Ms. Marvel continues its run on Disney+ with “Destined.” This is the third episode of the superhero series that follows a young Pakistani-American girl in Jersey City with a bangle that gives her supernatural powers. The episode’s opening sequence provides a backstory to the bangle with a flashback to 1942 as Najma, Aisha, Fariha, and Saleem discover and want to use it to return to their dimension. Aisha leaves with the bangle, and decades later, the others meet with Aisha’s great-granddaughter, Kamala. This episode is another enjoyable addition to the MCU that expands the story of Kamala Khan.
The first two episodes were very small-scale with their coming-of-age vibe about a high schooler who loves superheroes and becomes one herself. However, this episode expands the scope of Ms. Marvel by introducing the ClanDestines, also known as the Djinn. These enhanced beings were exiled from the Noor dimension, and it’s a fascinating concept to be introduced into a cinematic universe already exploring multiversal travel. There is also an excellent scene where Nakia prevents the DODC from searching the mosque without a warrant, showing her ability to stand up for herself and her community.
We have a very grounded story as the episode displays Kamala’s joy upon going viral on TikTok for her daring rescue in the previous episode. It captures the feelings of being a teenager, and the show has been phenomenally written in its smaller moments. The organic dialogue between Kamala and Nakia sells their friendship in a series that continues to feel accessible to mainstream audiences and unique to Muslim culture. The characters are brought to life by wonderful performances by Iman Vellani and Yasmeen Fletcher and the skilled direction by Meera Menon.
The episode also delves into Kamala’s secret identity in a fashion similar to the Spider-Man films, where Kamala is surrounded by people with strong opinions on this superhero, and she must decide how to conduct herself accordingly. Abdullah has a phenomenal quote: “Good is not a thing you are, Kamala. It is a thing you do.” The writing is strong not only in the dialogue but in its choices in how to explore its characters. Kamala’s traditional strict parents are given more nuance when her mother shares her story of immigrating to America and finding a community, which speaks volumes to many with similar experiences.
The episode then sets up the stakes of how dangerous interdimensional travel can be, but Najma does not care, acting out of her own self-interest. Kamala attends a wedding where Kamran warns her about what’s coming, and the ClanDestines pursue her in a well-edited, entertaining chase/fight hybrid set to the tune of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer.” The first two episodes featured Kamala rescuing people from accidents, but this one increases the stakes by having a group of supernatural antagonists after the hero. It’s easy to tell that the show is saving certain information for later in the series and is having as much fun as it can now.
Ms. Marvel remains a delight. This is a harmlessly entertaining episode that feels relatively safe in its creative decisions and knows how to deliver an enjoyable experience despite not yet becoming one of the MCU’s better TV shows. While the attempts at representation can occasionally slow down the story’s pacing, they are authentic and consistently enough to put a smile on the faces of any viewer, with Kamala dancing at a wedding and a band named Brown Jovi. “Destined” is an enjoyable watch that sets up more to come.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.
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