Chasing the Noor: Episode 5 of ‘Ms. Marvel’

Episode 5 of Marvel’s newest superhero saga helps illuminate India and Pakistan’s rich history.

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Marvel Studios

Picture depicting Kamala’s insurge of power, as seen by her purple eyes. (Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Aashi Gurijala, Staff Writer

The fifth episode of “Ms. Marvel” is one of a kind in every possible way. This episode is unique because it teaches us about so much more than being a superhero and exercising inner power; it also teaches us about history.

The plot picks up from the last episode installment, where Kamala Khan finds herself in the past. We start off with a brief history lesson of India. Before India won its independence from the British Empire, the land was usurped and owned by British soldiers, and much of the peoples’ property was taken from them. Referred to at several points in the show, the Partition of India in 1947 divided the country into what is currently known as India and Pakistan. This act separated Hindus and Muslims in a way that still persists today.

The addition of Aisha, Kamala’s grandmother, and the original Djinn with the power of Noor—light—dilutes the historical aspect of the episode; however, there is still much to be learned from it. Everything from the overcrowded nature of the train station near New Delhi, to the desperate and hallowed expressions of the passengers scrambling to make it out of India alive is shown with clarity and historical respect.

Viewers are not the only ones getting a glimpse into a novel and rich culture. Kamala uses her time in the past to save her grandmother from being left behind in India. This scene undoubtedly teaches her a valuable lesson on the importance of her powers. After all, Noor has the capacity for far more than physical illumination. Light is a common metaphor in many superhero sagas for connection, awakening and love. Even Kamala’s mother saw the Noor and realized her family’s own magical capabilities

The series continues to be moving to watch and enthralling to see. The attention to detail regarding the location and time period, as well as how people lived then, shows that Marvel clearly did their research. As more people watch the show, greater awareness for both Indian and Pakistani culture will be spread. It’s a new day in the entertainment industry when an underrepresented culture in Hollywood gets the spotlight.