Greetings and bienvenue, all.
In this installment of my Telly Talk Today series, I’ll be reviewing She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 3, “The People vs. Emil Blonsky.”
First things first, though.
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With that in mind and without further ado, as follows is my review of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s third episode, “The People vs. Emil Blonsky.”
*BE WARNED: MILD TO MEDIUM SPOILERS FOLLOW*
• SUMMARY •
Following the news of Abomination’s leaked footage, Jen angrily confronts Blonsky regarding why he never told her that he had escaped prison before. Blonsky says that Wong forced him to leave. As Jen drives away from the prison later, she breaks the fourth wall to assure the audience that hers is not one of those “cameo every week shows.”
Various forms of news media the world over later react to the news of Abomination’s upcoming parole hearing and Jen’s representing him.
She-Hulk later enters her office and finds Nikki Ramos there, working on tracking down Wong so that She-Hulk can speak with him about Blonsky. She-Hulk is then called into Holliway’s office, where Dennis Bukowski is arguing with Holliway. Bukowski was defrauded by Runa (an Asgardian shapeshifter and his ex-girlfriend) and wants his money back. Bukowski believed that he was dating Megan Thee Stallion. Holliway wants Jen to represent Bukowski; but when both Jen and Bukowski refuse this arrangement, Pug steps up to do it. Suddenly, Wong comes through a portal, seeking to speak with Jen. Wong tells Jen that he abducted Blonsky against his wishes so that he could fight a worthy opponent as a part of his Sorcerer Supreme training.
Meanwhile, Pug talks to Bukowski about what Runa stole from him. As Bukowski leaves, Pug finds video of the Asgardian. Suddenly, Bukowski reenters, saying he is dropping the case. He claims that deep down, he wanted to be robbed. Pug then gets a call that prompts him to phone security. Suddenly, Bukowski reveals himself as Runa and walks out, turning into Pug and saying that he loves sexually harassing women in the workplace. Pug says that it isn’t him, prompting Runa to turn into her regular self and to say that this was “a warning.”
Jen later returns to Blonsky’s prison for his hearing. Jen tells Blonsky’s parole board that a witness is prepared to explain away Blonsky’s supposed escape from prison. The board asks if Blonsky feels remorse, and Blonsky argues that he does and has changed. Jen argues for Blonsky that he simply wishes to retire and live with his seven pen-pal “soul mates,” who are willing to support him once he’s out. As a part of the hearing, Jen brings forward several witnesses from Blonsky’s prison to testify as to how he has changed. Finally, Wong himself arrives to testify that he removed Blonsky from prison as a part of a kumite process.
Elsewhere, Pug and Bukowski go up against Runa and her lawyer. Pug argues that Bukowski truly believed that he was dating Meghan Thee Stallion, but the opposition argues that he knew that that was impossible and was therefore not defrauded. The judge agrees to send the case to trial, only for Runa to later impersonate the judge in a failed attempt to convince everyone that he is changing his ruling.
At Blonsky’s parole hearing, Wong finishes testifying that Blonsky is a changed man and even insisted on returning to serve out his sentence when Wong offered him escape from prison after their fight. The parole board still argues that if Blonsky turns into Abomination, he will become a mindless monster. To disprove this, Blonsky turns into Abomination—and remains wholly docile. Nevertheless, the board reacts with absolute panic. Jen orders Blonsky to change back; and when he does, she argues to the board that his control while transformed demonstrates that Blonsky does have control and has chosen willingly to not become a monster to serve his sentence with honor. The board listens to her but tells Wong that he has admitted to a crime in extracting Blonsky, prompting Wong to leave through another portal immediately.
As Jen walks out of the prison later, reporters surround her with questions that she ignores.
Later, at a bar, Jen complains to Nikki about how she wants to go back to being a normal lawyer. Pug sits down next to them and complains about his representing Bukowski. Jen readily seconds his complaints about Bukowski’s personality, causing Pug to get an idea.
Pug later gets Jen to testify under oath that Bukowski is a spoiled, ignorant womanizer who’s so foolish that he could conceivably have believed himself capable of wooing and dating Megan Thee Stallion. This testimony convinces the judge to award Bukowski his requested damages and give Runa a prison sentence for impersonating a judge. The real Megan Thee Stallion (who is also in court) proclaims that there is only one of her.
