The Disney + series falls apart before the finale
After the fourth episode of Ms. Marvel blew Kamala Khan back to India’s partition, the fifth and penultimate episode sends us even further into the past by developing the backstory of Aisha, Kamala’s great – grandmother. “Time and Again” opens with an old-fashioned documentary describing the partition before we plunge into 1942, where Aisha meets and falls in love with Hasan, an Indian independence activist. This starts an episode that contains an essential representation of an event in the real world, but sends this Marvel miniseries down a path that gets lost.
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There is something special about the story of Aisha and Hasan. A woman with magical powers who falls in love and has children with an ordinary man before her past catches up with her, is a story with a lot of dramatic weight. The problem is that this story feels like it belongs in another show dedicated entirely to it. What made Ms. Marvel so fascinating in the beginning was how it felt like a small scale growing story about a teenager who discovers she has superpowers. As this episode rolls around, Kamala hardly feels like the focus of her own show anymore, with much of the episode taking place in the past.
The series premiere, directed by Adil & Bilall, had such a fun style with the way the text appeared on the screen and all the ways Kamala’s drawings were animated. Unfortunately, this episode, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, forgets the style of the first two episodes, and goes down a more traditional period of pieces. As a result, the whimsical character of a growing Marvel Cinematic Universe miniseries has completely disappeared, especially with Kamala divorced from best friend Bruno, who only appears in a cameo appearance at the end of the episode.
At the heart of the series is about good and bad boys who pursue a magical object that can be used for better or worse. This cliché story is never completely used in an exciting way, but the episode contains at least one time travel concept that is worth seeing. After Najma stabs Aisha, Kamala returns to the past and leads Sana back to her father using a trail of stars, an incident previously referred to in the fourth episode. This incident could have been much more satisfying if there had been a flashback to that incident, and this episode played that flashback again with more context. However, the idea of having Kamala determined to reunite her family works thematically.
The episode has a personal layer as it was written by Fatimah Asghar, a poet and screenwriter whose family was deeply touched by the partition depicted in this show. The way Asghar uses his family history in his art deserves praise, and the idea of spending time developing Aisha and Hasan works well on paper. But in the context of a growing Marvel superhero show, the many ideas in this show never quite come together as they should. This may be due to how the tragic real event of Partition is put together with sequences and superpowers that are so heavy in CGI that everything feels artificial.
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Najma transfers her powers to Kamran and sacrifices herself to close the veil. This leaves the series in a tight spot, as it no longer has an antagonist for Kamala in the final. Najma is introduced as a villain in the third episode and killed in the fifth episode of a six-part miniseries, leading to her being a short, forgettable villain in a story that does not seem to know what it is doing. Kamala’s farewell to Red Dagger is emotionally empty, given that he was only introduced in the previous episode. This episode illustrates how the whole series needed more breathing time because it has not utilized a solid start. Everything leads to what could be another hasty MCU final, and all the audience can do is hope Ms. Marvel can somehow bounce back.
As ComingSoon’s rating policy explains, a score of 4 equals ‘Bad’. The negative outweighs the positive aspects, making it difficult to get through.