​Ms. Marvel Just Gave Us One Of The Best Romances Of The MCU

You know the MCU has a romance problem when one of its most endearing relationships since it began over a decade ago is between a hot-headed witch and ... an android. A few months later, we had a much more grounded love story in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" between Wenwu (Tony Leung) and Ying Li (Fala Chen). And that's about it for above-average ranging love stories in the MCU ... until "Ms. Marvel" arrived.

The Disney+ MCU series focused on Pakistani-American teenager/part-time superhero Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) already has some special relationships forming — Kamala's parents are precious, and as the saying goes, Kamala herself is busy collecting cute boys like Infinity Stones (good for her!). But the best romance takes place in the past against the visceral, tension-filled backdrop of the Partition of India.

Episode 5 is about Kamala's great-grandmother Aisha (Mehwish Hayat), the first ClanDestine member of the family, and the sweeping romance between her and Hasan (Fawad Khan), her future husband. In mere minutes, "Ms. Marvel" delivers one of the MCU's best romances we've ever seen thanks to its emotional sincerity, old-school charm, and stunning cinematic flair.

The romance between Aisha and Hasan is magnetic

"Ms. Marvel" episode 5, titled "Time and Again," kicks off with a monochromatic newsreel that sets the stage to dive deeper into the story behind the Partition of India. As you may already know, the Partition didn't take place in a single day — nearly 200 years of British rule paved the way for it, eventually culminating in volatile unrest and communal uncertainty in India. So, "Ms. Marvel" showcases a glimpse of its beginning in the year 1942, alongside the slow-progressing but timeless love story between Aisha and Hasan.

When the episode kicks off, we see Aisha finding her way into a small village in pre-independence India. She sees Hasan; an enthusiastic, intelligent young man determined to end the British's divide and rule strategy. He has kind eyes but an unwavering voice. Hasan bravely speaks out against the British occupation of India, citing his refusal to allow the oppressors to cause more tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities. He expresses the commoner's peaceful dream — to acquire freedom without destructive riots erupting across the country. Aisha only watches him being driven away by British officers. 

We later see the two engage in conversation when Aisha wakes up in a field of roses owned by Hasan. During a somewhat tense meeting, the two have an instant magnetic, tacit chemistry. Aisha's earnestness is echoed by Hasan's gentle eyes. When the next scene takes place, months and maybe years have passed, and Aisha and Hasan reunite in the very same field of roses, with their hands meeting on her baby bump. The couple peacefully raise their daughter in a small cottage in a little village, their blooming, spirited love story serving as a temporary relief from the devastation and stress caused by the inevitable Partition of 1947.

The history of romantic relationships in the MCU is complicated

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has rarely understood romance. Sure, there's Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter's incredible WWII-era love story that is timeless in every form. Then there's Wenwu and Ying Li's combat in "Shang-Chi," which transforms into a waltz of sorts, a physical illumination of yin and yang. Wenwu's unfeeling conduct and Ying Li's warmth merge, and love blooms between them, making it a profoundly memorable story. There's also "WandaVision," in which we see Wanda and Vision live out their domestic dreams. Despite the plot's reality, it is a touching chapter that unravels the impossible, unyielding love story between a witch and the android, that the movies refused to give us a glimpse of.

While we wish there were several other nuanced romance stories for us to experience in the MCU, for every memorable relationship, there is a seriously annoying one. The romance between superheroes doesn't always have to suck — which is something the MCU has failed to understand.

In the past, female superheroes were either defined by their male love interests or entirely written to further the stories of their male counterparts. They were often party to experimental narratives possessing minimal potential to become anything substantial. So they fell flat instead. There's Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (which could've been something great), Loki and Sylvie (don't even get me started), Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer (which reduced the talents of the incredible Rachel McAdams to a love interest)... and even Thor and Jane Foster (despite having three movies!) have rarely been able to capture that charming cinematic magic so vividly depicted in a single episode of "Ms. Marvel." If the MCU can effortlessly design a relationship so captivating within 45 minutes, why not explore the same strategy at the movies?

Aisha and Hasan's story just works

In "Ms. Marvel," Aisha and Hasan meet in a field of flowers. She's a refugee in unknown territory and has the means to go back home, but she chooses to stay back with Hasan and raise a family. The slow-burn progress between them from strangers to a married couple is intensely refreshing, and the way they look at each other is dizzying. Throughout the episode, the chemistry between Aisha and Hasan threatens to burst at the seams, even though all that ensues are fleeting glances ... with small but steady promises of love. Things don't end well for the couple after Aisha is stabbed by a fellow ClanDestine, the merciless Najma, but she uses her final moments to summon Kamala and lead her daughter Sana to safety. Aisha and Hasan's love story works wonderfully, and is easily one of MCU's greatest, most unforgettable romances. Who gets the credit, though? Aisha, for her emotional vulnerability? Or Hasan, for being devastatingly charming?

All I'm going to say is: if a man served you fresh parathas and recited poetry that reminded him of you, would you not fall for him too? At least now we know where Kamala gets her game from: her Nana.