Major spoilers for the second episode of Ms. Marvel, “Crushed,” lie ahead, so read on at your own risk.
The latest installment of the critically acclaimed Ms. Marvel has arrived, and it easily manages to maintain the energy and fun that was established in Episode 1. Following the chaotic events at AvengerCon, young Kamala Khan attempts to learn how to control her new powers, with some help from best friend Bruno. During the episode though, viewers are also introduced to a new character in the form of Kamran, who quickly becomes the object of Kamala’s affection. However, it’s soon revealed that there’s more to the young man than meets the eye, and Rish Shah has opened up about why he loves playing this somewhat “mysterious” character.
Kamran is established as a British-Pakistani senior who’s only recently arrived in Jersey City and, after formally meeting Kamala at a party, the two become fast friends (much to Bruno’s irritation). The show seemingly sets up the charming young man to be merely a love interest for the main hero. However, in the closing minutes of the episode, he arrives to save the superpowered Kamala from being captured by DODC agents. And as they drive away, he also introduces the hero to his mother – the same woman who appeared in Kamala's vision earlier in the show.
Ahead of the series premiere, I had the opportunity to speak with Rish Shah and his Ms. Marvel castmates at the show’s press junket. Having seen the first two installments, I asked him about Episode 2’s ending and what it’s like to play such an enigmatic figure. The star couldn’t say too much about his exact character’s intentions, but he did explain that he relishes the opportunity to subvert the expectations that come with the “love interest” role:
The scenes between Kamran and Kamala are indeed enjoyable to watch. Whether it be them gushing over their favorite Bollywood stars or dodging the latter’s older brother while grabbing a bite, they’re simply adorable. Nevertheless, this recent reveal should help ensure that their relationship doesn’t play out in a way that’s too conventional. Rish Shah’s further comments also seem to suggest that the dynamic between the two will be layered:
It’s early but, right now, it would appear that the suave newcomer could end up being a driving force that helps move Khan further down her path as a hero. (That could go a long way in preparing her for the events of The Marvels). And on the other side of that equation, she could help provide a sense of stability for her potential boyfriend, who’s seemingly led an unpredictable life thus far. Again, this is all speculation but not totally out of the realm of possibility.
We’ll just have to keep watching to see how things play out with Kamran, Kamala and the rest of the gang on Ms. Marvel. One thing that’s clear at this point, though, is that the stage is certainly being set for what could be one of the most intriguing origin stories the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever delivered.
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