Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Being a lawyer is hard enough, especially when you new client is a super villain who tried to murder your cousin on multiple occasions! For Jennifer Walters, that’s just another day of being related to Bruce Banner.
Where the first episode was an origin story introducing audiences to Jennifer Walters and detailing how she became She-Hulk, this episode feels like another first episode, giving us a taste of the legal comedy that the rest of the show is being billed to be. We see Jennifer in action as a lawyer, dealing with lawyer dilemmas as conflicts of interest, mistrial applications, and job hunting. Personally, I really enjoyed this angle for the show as it is something we have not really seen in the MCU to date (not counting the brief legal troubles of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Netflix Daredevil series). It might be the lawyer in me, as I’m sure it could not interest some viewers, especially those looking just for the latest CGI superhero fight, but I enjoyed the blending of superheroes, comedy and legal drama. Tatiana Maslany continues to be phenomenal as Jen, even if the writing leaves her with some jokes that don’t land as well as I’m sure the writers intended them too.
For the overall story, we get our first glimpse of what is to come: the trial of Emil Blonsky a.k. Abomination. It’s obviously one plot point for this series, as we know there are other villains and Marvel superheroes set to appear, but at this point it is looking like the main legal case that will be a plot thread throughout the series. I’m still interested to see what the larger story here is for Jen, as this is her Marvel series, but I’m sure all will be revealed in due time.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt on this week’s episode…
After thwarting Titania’s attack on the court room and saving the jury from sudden death, Jennifer is being heralded on the news as a hero. And her superhero name: She-Hulk. Nikki takes her to a bar, where she convinces Jen to enter as She-Hulk as the bar’s patrons are chanting her name. Inside the bar, Jen debates the benefits of being an Avenger with Nikki, coming to the conclusion that there is not much there for her because there are no benefits and potentially even no pay. She is then approached by her current boss. While he commends her for saving the jury, he informs Jen that this lost her the case as opposing counsel made an application for a mistrial. The application was successful, as the judge believed that Jen saving the jury created a bias in her favour. While she asks her boss what she was supposed to do, let them die, he informs her that unfortunately that he is letting her go as She-Hulk is a liability that the District Attorney’s Office cannot have.
Despite multiple job interviews, Jen is not able to find a job because of her dual identity as She-Hulk. So in the midst of her self-pity and wallowing, she goes to her parents’ house for a family dinner. While her father tells her that he told the entire family about her losing her job so she did not have to tell them the story, her cousin instantly mentions it when Jen walks into the room despite being told not to. He then turns to talking about his promotion to manager at the local Best Buy, before every family member begins talking about superheroes while they eat dinner, which is clearly getting on Jen’s nerves. Her father then takes her out to the garage, under the disguise of needing help, but he just wanted to check in on her and see how she was feeling. Jen is honest, telling her father that is okay with not being okay about her situation. While he knows it’s tough now, her father tells her that things will work out, especially since this is not the first time their family has dealt with a Hulk. He knows that the thing that she most dreaded has happened to her, but that she will continue to move on and everything will work out.
Later, while drinking at her local bar, Jen is approached by Holloway, the opposing counsel from her final case at the District Attorney’s office. He has come with a job offer for Jen to lead their new division, which she instantly accepts on the spot. On one condition: that she gets to hire her own paralegal. Holloway tells her that he could care less who she hires as her paralegal, and that he will see her on Monday at the office.
Arriving at her new job, Jen is greeted by Holloway in the lobby. He tells her that she has been brought on to head their new superhero law team, and they want her to do so as She-Hulk, not Jen. While Jen’s fourth wall breaking dialogue shows that she is clearly not a fan of this position, she pretends to be excited about it for Holloway’s sake. Holloway leaves Jen at her new office, which Nikki is freaking out over because it’s huge, beautiful and has a killer view. They are both greeted by Pug, played by Josh Segarra, who introduces himself as another member of the superhero law team and brings Jen a welcome basket.
