‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Episode 3 Review: Magic Comes to the Courtroom

Considering the title of the show is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, we haven’t seen Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) do all that much lawyer-ing. It’s true, hulking out in the middle of a trial, losing your job and then having to take a new one that makes you question your personal morals does tend to get in the way of things, but thankfully she is back in action and back in court this week. Episode 3, “The People vs. Emil Blonsky,” manages to blend the superhero side of things in very well with what will hopefully remain the procedural nature of the series.

Unlike Episode 2, this one picks back up right away with last week’s cliffhanger, with Jen confronting Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) about his little jaunt out of prison. Blonsky insists he was forced to leave his cell and returned of his own free will, leaving Jen and Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) to track down the person responsible for the little prison break. That person? Sorcerer Supreme/Kamar-Taj Librarian Wong (Benedict Wong). Nikki assures Jen that she will be able to get in touch with Wong, and Jen assures the audience that despite evidence to the contrary this is her show, and will not be a “cameo of the week” type deal.

While preparing for Blonsky’s parole hearing and waiting for Wong to get in touch, Jen is called in by Holloway (Steve Coulter) as her former coworker Dennis (Drew Matthews) has requested the Superhuman Law Division’s assistance in suing his ex-girlfriend for defrauding him. The ex in question turned out to be a shape-shifting Asgardian light elf, but Dennis spent their relationship convinced that he was in fact dating Grammy award-winning artist and icon Megan Thee Stallion, something Jen rightfully mocks him for.

Wong arrives and confirms Blonsky’s version of events, and agrees to appear at the parole hearing to confirm the story for the board. The hearing itself is one of the highlights of the episode, allowing Roth to take a step back from the snarling military commando we first saw in The Incredible Hulk and really show off his comedic timing. He veers from an earnestness that borders on the insincere, to sarcastic exhaustion, and everything in between, and is just a delight to watch.

It looks like the board is on their way to being convinced to let Blonsky go, thanks to Wong’s testimony and that of several prison staff, as well as the promise that Blonsky will find meaningful employment opening a meditation retreat funded by the seven soulmates he met through the prison pen pal program. That is until Blonsky decides to assure them that by becoming Abomination, he doesn’t turn into a bloodthirsty monster. He transforms in his cell, which terrifies the parole board — and has the decidedly opposite effect on his seven soul mates —until Jen manages to talk him down and spin things to get the board to consider her position.

While they wait for the decision, the A story and B story (Jen’s words, not mine) merge as her colleague Pug (Josh Segarra) requests her assistance with Dennis’s hearing. After the defense makes the point that no rational adult in their right mind would believe that Runa the Light Elf (Peg O’Keef) is actually Megan Thee Stallion, Jen takes the stand to assert that this may be true, but Dennis is in no way a rational adult, and is thus too delusional to see sense. The judge rules in Dennis’s favor, much to the delight of Pug, and of Megan herself, who has come to watch the trial.

In an interesting twist, the parole board grants Blonsky his parole on condition he doesn’t transform, and wears an inhibitor, and for the time being, at least, he seems willing to abide by the terms. I hope this isn’t the last we see of him, even though this is Jen’s show, not Blonsky’s. The promotion for the show made it seem as if this was a case that was going to last for the entire season. If that’s not what’s going to happen, then I cannot help but wonder if the format will be more legal procedural in nature, with Blonsky only returning at the end to help with (or hinder) the inevitable super-powered showdown. It does seem like that’s what the series is building to.

The episode ends with Jen being accosted by a group of young men wielding stolen Asgardian weapons. Initially, they appear to be an extension of the toxic online onslaught we saw her receive, with the usual accusations of “woke” and “affirmative action” and everything in between being leveled at her, proving her fourth-wall-breaking commentary isn’t the only meta thing happening here. But the attack turns out to be a little more than disgruntled youths who take the existence of a strong woman as a personal affront. As they drive off, they mention failing to get her blood, and how “the boss” won’t be happy with that. Movie Full

With Marvel shows, it’s always a struggle between trying to lose yourself in the story currently being told, and wondering which parts of said story will come back into play. With as strong an ensemble cast as this show has, at this point, that is where the bulk of my speculation lies. Will Runa show up at the last minute to impersonate a key player in the final fight? It’s possible. Will Dennis Bukowski pull through and help Jen, Nikki, and Pug with a pressing legal matter? Far less likely. Will Megan Thee Stallion become a reoccurring character? I certainly hope so.

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