'Ms. Marvel' Episode 3 Recap: Kamala Gets in a Fight With the Clandestines

The Disney Plus series has a lot of explaining to do as the villains finally turn up. Check out the Easter eggs, comic links and plot developments ahead of episode 4. (Spoilers!)

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Alone at a wedding, Kamala Khan shows her superpowered glowing fist.
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Alone at a wedding, Kamala Khan shows her superpowered glowing fist.

Kamala Khan packs a punch in her first fight.

Marvel Studios

Ms. Marvel episode 3 reveals the show's big villain. Well, at first they're friends. Then maybe even family. But then definitely enemies, crashing a wedding and forcing Kamala to use her powers for her first superhero fight of the series.

Episode 3 of the Disney Plus series hits us with a ton of new information. Following our recap of episode 1 and episode 2, let's dive into an in-depth recap of episode 3, titled Destined, including character arcs and Marvel Easter eggs (and lots of spoilers!).

The first three of the show's six episodes are available on Disney's streaming service now, with more to follow each Wednesday until July 13.

The word "spoilers" over a scene from Avengers: Endgame
Marvel Studios

The djinn's out of the bottle

After two episodes of wondering where Ms. Marvel is going to find a villain, the show introduces a clan of interdimensional beings who go from friends to enemies so fast you might get whiplash (literally).

Before we get into it, here's a quick recap of Kamala's family line, because there are a few names floating around by this point:

  • Kamala is our hero.
  • Kamala's mother is Muneeba.
  • Muneeba's mother (Kamala's grandmother) is Sana.
  • Sana's mother (Kamala's great-grandmother) was Aisha, who disappeared during the Partition of India.

Aisha, it turns out, was one of those dimension-hopping beings, along with her friend Najma: Kamran's mysterious mom, introduced in last week's cliffhanger.

Aisha and Najma and their fellow exiles, Fariah, Saleem and the goofy Aadam, are apparently ageless beings exiled from another dimension. They've been known by many names, including Clandestines, Ajnabi, Majnoon, Unseen and Djinn. Back in 1942, they searched a shadowy cave for the bracelet now owned by Kamala — which is actually part of a pair. (Incidentally, after Moon Knight, how much time is the MCU going to spend grubbing round ancient tombs?) The bangle helps Kamala unlock her powers, based on Noor, or light. But if used to transport the djinn home, it may release a devastating amount of energy.

That's a lot to take in, and the first half of the story is super-talky. After the zippy energy of the first couple of episodes, it feels a bit forced for the big bad to walk in and just explain everything in one massive exposition dump.

There's only one way to get things moving again. Dance sequence!

Brimful of Asha

Who knew the MCU would have not one but two Bollywood dance numbers in less than a year? This one is even better than Kingo's dance sequence in Eternals, shot with a bit more energy and also involving a bunch of characters we've come to know. The music, incidentally, is Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwana from the 1978 film Don, starring Hindi cinema megastar Amitabh Bachchan, sung by legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle.

Tribute band Brown Jovi quickly segues into some actual Bon Jovi for a fight scene. To the strain's of Livin' on a Prayer, the ruthless djinn mess up a random security guard before battling Kamala in a kitchen and then taking to the dancefloor. Kamala has to bust some moves, but while she's clearly still struggling with her powers, that giant fist is pretty awesome. 

Then the DODC wander in and somehow arrest the djinn while also failing to notice two teenagers just limping away. Bit of a limp ending to the fight, all told.

Good is a thing you do

At his wedding, Kamala's father encourages her brother to choose passion, faith, courage and most of all love. "The man who chooses family is never alone," he says. Similarly, Kamala is told, "Good is not a thing you are, it is a thing you do." Lots of good advice in this episode. 

When's the next episode?

New installments stream each Wednesday. Episode 4 is coming June 29. Here's the full episode release schedule for the rest of the series.

Random thoughts

  • The Clandestines are inspired by a family of characters from Marvel comics of the 1990s, called Clan Destine (geddit). Though their powers came from their relation to a djinn, the live-action characters bear little or no similarity to the comics versions. 
  • Bruno refers to a scientific paper on interdimensional travel by Erik Selvig -- the astrophysicist played by Stellan Skarsgard in the Thor and Avengers movies.
  • Nakia wins the election to become a mosque board member. Go Nakia! But she also finds out Kamala has kept a secret from her. Ups and downs for Nakia this week. 
  • If "Minaret Madman" is the alternative, "Night Light" probably doesn't seem so bad.
  • The footwear thief strikes again, this time taking all of Aamir's shoes.
  • Visions of a train can mean only one thing: All aboard for Karachi!

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