Alright, we’re back with more She-Hulk: Attorney at Law … just three more episodes to go, including this week’s entry, titled “The Retreat.” I can’t wait.
When we last saw Jen, she was enjoying a standalone wedding episode that didn’t advance the plot much, but at least she got to fight Titania, and meet Perfect Man Josh.
There’s not much else to recap, so let’s dig into the seventh episode of this series.
What happened in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 7
Jen goes through her morning routine via the most clever montage the show has come up with thus far. She exits the bathroom, shuts and immediately re-opens a door adorned in a dress. The camera pans across her lavish apartment as multiple Jens perform their own unique actions at various hours of the morning. Nice.
Perfect Man Josh arrives and the pair enjoy a night on the town. He’s too perfect to attempt a kiss or hug and settles for a handshake. He’s also really into fries and milkshakes. They do normal modern-day stuff like go to drive-ins and giggle every time they lock eyes. Eventually, Jen invites him inside. Everything is seemingly perfect, which means he’s probably the bad guy.
Anyway, at her office, Nikki informs Jen she’s nominated for “Female Lawyer of the Year,” because Jen is awesome at everything she does. Even though we haven’t seen her do anything as a lawyer besides get Abomination out of prison, for better or worse. Of course, Jen is too busy checking her phone for text messages from Josh to pay attention to her co-worker.
Josh hasn’t called or texted in a while. Jen is distressed. She even watched The Muppets with a straight face. Drama.
Luckily, the next morning she learns that Emil Blonsky might have turned into Abomination. “Ugh, work,” she moans.
So, Jen heads out to Blonsky’s “wackadoo ranch” with Chuck, who desperately asks her to “Hulk out” for protection. (I’m not gonna lie, I laughed at the “MMMBop” bit.) Moments later, Chuck tinkers with Blonsky’s ankle bracelet, which was merely acting up, according to the reformed supervillain. (I’m still baffled why Tim Roth agreed to appear on this show. That must’ve been easy money.)
Chuck happily vacates the premises, leaving Jen and Blonsky alone. For a second, I think, ah, this was all part of a ruse … he’s going to turn into Abomination and the story will really kick into gear. Then I remember which show I’m watching.
Instead of Abomination vs. Jen, we get a pair of idiots called Man-Bull and El Aguila, who are working with Blonsky on anger control. And yes, Man-Bull looks exactly like you expect.
These characters are dealing with identity issues, both external and internal, and need help dealing with their problems. Also, their bickering wrecked Jen’s Prius, leading Blonsky to suggests she stick around and spend some time on his spiritual resort. She’ll be his fifth customer.
Unfortunately, she’s too busy waiting for Josh to text to participate in this insanity. There’s no Wi-Fi or service, which compounds the drama. Seriously, this is the plot.
Eventually, she stumbles into a building and bumps into a therapy session with Blonsky, Man-Bull, El Aguil, and newer members Porcupine (“He’s a porcupine”) and Saracen, who thinks he’s a vampire. This does nothing to avert Jen’s attention from her phone. What follows is an extended bit between wacky characters — a series of exchanges that probably made the entire set laugh, but isn’t funny or witty enough to induce anything more than groans from viewers.
(As an aside, this is a good time to bring up Roger Ebert’s wise words about comedy, discussed in his review for Steve Martin’s The Jerk: “It seems to me that there are two basic approaches to any kind of comedy, and in a burst of oversimplification I’ll call them the Funny Hat and the Funny Logic approaches. The difference is elementary: In the first, we’re supposed to laugh because the comic is wearing the funny hat, and in the second it’s funny because of his reasons for wearing the funny hat.” She-Hulk subscribes to the former ideology. We’re meant to laugh at Man-Bull because he’s a man who dresses like a bull. Get it? There’s nothing behind the gag. So, your love of this scene will depend entirely on whether or not you think Man-Bull looks funny. Anyway, back to the show.)
Suddenly, Wrecker, aka one of those goons who attacked Jen in an early episode, enters the room. The show wisely jumps to a “previously on” clip to remind us who he is, which certainly helped this viewer. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you who that man was with a gun pressed to my head.
“Oh, hey,” Wrecker says nonchalantly when he spots Jen.
She immediately morphs into She-Hulk and easily tosses the man aside. Blonsky tells Jen to calm the hell down and takes the opportunity to induct her into the bizarre therapy session. She admits that she’s worried about Josh since he hasn’t texted in a while. He liked Jen for Jen, you see, not She-Hulk. This woman is literally the best lawyer on the planet (at least, that’s what the show tells us), has superhero powers, a lot of money, an amazing apartment, a great job, a number of friends who consistently tell her how awesome she is, a nice family … but she’s sad because some dude she met at a wedding hasn’t texted. This is drama.
Admittedly, there’s some funny banter between the group of crazies, who convince Jen that they like her for who she is … and not just because she’s She-Hulk. This is enough to convince her that she’s still the best. And so, she morphs back into her normal self; an action that inspires Porcupine to remove his mask, revealing a … smelly, nasty man who hasn’t taken a shower for a while.
Following this mild distraction, the group focuses back on Jen; orders her to delete Josh’s phone number. It’s always about Jen, you see? Everyone needs to recognize how awesome she is at every moment of the day or incur her wrath/tears.
After this stunning bit of character development, Blonsky offers some advice. “Jen, remember, everyone we meet, no matter how much they hurt you is a lesson learned.” Honestly, I’m surprised the writers are allowing this many men to be so positive, which means Blonsky is probably the mastermind operating behind the scenes.
Jen hops in a truck and heads back to her successful life.
We then get a title card that reads: THREE DAYS EARLIER, or the night Jen and Josh did the no-pants dance. And yes, it turns out he’s a bad guy. We see him snapping photos of her as she sleeps before sending an emoji-packed message to a not-yet-identified villain (as all bad guys do) letting them know he has taken a sample of her blood. This is a shocking development.
Anyway, that’s the end of this episode.
Final Thoughts on She-Hulk Episode 7
I already ripped into She-Hulk pretty hard last week, so I’ll try to refrain from blasting it any further. Suffice to say, despite a few mild comedic beats, this episode didn’t change my perspective on this series. It’s as bland, poorly written, and dumb as ever, but at least this episode had the good sense to lean into absurdity.
Blonsky’s “gang,” as they describe themselves, are outlandish enough to provide a touch of humor; even if the series reduces them to visual gags rather than actual people dealing with real problems, which would have been a welcome addition to the show. Instead, they’re meant to aid our leading lady in a time of crisis, but the problem is Jen doesn’t have any real problems. She hasn’t faced any real challenges or difficulties and is mostly burdened by being so awesome at everything all the time.
Imagine watching an Iron Man film in which Tony Stark spends two hours complaining about how difficult it is to clean up his massive Malibu beach home. Yeah, it’s like that.
There’s nothing wrong with Jen being a talented lawyer and a good person overall, but the series hasn’t done a good enough job showing how She-Hulk has affected her day-to-day life. After all, she already had it pretty great before she attained her powers. If anything, She-Hulk has made her life even more awesome, if that’s possible.
Where’s the story? The excitement? The drama? This should be a fun look at a normal woman whose fledging career and love life receive an enormous boost when she acquires superpowers, resulting in sudden success and untold riches; superficiality that ultimately changes her person in the worst possible way — i.e. the classic rags-to-riches comedy. You know, like The Jerk.
Alas, She-Hulk is stuck pandering to its target audience and too lazy to hit its real potential.
So, until next week I guess. There are only two more episodes to go — we can do this! Hell, maybe Daredevil will finally show up.