Ms. Marvel: Crushed (Episode 2) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
In its premiere, Ms. Marvel introduced a vibrant and youthful heroic force booming with creativity and coming of age heart. Now, with its second episode, Kamala not only juggles new personal obstacles and powers, but also connects with a new crush and a hidden past.
Now that Kamala (Iman Vellani) got a taste of her powers at AvengerCon, she wastes no time learning how to use them, with the help of Bruno (Matt Lintz) of course. It’s still weird to see Kamala have powers that are vastly different from the comics, but Ms. Marvel goes above and beyond to establish this new version of Kamala’s Ms. Marvel in showcasing some fun uses of her powers and establishing some interesting lore. With the ability to conjure up anything that she can imagine, Kamala’s powers are very similar to Green Lantern and even though what’s been shown so far has been kind of bland, there’s a lot of potential for Kamala’s imagination to flourish with this power.
The montage of Kamala learning how to create platforms for her to walk on is full of interesting visuals and some fun moments with Kamala and Bruno. Even later in the episode when she suits up to save a boy from falling out of a tower, she shows that she can be the hero she dreams of being, but still needs some practice since she narrowly avoids not saving the kid. Along with understanding her powers better, Kamala also works in understanding the connection the bracelet has to her family lineage. Based on Bruno’s findings the bracelet draws power from Kamala, herself, so clearly the bracelet is tied to Kamala’s lineage and the starting point could involve a disgraced relative.
As Kamala and her family talk more about their family history and a conflict they survived during the Partition of India, it is brought up that Kamala’s great grandmother Ayesha supposedly abandoned their family during this time, but maybe it has something to do with this bracelet. Plus, Kamala keeps having visions of a woman reaching out to her, so it’s more than likely Ayesha. At the moment, we don’t learn much, but based on how the episode ends, we could know more soon. We’ll have to see if Kamala’s new powers and possible origins pay off, but for now Vellani continues to absolutely kill it in this series.
Vellani is truly having the breakout performance of a lifetime with the constant heart, charm, and hilarity she brings in every scene. She’s a total treat in all the parts where Kamala’s imagination takes over, including an amazingly unexpected musical lip-sync sequence, and makes you instantly connect with all her emotions. It’s really great that now after having this power, she exudes a sense of confidence and desire for change that anyone can get behind, yet she still isn’t perfect. She can still be delightfully clumsy, get ahead of herself, and lose her confidence, but it’s all what makes her so easy to love. Kamala continues to be a work in progress and it’s not only what makes her so great, but also a big reason this series nails adapting her.
It’s also great that Bruno gets some interesting story beats for the future with him getting accepted to a school across the country and their friend Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) gets much more screen time. Everything with Nakia and Kamala in this episode is great as it gives viewers a deep look into their lives as young women in their mosque and Muslim community. It’s great how Kamala inspires Nadia to run for a position of power in their community, especially since women are not often seen there, and it’s another great instance of Kamala being a heroic figure when she’s not suited up. Kamala and her group of friends are easily the best part of this episode, and this cast continues to shine with the great chemistry they have together.
Now, just one question remains: who is the villain? Well, while there’s no definite answer yet, there’s certainly something brewing with Kamala’s crush Kamran (Rish Shah). You can’t tell me that Kamran doesn’t come off super suspicious here. The way he’s clearly super athletic, immediately gets close to Kamala, and shows up in the nick of time before the government agency teased in last week’s post-credit scene makes him an easy villain suspect. Kamran has all the makings of an MCU villain twist and the final reveal of him driving around his mother Najma (Nimra Bucha) makes you wonder what their real endgame with Kamala is.
Ms. Marvel follows up its great premiere with an even greater episode that sees Kamala come into her own more as both a hero and in her personal life. Vellani continues to be a must-watch breakout force and its great how other characters get the spotlight to start their own story threads and a new introduction could lead to a villain debut.