The “She-Hulk” Season Finale Was Disappointing Because It Betrayed The Original Premise Of The Show

However, in the penultimate episode of She-Hulk, Jen’s anger boils over in a way she hadn’t expressed before. At a gala to receive her award for Female Lawyer of the Year, a Discord-inspired troll with the goofy-ass moniker of HulkKing (Jon Bass) interrupts her acceptance speech by streaming a nude video of her di lei filmed without her knowledge or consent on the screens surrounding the stage. Jen smashes the screens at the awards ceremony, sending everyone fleeing a rampaging Hulk as she chases down the masked man she assumes is HulkKing. Just as she catches up with him, law enforcement surrounds her, and Jen realizes the police were trying to contain her the whole time. She-Hulk finally asks the questions we were heading toward the whole series: What happens when a woman who’s learned to control her anger loses it anyway? And for a reason that would make anyone who’s ever taken a nude go nuclear?

The series up until that point had been a delightful romp about one woman’s Sisyphean efforts to juggle her mean, green alter ego with her everyday life as an ambitious attorney. The finale was primed to explore what happens when that fragile balance is smashed and Jen’s life di lei actually spirals out of control. And while the finale started out promisingly with Jen in a supermax prison for enhanced beings, making bail on the condition that she wears an inhibitor that prevents her from turning into She-Hulk, the episode quickly finds its way to a climax place that Jen hates .

Out on bail, Jen tries to determine HulkKing’s identity. She seeks out one of her clients di lei, Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), aka Abomination, and heads to his meditation retreat to get some advice. (For those who don’t remember, Jen secured Emil’s early parole when he was incarcerated for the fight he had with Hulk in Harlem waaaay back in that 2008 Edward Norton movie we don’t talk about.) But once Jen’s there, she discovers Abomination speaking at a secret meeting of HulkKing’s rabid followers. Jen confronts HulkKing, who is revealed to be a total creep she went on a date with earlier in the season, as he takes a shot of serum synthesized from her blood di lei – stolen by another date of Jen’s di lei, a full-on HulkKing henchman. Then, every superpowered being in the show smashes into frame. HulkKing tries to fight Jen, Hulk tries to fight Abomination, Titania (Jameela Jamil) crashes through a wall to beat up minions; it’s a CGI clusterfuck only Marvel could afford.

“We’re not actually doing this. This can’t possibly be where the season is going. … This is a mess. None of these storylines make any sense. Is this working for you? ” Jen says as she straight-up quits the episode. Ripping off her inhibitor, Jen hulks her way through the Disney + menu, jumps into a behind-the-scenes show, and makes her way to the She-Hulk writers room. Her complaints di lei about the episode are met with a cultlike response: This is the story KEVIN wants. One requisite fight scene later, She-Hulk finally meets KEVIN, an AI and meta insert of the real-life president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, aka the man behind the curtain. Jen presents her closing argument; her perfect finale di lei includes cutting the throwdown between the super enhanced beings, ensuring HulkKing never gets creepy blood-based superpowers, Abomination holding himself accountable for his parole violation, and of course blackberries thotty Daredevil (Charlie Cox). With that laundry list, Jen takes back her show.

The big, flashy spectacle of a Hulk-versus-Hulk fight and a high-stakes, but derivative, plot about a knockoff super serum “distracts from the story, which is that my life fell apart right when I was learning to be both Jen and She-Hulk, ”Jen says. “Those are my stakes, KEVIN”

She-Hulk‘s finale ends with She-Hulk (inhibitor gone and cleared of all charges) giving a quick, rote interview on the courthouse steps in which she pledges to use both the law and her powers to seek justice. In doing so, the entire meta portion of the finale sets up Jen’s final confrontation not with HulkKing, the season-long villain, but with the corporate entity of Marvel itself. That would have been a wildly interesting twist if She-Hulk was a series that mainly parodied commercialization and franchising. But when Jen convinces KEVIN to tell the kind of story she wants and technically triumphs in the final narrative conflict of the show, the series falls into the same trap as most Marvel projects: trading their protagonists’ emotional resolutions for whatever shiny, explosive superpowers are coming up next. In the last 10 minutes of the finale alone, a joke about how expensive She-Hulk is to animate hints the VFX team has moved on to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Jen asks the eternal MCU question: when are we going to see the X-Men; KEVIN confirms that She-Hulk won’t be in any of the upcoming movies (at least in this current MCU phase); Hulk brings his alien son of him, Skar (also a Hulk!), Home to meet the family; and Abomination escapes prison to seek refuge in Kamar Taj.

About the author


Leave a Comment