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“She-Hulk” season finale: Lazy writing or true to the comics? 

Photo credit: Google open source
Photo credit: Google open source

When I saw the “She-Hulk” season finale with a 35-minute run-time (including the credits and post-credits scene), I knew this ending was just going to leave me wanting more…and not in a good way. 

“She-Hulk” aired its season finale on Oct. 13 with the shortest season finale run-time of any Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) series– eight established episodes with no clear storyline. Throughout the season, Jennifer “Jen” Walters, played by Tatiana Maslany, slowly and vaguely built up to an action-packed finale as She-Hulk, with a mysterious looming villain known as the Hulk King. 

With only brief mention of this villain throughout the season, I had been expecting Hulk King’s reveal to be more dramatic. I was let down. I easily guessed who he was from the start, and it wasn’t even a major plot twist. While many rumored characters like Red Hulk were expected to cameo in the season finale, it did not go as expected, to say the least. 

When the plot had reached its climax in an action-packed fight scene between the Abomination, Smart Hulk, Titania and Hulk King, Jen became more and more frustrated with how the season finale of “her show” was panning out. To say she wasn’t a fan of the action-packed writing, her cousin “swooping down from literal outer space to save the day” or the blood plot would be an understatement.  

I found this annoying, since this fight scene was built up over the episode to be overshadowed by Jen’s whining. It was frustrating to say the least. 

While I was thoroughly excited to see how this episode would play out, I was not expecting her to completely She-Hulk smash the fourth wall. This entire season had built up to this moment, and she cut it off at the best part, in my opinion, just because she felt like none of the storylines in her ending were making any sense. While that may be true, I preferred that ending over the one she chose for herself. 

I will admit, I was fooled by the sudden cut to the Disney Plus screen after Jen asked if the fight scene was working for the audience. I assumed that the app had frozen or crashed, but then Jen started complaining about being cut off by the writers and literally smashed through her own show into “Marvel: Assembled.”  

“Marvel: Assembled” is a documentary-based series on Disney Plus, featuring behind-the-scenes footage detailing the work that goes into Marvel’s latest shows and movies. Jen used this to her advantage, sneaking into the “She-Hulk Production” room to try and confront the writers about her messy season finale.  

Despite her efforts of shooting down Marvel’s recycled ideas, one of the writers argues with Jen, saying “there are certain things that are supposed to happen in a superhero story” and that her disposition contradicts what Kevin wants.  

Now initially, like many others, I thought this meant Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige would make an appearance and got my hopes up. Nope. Instead, She-Hulk discovered “Kevin” to be a comical A.I. robot wearing Feige’s hat labeled K.E.V.I.N., which is short for “Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus.” Just another opportunity to let me down again. 

To be honest, I was really confused about the entire confrontation. However, I was even more confused as to why K.E.V.I.N. changed the entire season finale to what Jen wanted without any pushback.  

After switching back for budget reasons, Jen confirmed with the robot that the show is a legal comedy, and therefore doesn’t have to follow the same guidelines as other shows or movies in the MCU. She felt this season finale didn’t suit her, since her story was about coming to terms with being both Jen and She-Hulk, and this ending threw away that plot. 

I appreciated her bringing this up, because the past few episodes felt so out of place to ruin her life, and this ending didn’t seem to quite line up with her story. It kind of felt like they were just throwing out cameos to appease the audience, but for me, Jen’s proposed ending wasn’t any better. 

Jen continued to list some requests for her ending to be more tailored to who she is as a superhero, since she isn’t the typical superhero, and that K.E.V.I.N. must remember this is also a legal comedy.  

Jen wanted true justice by going the legal route, despite how violence is usually constituted as justice in other superhero shows and movies. She continued to change other “unnecessary” parts of that fight scene, such as erasing Smart Hulk’s tease for an upcoming movie, making the Abomination hold himself accountable for his actions, switching the scene to daytime and adding in Daredevil just so she can She-Hulk “smash” him again.  

First of all, why does the Abomination need to hold himself accountable? He didn’t know what he was getting himself into and was simply giving a speech in his Abomination form. Second, I was really excited to see what Smart Hulk would tease for the upcoming movie. It just seemed like lazy writing on the writers’ part. Lastly, while I wanted Daredevil to make another cameo appearance, what was the point of keeping him in just to miss all the action and actually drop from the literal sky? The new ending Jen proposed may have made her happy, but it made no sense. It was just a buildup to nothing. 

Despite me believing this was lazy writing, the season finale was very on-brand for “She-Hulk,” staying true to the comics. In her comics, she was known for breaking fourth walls to the extremes, sometimes even ripping out several pages of storylines that she didn’t like, such as in “Sensational She-Hulk #5.”  

Although the “She-Hulk” season finale was very true to her character in the comics, I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied with the episode. It felt like they were just trying to appease the audience with references to other characters in the MCU such as Tony Stark, Thor, Loki and Star Lord, to call out their raging daddy issues.  

Despite this, the one callout I thoroughly enjoyed though was when Jen asked, “when are we getting the X-Men?” I nearly lost it when I heard her say these words.  

“X-Men” had never been mentioned in the MCU up until this episode, teasing Marvel’s plans for them. This reference follows Marvel’s announcement of Wolverine returning one last time to the MCU in “Deadpool 3.” 

Overall, I thought Maslany’s acting was outstanding the entire season, especially when talking to the audience. It felt very natural when she broke the fourth wall to talk to viewers, and I thoroughly enjoyed how goofy and relatable her character was.  

While I don’t think the computer-generated imagery for “She-Hulk” was anything to be proud of, I enjoyed Maslany’s character and the comedy that followed.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the writers of “She-Hulk” conveyed Jen’s struggles in a male-dominated society, and how, even as a Hulk, she was still under constant pressure to not act emotional. I think this touched on some very important topics, but I feel like the execution could have been better. 

If we’re going to get another season, however, I think Jen will need better writers to do her story justice while keeping her character true to the comics.  

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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