she-hulk attorney at law episode 1 recap

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Episode 1 Recap: Court Is Now In Session

Home » She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Episode 1 Recap: Court Is Now In Session

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.

Court is in session! All rise for the Marvel Cinematic Debut of Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters a.k.a She-Hulk!

Marvel’s next story has begun, kicking off a nine episode legal comedy series focused around one of the most famous superhero lawyers from the Marvel comics: She-Hulk. The first episode spends time introducing audiences to Jennifer Walters and exploring her origin story, while quickly going through the superhero training so the entire series can be more than just an origin tale. It’s well handled in a truly entertaining episode which highlights the comedic elements of the series, even if there is no indication of what the story for the rest of the series is. The standout writing of the episode is the discussion of how women have to control their emotions and anger in society, because of historical conceptions of how women should behave. The writers do a wonderful job calling out society, which creates one of the most impactful moments in any Marvel project to date.

Though, the series would be nothing without the singular talent that is Tatiana Maslany! From the second she appears on screen, Maslany is outstanding. She was born to play Jennifer Walters, effortlessly capturing her humour and intelligence. Her banter with Mark Ruffalo is wildly entertaining, interjecting the entire episode with a care free energy that lights up the screen. It comes at no surprise given her past performances, but Maslany is yet another scene stealer and helps bring to life this great superhero. Needless to say, between her, Simu Liu and Iman Vellani, the Canadians are dominating the MCU currently! 

And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen the series premiere of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt on the series premiere…

The episode begins with Jennifer Walters in her office practicing her closing argument for her current court case. Her assistant and best friend Nikki thinks it was great, while her colleague and fellow lawyer Dennis thinks he should handle the closing argument instead. Jennifer and Nikki get Dennis out of the office. Nikki then tells Jen that if she loses, she could just Hulk out, but Jen tells Nikki the only Hulking out she will be doing is in the legal sense. As she is leaving her office, Jen turns towards the camera, addressing the audience. She acknowledges that we all want to know how she became a Hulk, and says she will tell us that story so we can focus on and enjoy this really fun legal show.

A few months ago, Jen was on a road trip with her cousin Bruce Banner. While driving, a Sakarian ship appears in the middle of the road, forcing Jen to swerve and the car tumbles off the road and down a hill. Jen cuts her arm escaping the car, and frees Bruce from the vehicle. But while pulling Bruce out of the car, Bruce’s cut bleeds into Jen’s, infecting her with his gamma radiation infused blood. This causes Jen to turn into She-Hulk and she runs off into the woods.

Jen wakes up hours later during the night, and makes her way to the nearest town. She lets herself in a bathroom at the local bar, and begins cleaning herself up. Four women from the bar come in, see her appearance, and begin applying make-up and dressing Jen up thinking Jen’s lover has done this to her. Jen tells them she is fine, and borrows their phone to call Bruce to pick her up.

While waiting outside the bar for Bruce to pick her up, a group of men surround Jen and try to get her to join them. Jen refuses, but when they don’t take no for an answer and begin to surround Jen, Jen unexpectedly transforms into She-Hulk. While she scares the men, before she can attack, Bruce appears and tackles her to the ground, knocking her out.

Jen wakes up in a room, exits and finds herself in Bruce’s beach side house in Mexico. Jen finds Bruce in the basement of the house as Smart Hulk. He tells Jen that the ship that appeared in front of them on the road was there to deliver him a message, but that he will deal with it later. However, he confirms that Jen got a lethal dose of gamma radiation from his blood. But, he pauses and Jen thinks she is going to die. Bruce quickly corrects her, telling her that that is not the case and that she won’t die. Jen freaks out at Burce for allowing her to think that, but he continues his scientific explanation. He says that their genetics allows them to synthesize the gamma radiation, allowing her to turn into a Hulk. Jen wants Bruce to create her a device to control this, like the one Bruce was wearing in the car, but Bruce says he can’t. He tells Jen that there is no going back to the person she was before, that she needs to learn how to live with being a Hulk. 

Over pancakes, Bruce explains to Jen that she will have to avoid stressful situations now and that she can’t go back to her job as a lawyer. He continues, telling her that she will have to stay here in Mexico with him until she can learn to control her Hulk abilities. As he pulls out a binder with his training plan for Jen to learn how to control her Hulk abilities, he tells her it will be an approximately fifteen year long journey of training to learn how to control her abilities, which Jen is not pleased about.

Their training begins with Jen in a machine in the basement, wearing a helmet that is monitoring her brain activity. Saws appear in the walls, and begin closing in on Jen, forcing her to turn into She-Hulk. And that is exactly what Jen does. As She-Hulk, Jen destroys the saws and breaks out of the machine. She then gets mad at Bruce, but as doing so, she maintains her personality. Unlike Bruce, she does not have an alter ego, which blows Bruce’s mind. Because of this, he says they can move past learning to live with an alter-ego and move onto the next phase of her training: how to transform herself back into Jen.

