she-hulk finale review

She-Hulk Finale Review: A Good Ending to a Mediocre Show

All great things come to an end and so do the mediocre ones as the season finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has arrived on Disney+. This legal comedy has been one of the poorer Marvel Cinematic Universe outings, but the show has gotten better as the season has gone on. “Whose Show Is This?” is the ninth and final episode of the season, and it’s a fun, fourth-wall-smashing finale that owns the show’s flaws and self-awareness without fixing much of it.

The previous episode had Intelligencia leaking Jennifer’s sex tape as she gets arrested by the Department of Damage Control. This episode hammers her to the ground as she loses her job at GLK&H, is barred from changing into She-Hulk, and is forced to move back to her parents’ home. It finally feels as if the show is putting Jennifer through pain, as the show has maintained a tone so lighthearted that it rarely has her dealing with conflicts for longer than half an hour. As an attorney, she typically handles other people’s problems, so seeing her struggle to fix her own problems allows the show to finally have stakes.

Jennifer becomes an easy character to sympathize with and root for as she finds herself at her lowest point. Meanwhile, Nikki and Pug infiltrate an Intelligencia event where Pug pretends to be a member. The show gets a lot of mileage out of making the antagonists the people who criticize the show. The way that the Intelligencia members complain about She-Hulk in a very similar manner to real-life haters shows how predictable toxic fans are and is a demonstration of the show’s well-written cleverness. However, the show’s use of lampshading to avoid criticism is not fully effective, as it paints critics of the show as irrational misogynists instead of people with rational opinions.

As Abomination arrives at the Intelligencia event and Todd uses She-Hulk’s blood to transform himself into a Hulk, all hell breaks loose as a battle ensues, and Bruce Banner suddenly returns. This is all absurdly written, but Jennifer voices every criticism in the audience’s mind. She decides to break the fourth wall, crawling out of the Disney+ menu and into Marvel Studios: Assembled, where she confronts the show’s writers. This is a hilariously unexpected turn where Marvel gets to poke fun at themselves, with Jennifer being forced to sign an NDA.

Jennifer comes face-to-face with K.E.V.I.N., a Feige-esque artificial intelligence designed to produce near-perfect products for the MCU. Writer Jessica Gao clearly had a field day with this one, having so much fun with the idea of a character who can demolish the fourth wall. The joke where K.E.V.I.N. makes She-Hulk transform back into Jennifer to save money on the budget due to the visual effects team working on another project (cue the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever music) is hilarious. It’s also great to see Jennifer ask K.E.V.I.N. all the burning questions fans would ask Kevin Feige, such as when we’ll be getting the X-Men and asking Marvel to quit giving the characters daddy issues.

This season finale flips the idea of a satisfying Marvel finale on its head. Marvel takes all the complaints about how formulaic finales can be by stripping away the big final battle, clashing storylines, and a villain who gives themself the powers of the hero. She-Hulk asks for Daredevil back and asks for Todd and Abomination to face consequences for their actions. The show then cuts straight to the happy ending. While this is a self-aware series that knows about all the pitfalls a show like this could have fallen into and all the criticisms that could have been made, it commits some other issues.

By having Abomination back in jail for his crimes, it renders the storyline where Jennifer has to get him out of jail worthless. By immediately giving Todd comeuppance, he and Titania (who is still uselessly in the show) may go down as the weakest villains in MCU history. If this were a Fast & Furious movie, it cuts away from the big unrealistic final battle and straight to the part where everyone is eating barbecue with smiles at the end. The storylines are wrapped up much too easily, and it throws in Hulk’s son, Skaar, at the last minute. This is another instance of the MCU developing Banner’s character offscreen, but all we can hope for now is a Hulk movie that’s better than this show.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is one of the weakest installments of the MCU. It has great moments, but the lack of funny comedy or attention to good storytelling holds this show back. The show is so concerned with having fun and making points about all of the toxic haters that it forgets to be a good show. Maslany is a charming, likable presence as Jennifer Walters, and the supporting cast has some fun as well. However, this show loses its way early on, and the joy of the last two episodes is not enough to save the rest.

SCORE: 7/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.

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