By Matthew Moorcroft
- Directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah
- Starring Iman Vellani, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Zenobia Shroff
Hot damn, the sons of bitches did it.
Look, the MCU Disney+ finales have become something of a dreadful experience for discourse as most discussion tend to argue over semantics instead of actually talking about the episodes we do end up receiving. While some have been better then others, they all tend to have one reoccurring trend of being overly action heavy and somewhat diluting their initial themes in the process. With the exception of Loki and maybe parts of WandaVision, this is a common complaint across the board and while I’m pretty forgiving for the most part (the action is good enough and the themes still interesting enough that it passes in my book as a success) I was bracing for Ms. Marvel to fare similarly, and considering it’s last episodes somewhat messy resolution I was also prepping for the first one of these to really bomb hard.
But, I guess it’s in nature for this show to continually surpass my own expectations. Ms. Marvel not only succeeds with flying colours on both delivering exceptional action in it’s final section and keeping it’s themes relevant, but also manages to keep time in for the important character moments and end on the highest of high notes. This is a finale to strive towards in the future for Marvel and their shows – a delightful, irresistible hour of television that’s also one of their most visually kinetic, interesting, and dynamic pieces to date.
Seeing Vellani in the costume is almost worth the price of admission itself, and as a costume it’s one of the MCU’s more accurate comic-to-screen adaptations. The changes they make are more symbolic; it’s now a representation of her own representation, the different people who have impacted her across show sewn together by her family. It’s taken a while for me to get used to her new powers and while I’m still not 100% on board (and at this point likely never will be), I do appreciate that this is the closest we’ve seen the series get to her abilities in the comics. For this interpretation of the character, it’s working supremely well and I like how it ties into her overall character and her background.
And when the show begins to reach it’s emotional conclusions, it ends up being that relationship to her family that really cements itself as the beating of the show. Mohan Kapur was a standout throughout the series but here he’s almost a complete scene stealer from Vellani, looking at his daughter with pride and wisdom while also never talking down to her. It’s a fantastic scene and not only a standout of the show but a perfect example of what a superhero series can accomplish in the right hands. The actual final scene, one of a tease for the future and a reveal that shakes up the entire franchise, is a nice touch for fans but it’s this emotional catharsis that’s more interesting to me from a story perspective.
And that’s why Ms. Marvel ultimately succeeds and ends up becoming one of the MCU’s best overall productions. It’s a sincere, emotionally honest show, and it’s visual stylings allow it to also be whimsical and keep itself light on it’s feet. Every action beat hits hard, every actor hits their mark, and the overall production as a whole is confident and self-assured. This was a project they really needed to get right and they managed to get it so very, very right. And hopefully, that extends into a possible second season, which I am now eagerly awaiting.