It looks like She-Hulk is finally ready to kick things into gear. After two episodes of setup and exposition, the proceedings this week move things along nicely while providing a bunch of laughs at a regular clip.
Resuming almost immediately after last week’s episode, Jen goes to the maximum security prison to figure out how the hell Emil managed to “escape” prison. As MCU fans will already know, Emil was broken out by Wong (Benedict Wong), the sorcerer supreme. Emil isn’t sure why, but insists he returned to prison of his own volition.
With the help of Nikki, Jen is able to track down Wong… kind of… and he explains the situation. It turns out that to acquire the title of sorcerer supreme, Wong needed to battle a worthy opponent in the kumite in Macau. He corroborates Emil’s story, so it looks like everything will go in Jen’s favor.
While all of this is happening, the B-plot to this episode or She-Hulk involves one of Jen’s co-workers attempting to sue an Asgardian shapeshifter that took on the form of Megan thee Stallion. Sort of a random call out to her, but it’s funny nonetheless.
I’m surprised at how well you could sum up this particular episode without ruining its jokes or visual gags. Even the fourth wall breaking is better, with Jen at one point commenting about how She-Hulk won’t be a cameo every week show while naming off how the first three episodes had cameos.
Some props also has to go to Tim Roth, who is absolutely chewing the scenery as a jokier, laid-back version of Emil. I do believe something else is brewing behind the scenes here, but Roth’s performance is great.
Interestingly, compared to last week’s episode with its over-abundance of exposition, this week is light on anything substantial in the story. Apart from having laid the groundwork last week, this episode feels mostly standalone. It has its own self-contained narrative that gets resolved during the 30-ish minute runtime.
You can likely guess how everything ends. Jen wins the trial for Emil’s parole, though not before he transforms to show the jury that he’s in control. Jen’s co-worker is legally declared a narcissist and delusional, so he wins his injunction against the shapeshifter. Since this show has a Disney-level budget, Megan Thee Stallion makes an appearance.
The social commentary in this episode is probably the weakest aspect as it’s a little on the nose. I sincerely doubt it was written in response to the “backlash” against the first two episodes, but we really don’t need to be seeing mean tweets displayed as an important piece of development.
The B-plot, as well, feels like a caricature of a male chauvinist rather than a legitimate portrayal of sexual harassment in the workplace. I understand the show is trying to keep things light and not drift into drama territory, but it would be nice for She-Hulk to be serious at times. Not every sentence has to end with a wink and nod to the audience or some kind of quip.
Overall, however, this episode was the best one yet. It nails the pacing needed to create a comedic legal drama while also not dropping loads of exposition on viewers. That and the after-credits scene was really good, which is a running theme on this show.
It’s hard to tell what next week will bring. We do know that Daredevil is still set to cameo, much to Jen’s disappointment. I do believe that the showrunners were aware of Jen’s almost cameo status in her own series, so we likely will see the rest of the season focus on her. I’m just not sure what this series will bring.