Later that day in Holloway’s office, he gives Jen her first client: Emil Blonsky a.k.a. Abomination. Blonsky is seeking parole, and Holloway wants Jen to represent him as it is a controversial and high profile case that is sure to make a name for their new division. However, Jen has serious reservations due to a conflict of interest: the fact that Blonsky attempted to kill her cousin Bruce while destroying Harlem years ago. Holloway expected this, and tells Jen that Blonsky has already signed a waiver of conflict and personally asked for her to represent him. Jen says that she is not comfortable taking on the case, but Holloway says that if she declines the case she will lose her job. Trying to convince Jen to take the case, he tells her she should really meet with Blonsky first before deciding whether to take on the case.
Jen then travels to the Department of Damage Control maximum security prison to visit Blonsky. The guards require her to not be She-Hulk while visiting Blonsky, and inform her of all the dangers in her visit and the safety precautions in place for her meeting with Blonsky. Blonsky himself is in a glass cage, similar to Hannibal Lecter’s, for his meeting with Jen. However, Jen is surprised to see Blonsky as himself, not as Abomination. Blonsky tells Jen that he has transformed himself both physically and spiritually, and that he wants to start a new life. He addresses his attempt to kill Bruce, saying that it was on government orders. Jen calls him out on this saying that his orders were never to go on a rampage and destroy Harlem while trying to kill Bruce. Blonsky agrees with her, but says that that would never have happened if the government hadn’t injected him with the super soldier serum which turned him into Abomination, which caused him to lose control. The lawyer in Jen immediately picks up on this fact, seeing a potential reason for parole being granted, but tells Blomsky that he will have to show real remorse for his actions for the parole board to even consider granting him parole. In response to this comment, Blonsky begins to tell Jen about the haikus he has been writing that express his remorse, and Jen leaves the prison telling Blonsky she will consider taking his case.
The next day, Jen gets a voice message from Holloway telling her that he will need her decision on the case by the end of the day. Jen then calls Bruce, trying to tell him about the situation she faces and why she should take the case. Bruce keeps trying to speak, but Jen goes on and on about her moral duty and how this is a good case. Once she stops, Bruce says it sounds like she called him to tell him she is taking the case. Jen agrees, and tells Bruce that she is taking the case, but that she didn’t want to do that without talking to him first. Bruce agrees with her, and supports her taking the case. Especially as Blonsky had sent him a nice letter and haiku a while back. Bruce tells Jen that this is a big step forward for her, while also telling her how much he loves her superhero name and that she needs to be careful. Jen then asks him when he is coming to LA next, but Bruce says that might be a while as the camera pans, revealing that Bruce is in outer space in the Sakaarian ship that attacked them last episode, before the call drops.
Jen then calls Holloway, informing him that she will take the case. While on the call, Holloway tells Jen to turn on the news. She does so, to see a story about leaked footage of Blonsky as Abomination participating in an underground fight club (as seen during Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) while he was supposed to be in prison. The newscaster also mentions that there is no comment from Blonsky’s lawyer as to this footage. Jen is clearly not impressed with this, and expresses this as the episode ends.
Continuing on the promise that every episode will have a credit scene, we see Jen back at her parent’s house helping her father and cousin install a new 4K television and lifting multiple water jugs at once for her father.
In this week’s episode, there are two major MCU tie-ins. The first establishes the point in time within Phase 4 the series is taking place. The obvious one is the newsreel showing footage from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, confirming that this series either takes place during the events of that film or after it. But also, while Jennifer is searching the internet for a new job, one of the web pages has news headlines. One of these headlines refers to a giant statue of a man sticking out of the Ocean. This is most likely referring to the Celestial that was emerging during Eternals but was stopped, suggesting that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is after the events of Eternals as well.
But the big Easter Egg is also on the same website. The headline above the giant statue refers to a man fighting with “metal claws in bar brawl”. Any Marvel fan should be freaking out at this headline, because there is only one character this could be: Wolverine! Yes, we continue to get X-Men teases in Phase 4, hinting that the X-Men are coming very soon to the MCU. And with those casting rumours of Glen Powell being in talks for the role of Cyclops, I’m sure there will be some more mutant filled news to come over the next few weeks, especially with D23 just around the corner.
How will Jen respond to the footage of Abomination leaving prison to fight in an underground fight club? Where is Bruce heading off to in the Sakaarian ship? And is Blonsky playing Jennifer? Check back next week for the next She-Hulk: Attorney at Law recap to find out if we learn any of these answers as the next adventure in the MCU unfolds!