This review contains She-Hulk episode 2 spoilers
Our She-Hulk: Attorney at Law reviews will be adopting a different format than the one we use for MCU shows with longer episodes; more of a breakdown that we hope will still satisfy regular readers but also help those less familiar with the MCU keep up.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at episode two, “Superhuman Law”.
The Case: What Happened?
In the aftermath of Jennifer Walters’ rather literal court battle with Titania in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode one, the media label her “She-Hulk”, a nickname she is very much not fond of. But as Bruce Banner warned her, these superhero names have a way of sticking around.
Walking into a bar full of revellers who are ready to help Jen celebrate her victory, she is almost immediately approached by co-worker Dennis, who pours scorn on her new identity and refers to another woman as “it.” We will surely all enjoy watching Dennis get his comeuppance at some point, because he appears to have no redeeming features whatsoever. Indeed, not everyone is as impressed with She-Hulk as her new fans on the street, and her boss swiftly fires her for messing up last week’s important case with her sudden heroics. Jen struggles to get a new gig as potential employers line up to refer to her as a “distraction” and a “sideshow” while paralegal Nikki tries to keep her spirits up. Her confidence then takes a further knock during a family dinner where she feels overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and support-adjacent comments.
Luckily (but not that luckily), the opposing GLKH lawyer on last week’s case, Holloway, has become impressed with Jen and wants to recruit her as the face of their Superhuman Law Division. But it’s not Jen that they really want to employ, it’s She-Hulk, and Jen has to swallow her pride and become a kind of performing seal for GLKH if she wants to keep paying her bills.
Nikki, who has joined Jen at GLKH, is much more thrilled about their high-flying career glow up, and the two go on to meet their new co-worker, Dishy Pug (Arrow’s Josh Segarra), who advises on the best bathroom to take a dump in and hands them a gift basket that contains the same “See You Later, Litigator!” mug that we saw Jen already owns during the previous episode. Okay!
Jen’s first client is none other than Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) aka Abomination aka the villain from the weirdly and consistently in-canon Incredible Hulk movie starring Edward Norton as the Hulk. Jen will be running Emil’s parole case as She-Hulk, so she pays him a visit in a maximum security jail where she is not allowed to be She-Hulk, which, I guess …sure. Why not? If it gives the Marvel VFX team a break from trying to rapidly improve the CGI in this show, I’m all for it.
Emil explains that he was a victim of circumstance and is now reformed, choosing not to become the Abomination after having found inner peace – and seven new “soul mates” who he met through the prison pen pal programme. Jen decides to take his case, but things seem to immediately fall apart when the Abomination is seen fighting in an underground fight club, having escaped from his cell.
The Evidence: MCU Easter Eggs
There are a few MCU connections in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law episode 2, and of course Emil Blonsky is the standout. We’ve only revisited Abomination once since The Incredible Hulk, and that was when we saw him fighting Wong in the aforementioned underground club during Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, so we now know when this show takes place in the MCU timeline. This isn’t the last we’ll see of Abomination, as he’s also set to pop up in the upcoming Disney+ animated series Marvel Zombies, though we can probably assume that will be a multiverse Variant of the character.
Meanwhile, Jen’s dad is preoccupied with Hawkeye’s arrows, and is asking the hard questions about what happens to those dangerous weapons after Clint has fired them. We will probably never know the answer, and that’s fine with me. These aren’t the kind of things that keep me up at night.
We also say goodbye to Bruce Banner in this episode. A Sakaaran ship is seen flying him into space, but the reason for his journey will stay a mystery for now. If I had to guess, it would be that he fathered a child during his stretch on Sakaar, and that an MCU introduction to his son Skaar is in the wind. This did happen in the comics, and while Marvel Studios don’t always follow those storylines accurately, it would be another good “out” for Mark Ruffalo if he ever decided he’d had enough of playing the Hulk.
The Verdict: Any Good?
It came to light before the premiere that last week’s episode, “A Normal Amount of Rage”, was in fact supposed to be the penultimate episode of this series, but there was some fear that audiences wouldn’t wait that long to find out She-Hulk’s origin story. I disagree, and found “Superhuman Law” to be a much better introduction to Jen. Last week, all we knew about her was that she was a lawyer, Bruce’s cousin, and a Hulk. This week, we got to spend time with Jen and her circle, which felt like a better place to start properly caring about her character.
The episode itself is fine enough and fairly entertaining, and works best when Tatiana Maslany is in Jen form and able to fully emote. Maslany is a terrific actress, and last week there was just too much CGI for her to really show that off. She does a good job of keeping the wild story grounded here, and you really feel for Jen as she quickly loses her grip on her own identity.
Jen’s family dinner also adds some great context to her upbringing and character, and we can see that she seems to have historically been surrounded by men who are loving and supportive, whether it be Bruce or her attentive father. This is set in sharp contrast to the men she has to deal with at work or in other social situations, who either try to undermine her, bother her, or mold her appearance to their liking. As I touched on last week, when the show set out to establish the latter annoyances in the premiere it went about it with a heavy hand, but the writing team have more success in this episode by creating more of a frustrating clash between the good men in Jen’s life and the bad men outside that bubble.
Elsewhere, there’s not a whole lot going on in episode two bar the reintroduction of Blonsky, and while it’s always great to see Tim Roth in anything, you can sense that he understands how silly this rejuvenated character appearance is, as he comes across as a little hesitant with his lines. I feel you, Tim, but I sense there are bigger plans for this character afoot.
The reported shuffle of She-Hulk’s episode line-up also seems to have had a domino effect on the proper introduction of other characters – anyone who thought we’d be getting substantially more of Titania after Jen’s clash with her at the end of the premiere is going to have to make do with a very brief news report about Jameela Jamil’s rampaging influencer for now that sweeps her under the rug while the show switches its focus to Blonsky and Wong.
She-Hulk: Chore Donkey.