Concluding a show’s diverging plotlines in a satisfying way is a tough task that demands patience, a good script and balance, as a bad ending can forever shape the show’s imprint in popular culture. Think of “Game of Thrones” and “Lost,” whose conclusions polarized fans and serve as a major means of discouraging those who haven’t seen those shows from checking them out; what is the point of committing to a show, after all, if there is no overall payoff?
“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” concludes in a manner that is truly baffling. See my initial thoughts down below. This written review will go more in depth.
After last week’s episode leaves Jen (Tatiana Maslany) at rock bottom, having been baited into destroying property in a fit of Hulk rage after creeps from the criminal forum Intelligencia streamed revenge porn of Jen during a public awards ceremony. As mentioned in last week’s review, I didn’t care too much about Jen’s actions in reaction to the incident — anyone would be justifiably angry — hoping that it would be brushed off quickly in order to shift the focus to the sinister nature of Intelligencia.
Except the show decides to exclusively focus on Jen’s reaction, forcing her into a plea deal much like what Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) got for parole: She is not allowed to turn into “She-Hulk.”
To make matters worse, one of Jen’s previous dates holds a meeting of Intelligencia at Blonsky’s estate, and injects himself with her stolen blood, after which the show goes so off the rails that Jen breaks the fourth wall in order to talk to the robot K.E.V.I.N. (a playful representation of Marvel boss Kevin Feige) in order to write herself a new ending.
Up until this point, the show’s fourth wall breaks have been fun and added to the show’s style. But I’m not a fan of the big fourth wall break in this episode and I think it went too far.
What it feels like is an outright admittance that the show had nothing up its sleeve and was a waste of time, though I do think that there could have been interesting ways to resolve the show’s plotlines with what the show had already laid out.
For one, I think Arthur, whom Jen had dated as She-Hulk but was not attracted to Jen and who seemed a little too perfect could have been a great big bad and I think the show had a real opportunity to say something profound about online troll culture and how one’s life changes in the modern era once they get fame — there are so many dangers the average person usually does not have to worry about, as online privacy basically evaporates. And it seemed like the show was going to tackle a very sensitive but timely topic in revenge porn and what women have to go through when this happens.
I also wish that the show knew what to do with Titania (Jameela Jamil), who leaves Season 1 with a completely nonsensical character journey and very little reason to hate She-Hulk.
Episode 9 leaves me feeling like the show took a cheap and easy way out of writing a compelling finale. It feels lazy, not clever, like a last-ditch effort to write itself out of a hole, one that was pretty shallow at that.
There are some interesting points made during this episode’s big fourth wall break — I loved how Marvel admitted that bloated, CGI-filled 3rd acts have become divisive and unnecessary — but I can’t ignore how the show just implodes completely because of it.
This finale is shockingly bad and is arguably the worst ending to any project in the MCU.
“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” Season 1: Episode 9 “Whose Show is This?” gets a 4/10