On the beach, Jen and Bruce are practicing yoga as a way for Jen to control her emotions. But Jen is making fun of the yoga techniques, calling the whole practice a sham. Bruce says that clearly she is not ready for this and tells her he will employ new tactics in the morning.

The next morning, Bruce wakes Jen up with an air horn, causing her to turn into She-Hulk and break her bed. Understandably so, Jen is angry, and Bruce says she needs to learn to control that anger so she doesn’t turn into She-Hulk. But Jen says this is a normal amount of anger given the situation.

We then get a training montage, with Bruce getting Jen to test out her strength in a series of exercises. With each exercise, Jen one-ups Bruce and proves herself to be just as powerful as Bruce, which annoys Bruce. As their training begins to wind down, Jen tells Bruce she wants to learn how to use these powers as a lawyer. Bruce says that she won’t be able to, as there are lots of downsides to these powers. But he tells her there are also upsides, such as not getting drunk. The scene then cuts to Jen, Bruce, and a massive pile of empty drinks at a beach side bar, with Bruce letting out some massive burps.

What Bruce failed to tell Jen, is that even though have an increased tolerance for alcohol, that it doesn’t prevent a Hulk sized hangover. Not letting her rest, they return back to yoga, when Jen asks Bruce when she can leave and return to her life. Bruce tells her that this is superhero training, and that she won’t go back to her old life. But this is not what Jen wants, and she tells Bruce that she wants to keep being a lawyer as she does not want to be a superhero. Hearing this, Bruce tells her that she needs to learn to control her anger, and that her job won’t allow her to do that easily. Then, Jen gives Bruce the honest truth of her experience as a woman, and how this has made her not only an expert at controlling her anger, but her emotions. And then demonstrates by de-Hulking and turning back into her human form, before heading towards the garage to leave.

In the garage, Jen is hopping in the jeep as Bruce is trying to stop her from leaving. She tells him that she can change back and forth between herself and She-Hulk and can manage it. But Bruce tells her that she is a superhero now, whether she likes it or not. Though, Jen tells Bruce she does not want to be a superhero and have her life taken away from her like his was from him. She tells him that he is a cautionary tale, but that she wants to keep helping people; just through the law instead. As she starts driving away, Bruce tries to stop her, but she hits him with the jeep. She jumps out of the jeep to check on him, and he’s fine. She then turns into She-Hulk and begins fighting Bruce. They squirmish for a bit, but it ends when Jen uses her power claps to send Bruce flying into the air and to crash land into his bar, destroying it. They then repair the bar, and BRuce finally accepts that Jen is leaving to return to her life as a lawyer. As his final words, he tells her that if she ever changes her mind about becoming a superhero, he’s there for her.

We’re now back in the present, and Jen is off to court for her trial. We see opposing counsel’s closing argument to the jury. Jen then stands up to give her closing argument, as Tatiana breaks down the wall of the courtroom. Nikki tells Jen she has to do her thing, and Jen turns into She-Hulk. Seeing this, Tatiana asks Jen who she is? Her response: Jennifer Walters, Attorney at Law. Jen then punches Tatiana out, turns back into a human and says she is ready to present her closing argument. Cue credits…

But we get a post credit scene! We are back in Mexico at Bruce’s bar. Jen is drunk, saying how sad it is that Steve Rogers did so much for his country and didn’t deserve to die a virgin. Bruce corrects her, informing her that Steve lost his virginity to a woman in 1943 on a USO tour. After hearing this, Jen is perfectly sober, as she was only acting to get Bruce to disclose this secret about Steve, and exclaims “I knew It. Captain America f…” as the scene ends.

There are some fun references throughout the episode, such as the way Hulk reacts to She-Hulk’s power claps, which mirrors his reaction to the sonic blast cannons in The Incredible Hulk. The constant theorizing about Steve Rogers and mentions of Tony Stark is a great way to pay tribute to two Avengers that Bruce was close to, who are no longer present in the MCU. But there were not too many Easter Eggs hidden in the show that teased the future of the MCU, except for the Sakarian ship that caused Jen’s car to swerve off the road. Clearly, The Grand Master wants his champion back, hinting that Bruce/Hulk will be having their own adventure soon enough. It’s the first true tease of the long awaited solo Hulk adventure, and hopefully the project will be announced next month at D23 as there are still a number of unnamed Marvel projects on the release calendar over the next three years. 

Why did Tatiana burst into the courtroom? Will Jennifer win her case? Who is after Bruce? And when will Daredevil show up? 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!

Follow Darren on Instagram at @darrenmoviereviews

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