With She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s ninth episode now available, we can put to rest yet another MCU show. While I enjoyed the finale overall, I still have some conflicted feelings about She-Hulk as a whole. I’ll save those for the end because this episode’s recap is going to be quick. Somehow, everything gets wrapped up, but probably not how you would think.
The episode begins with a rather humorous sizzle reel/trailer of Jen’s life in the style of the 1970’s Hulk TV show. With some bad makeup and descriptive narration, we’re given a recap of the series up to this point. Intercut between scenes of Jen typing on a computer or going on dates are snippets of some bulky woman throwing things around as She-Hulk. It caps off with Jen reciting the, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” line.
From there, Jen wakes up in a cell back at the DODC. After last week’s freakout during the Gala, Jen has been temporarily incarcerated while awaiting trial. Her colleagues from GLK&H step through the door and talk to Jen about the incident. While Jen (rightfully) claims that her rage was brought on by Intelligencia, the world doesn’t see it as such. They believe she is out of control.
Reluctantly, Jen agrees to some stipulations that she will no longer use her Hulk powers. This buys her some freedom, but it costs her the job she was just starting. With no money coming in, she even has to move back home while figuring out what comes next. Jen is laser-focused on taking down Intelligencia, though she wants to do it legally. Nikki would rather smash some heads, but that will just have to wait.
After Jen’s mother shows Nikki a video of Jen partying during college, Nikki gets the bright idea of uploading it to Intelligencia’s website so she can find an in. It works, with leader Hulkking inviting Nikki to their latest meeting. Realizing she obviously can’t show up in the flesh, Nikki recruits Pug to make the infiltration so that they can get some dirt on the group and help Jen.
While this is all going on, Jen decides she should pay Emil a visit at his retreat. She may not have wanted to go the first time, but she needs a respite from all of the chaos going on in her life. Meanwhile, Nikki and Pug kick off their plan to sneak into Intelligencia’s meeting, and wouldn’t you know it? Emil is actually there as a guest speaker!
I’m skipping a few beats here, but She-Hulk doesn’t actually go for consistency this time around. When Jen walks in on the Intelligencia meeting, all hell breaks loose. Emil is in his Abomination form, Titania kicks the wall in, Bruce storms down from above, and Jen comments on how nothing makes sense from a story perspective. To top it off, Jen’s colleague Todd is the one behind Intelligencia and he stole her blood to become a Hulk himself. What is going on?
Well, Jen isn’t having it. She’s so not having it that the show even cuts to the Disney+ home screen where Jen escapes into another Marvel production. Jumping into Marvel Studios Assembled, Jen pays a visit to the writer’s room to figure out why they went with such an inane plot twist for the season finale. It’s really the first time that She-Hulk has paid true homage to its comic roots because this is exactly like something she would pull in funky storylines in her various comics.
When the writers tell Jen that Kevin is the one behind all of these decisions, Jen sets off to find him. She winds up at the office of Marvel Studios and has to sign an NDA to gain entrance. The clerk sounds the alarm, so she busts down the door and takes out some guards to get to Kevin’s office. When she enters, she doesn’t wind up coming face-to-face with Mr. Feige. Instead, Kevin actually refers to some AI called K.E.V.I.N., a robot that has steered Marvel to box-office dominance for the last 15 years.
They get to chatting about how the MCU has become overly similar with a reliance on daddy issues and Jen throws in some remarks about smashing Daredevil and wondering where the X-Men are before K.E.V.I.N. rewrites the finale to suit her needs. It maybe undoes a lot of the drama that this series was building to, but it also sets up a potential second season that won’t be so overstuffed with MCU connections left and right.
Back to the actual plot, Todd gets arrested for the multiple crimes he committed against Jen and Daredevil even makes a quick appearance. Emil has to go back to jail for violating his parole, but the day is saved and Jen can start her road to recovery. Later on, she mentions to a reporter in a brief TV interview that the verdict in Todd’s case will set a precedent for harassers around the globe, letting them know that She-Hulk isn’t messing around.
Back at her parent’s house, Jen and Matt are sharing some stories with the family while enjoying a nice lunch. Everyone is concerned about when the two will be having children, which is a complete surprise to Matt. Before talks can get any further, Hulk appears with a surprise revelation: during this entire season, he was away on Sakaar so that he could become acquainted with his son, Skaar. I guess something was getting busy while dominating a gladiatorial ring during the events of Thor Ragnarok.
Before the episode wraps, we get one final after-credits sequence to put a nice bow on things. Emil is incarcerated again, but Wong isn’t having any of that. Through the use of his magic, he takes Emil to Kamar-Taj and we’re now all ready for a potential World War Hulk film. I’m not sure when that will happen, but the pieces are certainly in place.
It’s hard to deny that this finale is messy, but I did think it captured the spirit of the She-Hulk comics well. It was also nice to have three consecutive episodes of the series be good, even if they had dipped in quality with each. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has been an incredibly mixed bag as a series. For a majority of its episodes, the show was either too focused on setting up MCU connections or too focused on characters that weren’t Jen.
I think back to the pilot and how it at least started with the idea that maybe Jen and Bruce were different. Bruce warned her about letting her anger take control and it wasn’t until seven episodes later that we even came close to that angle. On the flip side, each week until roughly episode seven, we were focused on characters that weren’t related to Jen’s struggles and actively drew attention away from her.
The best bits of this season were Ginger Gonzaga’s take on Nikki Ramos and the parts when the legal dramedy aspect was in full focus. She-Hulk works when we’re being introduced to Marvel nobodies and hearing how pathetic their lives are. We already know about all of the big nonsense going on with Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, etc. We don’t need every piece of MCU media to be so grand.
I’m also just incredibly disappointed with Titania. Her inclusion in the first episode was positioned as a way to create a season-long arc while Jen did her own thing, but was quickly forgotten. She had a brief few appearances in other episodes but was barely a figure in Jen’s life. By the end, she wasn’t even the main villain, with the show instead shifting gears to Intelligencia. That plotline even went out with something of a whimper because Jen shattered the fourth wall and rewrote the conclusion.
I find myself wanting to love She-Hulk: Attorney at Law for being funnier and wackier than other MCU fare, but it’s just too disjointed at the moment. A few good episodes don’t redeem an entire season. There is the hope that season two (if it does happen) will rectify these problems and put more of an emphasis on the legal aspects of Jen’s character. If that comes to pass, maybe She-Hulk can turn around to become the best MCU show in Marvel’s stable of programs. At present, it’s mostly just another thing you can binge if you absolutely need to get your Marvel fix.