The following contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Season 1, Episode 2, “Crushed,” streaming now on Disney +.
Marvel Studios’ second episode of Ms. Marvel has continued the series’ trend of telling a superhero story grounded by Kamala Khan’s daily life as a teenager, balancing her familial duties and that of a blossoming superhero. The series has also continued a larger trend in the franchise, showing very subtle visual references that are shown through character interactions or nonverbal reminders of callbacks from an earlier point. In Season 1, Episode 2, “Crushed,” this Easter egg is represented by the Mosque Shoe Thief.
Early in the episode, Kamala and her best friend Nakia are late to the mosque and have to quickly do their preparations before prayer. A part of their routine also involved removing their shoes and putting them away in a cubby. After the service, Nakia went to retrieve her Versace shoes only to find that they were stolen, with a young girl saying, “And the Mosque Shoe Thief has struck again!” As it turned out, this was the 22nd case of stolen shoes in the mosque, and no one had attempted to capture the culprit. Even Kamala seemed slightly unphased at the thefts taking place.
Even though the plot thread was meant to lead to Nakia’s decision to run for the Mosque Board, the story of the thief ended in a clever way that, even though it was not solved in the show, was made clear to audiences. Towards the end of the Eid Mubarak festival, a young boy was shown at the top of one of the towers, taking selfies outside the window. However, when he lost his balance, he was left dangling by a flimsy curtain that was giving way. But Kamala, suited up in her Captain Marvel cosplay, immediately jumped to his rescue.
Still getting used to her hardlight abilities, Kamala spoke to the young man to calm him down and used her hardlight platforms to get close to him. Then, just before the curtain totally came loose, Kamala launched a larger platform to catch him. But even though he landed safely onto it, a brief shot revealed Nakia’s Versace shoes on the boy’s feet, making him the Mosque Shoe Thief. It’s a reveal that Kamala never noticed, but it was one that was made obvious with a direct shot of his shoes.
While it’s unlikely that this event exposed the shoe thief and ended his escapades, it was still nice to see some closure to the mystery. But more importantly, it further showed that this series may continue to be filled with visual Easter eggs tied to the episode and the larger superhero universe. Doing so also makes the series something like a game for fans who love to go back and find subtle hints to other things. Plus, since they do not connect to the larger story, it’s okay to hide these reveals in the set design.
Not since Spider-Man: Homecoming has a Marvel Cinematic Universe project felt so connected to the regular world. From its cultural influences to the day-to-day activities of Kamala, Ms. Marvel is a narrative and visual treat. But like all great sweets, there are those small bites that taste best, hidden in the larger dessert. In this case, that is represented by Kamala saving the Mosque Shoe Thief. Whether he eventually gets caught remains to be seen, but for now, the subtle reveal is just a small example of the details hidden within Ms. Marvel.
New episodes of Ms. Marvel debuts Wednesdays on Disney +.