Entertainment News

‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Final Review: There’s Meta, and Then There’s This

‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Final Review: There’s Meta, and Then There’s This

With so many plot points to juggle going into the finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, it was anyone’s guess how that would get wrapped up in a satisfying fashion, especially with — as of right now — no news of a Season 2 on the horizon, and only a standard 35-minute runtime. Though events did build to a natural conclusion, the very meta legal comedy took things to an even more meta level, not so much breaking the fourth wall as Hulk smashing it. But did it work? Sort of.

Rather than a “previously on,” the episode opens with a fairly close remake of the intro to 1978’s The Incredible Hulk series that serves to catch the audience up before cutting to Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) now lying in Emil Blonsky’s (Tim Roth) old prison cell. She is soon visited by Mallory Book (Renée Elise Goldsberry), Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga), and Pug (Josh Segarra), who tell her the priority at the moment is not prosecuting those who released Jen’s private information — including a sex tape that I’m not convinced she knew was being made — but instead dealing with the charges laid against Jen herself. Mallory tells her the DA will drop all the charges provided she wears an inhibitor permanently, which Jen agrees to.

Because a woman simply does not go to prison and expect to keep her cushy corporate job, Jen is let go from GLK&H and forced to give up her adorable apartment to move back home with her parents (Mark Linn-Baker and Tess Malis Kincaid). She is down but not out, as she and Nikki begin to devise a way to find out who exactly is behind Intelligencia and the HulkKing pseudonym. Jen is looking to prosecute them legally, Nikki is prepared to take them down “by any and all means,” and of the two Nikki’s approach feels the more satisfying.

Though Jen is taking steps to find out who exactly derailed her life, she still finds herself needing to clear her head, and takes off for Blonsky’s meditation retreat in the middle of the night where she hopes to stay for a couple of days. Back at the office, Nikki uploads an embarrassing college video of Jen to Intelligencia, not because she is secretly behind it all, but instead because she is hoping to draw out one of the site users and get them to slip up. The video proves to be ammo enough that she is embraced by the community at once, and invited to a gathering. Because they assume she’s a “bro,” she ropes Pug into going with her, so she can send him in undercover. At the Intelligencia gathering, the room is filled with every shade of stereotypical man who feels disenfranchised enough by the mere existence of women that he would use the word “females” in an unironic way. The tone and vocabulary employed by all the men are familiar to any woman who has had to inhabit a public space, and it was very endearing to see just how repulsed Pug was by the whole thing. The bar is on the floor, and still, Pug is the only man in the room who managed to clear it.

In typical sitcom fashion, our two plots collide as it turns out the lodge hosting the event is on Blonsky’s property, and Blonsky — in Abomination form — has been invited as a guest speaker. I wasn’t prepared for how upset I would be thinking Blonsky actually agreed with the Intelligencia bros, though to his credit it seemed like he wasn’t totally clear on their ethos, thinking they just needed a motivational speaker. Things come to a head when Jen and Nikki separately barge into the room, Todd reveals his grand plan to steal Jen’s blood, so he could “earn” powers she had merely been given, and injects himself, turning into a Hulk. Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) arrives to fight Abomination, thinking he’s attacking Jen, and Tatiana (Jameela Jamil) barges in through the wall ready to fight as well.

The utterly chaotic climax is interrupted by Jen, who declares that this cannot possibly be what the audience wants. It’s at this point the show goes from winking at the fourth wall to putting a She-Hulk-sized hole in it. Jen exits her series via the Disney+ main menu and makes her way into one of the Marvel: Assembled documentaries, which gives her access to the writers’ room for her series.

There, the writers tell her that they are following a formula, and that any issues she has need to be taken up with K.E.V.I.N. (Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus), an AI brain responsible for Marvel’s formula. Jen points out that most Marvel series end in a repetitive fashion, and she convinces K.E.V.I.N. to rewrite the end to her satisfaction, which eventually he does. They bypass the entire climactic fight and instead end with Blonsky taking accountability for turning into the Abomination by agreeing to return to prison, and Todd and the other Intelligencia bros being taken away by the police.

With so little time to wrap up the plot, I found myself getting frustrated with the extended digression into the “real” world outside the show. Objectively, I understand this is a logical leap for a show entirely about breaking the fourth wall to make. From a writer’s standpoint, if you want to heighten both the stakes and the joke, that is certainly an effective way to do it. But what’s so frustrating about it is, like it or not, the big confrontation is what the whole season was being written towards, especially where Todd is concerned.

Arguably things were resolved with Titania in Episode 7, “The Retreat,” when Jen bested her in a fistfight. If she had to show up at all in the finale, it would have been enough for her to be there to support Jen in a “nobody messes with my nemesis but me” sort of way. K.E.V.I.N. argues that Bruce’s presence at the end was necessary to explain where he’d been, but it’s not like this is the last time we’re going to see him. It’s been 14 years of one project bleeding into the next. Why the sudden concern with wrapping up the plots of characters we know we’re going to see again later? I certainly didn’t expect him to return in this series.

https://tealfeed.com/arina_440720

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed

tfed