Ms. Marvel’s finale, “No Normal,” successfully bookends the mammoth task that Adil and Bilall took on in episode one. However, it differed from the middle of the series, which was tonally different as it focused more on Kamala’s (Iman Vellani) backstory and her family instead of throwing her in the chaos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the previous episode, Kamala finds herself in the train station in India in 1942 in “Time and Again,” which revolved around her great-grandparents, concentrating mainly on her great-grandmother, Aisha (Mehwish Hayat), who was a Clandestine herself. The episode unfolds the story of Aisha from finding the bangle in an Indian Cave with the Clandestines, to their separation, which leads Aisha to abandon her escape plan when she meets Hasan (Fawad Khan), who she would eventually fall in love with, settle down, and have a daughter, Sana (Samina Ahmad).
Kamala realizes that she was the magic that led her grandmother to safety all those years back and this realization jolts her back to the present. Najma (Nimra Bucha) is still trying to open the veil of Noor so the Clandestines can get back to the dimension, but the attempt starts vaporizing her, so in one final act of selflessness, she transfers her powers to her son, Kamran (Rish Shah). Kamala’s family finally sees her for who she is, and all is well.
In the final scene back in New Jersey, Kamran can’t control his newfound powers, so he goes to the only person he knows, Bruno (Matt Lintz), which prompts the Department of Damage Control to destroy his house and Circle Q.
The finale deals with the aftermath of Najma’s death and protecting Kamran from the DODC and Agent Deever (Alysia Reiner) with the aid of Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher), Sheikh Abdullah (Laith Nakli), and everyone else at the mosque. They agree that the best course of action is hiding at the school for protection, but they’re soon caught, so they enlist the help of Kamala’s brother Aamir (Saagar Sheikh), and the former mean girl, Zoe (Laurel Marsden) for the final fight. The episode is your typical “act three” fight in any MCU movie, but it has more heart than any of them. In a very heartwarming scene, Kamala’s community all stands around her to shield her from the DODC, which gives Kamran time to escape to Pakistan as per plan.
My favorite part of this episode was finally seeing Kamala “Embiggening,” as it’s something that seemed far-fetched after the show changed her powers entirely. I also loved that they allowed her to exist freely outside the shadow of Captain Marvel, by making her symbol an Urdu “K” or “Kaf” instead of the lightning bolt from the comics. Another personal nod to the comics and her identity was the conversation she had with her father about the meaning of her name, which means “complete” and “marvel” in Urdu, inspiring her superhero name.
Of course, Kamala will still have strong ties to Carol Danvers, as suggested by the post-credit scenes, but it’s reassuring to know that she would have her own identity, which is bolstered by her community, family, and friends. G Willow Wilson, writer of the first Ms. Marvel run, said that Kamala’s real superpower is her community, and this episode serves as the biggest testament to Wilson’s words.
My overall opinion is that as an Arab, Muslim woman, Ms. Marvel was crafted with so much love and care while maintaining the core elements of the comics. As for some of the plot holes and missing steps, I have no doubt that they will be addressed in Nia Dacosta‘s upcoming The Marvels, especially with the last scene hinting that Kamala is a mutant and not a Jinn (which would make the Jinn plot way less weird.)
It would be unfair to say that the showrunners bit more than they could chew, as these stories needed at least eight episodes to be able to breathe and flourish, but they did the absolute best with what they had.
Episode rating: 8/10
Overall series rating: 9/10