She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season Finale Review: A Disappointing Ending To An Uneven Season

The She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 finale takes a wild left turn that would make more sense if the show could decide what it wanted to be.

By Michileen Martin | Published


SHe-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Finale Review Score:

The She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 finale takes just about the wildest swing you could imagine and winds up with its face in the dirt. But if an August interview is to be believed, you shouldn’t blame showrunner Jessica Gao, lead actress Tatiana Maslany, or anyone else in the cast or crew; the culprit here is Marvel Studios. This is your one and only warning that massive SPOILERS are to follow for the final episode of She-Hulk‘s first season on Disney+.

The She-Hulk Season 1 finale finds its hero smashing through the Fourth Wall in a way that should even make Ryan Reynolds‘s Wade Wilson jealous. The hero literally breaks through the Disney+ menu screen and ends up on the Disney Studios lot where she not only confronts showrunner Jessica Gao and the entire She-Hulk‘s writers room, but K.E.V.I.N.; an A.I. version of Kevin Feige who caves to some of her story demands. Some of it is hilarious, and some of it makes you cringe.

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She-Hulk breaking through the Disney+ menu screen in the Season 1 finale.

The problem with this She-Hulk finale isn’t that Season 1 shouldn’t have concluded this way. The wild left-turn is a perfect reflection of John Byrne’s famous comic book run on Sensational She-Hulk, and if the rest of the season justified this ending, it could’ve come off as brilliant. The problem is that if anything has defined this show’s inaugural outing, it’s that it’s stopped short of deciding what kind of show it wants to be.

The title of the She-Hulk Season 1 finale, “Whose Show Is This?”, is more apt than maybe it was intended to be. From the very beginning, the series has been very interested in having Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) tell us it’s a legal comedy instead of a superhero show, while remaining skittish about actually showing us that. There were few laughs to be had in the series premiere especially, and at best Jen’s instances of breaking through the Fourth Wall have been sporadic.

It seems likely this is the fault of Marvel Studios. In an August interview with Variety, Jessica Gao said that she initially wanted a lot more direct interactions between the show’s hero and its audience, but the studio wanted her to cut back. It’s likely because of Marvel stepping in that the She-Hulk finale feels so unearned.

“I love fourth-wall breaking, and if I had my druthers, it would just be nonstop — and it really was kind of nonstop in the early phases,” Gao told Variety. “It was so much that Marvel was like, ‘OK, calm down, this is too much. She can’t just be talking to the audience the entire time.'”

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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law brilliantly parodies The Incredible Hulk

While moments of the She-Hulk finale are hilarious–such as the brilliant parody of the seventies Incredible Hulk live-action show early in the episode–there just wasn’t enough of the Fourth Wall smashing throughout the season to make this major one feel like anything but a cop out. As it stands, I was left feeling like the entire purpose of the show was to set up whatever upcoming movie or series will resolve the storyline involving Jen’s stolen Hulk blood and the reveal of Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) son Skaar (Wil Deusner).

I have desperately wanted to like She-Hulk more than I do, if for no other reason to not be lumped in with a lot of the haters who go after the show for nothing but pure misogyny, but this finale is indicative of what’s stopped me. I wanted more comedy, more smashing of the Fourth Wall, and more Z-list ridiculous Marvel Comics refugees like Porcupine and Man-Bull. If there is a Season 2, here’s hoping for similar appearances from nobodies like Captain Ultra , Stunt-Master, Tapping Tommy… and for Hulk’s sake where was Howard the Duck?

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has a lot of potential and I hope if/when Season 2 comes, the series finally stops trying to justify itself with things like Jen’s finale speech and decides to just be a legal comedy. Will the incels The Intelligencia is based on complain? Of course they will, but if you think there’s a way to make them stop complaining then you don’t understand the difference between a critic and a hungry animal.