‘Ms. Marvel’ Ep. 2 “Crushed” – Kamala’s Powers & Everything Else We Saw
This week’s Ms. Marvel’s “Crushing” sees Kamala getting the knack for her new powers while a mysterious new boy moves into town.
As expected, the second episode of Marvel’s newest TV series sees young Kamala Khan try to learn more about the cosmic glowing power bracelet she discovered in her attic. In the first episode “Generation Why”, we met Kamala, and her best friends and close family. After this week, the bracelet and Kamala’s family history are pointing to a big new source of power in the MCU.
This is a recap of ‘Ms. Marvel’ episode 2! So, so many spoilers past this point.
Ms. Marvel “Crushed” Explores Kamala’s New Powers
The episode starts off with the tried-and-true montage of her testing her powers. Thanks to the character’s doodle-stylizations, this feels fun and fresh. She describes her powers as “an idea come to life”. They test her abilities, and play around with size and weight. Kamala mostly works on mastering the ability to make and hold her bright, sparkly shapes.
Bruno also takes some kinds of beep-boop science readings and tell him that Kamala’s powers are coming from her. It looks like the bracelet unlocked a latent power within Kamala. Is this laying down groundwork to introduce the X-gene into the MCU? Or maybe retcon the Inhumans so Handsom Mount can be Black Bolt again? I have so many questions.
But one montage isn’t going to teach Kamala everything she needs to know about her powers! A good coming-of-age story wouldn’t be complete without something embarrassing happening at school. And when Kamala’s nose starts glowing, and soon after the bracelet starts glowing and she faints. Throughout the episode, use of the bracelet can lead to what looks like a portal and a blinding white light outlining the silhouettes of human figures. At the end of the episode, we can plainly see a woman in the light.
Kamala’s Powers & Pakistani History
During dinner, the Khan family tells Aamir’s fiancé about their family’s experiences during the Indian Partition, when the colonizing British split India and Pakistan. The event created a massive and violent refugee crisis whose effects are still felt today. Yusuf shares one of Mundeeba’s family’s old legends from this time in history. As it’s told, they had to get on the last train leaving the city, Muneeba’s mother (who was a toddler) got separated from her parents at the station. The little girl appeared on the train mysteriously, and could only recall later than she “followed a trail of stars”. Hmm… that sounds exactly like the cosmic-light stepping stones Kamala makes.
When this happens, Kamala’s bracelet starts to glow and she faints. So the bracelet is definitely trying to let her know that this is a family deal. To top it all off, the little girl’s mother (Kamala’s great-grandmother) disappeared after that day. Her name was Aisha, and Muneeba says that she brought great shame to her family – thought she won’t say how or why. And neither will her Naani when Kamala calls her to ask about the package she sent, which contained the bracelet.
During a community event, Kamala tries to consult the superior source of knowledge, a group of women brilliantly called the Illuminaunties. These oracles of rumor and gossip start to dish the hot goss about Aisha’s life. A few rumors fly around before someone says that Aisha killed a man. But as Kamala starts to ask for more details, there’s a nearly-tragic selfie incident that requires Kamala’s superpowered attention.
Kamran the Bad Boy
The teen love in this show just got a whole lot more triangular with the introduction of the mysterious new kid at school, Kamran. Kamala is clearly crushing hard, and Bruno is not having a good time. Perhaps if he did a Dirty Dancing number across his house he’d feel better?
I don’t want to assume anyone watching the show has read the comic. Let’s just say that Kamran is a character from the original comic. And as we’ll find out at the end of the episode, it’s no coincidence that the two of them met. Whether his intentions in this story are the same as in the comic, we can’t say. But the use of the “Bad Boy” remix feels foreshadowing.
The Agents are Still Here, and They’re… Weird.
At the end of the last week’s episode, we connected No Way Home Agent Cleary from the U.S. Department of Damage Control to the show. He and his fellow Agent are out to find this new superpowered human, and it doesn’t feel like it’s for anything good. Mostly because they’re pretty quick to get racist while questioning Zoe about the identity of the hero who saved her.
At the end of the episode, Kamala is on the run when she’s targeted by two drones of some kind. Could these be our first look at some of the Inventor’s gadgets? Before we can ask a second question, Kamala is surrounded by the fuzz from the Dept. of Whatever. When her sparkle-steps are shot out from under her, Kamran pulls up and shuffles her into his car.
Kamala’s Fuzzy Hat & Other Random Easter Eggs
This episode also featured another subtle call-out to Kamala’s love of Ant-Man. It was also a little meta – who among us hasn’t spent a moment in awe of Paul Rudd’s inability to age? I also really appreciated Muneeba and Yusuf showing their love for New Jersey state treasure Bon Jovi.
Shout-out to the Mean Girls cafeteria-style breakdown of the Mosque event. And the fuzzy hat at the party was a nice touch, that’s all I’m saying.