She-Hulk Episode 9 review: A comedic but anti-climactic crusade

she-hulk episode 9Marvel/Disney+

She-Hulk’s finale breaks the fourth wall a lot, but it also breaks it’s chance for an exciting ending to the season.

The final episode of Marvel‘s newest series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, has now premiered on Disney+, bringing an end to one of the MCU’s most discoursed shows. The story follows Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a lawyer who also happens to be a Hulk, as she attempts to survive the courtroom, her dating life, and (often sexist) trolls who keep trying to attack her.

Episode 9 brings the conflict of the Intelligencia to a close, however while the finale arguably breaks the mold of many a MCU show, it ends up feeling rather anti-climactic, and not like a finale at all.

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Let’s get into this for the last time. But first, warning: spoilers for Episode 9 of She-Hulk follow…

What She-Hulk makes up for in strength, she lacks in stakes

What’s disappointing about the finale is what they didn’t show, rather than what they did. Last episode ended on a note that had great potential, as this was the first time that Jen was truly looked at as a monster, which is the type of angst that we felt had been missing from the show. But this episode pretty much glosses over that. True, we do see the negative outward effects on her life, but we don’t really get any conflict on Jen’s part. Was she right to be angry? Of course! But should this have been followed by some emotional pathos? Also of course! And the lack of that feels incredibly frustrating, especially as this is a finale, where emotions should be at their peak.

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Finales are also usually where the action reaches its peak, but that is also lacking in She-Hulk. True, the amount of characters showing up wouldn’t have made any sense, and the lack of a fight scene is obviously intentional, but it probably would have been fun to see. Guess they were serious about the lack of budget.

What we get instead is major fourth wall breakage, where She-Hulk literally smashes through Disney+ to talk to those who work at Marvel. Honestly, while it derails what could have been a cool fight, it is great to see her walk around the MCU studios, which includes a cameo for the show’s head writer, Jessica Gao, along with a hilarious depiction of Kevin Fiege. Cynics could call this moment Marvel lampshading their own flaws without actually fixing them, but hey, it’s still fun to watch at least.

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The Intelligencia is a realistic foe, for better or worse

The episode sees our main heroes take on the Intelligencia. Most of the work is actually done by She-Hulk’s friends, and it’s always nice to have a show where the supporting characters are actually supportive when it comes to the story’s main plot. The undercover operation they embark on does successfully have enjoyable stakes, even if listening to the sexist group talk feels realistically uncomfortable.

While women viewers may recognise that Todd, the leader of the Inetlligencia, is one of the realest villains that Marvel’s ever had, he’s not about to rank on anyone’s top villain list anytime soon. But maybe that’s the point; a lot of these incel type folks are far from the epic supervillains they think they are, usually they’re just some average bland guy. In this way, actor Jon Bass does a good job of making him try to appear cool, but just coming off as pathetic. Even his name, Todd, is both average and forgettable, which he compensates for by calling himself “Hulk King” online.

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she-hulk toddMarvel/Disney+
Todd has been a nuisance to She-Hulk throughout the season.

There’s also a twist with the Abomination (Tim Roth) which many fans considered to be inevitable, and to be honest, you could see his change as either a good or bad move on the writer’s part. But at least he gets to fight the Hulk again.

She-Hulk, like Jen, grows and shrinks over time

Overall, She-Hulk has had varying quality when it comes to each episode. The two previous episodes were great, and felt like they were truly building to something, but the finale doesn’t really bring the payoff enough for a satisfying conclusion.

The episode is enjoyable enough, and does have a couple of gasp-inducing moments, but it doesn’t feel like a true conclusion. Tatiana Maslany is trying her best, but her talent is wasted with the episode’s lack of big emotional moments. Though it is great to see her with Daredevil again.

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If we’re judging by the hints that the finale makes, She-Hulk Season 2 will be happening in the future, and we’re cautiously looking forward to it. She-Hulk has great potential, if it just figures out where its biggest strengths lie. Let’s at least hope they get better CGI next time.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 is currently available to stream in its entirety on Disney+