‘Time & Again’
A documentary-like flashback shows the day India got its freedom in 1947. The Partition brought along with it mass-scale brutality and unprecedented savagery that destroyed many homes and lives. Muslims, in hordes, migrated to Pakistan, while the few that remained in India lived in fear and pain for many years.
We travel back to 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi, who played a critical role in India’s independence struggle, launched the “Quit-India” movement. Hasan (played by Fawad Khan), meets his wife Aisha. Hasan participated in the nationwide campaign that took off on the back of Gandhiji’s rousing appeal to unite and oust the British.
Aisha evaded the interests of Najma and co. for a long time. In Hasan and their daughter Sana, she found a home she didn’t want to leave. His rose business provided for food, housing, and clothing. As the wheel of time turned, shouts of unification and one stronghold changed into vilification and ostracism of one religion from society. Hasan’s business suffered; so did Aisha’s grocery shopping.
Things changed for the worse as Najma tracked Aisha down. She demanded the bangle from her to get back home. This triggered a reaction from Aisha to leave the country immediately. Bags packed and their home left behind, the three made their way to a frenetic railway station to catch the last train to Pakistan.
This is where the two timelines converge. Episode 5 of Ms Marvel picks up with Kamala at the same station, brought there by Najma’s action on the bangle.
In the crowd, Aisha separates from Hasan and Sana, fearing that Najma will kill them all f she sees them together. When she does find her, Najma stabs Aisha. Sana has the bangle and is left behind Hasan, who rushes back and forth on the station to scope her out. Kamala finds Sana and comforts her. She uses the power of the bangle to nudge her towards Hasan. Suddenly, we see her following a trail of stars and finding her father.
So actually, Kamala’s grandmother Sana saw Kamala that night, who took her back to Hasan. It was her intervention that saved Sana’s life. Before being thrust back to her timeline, Kamala is given an old photograph by Aisha to give to Sana.
All the events have led to the veil showing itself and opening for the Clandestines to return home. As Fariha approaches it, she is frozen solid and then killed in one swoop. Najma tries to follow suit but is reminded by Kamala that she still has Kamran, her son in this world. She mustn’t sacrifice herself. But Najma feels that she is the one who can close the portal.
Before she dies, she takes Kamran’s name and we see her powers being handed over to him. Sana and Munneba use the “find the phone” feature to track down Kamala’s location. Both see her in action and Muneeba finally believes all the stories that Sana told her as a child. Kareem separates from Kamala to warn the others about the events.
Sana, Muneeba, and Kamala all sit together to talk about old memories, looking at photo albums and younger pictures from their past. They reconcile and are now stronger and more united as a family than ever. Kamran meets up with Bruno to seek his help and find a place for some days.
Unaware, he is tracked by a DODC drone that alerts the authorities of his location. He now has to fend off their attention and somehow meet with Kamala to decide the way ahead.
The Episode Review
Ms. Marvel continues to defy the norms and go back to the roots to present an authentic image of its cultural ethos. The entire episode never feels like a superhero television series. This time, the story was specific to one of India and Pakistan’s most troublesome, delicate historical chapters.
This also explained the origins of the Khans and the truth about Aisha. Fawad Khan and Mehwish Hayat turn in affecting performances in the episode-long cameos.
The former, especially, was being looked forward to by his fans and he doesn’t disappoint. Although it was still very superficial just skimming the surface, the very fact that such an important issue was brought in broad daylight and pop culture is a huge thing.
In hindsight, it will be viewed as the moment when most finally saw such a significant historical fact detached from American and European media. There wasn’t much happening to the story in this episode.
Najma and her group have fallen, thereby putting Kamala out of danger – for now. Kamran’s role was reinvigorated as going forward, he will be key to the DODC pulling their weight to capture them. The Khan family had a fruitful journey back home.
The final episode will be interesting to look forward to as the story does not seem willing to end here. More on that next week!