The eighth episode of She-Hulk ended with a lot of bad things happening at once. With only one left, they have a good bit to wrap up for the fourth-wall breaking green heroine. The season, and maybe series, comes to an end with Jen understandably asking “Whose Show Is This?”
The show opens with a damn near perfect shot for shot parody of the opening of the old Bill Bixby/Lou Ferigno “The Incredible Hulk” series. After that remarkably entertaining bit of nostalgia, we move to the present, with Jen in custody in a cell at the DODC, much like Emil was in earlier in the season. Nikki, Pug, and Mallory come in to visit, and we see that Mallory and Jen have very different agendas. Jen’s is understandable, but Mallory’s is a lot more practical given current circumstances. There’s a plea deal being offered, but it has a lot of really nasty repercussions for Jen. Much of what we’ve seen her working towards through the season gets taken away.
There’s a media frenzy, and things are looking bad for Jennifer, but her family endearingly stands by her. Her father wields a garden hose in the name of justice! Nikki comes by, and we Jen has descended to the crazy wall level in her quest to combat Intelligencia. The two friends have some differing goals and means in mind, and their scheming gets interrupted when Mom comes in with snacks and embarrassing videos from Jen’s younger days. Jen’s night gets even worse when a face from her past pops up on tv with assorted unpleasant lies to spread.
After retreating to her room, which we’ve seen has an interesting poster collection, Jen deals with her mother mis-naming her, some unanswered texts, and then decides she’s had enough. Taking up Emil on an earlier offer, Jen goes into full retreat mode, on several levels. Nikki, meanwhile, takes some matters into her own hands to try and help her friend, recruiting an ally along the way.
Listening in, Nikki pushes to find out more about Intelligencia, and the gathering sounds like a toxic comments section come to life. I have to wonder how much of the dialogue here was taken from online discussions about the MCU. At the retreat, Jen talks to the Wrecker, who is still reformed and Zen-like (his name is Dirk in the comics, but we never hear it on this show). This is where things get kind of out of control.
Jen has broken the fourth wall a lot in this series, but at this point it gets shattered. There’s a really chaotic fight with multiple characters, and Jen’s finally had enough. She talks to the audience, complains that the story isn’t making any sense, and then she sort of leaves the scene in a really unique way. In a very meta series of scenes, she goes to Marvel Studios, confronts the writers’ room (featuring several actual writers from the show) and then goes to see Kevin. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say the scene isn’t what you think, and gets even more meta.
After a really unique conversation within the MCU and a few changes, an earlier scene sort of resets. Assorted major plotlines get resolved in unexpected ways, familiar faces show up, and a few subplots are also wrapped up. After a few more surprises, we get a final scene that hints of things to come, although an earlier scene hinted that She-Hulk won’t make the jump to the movies. After some more of the entertaining sketched-in credits, there’s a final scene with two of the supporting characters that suggests what might come next for them, too. It was an interesting finale for an enjoyable season, or maybe series, depending.
What I Liked: She-Hulk in the comics broke the fourth wall and talked directly to the audience long before Deadpool stole her schtick. In this episode, she takes that to a new extreme, with some really interesting, and very meta, results. The collection of characters that showed up, and how they were dealt with, was fun, and showed some originality. The series veered from the standard hero story in several ways, and did that very consciously. I’m intrigued by some of the things they set up, and hope we get to see them followed up on. Nikki was fantastic, as always, and Pug was a great ally. Jen’s father Morris was endearingly determined to stand up for his daughter.
What I Didn’t: They crammed in so many characters that most of them didn’t get enough screen time. I would have happily done without a few of them popping up to get more time for the others. There was a big reveal about one of the other characters at the end I really hope we hear more about. I’m hoping the bit about Jen not making it to the movies was just a joke, although I could see this style of storytelling possibly not working as well on the big screen.
There was a lot of discussion about this series, and a lot of social issues have been touched on in that discussion. I’m not going to get into any of that. I enjoyed the show and its definite quirkiness. I’ll give the finale a 3.5 out of 5, and the season a 4 out of 5.