Kamala Khan has narrowly escaped doom in Karachi, but she’ll have even more trouble when she comes back home to Jersey City. In Episode 5 of Ms. Marvel, “Time and Again,” Kamala (Iman Vellani) finally discovers a shocking truth about her family. On the night her family escaped from Pakistan in 1942, Kamala learned it was she who reunited her grandmother with her great grandfather at the train station. Thanks to her magical bangles and some accidental time traveling, Kamala finds she’s as much a part of her family’s history as she is writing their future.
But that’s not the only thing that Ms. Marvel ends its fifth episode with. It appears that Kamran (Rish Shah), Kamala’s big crush whose mother is the leader of the Clandestines, now has powers of his own. And not only does it mirror what went down in the original Ms. Marvel comics, but it may hint at who the big villain is at the heart of Ms. Marvel.
Here’s the low-down on the ending of Ms. Marvel Episode 5, and what it might mean for the finale next week.
Warning: Spoilers for Ms. Marvel Episode 5 ahead.
Most of “Time and Again” is devoted to a flashback of Ms. Marvel’s great grandmother, Aisha (Mehwish Hayat) and her marriage to a human man in 1942. The two have a child, Sana (whose name is an Easter egg nod to Marvel editor Sana Amanat). Late in the episode, Kamala’s bangles bring her to 1947, the night of Partition, so she can help Sana reunite with her father.
When Kamala returns to the present day, the bangles open a path to the Noor dimension, the home of the Djinn. Unfortunately, the path is unstable, and all it does is destroy whoever tries to step through. Najma volunteers to close it by sacrificing herself, despite protests from Kamala begging her to stay for Kamran’s sake.
Najma speaks Kamran’s name as she dies, which allows Kamran to become imbued with his own version of Djinn superpowers.
The specifics of this sequence is, to be honest, confusing. But essentially, Kamran now has similar powers to Kamala, which not only echoes the comics but hints at something really difficult for Kamala in next week’s finale.
Kamran: From Boy Crush to Inhuman Villain
Kamran first appeared in Ms. Marvel #13, as a family friend that Kamala’s parents try to set her up with. Kamala isn’t convinced until she sees him in the flesh, standing tall, handsome, and speaking her language of Bollywood hits and online games.
Eventually, Kamran tells Kamala his secret: He is also an Inhuman. He tells Kamala he underwent Terrigenesis the same night she did: when the Terrigen Bomb went off in New York (during the 2013 Marvel crossover Infinity) and got to him in Jersey City. Unlike Kamala, his powers involve bioluminescence, allowing his body to glow with white energy and charge up objects.
Unfortunately, Kamran had nefarious motives. He is actually aligned with the radical Inhuman villain Lineage, whose mission is to eradicate the world of non-Inhumans by triggering global Terrigenesis — the transformation where Inhuman genes are awakened in people. Kamran pivots from Kamala’s new boyfriend to new villain until he is defeated by Kamala’s brother, who goes through a modest form of Terrigenesis and has his own powers for a short time.
A few years after his appearance in Ms. Marvel, Kamran resurfaced in Marvel's Voices: Identity Vol 2, a one-shot anthology comic from 2022. In the story “Fool Me Twice” written by Sabir Pirzada and Eric Koda, Kamran returns to Kamala and pleads for a second chance. They are interrupted by Shang-Chi, who reveals Kamran holds stolen gemstones called the Eyes of the Dragon, which can prolong the life of one by killing another, and that Kamran intended to kill Kamala to prolong Lineage. He is defeated by Shang-Chi and apprehended by authorities.
How the MCU echoes the comics
Obviously, the MCU has taken a few sharp turns from the comics. Namely, there isn’t a shared Inhuman DNA between Kamala and Kamran. Now they are Djinn (or, as Ms. Marvel carefully points out, an otherworldly race of beings that have been called Djinn in folklore). And after his mother’s sacrifice to the gateway, Kamran now has powers that appear to be similar to Kamala’s ability to create crystalline projections.
Episode 5 ends before Kamran can get a full hold of his powers, which leaves a lot of open questions for the season finale. Kamran isn’t exactly set up to be Kamala’s big villain — for now, anyway — when the agency Damage Control is after the both of them.
But perhaps in mastering his abilities, Kamran will be seduced by the allure of power? Maybe Kamran will be furious Kamala allowed his mother to die and will seek revenge? Or maybe Kamran will overpower Damage Control to the point that even Kamala will have to stop him from hurting anyone? Or, like the comics, will Kamran be recruited by a villain who sees potential in his abilities?
There are a lot of ways Kamran’s character arc can end with him face-to-face with Kamala, who will learn that even pretty boys can be dangerous men. With The Marvels, Kamala will find herself whisked to space to assist both her idol Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau. But she’ll still have more problems back at home, and one of those problems might be named Kamran.
The Ms. Marvel Season 1 finale will be released on Disney+ on Wednesday, July 13.