REVIEW: ‘She-Hulk’: Attorney at Law’ Episode 2

Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law serves as a transitional episode that showcases the series’ potential to tap into the wider MCU with no strings attached.

After the first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was dedicated to establishing Jen’s character and origin as the titular character, the second serves as a strong transition from that more traditional Marvel Cinematic Universe style of storytelling into what the series promised it would be—a half-hour episodic legal comedy.

Episode 2 does not fully embrace new terrain, as the premise of the show is still laying the groundwork for future episodes. There are still elements of an origin story considering Jen is freshly She-Hulk and the story has to tackle the immediate consequences of that. But by the end of this episode, Jen is firmly established in her new job, formally setting the stage for more consistently-structured and individually-wrapped episodes and mini-narratives.

The nature of Jen’s job as a lawyer practicing superhuman law is designed to take advantage of the wider use of known and new MCU characters that can come in and out of the series as if it were a revolving door. The foundation She-Hulk sits upon is—by MCU standards—an incredibly unique and fresh concept of a somewhat self-contained universe of story type and tone that simultaneously relies heavily on the greater universe to thrive. The beauty of the series concept is that the MCU as a whole has a somewhat unfettered ability to come into the show for the show’s own purposes. Consequently, how viewers see the MCU can be changed, but the consequences of a She-Hulk episode do not necessarily have to genuinely impact elements or characters in the larger narrative. Moreover, the series can tap into the MCU with reckless abandon, but by design, this does not force it to be anything but its own series.

Tim Roth’s reemergence as 2008 The Incredible Hulk’s Emil Blonksy is a perfect example of this. Blonksy, aka the Abomination, was never a comedic character. In fact, after his debut 14 years ago, he has barely been any kind of character at all. But in this She-Hulk episode, he is hilarious. His mini-story about parole allows his character to be “changed”, but the real magic is in the series’ ability to take any character and reframe them in the show’s own comedic light.

The huge character inclusions in She-Hulk, like Banner and Blonksy, also makes the show feel bigger and more exciting for everyone involved. Blonsky in particular connects the Hulk theme and invokes some of the purest MCU nostalgia there is. By being so connected, the series can be the universal hub of fan service, even if it is not the vessel one would expect it in.

Presumably, the series could ultimately lean toward a more traditional MCU-specific plot like other series, which would naturally cause it to deviate from an episodic legal comedy. But the show could surprise and actually maintain its relatively closed-off structure for the sake of She-Hulk alone. Bruce’s departure back into space clearly beckons larger implications for She-Hulk. Whether those implications affect the series itself or just the character in the future is yet to be seen. 

She-Hulk’s second episode brings the series closer to where it will get comfortable in coming weeks. For now, it is still in some transition mode, but the humor and personality remain consistent throughout the first two episodes. The series’ has absolutely wild potential as a fan service machine, and the nature of the show is actually built to handle that type of giddy excitement without distracting from anything else. After this episode, She-Hulk is surely set to hit the ground running and embrace its concept from here on out.

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