Ms. Marvel 1×03 Review: “Destined”

destined review ms marvel episode 3
Kamala gets serious after the Djinns hurt Bruno in ‘Destined’ (Screengrab: Ms. Marvel episode 3)

Fortunately, Ms. Marvel episode 3, titled ‘Destined’, didn’t waste time dragging out what Kamran’s mother wanted from Kamala. Unfortunately, Najma’s plan did ruin Aamir’s wedding and the change in Kamala’s origins has caused controversy in the Muslim part of the MCU fandom.

‘Destined’ opened with a flashback to 1942 in British-occupied India. We got to see Aisha working with a group of people as they searched for the bangle (that Kamala now wears). Apparently, the group was exiled from their dimension and wanted to go back home, with the bangle (there are supposed to be two of them) serving as the key. With the bangle being lost to Najma for decades, she’s glad she finally got to meet Kamala in the present.

Turns out, Najma and her crew (including Aisha) were Djinns, and their homeworld’s called Noor (the Arabic word for ‘light’). From what I could understand, Najma and her Djinn friends go by the name Clandestine (is it inspired by the same-name team from the comics?). They also have access to superpowers, but they can’t use their powers while on Earth. They need the bangle to open a portal to the Noor dimension and Kamala’s the only one who can help them.

Why didn’t Najma and her team take away the bangle from Kamala by force while the teen was sitting in Najma’s house? I don’t know. Perhaps opening the portal requires a sacrifice? That would explain the severed blue hand we saw in the flashback. 

Also, if the Clandestine aren’t able to access their powers on Earth, why were they still able to exhibit superstrength and summon weapons while fighting Kamala near the end of the episode? Hmmm. I guess, Najma’s supposed to be an unreliable narrator of sorts?

As for the change in Kamala Khan’s origins and making her have Djinn heritage, said change has, understandably, caused a stir in the Muslim part of the MCU fandom. While Islam does include bad Djinns and those that have accepted Islam, they are still beings connected to dark magic and the supernatural. Both things are forbidden in Islam. And that’s why having the first-ever Muslim superhero in the MCU basically be a Djinn isn’t sitting well with some.

According to reports, Ms. Marvel is already the lowest-viewed MCU series on Disney+, and having her be a Djinn could make a portion of the present Muslim viewers stop watching. That’s why I hope that the Djinn part of Kamala’s origins is revealed to be a fakeout. I would rather have Kamala be related to the Kree (connecting to the blue arm in the flashback) via Aisha and have that strengthen her link to Captain Marvel as the MCU develops Kamala’s story.

Both Kamala and her grandmother Sana got a vision of a Karachi train. So, let’s see what happens with Kamala making the trip to Karachi to learn more about her family history.

As for Aamir’s wedding, I think it was handled well. Seeing such a Muslim Pakistani-American wedding must have been something new for a bunch of viewers. And that’s a good thing. Representation matters.

Coming to another gripe I had, I feel that Muneeba’s a bit too passive as a mother toward Kamala. I get that she’s trying to be understanding of her teen daughter, but if I see my child being emotional while I tend to a wound and then proceeds to ring the fire alarm at my son’s wedding while dealing with four strangers, you bet I will be putting my foot down and pressuring her to tell me the truth. Kamala’s parents didn’t even ground her. Their reaction felt out of place, especially for such a desi household.

Other thoughts and questions:

  • Not Bruno getting hurt during the fight with the Djinn! Having said that, I’m still not a fan of Bruno crushing so hard on Kamala.
  • Kamran not being a bad guy (a departure from the Ms. Marvel comics) surprised me.
  • Does Sana have the other bangle and that’s why she was able to see the same vision Kamala did? Or did all the women see the vision but Muneeba kept quiet?
  • Yes to Nakia being elected as a member of her local mosque’s board.
  • The Ten Rings!

What did you think of ‘Destined’? How do you feel about Kamala possibly being a Djinn?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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