) goes on an entire journey that’s led her to the past, present, and all parts of her heritage. Within this excavation, it heals familiar trauma with her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff) and grandmother Sana (Samina Ahmad). When Muneeba can see what Kamala can do as “night light,” the magic in the Khan family comes full circle. It’s a beautiful cross-section, allowing Kamala to walk through her generational gifts.
When Muneeba has her moment in Karachi and, at the beginning of ‘No Normal,’ gives Kamala the costume, the finale peers through her father Yusuf’s eyes (Mohan Kapur). He’s proud of Kamala, but is concerned (as any parent would be). Yusuf also tells Kamala the origin of her name and that it means Marvel in Urdu — a beautiful moment serving as the final stamp of approval of this hero’s journey.
Before the finale, the Noor, who served as the main antagonist, is dead and gone. It makes sense for someone like DODC agent Sadie Deever (Alysia Reiner) to become the primary impediment. She was utterly disrespectful of the mosque on two occasions and held some prejudice within her — with a series so rich in culture and Pakistani muslin identity, it, unfortunately, mirrors the real world. Imagine being a minority, but also having powers. It makes you that much more of a target. This is more interesting given the information Bruno (Matt Lintz) tells Kamala about her genes. Marvel has elected to go away from the Inhuman explanation of Ms. Marvel’s origin, but has selected a new (mutation) one. Given the cartoon theme, which plays briefly as it focuses on Kamala’s puzzled look, this has to be a door to the X-Men coming into the MCU.
When Kamran (Rish Shah) and Kamala talk about themes of acceptance in this world and making choices about who you are, it mirrors the same ones Professor X and Magneto have. Kamran loses his mother and spends much of this episode running away from Damage Control. He has no reason to believe life will be standard for him in a place not his home. Magneto feels this way because he sees the depths of human depravity during the holocaust as a young boy. Kamala believes the good in the world will ultimately outweigh the evil if you show people the way. Professor X is the personification of this principle.
It’s the attitude of young Marvel heroes so far, and we will see how it manifests once more as battle reps happen. ‘No Normal’ injects a good amount of action into the episode, using Kamala, Kamran, and their friends in a Home Alone booby trap setting. There’s humor in how Aamir (Saagar Shaikh) interacts with Kamran and a resolution between Kamala and Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher). Zoe (Laurel Marsden) goes away from the typical popular girl trope to someone who wants to use their following for good. Ms. Marvel came, saw, and conquered — giving us a teenage hero to root for, history lessons and a much-needed view of different backgrounds, and something to anticipate for The Marvels next year.
Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel