Before you ask: no, there’s no Daredevil in this episode. Sorry. The continual edging of the MCU character in She-Hulk in itself is becoming an issue. If they never marketed him in the first place, the Marvel series might be better for it, and we could appreciate each episode as it is without feeling perpetually disappointed.
But instead, each episode is watched with an undercurrent of hope that this one is where Matt Murdock swoops in, and I can’t help but feel that Marvel do this deliberately because they can’t back their own show enough to trust people to want to tune in to the TV series.
And that’s fair enough when you’re thinking of She-Hulk episode 6, which was generally not good, but when it comes to episode 7, that’s a bit of a shame, because the quality has definitely picked back up and reminded us why the comedy series is worth watching.
When I say the quality has picked up, I mean that both in terms of the writing and the literal CGI quality: when Jen was in Hulk-form, she looked less like a PS2 character. Sure, there’s still a way to go, but it’s clear that Marvel are listening to feedback and implementing better CGI practises (I mean, with all the CGI criticism, how could they not?).
This episode also greatly benefitted from the return of Emil Blonksy/Abomination, as Jen was forced to go to his kooky retreat after his parole officer was concerned that he might be breaking his parole conditions.
The change of setting from the legal drama series really helped refresh things, and to be honest, I much preferred the host of D-list Marvel villains introduced in this episode as part of Blonsky’s therapy group than I did Jen’s usual friends and side-kicks.
We already know that Tim Roth is naturally funny as Blonsky/Abomination, so the concept of him hosting a therapy retreat for co-dependant supervillains with mommy issues worked very effectively, as he bounced off perfectly with the rag-tag group of misfits that include El-Aguila (Joseph Castillo-Midyett), Man-Bull (Nahan Hurd), Porcupine (Jordan Aaron Ford), and Saracen (Terrence Clowe).
Probably scared off by CGI, these characters relied solely on prosthetics and costume, and while this made them look a little bit shit, their subtle shit-ness added to the overall hilarity of their characters. Each one of them had their own distinct problems to work through— from El-Aguila’s identity crisis to Saracen turning every conversation around to be about blood — but as a group, they all bounced off each other well with that relatable and little-bit-silly brand of humour She-Hulk established so well in the early episodes. I hope we see more of them.
Let’s be real — the therapy group setting was basically a vehicle for Walters to fast-track on some of the character development she’d definitely been lacking for the last couple of episodes — but it was done in such a light-hearted and funny way, I’m able to let it slide.
In a previous review, we talked about one of the male species’ biggest supervillains, the softboi, and now we look at another: the ghoster. Things seemed to be going well with Josh (Trevor Salter), who Jen met last episode, and crucially, seemed to like her as Jen rather than She-Hulk. But his less-than-savory intentions became clear as the episode progressed, from ghosting Jen after sleeping together to, unbeknownst to her, stealing her literal blood.
Of course, a lot of us can’t relate to having our blood stolen by lovers, but the sting that comes with being ghosted by someone you like is something we’ve all experienced, and as usual, Tatiana Masley is able to perfectly capture this near-universal experience and ground it in a sense of reality despite the supernatural nature of the sci-fi series.
Tying in Jen’s process of self-acceptance with feelings of insecurity and that desire for male validation will, for some, undoubtedly be viewed as an attempt to be more “hip” and “woke” to appeal to Gen Z viewers. But honestly, seeing Jen go through such relatable experiences while dealing with quite an extraordinary thing makes me, at least, all the more likely to root for her.
Ultimately, this refreshing change of scenery coupled with a charismatic, chemistry-filled cast and the fact that this episode had actual stakes and continuity gives me hope that the MCU Phase 4 series is once again back on track and will end on a high for its final two episodes.
After a much-needed respite with an entertaining premise and new characters, the series feels refreshed and back to its best self.