She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 3 Review – The People vs. Emil Blonsky
She-Hulk episode 3 wraps up one case-of-the-week and unveils another as its sense of humor starts to take shape.
This She-Hulk review contains spoilers.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 3
Hi there. Marvel Standom’s Alec filling in for Marvel Standom’s Kirsten this week. It’s nice to meet you all! Now let’s talk about the twerking.
In keeping with its pre-release promise, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has featured at least one post-credit sequence in each of its first three episodes. The post-credit scene at the end of the premiere was perhaps that respective episode’s funniest moment, in which a celebratory Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) cries out to the heavens that “Captain America fucks!” The second episode’s scene, where a She-Hulkified Jen helps her father with arduous tasks around the house, was less effective but ultimately harmless.
The post-credit scene for this third episode, however, isn’t just a end-of-episode stinger…it’s a litmus test. How one feels about a painfully earnest moment featuring a giant CGI woman dancing with music superstar Megan Thee Stallion likely informs how one feels about She-Hulk at large.
Look, it’s taking all the restraint I have to not make this entire review about one 15-second post-credit twerking scene but you’re going to need to let me work through this for at least a few paragraphs because I feel that it’s weirdly a watershed moment for She-Hulk and Marvel’s television output overall.
Pretty much all of Marvel’s Disney+ series thus far, save for What If…? and maybe WandaVision, have operated under a similar premise. What if Marvel made a Marvel movie but twice as long, with half the budget, and split up into six or nine arbitrary segments? Sometimes that formula works like with Loki, Hawkeye, and (for-the-most-part) Ms. Marvel. Oftentimes, however, it doesn’t, like with The-Show-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.
If nothing else, She-Hulk has proven through three episodes that it’s willing to try something different. Save for a needlessly expository and frankly boring first episode, She-Hulk has adopted a more TV-friendly procedural format for two episodes in a row. And those of us blessed with screeners know that this trend will continue for at least one other week.
In addition to its change to the traditional Marvel format, She-Hulk has also significantly altered the usual Marvel tone. Yes, Marvel movies are often funny and irreverent. But rarely are they as cartoonish as She-Hulk increasingly likes to be. She-Hulk can be downright goofy, from Jen’s fourth wall breaking (“I know you want to see Wong, I get it. I just don’t want you to think this is one of those ‘cameo every week shows.’ Just Bruce. And Blonsky. And Wong.”) to its “normal” non-superpowered street level characters being gleefully trashy (“I don’t know about ‘y’all, but I’d smash!” a TikTok commenter says of She-Hulk).
For better or worse, She-Hulk is different. And that brings us back to the twerking.
Bringing Megan of the Stallion Persuasion on to twerk with a Marvel superhero is an absolute hurricane of cringe. Even the pre-release headlines that reported Megan was “joining the MCU” were cringey, as though she was going to square up against Kang. And that was before we knew a wide-eyed green CGI monster lady would breathlessly tell her “I will kill for you, Megan Thee Stallion.”
And yet … is it possible for something to be so earnestly cringe that it rides the horseshoe all the way back to being kind of funny again? Based on my loud, perhaps regretful laugh upon hearing Meg ask Jen Walters to “dial it back” then yeah, probably! Comedy is a complicated beast with many contextual and cultural factors at play. But sometimes it really is just a binary: either something makes you laugh or it doesn’t. With “The People vs. Emil Blonsky,” many of She-Hulk’s jokes finally start to land.
After getting things started with Jen’s representation of Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) last week, we get to really see how busy the Superhuman Law Division at GLK&H can be. While Jen puts the finishing touches on her defense of Blonsky, with a helpful assist from Wong (Benedict Wong), Pug (Josh Segarra) takes on a classic case of superheroic fraud. A light elf from Asgard has bewitched everyone’s least favorite asshole Dennis (Drew Matthews) into believing he’s dating Megan Thee Stallion.
With only roughly 30 minutes of screentime to split between the A and B stories (of which Jen acknowledges the existence of in a fourth wall break), She-Hulk doesn’t go as far as it possibly could with the shapeshifting light elf premise. Still, as an aperitif of all the superheroic mayhem to come it works like a charm. It certainly helps that Pug is given something to do. As anyone who has watched two seasons of The Other Two can attest to, there is no one on television who can play dim-witted yet well-meaning bros quite like Josh Segarra.
Even while She-Hulk establishes its own identity with its first proper “case-of-the-week,” the rest of the show is uncommonly generous with its MCU character time sharing. Getting both Abomination and Wong in a single 30-minute episode of television is probably a budget-buster but a welcome one. Both really add quite a bit to the proceedings and make the whole thing truly connected to a larger universe. Plus, the end-credits artwork of Blonksy leaving his seven wives in the dust is one of the episode’s best sight gags.
Like any non-MCU TV comedy, She-Hulk is still finding its voice in the early goings. Even as its visual language and overarching plot (hey, remember Titania?) lag behind, the show’s sense of humor is starting to shine through. Right now, She-Hulk feels like a legal comedy that a Marvel fan would make if given carte blanche: checking in with Wong here, introducing a light elf there – and all the while twerking its little heart out.