Ms Marvel Episode 2: Crushed released on Disney+ to yet more great feedback, thanks to its charcter and plot development, positive use of the Muslim religion, inclusion of Pakistani culture, family dynamics, mystery elements and high school culture!
The second episode of one of the highest-ranking Marvel projects to date (it is only surpassed by Black Panther on Rotten Tomatoes and ties with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) features Kamala Khan undergoing superhero training with her best friend Bruno; experiencing a high school crush on the new student, Kamran; struggling with understanding who she really is, helped by her best friend, Nakia; and in turn helping Nakia with her mosque board election ambition, where men are valued more than women.
In addition to the aforementioned plot points, the second episode of Ms Marvel also included some more “Marvel-style” elements, such as name-dropping both Thor and Kingo, a character from Eternals who is also a famous Bollywood star, an indirect reference to Black Widow’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame and the inclusion of the Department of Damage Control, who were referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and first appeared in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy.
The episode starts with Kamala and Bruno experimenting with her powers, where Bruno discovers that the powers are coming from within Kamala, not from the bangle itself. Bruno’s jealousy comes to the fore when Kamala develops a crush on a new British student, Kamran, who, at the end of the episode, helps Kamala to escape from the Department of Damage Control, only to reveal that his mother is someone whom Kamala has been seeing in visions. These visions are still a mystery to the fans and Kamala herself, even though she tries to find out the source of her powers from her Nani (grandmother).
This episode leaves a lot of mysteries to be uncovered: What is Kamala? Is she Inhuman? In the comic books, she was Inhuman, but Kevin Feige has declared that her powers are changed to make her more similar to the characters appearing in The Marvels, naming Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau. Despite this, Black Bolt appears in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Inhumans were first introduced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where three of them are main characters – Daisy Johnson, Lincoln Campbell and Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez – and one of the main villains is also Inhuman – Hive. It is possible that Kamala will be revealed to be Inhuman; Marvel is well-known for concealing things through half-truths and full-blown lies from actors until movies and episodes air.
More questions would be: Who is Kamran? Are his possible romantic feelings for Kamala faked so that she would trust him? Will Kamala eventually develop feelings for Bruno? Their friendship is PRECIOUS and one of the best things about the lovable Marvel show, and in the comics, they were romantically involved (to some degree), although Kamala also developed romantic feelings for Kareem / Red Dagger, who will also be appearing in Ms Marvel and is NOT Kamran, the person Kamala currently has a crush on. Three potential love interests…while Kamala might not be Inhuman, she may end up having as many potential love interests as Daisy Johnson / Quake, an Inhuman, who, at the end of the show, had five love interests over the course of the 7-season show and was involved in many love triangles.
Romantic subplots aside, who is Kamran’s mother and how is she related to the visions that Kamala is receiving? How is Kamala going to evade the DoDC? What is the mystery behind Kamala’s heritage? It is hinted that her mother’s side of the family have passed down Kamala’s powers through the generations, not only through Nani’s bangle, but also the reveal about Kamala’s relative “following the path of stars” when she got lost….