Article by Kieran Burt.
She-Hulk returns with another episode that, like the previous episode, doesn’t further the main story. However, this episode is much more interesting than the past week, as there is more exploration about how Jen feels about being She-Hulk, something that the audiences haven’t had a chance to see yet. Another light tease about the villain was given, but nothing concrete, meaning that it’s definitely a setup for a future MCU project.
Anyone holding out hope that Daredevil would appear in this episode after missing last week’s will be swiftly disappointed that he isn’t in this one either. Instead, it simply was an episode about no matter where they come from, men will be douches. A cheerful montage starts off the episode, where Jen finally finds happiness with Josh, who loves her for her. The audience wants to be happy for both, as they’ve seen Jen get hurt time and time again, and Josh’s portrayal really endeared him to the audience. They hang out, text each other at work, and generally want to be with each other.
Except anyone holding onto the idea that Jen can find herself a decent person is quickly proved wrong. After sleeping with Jen, Josh proceeds to ghost her, initially for no reason. This is a mystery that perplexes the audience for the rest of the episode, why would Josh give something like this up? Well, the answer is revealed at the end of the episode, and it isn’t as simple as Josh had a business trip or simply forgot to text back.
Jen spends the rest of the episode worrying she’s done something wrong, constantly checking for any updates. That is, until she’s interrupted by Blonsky’s parole officer, who calls Jen because the tracker on Blonsky has stopped working. Worried that he might have to face Abomination, he wants to have a hulk of his own to defend him. This call and the scene that follows are hilarious, She-Hulk has absolutely no time for this particular problem and is exasperated when it doesn’t lead to anything.
Even worse, her car gets destroyed by two jerks not caring about the consequences of their fight. When the classic exposition dump of who they are begins and Blonsky starts with mediation nonsense, Jen swiftly deconstructs what’s happening. This is a great way to break the fourth wall without it feeling forced, and without taking the audience out of the show.
Forced to stay at Blonsky’s somewhat creepy retreat – any second a peaceful meditation session might be interrupted by Abomination – Jen attempts to find any signal and inadvertently barges in on a counselling session. She finds the leader of the Wrecking Crew from episode three, and attempts to pull off another fourth wall break at the show’s expense. See, the Wrecking Crew have been extremely insignificant to the plot of the show, and audiences are bound to have forgotten this beatdown. The writers attempt to turn this into a humorous point, but instead expose how forgettable the show can be.
After She-Hulk receives a superficial apology from the guy who attacked her, a group of all men encourage her to open up to the group. Tatinia Maslany gives a heartfelt delivery about how Jen feels about being She-Hulk, that while there are obvious perks, it makes her second guess any guy who takes an interest in her, because they are usually just interested in She-Hulk and not Jen. This is the first time Jen has opened up about this, and does make the audience empathise with her. She works up the courage to delete Josh’s number, accepting that he’s gone.
Initially, this felt like a bit of an overreaction. Sure, no one likes to be ignored, but there are perfectly legitimate reasons why someone might not be able to reply quickly. It happens all the time, and hopefully She-Hulk would be able to present this issue with nuance. Except, this show takes the less nuanced route, and one that says that there are no nice men ever. Josh is revealed to be part of the Intelligentsia, and working for someone named Hulk-King.
This is likely to be a male, perhaps MODOK or The Leader, and simply a setup for further MCU projects. Both MODOK and The Leader will appear in upcoming MCU projects, as there is very little time to explore the reveal in She-Hulk. This is slightly disappointing, because this makes the show have loose threads that force the audience to watch something else in order to get closure. This isn’t a light tease, it’s an unfinished story.
This episode does have some flaws – making it clear that any man isn’t to be trusted and its teasing problem – but is funny in parts and it’s great to see Jen open up about what She-Hulk is to her. There are some comedic beats too, and parts where the fourth wall break is used effectively, and not to drag the audience out of the show. Comedy on this show is a bit spotty, but hopefully this episode means that the writers have finally figured out a formula and can take it into the final two episodes.