Plot summary: Jennifer calls Wong as a witness at the parole hearing of Emil Blonsky and continues to struggle with unwanted public attention.
Episode Title: ‘The People vs. Emil Blonsky’
Air Date: September 1st, 2022
Directed: Kat Coiro (3)
Written: Francesca Gailes (1) & Jacqueline J. Gailes (1)
The Wrecking Crew are long-time enemies of Thor in Marvel comics, having received enchanted weapons from Loki. They have tangled with most major heroes, including She-Hulk.
One of the reports asks Jen if she got her powers from a mob hit gone wrong. This IS how she got them in the comics.
Gideon Wilson is a guest on one of the news shows. It probably isn’t the case in the MCU, but in the comics he is the older brother of Sam ‘Falcon/Captain America’ Wilson and was part of an anti-Hulk hit squad.
Wong’s LinkedIn profile indicates he was a salesman at Target for nine years. I could only handle six years in retail, so my hat is off to him.
Jen demands an explanation from Emil Blonsky about his apparent escape, but he claims Wong forced him to leave and he returned of his own free will.
When she is finally able to meet with Wong he confirms the story to the parole board and Blonsky is eventually released on the condition he never turn into the Abomination again.
Meanwhile, one of Jen’s former colleagues, Dennis, hires GLK&H’s Superhuman Law Division after he learns he was defrauded by a shapeshifting Light Elf named Runa, posing as Megan Thee Stallion.
Jen testifies about Dennis’ delusional and entitled behaviour, allowing him to win the case and get back the $175,000 he spent on gifts.
After reluctantly giving a media interview to try and control her narrative, Jen is attacked on her way home by The Wrecking Crew who fail to steal her blood for their anonymous employer.
In a mid-credits scene, Jen and Megan twerk and some angry young men on the internet lose their minds.
Hey, did you know Megan Thee Stallion is in this episode? I’m not complaining about the twerking, because I’m an adult, and it’s in an offensive joke in the credits of a comedy show. Rather, the way they awkwardly name-dropped Megan’s name into every other sentence was incredibly clunky. It might just be that she has a ‘the’ (or rather ‘Thee’) in her name so it sounds more awkward, and it was probably a condition of getting her to appear in the episode, but it got a little grating. Loved the premise of the B-Story itself, her actual scenes and everyone’s reactions to her though, and we can all agree P-Valley is set in the same universe as the MCU until proven otherwise. Plus, it let Pug get to do something and demonstrate he’s not just here to be the Himbo comic relief, which was a nice surprise.
As for Jen’s portion of the episode, it was again Very Okay. I don’t hate the show. But I still don’t love it yet either. It’s watchable, I suppose? I’m personally all-in on Abomination’s unlikely return to the MCU, and while the parole hearing wasn’t exactly A Few Good Men, it did what it needed to. Jessica Gao mentioned how they originally intended a trial to last multiple episodes before the writers realised they weren’t good at gripping legal scenes. I don’t know if this was it or there’s another big case to come, but this felt like the appropriate length and level of seriousness for the hearing.
I’ll keep saying it until it changes: Jen NEEDS to talk to camera more often or not do it at all. My preference is the former, as it’s an important part of She-Hulk’s comic history, and Tatiana Maslany is good at it, but I think there has literally been 10 minutes between instances in every episode so far, and it makes it so much less effective.
I’ve said something similar already, but I can’t escape the comparisons to Captain Marvel. I LOVE the character and can’t wait for them to appear in future MCU projects… but I don’t think much of this show and didn’t think much of that movie. But I still feel a need to defend it from the lazy bad-faith takes of incels. It’s not bad because Jen twerks and ‘hates men’. It’s bad because it doesn’t commit hard enough to being a comedy, or a legal show, or to things like breaking the fourth wall. I hope it gets better and that some of my apathy stems from doing two first-episodes in a row, but at this point I’m just waiting for Daredevil… if it even is Daredevil…
Finally, I liked the meta online discourse montage, which included a line that douchebag comic fans use ALL the time: make your own character. They complain when an existing character’s gender/race/sexuality is changed and then claim they aren’t sexist/racist/homophobic they just think they should create new characters with those traits… but when they DO, they get attacked and dismissed.
Most Marvellous Player
I think I’d once again give it to Tim Roth. I might be on an island, but I’m delighted he’s back and getting a more fun version of Emil Blonsky to work with. He’s a legend and doesn’t need this role, but I hope he’s enjoying it and that it’s a three-project deal with him acting as the heavy in Thunderbolts. He’s taking naturally to the quirky new age vibe they’re going for, at times playing in the same lane as Sir Ben Kingsley in his universally beloved turn as Trevor Slattery. The accent helps obviously, but his aloof, almost bemused energy sings for me. Trying to set everyone at ease by turning into the enormous Abomination and partially breaking his cell, and calling his soulmates his “better eighths” were the highlights.
That’s not to say I don’t still love the work Tatiana Maslany is putting in, as both Jen and She-Hulk, it just really feels like she’s taken a backseat, which she even acknowledges via the cameos joke. Heck, Josh Segarra got more shine as Pug, which I’m fine with as he’s my dark horse favourite character. He was fun in his brief scene last week, but I’m pleased he’s also got a brain.
I already talked about Megan Thee Stallion but will repeat I enjoyed her brief scenes, and I thought Peg O’Keef was fine as Runa the Light Elf, Megan’s impersonator. It bordered on being annoying rather than chaotic fun, but she just about got away with it.
Look kids, it’s The Wrecking Crew! Long-time Thor villains in the comics, they’re obviously getting a bit of a comedic makeover for the show and if that upsets you I recommend you seek therapy. Stealing their equipment from an Asgardian construction site is a cleaner way to debut them than their leader being mistaken for Loki and gaining magical powers from Karnilla… I think. Anyway, they’ve rarely ever been a true threat, but are now full-on bumbling henchmen, and I hope we see more of them. (Alternate boss option: The Hood, the villain of the upcoming Ironheart.)
Presumably they were hired by Titania, seeking to boost her strength for a rematch with Jen. In the comics, Titania is stronger than She-Hulk, and I assume we’ll end up there one way or the other in the show too… but Jen will still defeat her. They’ve got a huge uphill battle to make anybody take Titania remotely seriously given the hit-job they’re doing on her, but I’m a fan of Jameela Jamil (sue me) and hope they can make it work. Her name appears in a news crawl, again burying the main villain.
One assumes Abomination is not as reformed as he claims, but either way it was cool to see his transformation up close, looking better than he did in Incredible Hulk if for no other reason than gaining his little neck fins. In a nice touch, his seven soulmates swoon over his monster form. I don’t know where they go from here with him. Heck, he might be done in the show and won’t be seen again until Thunderbolts, if he’s even in that.
I teased a site-wide superhero things last week. That was our collective ranking of the Spider-Man films. I take only partial responsibility for the placements.
My MCU podcast, Ben & Matt’s Marvellous Journey has already finished for another year, taking a look back at Marvel’s 2021 projects alongside Ben Phillips. We’ll cover this show and the rest of the 2022 fare early next year.
Instead you can check out my other podcast with Ben, There Will Be Movies, which looks at 25 of our favourite movies from each decade. Our fourth and final (for now) volume is the 1980s, continuing this week with Ghostbusters.