Afterwards, Bukowski suggests finding a way to remove Runa’s powers so that she cannot defraud anyone else—which gives Jen an idea.
Later, Blonsky’s parole board decides to allow his parole under the condition that he wear an inhibitor and not turn into Abomination. Media outlets the world over react to this news, and She-Hulk later appears to do an interview on a news segment to control the spin.
Some time at night, Jen returns home. Suddenly, a man sneaks up and chokes her. She panics for one moment, then turns into She-Hulk and throws the man off. The man reveals himself to be part of a four-man crew with mystical wrecking weapons that they claim to have stolen from an Asgardian construction worker. The men attack She-Hulk—and one, Thunderball, tries and fails to pierce her skin with a pointed device. But she easily defends herself. The men run away and flee in their truck. One man in the group (Wrecker) asks if Thunderball managed to get Jen’s blood, but Thunderball says that he failed to do so because she-Hulk’s skin was too thick. Wrecker claims that “the boss” will not be pleased with this development.
In a Post-Credits Scene, She-Hulk signs Megan Thee Stallion as a client, and they dance together.
• MY REVIEW •
First, the good:
1. Tatiana Maslany turns in another good performance, despite the limits of some of the material that she’s getting. Her comedic timing as Jen continues to stand out. She also delivers a fair amount of gravitas as she contemplates what it means to take control of her own narrative.
2. Josh Segarra and Tim Roth gave equally strong performances as Pug and Emil Blonsky.
Josh plays Pug as a goofy but competent lawyer who reacts like many people in position likely would to the sort of crazy that comes his way. Shape-shifting elves, self-absorbed clients, and superpowered coworkers hardly even faze him as he strives to make sense of the mess. And it (mostly) makes for some truly hilarious moments.
Tim plays Blonsky well as a chill former supervillain who delivers some sound sage advice to Jen about taking authorship of her own story.
3. The final act was definitely the strongest. This show’s sitcom format has worked to deliver some solid moments for the first two episodes. But one downside is that until now, the show has lacked a true sense of direction. It really has felt like a series of cameos and in-jokes, with Jen Walters and her life as the through-line connecting them loosely. The introduction of The Wrecking Crew, their supernatural weapons, and a “boss” who wants Jen’s blood seem like an interesting prelude to a long-term villain with a complex plan. That, in turn, sets up stakes. And stakes are most definitely something that this show needs desperately right now.
Now, the bad:
1. She-Hulk’s casual crapping on men and awful handling of the gender divide have been its weakest links since the beginning, but their overabundance in this week’s Dennis subplot was downright unendurable. Right from the start, this show’s use of Dennis as a pulpit for the enduring sermon against men has been bad. This week, however, half the episode was devoted to an ill-advised subplot in which Dennis is defrauded by a shapeshifting elf from New Asgard who impersonated Megan Thee Stallion and dated him for his money. That subplot’s climax revolved around Jen’s testifying that Dennis deserves to be awarded damages because he’s actually stupid enough to think that Megan would be interested in a relationship with him.
The storyline is simply unfunny; and when paired against the more important “A-story” regarding Blonsky’s trial, it comes off as both silly and stupid. Just another way for She-Hulk’s writers to communicate that nine out of ten men are delusional and out of touch with women in the modern world.
2. For some reason, the She-Hulk CGI just didn’t do it for me this week. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the effects seemed a bit weaker than they have for the past two weeks.
3. The post-credits scene of She-Hulk’s twerking took me to levels of “yuck” that I didn’t even know existed. I truly thought I’d been immunized to the force of cringe by this show’s overbearing feminazi stance, the constant references to Captain America’s virginity, and the jokes about his butt—but I was wrong.
And the nitpicky:
1. How ON EARTH did Dennis Bukowski get ahold of $175,000 in disposable income with which to fund his defrauding light-elf girlfriend? Unless he had a rich relative or friend somewhere, there’s just no way that a lowly city employee with the District Attorney’s office has that kind of coin.
• BRASS TACKS •
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s third episode is not as strong as the first two. Despite delivering a solid story about Jen’s slowly taking control of her narrative, it is crippled by an underwhelming subplot featuring Dennis and his attempts at achieving legal justice against an ex-girlfriend.
• MY RATING •
I give She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s Episode 3, “The People vs. Emil Blonsky,” one and a half cronuts out of five.