Here’s Ms. Marvel Episode 3 Workshop! Let’s go! You can find these videos with the hashtag #MsMarvelWorkshop on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube!
What I Liked
1-We get a glimpse of British Occupied India. This is such an important period in South Asian history and it’s also very relevant to Kamala’s story.
2-I liked the intercultural elements of the wedding and also how both families seem so supportive of the couple. Both sets of parents join the dance and there’s an adorable misunderstanding of the shoe stealing game where Tyesha’s brother hides all of Amir’s shoes.
More thoughts on the shoe stealing thing: This is a tradition that happens before the end of the first wedding reception that marks the couple is going to start living together. (Baraat, shaadi, also read: consummating the marriage/going off to their wedding night.) The bride’s family steals the shoes so that the groom can’t leave with his new wife until he pays up for his shoes back. This exchange of money puts a really bad taste in my mouth because it objectifies the wife/bride and in the most blunt terms it seems to say: If you want to go home and have sex with your wife you need to give us money. This is the reason I told my family they were absolutely forbidden from doing this at my wedding, and as a matter of fact–my n2 sisters are also married and this didn’t happen at their weddings, either. Go figure!
3-I love the meaningful inclusion of Kamala’s other family members. This is very integral to the collectivist mindset that South Asian and Muslim families have. We see Amir airing out his doubts when getting married while being in grad school and broke. Then we also see encouragement from his dad in that heartwarming conversation where he tells Amir that being in touch with his emotions/living a life of passion dedicated towards family is a brave path to choose. Wow! Kamala’s dad seems to lie outside of the weird tropes of toxic masculinity/demasculinization of men. We also some of Kamala’s mom’s backstory and she opens up about a really difficult and personal topic: adjusting to life in a different place with a culture entirely different from her own.
My favorite scene was the DoDC storming the masjid. It works well as a plot point to further the story because it sets up tension in Nakia and Kamala’s friendship. It also furthers the discussion of surveillance on Muslim communities with the idea of “good” and “bad” Muslims in the eyes of the government. This false dichotomy is one that torments Muslim communities with vicious spy tactics. I also like how Shaykh Abdullah’s personality is developing–he can joke with the agents to try to ease some tension but he also put some boundaries in place later in the conversation, asking them to take off their shoes when they come back. I also love how he knows the DoDC agents will indeed secure a warrant and be back. He is a wise man.
I also love how the shaykh is Kamala’s spiritual guide, not only in faith but also as she’s becoming a superhero. I was almost bawling during that scene. It is so fitting and so perfect. He also seems like such an awesome guy because he doesn’t really mind being interrupted in the middle of a talk at the masjid and he also is chill enough to attend Amir’s mehndi, which is in a small house with both men and women present and kind of intermingling due to lack of space/the vibe that the Khan family gives off.
What I Disliked
I dislike the acceleration of the conflict with the bad jinn/Clandestines. It came out of nowhere and the show didn’t earn it. Najma wouldn’t try to get Kamran to woo Kamala further to manipulate her? She has a reckless strategy that isn’t well thought out. It IS making the story really exciting, however!
A Question for the Show
What is the dynamic between Kamal and her parents? Kamala and her mom share a vulnerable conversation that I just don’t think would realistically happen between them. Their relationship doesn’t seem like it would allow for a connection like that, in other words. Then, after Kamala ruins her brother’s wedding, there isn’t a blow up fight or any discipline? What’s the angle her parents are taking here and what is the dynamic the show is setting up? I thought her mother is the disciplinarian–why wouldn’t she completely lose it?
I hope to go into more depth on all of these issues and even more in upcoming podcast episodes on the show. Stay tuned to Brown Teacher Reads–on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. You can also find micro analysis videos on my recently launched TikTok! These videos will be cross-posted to Instagram!