Ms. Marvel: Seeing Red
June 29, 2022 5:50 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Kamala travels around the world to solve the mystery of the bangle and her family’s history.
posted by 1970s Antihero (16 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is cool because I get to learn a bit about Pakistan and partition and this is how we get new stories. By getting out of the Western Culture Box. But it’s still within a Western genre. So good.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:15 AM on June 29 [5 favorites]

It's definitely an installment where I'm still taking it in with no real opinions yet on where the story is going.

Ok i laughed along with the whole background bit with the passengers already standing up to take their overhead cabin luggage even when they haven't even started the landing.

- The djinn thing is still funny, you have no idea.

- Lol, love the lampshading with Kamala's name. (My own understanding is coloured by own local understanding but suffice to say I'd sooner see it for a Hindu girl - idk what's the backstory for the comics considering the team who created her. I always suspected an assumption that if Kamal is a typical Arabic/Muslim male name then Kamala makes perfect sense. Except romanized versions of that would emphasize the last syllable so it would be Kamalah especially in the continent considering, but tbh to be more grammatically correct/prevalent it would actually be Kamaliyya. But as it's now canon Muneeba had something to do with the choice, it makes sense too, from an idealistic pan-Indian way of her generation, if you want to fanwank it.)

- since I'm on this grammar bent, I *still* think a different word than Noor for light should've been used. I've decided I won't be bugged by this, but I am amused.

- How is it we hit more Sinitic references when we get closer to her extraterrestrial side? (But RL lolz - any muslim who come from places like this where we CAN get uncomplicated halal Chinese food without negotiating what's doable on the menu miss them hardcore when we're away. And I'm pretty sure the ABC name is riffing on 'American-born Chinese' moniker.)

- oh hey a cover of Cheb Khaled's Didi, lol that song really was massive everywhere.

- the Partition is truly a dark chapter in history. thanks Britain!!

- the close caption describing the language Muneeba is using as 'Hindi'
- third world yellow light lens filter, hello! How are you?? Good to know you're gainfully employed still!

Subtext (??)
- oh Kamala's family is prettttty well-off huh. Calls to mind Hasan Minhaj's jokes (and Hari Kondabolu) about South Asian Americans and their migrant story (well-off or at least professional middle classes roughing it out in the west)
- this week's scandalized muslim discourse: "omg she keeps dogs"
- there are legendary stories of specific woven cloths or weaving traditions that can give you invincibility from weapons. Anyway a cute little angle for me as they MCU-fy her hero costume.
posted by cendawanita at 8:23 AM on June 29 [15 favorites]

I’m always a bit suspicious when a character who’s as firmly rooted in a locale, like Ms. Marvel is in Jersey City, is sent on a trip abroad. But I think that, emotionally at least, it completely worked. Or at the very least, it worked for me.

I’ve mostly settled in Finland, where my kids are growing up, but the plan is that we try to spend at least two months every summer in Iceland, in hope that my kids will feel at home in my native country. So I had all kinds of feels regarding that aspect of the story in this episode.

Watching Muneeba slip so easily into life in Karachi, while Kamala is a fish out of water, felt premonitiony, but then Kamala found her own way into being there, and there was no way I wasn’t going to go along for the ride.

Also, that chase sequence was really entertaining.
posted by Kattullus at 4:26 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]

I spent the last eight years with a South Indian guy (and now one year post-breakup) and this show makes me sadhappy — I’m enjoying access to some of the referential layers (Muslim/Hindu dynamics, immigrant experiences, subcontinental history, colonialism, class and caste) but it really hurts to not be watching it with him.

The chase was SO COLOURFUL, I loved it. And I think they’ve totally nailed her powers.
posted by sixswitch at 5:50 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]

And I'm pretty sure the ABC name is riffing on 'American-born Chinese' moniker.

Perhaps, but I remember coming across "ABCD" for "American-Born Confused Desi" circa 1999 (I believe it was in an interview with M. Night Shyamalan somewhere) and I was psyched that I knew what he was talking about (before he explained it like a second later, I mean.) So it's been around for a while.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:57 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]

Oh sure, these terms have been around for a while. There's the ABCD, the ABC, the CBC (Canada), BBC (British)... Sorry if i was unclear, there's the ABCD that the cousin used, but I meant the restaurant's name.
posted by cendawanita at 7:16 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]

There was a disappointing lack of giant red panda. (I'm assuming that "Seeing Red" was a shout-out to the Pixar film, "Turning Red.")
posted by SPrintF at 8:33 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]

I myself am a proud(ish) member of the CIA: Catholic Irish American. (Well, "lapsed" Catholic.)

So, I guess that the plot engine here is that the "Djinn" dimension is threatening to overwrite ours if they rupture the veil between them, a la the "incursions" that happened in the latest Spider-Man and Doctor Strange outings? Also, cool of them to ditch the friendly Djinn kid in the bowels of the DODC, that sure won't bite 'em in the ass ever.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:35 PM on June 29 [2 favorites]

The closing scene in the station during partition was really powerful.

I loved how the closing credits were set in Karachi rather than New Jersey for this episode. Really classy touch.
posted by simonw at 10:22 PM on June 29 [8 favorites]

I'm loving this series so far, but I'm also little worried about the final act. I came into the era of the Disney+ shows with serious MCU fatigue, and that wasn't helped by the shows' poor batting average for landing anything like a satisfactory ending. (The fact that Hawkeye actually did work as its own contained thing made it maybe my favorite of the MCU Disney+ series to date.) Hopefully we get a real, complete standalone story here before Kamala's next confirmed appearance in The Marvels. I'm really excited for that movie now, though! This show has been both a super fun ride and a shot in the arm the MCU desperately needed.
posted by tomorrowromance at 2:49 PM on June 30

I am still waiting to see if we are going to get the outfit we see in all of the promo pics.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:32 AM on July 1

I think that we've been getting it in pieces, Karmakaze; she's already got the mask, we saw some teal-ish cloth this episode, and the red scarf is likely going to represent the Red Daggers.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:49 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]

I have fully fallen in love with this show. While watching the scene where we see Kamala and her mom reunite with her grandmother, I fully broke down into sobs because that scene was so well and authentically played and it reminded me of going home and seeing my grandmother.

I think they are making a brave choice evoking Partition, let alone portraying it. It's something that's incredibly personal to many people and also there is no one way of thinking about Partition. Everyone's family has a Partition story, including mine. I love that they're taking these chances, showing something that is likely to piss some people off ("It didn't happen like that!") or something that many, many people watching will have no previous knowledge of and/or won't care about. It is a truly brave artistic choice and I love that. (Speaking as someone who hasn't read the comics.)

The actor playing Waleed is Farhan Akhtar. He's a pretty big deal, and also very hot.

oh hey a cover of Cheb Khaled's Didi, lol that song really was massive everywhere.

That made me smile too!
posted by unicorn chaser at 12:45 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]

It's like this great show where every so often an entirely boring and pointless fight breaks out for no reason.
posted by kyrademon at 11:20 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]

That chase scene was a lot of fun!

Though I am a little confused how Kamala has been grounded for life because of the wedding incident, but after stepping off the plane she's basically a free agent. (On the other hand, her mom has some more serious shit to deal with at the moment...)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:30 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]

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