Miss Marvel wraps up too neatly


After six weeks of twists and turns, Ms. Marvel has come to an end and officially brought in the latest superhero to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, suit and all. Producing a good finale for a miniseries is tough when fans are already aware that the hero’s journey continues beyond, in this case on the big screen. Despite that, the latest Disney Plus series delivered a great episode, one that wrapped up a little too neatly in fact.

The first five episodes of Ms. Marvel had the perfect character development, all of which led to the moment the hero dons her costume for the first time. However, the series would have benefitted from a little more runtime as the finale seemed a little rushed in its attempt to wrap things up. The significance of some of the moments between the Khan family was lost, and had the studio spent a little more time exploring her relationships, it would have been an even more satisfying finale.

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When the story of Ms. Marvel began, Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan was introduced as a teenager growing up in an immigrant household in New Jersey. Her parents, especially the mother Muneeba, were overprotective, to the extent that she wasn’t even allowed to attend AvengerCon with her best friend Bruno Lintz. The only way she could go was if she went with her father Yusuf, dressed as “big Hulk, and little Hulk.” From the get-go, it was established that her mother was the more strict one, and over the course of the series, there are many moments where the friction between the mother and daughter duo is visible.

When Kamala and Muneeba visit Pakistan, the latter insists that Kamala only go out with her cousins. That makes sense, it’s a new city and Kamala isn’t familiar with it. But, when Muneeba finally discovers that her daughter has powers in Episode 5 of Ms. Marvel, the reaction felt a little lackluster. While it should have been more about shock or anger, Muneeba is seen smiling throughout the sequence. It’s a little confusing to see her look happy about her daughter being a superhero, especially when she isn’t even allowed to leave her home without supervision. To have her suddenly accept this massive truth without any questions seems a little out of character. This trend continues in the finale.

Returning to New Jersey, it’s time for Kamala to reveal her truth to the rest of the Khan family. Unfortunately for her, Muneeba has already spilled the beans, and everybody is suddenly on board. While the scene is hilarious, especially Aamir’s comment about the “Khan gossip train,” nobody has any real questions. Her family doesn’t seem shocked or worried. Aamir, who has always looked out for Kamala, makes a joke about her powers instead. Discovering that your sibling has powers should garner a more compelling reaction. Yusuf is suddenly “in awe” of her. The only redeeming moment in the scene is when he expresses his concern, and talks about how “just because [she] can do all these amazing things, doesn’t mean [she] goes looking for trouble.” Yes, her father is proud of her, but does he truly trust her to fight crime? Muneeba on the other hand urges him to tell Kamala that they trust her, another completely out-of-character thing for her to say.

The transition from being overprotective parents to extremely supportive ones seems to be missing a few links. The series should have explored this bit of their character development in a little more detail, perhaps changed a few sequences or conversations between them to make it seem more natural. One minute Muneeba is scolding Kamala for wearing jeans to an elite club in Karachi, and the next she is being supportive of her being “Night Light.” It felt too disjointed.

Another moment that felt rushed was the big reveal of Kamala’s costume. Ms. Marvel did an excellent job at developing the suit piece-by-piece, with hints scattered throughout the episodes. The red sash was a gift from Red Dagger, the blue vest given by Waleed, the mask created by Bruno, and the lightning bolt symbol inspired by her broken necklace. However, bringing it all together still felt rushed. When did Muneeba have time to get the outfit stitched? Tailors do not work that quickly, and the outfits often require alterations. But, for the sake of the series, even if she did manage to get it stitched, the timing felt off.

This is a mother who has just discovered that her teenage daughter has superpowers. She has been set up as an over thinker, and she hasn’t had any time to delve over the entire scenario. When the bangle first arrived in Episode 1, Muneeba forbids Kamala from using it, perhaps because she remembers her mother’s stories. To have this woman find out about her daughter’s truth and immediately get a costume made for her is so disjointed. The leap in storytelling seems slightly unbelievable. Granted this is an MCU series, and the whole universe is based on fantasy, Ms. Marvel has proven that familial relationships are one of the most important aspects in the hero’s life. This is one aspect that should not have been rushed.

Another moment that the series needed to spend a little more time on was Kamala’s reconciliation with Nakia Bahadir. When Nakia first finds out about Kamala’s powers, she is hurt that her friend didn’t tell her on her own. Following that argument, Kamala leaves for Pakistan, and the weight of their conflict is left up in the air. In the finale, when the two friends finally come face to face, the resolution didn’t feel satisfying. Nakia is on board with the plan before she has even spoken to Kamala about the elephant in the room. They are best friends, who happen to be teenagers. Resolving a conflict would not have been that instantaneous.

The final confusion in the Ms. Marvel finale comes in the form of Zoe Zimmer. Some fans had completely forgotten about Laurel Marsden’s character, as she hasn’t been seen a lot since the series began. However, she somehow manages to be at the school at the same time as Kamala, Bruno, Nakia, and Kamran, and is ready to help out with whatever plan they are brewing. She was set up as the popular character, who doesn’t seem to like Kamala a lot, but here she is, ready to fight alongside her in what could potentially be a very dangerous battle. It was refreshing to see that she wasn’t just a classic mean girl or bully, but once again, the transition was not smooth.

The Ms. Marvel finale was overall well done, but the situation with her family knowing about her powers and accepting it instantly seemed a little far-fetched. Perhaps more time should have been spent on these moments, rather than on some aspects of the Clan Destine. They were probably one of the most disappointing and weakest villains in the MCU so far, with their story adding absolutely no relevance to the future of the universe. Their introduction was interesting, and mention of the Noor dimension raised a lot of questions, but none of them were answered, leaving fans asking for more.

Ms. Marvel is streaming on Disney Plus.