She-Hulk takes control of her own narrative with a bold storytelling choice that alters the season’s ending in “Whose Show Is This?”
The conclusion of “Ribbit and Rip It” suggested that Jennifer (Tatiana Maslany) would triumph over the villainous group Intelligencia and embrace her destiny as She-Hulk in the season finale, “Whose Show Is This?” While Jennifer did triumph and embrace her She-Hulk identity, her ability to break the fourth wall gave the conclusion a bold and self-aware flavor that set it apart from other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) shows.
After the horrifying events at the gala, and a nostalgic tribute to the original Incredible Hulk TV series, Jennifer is in the cell that previously held Blonsky (Tim Roth). She is eager to investigate and sue Intelligencia, but Mallory (Renee Elise Goldsberry) tells her that she must focus on her own criminal charges. Jennifer agrees to a plea deal and wear an inhibitor, but she finds that everyone outside her friends and family has turned on her. Given the circumstances of Jennifer’s outburst at the gala, it’s unfortunate that there aren’t more people sympathetic toward her in the aftermath.
Once released, Jennifer moves back in with her parents (Mark Linn-Baker & Tess Malis Kincaid) and decides that Blonsky is the only person other than a currently unreachable Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) that can understand what she’s going through. After lamenting the direction of the series to the audience, Jennifer makes her way to Blonsky’s retreat.
Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) works to identify the leader of Intelligencia. She uploads an embarrassing college video of Jennifer twerking to the Intelligencia website. The video gives her access, and they invite her to their next meeting. Realizing that they will be expecting a man, Nikki enlists Pug (Josh Segarra) to go undercover in an entertaining mission. Pug is terrible at pretending to be misogynistic, and Nikki must feed instructions into an earpiece. Nikki and Pug have been great supportive friends to Jennifer throughout the season and hopefully, we will see more of them in the future.
The undercover mission reveals that the leader of Intelligencia is Todd (Jon Bass), one of the bad dates that She-Hulk went on earlier in the season. Though the villain was built up to be more menacing than the reveal, Intelligencia and its leader provide necessary commentary on the misogyny found in society and particularly around superhero media. Todd and his accomplices complaining about She-Hulk compared to the Hulk feels like it’s lifted from much of the toxic portions of the fandom.
It turns out that the Intelligencia meeting is being held at Blonsky’s retreat, which Jennifer discovers when searching for Blonsky. To her horror, Blonsky is violating his parole by giving a motivational speech at the meeting in the form of Abomination. Jennifer is stunned by his betrayal and Nikki and Pug tell her what they’ve discovered. Todd reveals that he’s taken her blood and transforms himself into a Hulk. Bruce and Titania (Jameela Jamil) arrive and Jennifer remarks that the storyline has gotten out of hand as a fight breaks out.
Taking matters into her own hands, Jennifer goes to the Disney Plus menu, jumps out of her show, and ends up in the Marvel Studios lot. While Jennifer’s fourth wall breaks have previously been confined to talking to the audience, the expansion of her abilities is surprising and creative. In a humorous sequence, Jennifer confronts the writers of her show, finds out that she needs to speak to Kevin and fights her way through the studio to reach him.
Instead of Marvel executive Kevin Feige, Jennifer meets a robot named K.E.V.I.N. that is responsible for building the MCU. The meta-joke continues as K.E.V.I.N. tells She-Hulk to turn back into Jennifer, as her visual effects are expensive, and the team has moved on. In the highlight of the episode, Jennifer tears apart the typical MCU formula, asks when the X-Men will be introduced, and suggests her own ending for the series. Surprisingly, K.E.V.I.N. agrees and Jennifer returns to her show.
Jennifer’s new ending doesn’t involve a final fight scene. Instead, she tells Todd that she will see him in court, tells a reporter on the way to the courthouse that she intends to pursue justice as both Jennifer and She-Hulk, and brings Matt (Charlie Cox) to meet her family as they pursue a relationship. It’s a much-deserved ending for Jennifer, but it was a bit jarring that so many plot threads were so easily dropped. It would have been better if they had struck some balance between the original action and the new ending. Nevertheless, I appreciate the series trying something different and making meta-commentary about the MCU as a whole.
Though “Whose Show Is This?” deviates from the standard MCU formula, it’s not without the standard Easter eggs and setups for future storylines.
The most notable of these is the introduction of Bruce’s son Skaar (Wil Deusner), which raises many questions.
After an absence, the finale has a post-credit scene where Wong (Benedict Wong) breaks Blonsky out of prison. Whether or not the She-Hulk series returns for a second season, the first season was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see when and how Jennifer and She-Hulk will appear again in the MCU.
Author: Jessica Wolff
Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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