By Samuel M Acosta
There are some positives and some negatives to this episode for me. While we get to see some fun new characters and development for Jen’s self-confidence and character, there is still barely any substance in terms of the overarching plot. Some jokes are overused and feel a little forced, but this is still a better episode than the past few.
Episode 7 follows Jen as she assists Blonsky’s probation officer to check out why the inhibitor has turned off. While nothing is amiss at Abomination’s therapy retreat, Jen ends up being stranded there with no signal on her phone. With rescue hours away, she must endure the oddity of the place and watch as Emil’s clients work through some of their issues. The whole time, Jen is waiting for a text back from Josh, who’s ghosted her after spending the whole week together. Eventually, Emil and the gang help Jen work through some of her self-confidence issues and realize that she is amazing even without the She-Hulk persona. We see that she is finally able to start accepting herself.
The episode ends with a flashback to the last night that Josh and Jen spent together, showing that Josh is not who he appears to be. He copies all the data off her phone and then sends a text to the Hulk-King confirming that he got the blood sample that the Wrecking Crew failed to get.
I did find myself enjoying this episode just because it was something a bit different than before. The odd supervillains who are trying to work on themselves are a cute premise. It is nice to see that Emil does go through with his rehabilitation and is working on helping others do the same. While not all of the jokes land, the dynamics of these new characters charmed me in a way that kept me entertained throughout the episode.
I also enjoy how the consistency of Jen’s struggle to accept her She-Hulk personality is addressed and perhaps resolved here. It has acted as a go-to trick for the show to just throw in something that made her feel bad about herself which, while fitting for the character, is starting to get old. Seeing Jen really work on that and seemingly overcome it is a good step forward for the story. Hopefully, we see that confidence continue to grow throughout future episodes.
In this episode, we don’t get a B-Plot as we do in the others, with the sole focus being on Jen working through her issues. While I enjoy the character development, the overall story felt underserved here. It may just be overflowing from the past few episodes where I’ve felt the same way, but I just want a bit more meat for me to chew on, rather than just that one singular victory for the character.
I also find the reveal of Josh as a villain way too predictable. I feel like almost everyone who gets introduced into this show is a piece of trash in one way or another, except for Jen and Nikki. So when they reveal that he was working for the Hulk-King, it doesn’t feel like the big twist they intended it to be.
We are still unsure who the Hulk-King is, though we have reason to suspect that it is Todd from the previous episodes. Still, it is unexplained why the Hulk-King is so bent on gaining these powers or honestly how he has the resources to run such an extensive operation. I hope that this villain does end up having a bit more meaning in the general MCU instead of a one-off that was made just for the show.
Another thing that bugs me was how they introduce the leader of the Wrecking Crew as one of the members of Emil’s retreat. At first, Jen wants to fight him, but eventually, they become friends. That is fine with me and works for the plot. Yet, what bothers me is how Jen doesn’t think to ask who hired him to attack her in the first place or use this new friendship in any way to further the plot. I just feel like this character, and honestly, the other members of the retreat are underutilized in the episode.
While I see improvement this week, I still want to see a little more in order to feel as if “She-Hulk” is making real progress. The rumor that Daredevil will finally join the show next week will hopefully launch the series to the next level that it needs to reach.
I give this episode a 5.5/10
“She-Hulk” is now streaming on Disney+
Sam Acosta is a Senior Theatre Comprehensive Major and an Arts and Entertainment writer for Cedars. He likes spending his time watching movies, drinking Dr. Pepper, and writing plays.
Images courtesy of Marvel Studios.