She-Hulk Episode 9 Review: Time To Smash The Fourth Wall Into The Sun
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has been flirting with hulk smashing the fourth wall for the entire season, but with the finale of this season, the show decided that it was being too coy. It was time to take this to a whole other level of meta in a way that has proven to be extremely divisive among fans. It's something that is either going to work or it isn't, but amongst all of the four wall jokes, SHe-Hulk ended in a way that shows the growth of the main character while also keeping Jennifer true to her core values. Jennifer is a lawyer, and from the moment the series started, she has wanted to stay a lawyer. It's only fitting that she wins by using the law and not the powers.
Sometimes being right is part of the journey, and when it comes to Todd, it was nice to see that a mediocre man was truly the villain of this entire thing. The show still didn't exactly address just how violating all of this was for Jennifer, and she only found out about the blood right before everything went off the rails. However, it shows people's struggle when something like what happened to Jennifer happens to them. The truth is, it's hard to go after a bunch of internet weirdos, no matter how illegal the things they are doing to you might be. For a while, it looks like the show will show how the system fails Jennifer, and the only way for her to win is to use her powers. However, that's when Jennifer stops everything and quite literally punches through the Disney+ interface so she can have a conversation with the She-Hulk writing staff.
The conversation in the writer's room, the joke about NDAs, and the reveal of a somehow still wearing a baseball cap K.E.V.I.N. all draw attention to some of the criticisms of not only the show but the Marvel universe itself. If anyone thought that Marvel didn't know what people were saying about their movies, this proves that they are paying attention because Jennifer isn't wrong. Before she stopped it, the finale was very cliche and exactly what you would expect from a Marvel finale. She's right that many of the third acts are starting to feel very similar and that the VFX to make her is very expensive. So it's good to see that Marvel is willing to make fun of itself, and this finale should really ease the worry of Deadpool fans that thought Marvel Studios would take it easy on itself. It seems they are quite willing to make themselves part of the joke, so they are at least a little self-aware of what's happening.
Jennifer advocating for herself to have a better finale, and one that ends in a way that is completely different from a typical finale, is going to rub some people the wrong way. It's a little clunky, the various transitions don't always work, and not all the jokes land. The finale, with its fourth-wall-breaking design, is kind of a mess. However, Jennifer is there advocating for her to win using her law degree and not her powers. She takes down Todd and his little group of wanna-be Jordan Peterson/Andrew Tate fans without lifting a green finger. She has spent the entire season dealing with the idea that it is impossible for her to be She-Hulk and also be a lawyer. However, we finally see the two sides come together, and Jennifer really does get to have it all [including a side of Matt Murdock].
The fourth wall breaking at the end of She-Hulk is something that people are having a hard time with, but there is also the feeling that perhaps they are upset that they didn't get the finale they were expecting. There wasn't a big fight between Hulk and Abomination. We didn't see Jennifer smashing Todd's face with her powers because let's face it, he would have deserved it. The backlash could be just whiplash from fans expecting the finale to be one way but ending on another. It's a superhero show where the superpowers are basically incidental to everything else in Jennifer's life. She didn't need her powers to beat the mediocre men who were trying to take her down, but it also doesn't hurt to have to ability to break said mediocre men in half.
In some ways, the first season of She-Hulk was an origin story, but not in the traditional sense. Jennifer isn't going to use her powers the same way that other Avengers are going to. She will not run around a city trying to stop crime or get caught up in world-ending scenarios. This season was an origin story for the coming together of She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters as one functional being that is here to do what she does best. Her powers don't define Jennifer, and they are just another tool in her arsenal that she is going to use, as an attorney, to win cases above all else. It makes her a very different hero from even Daredevil, who is doing the lawyer and vigilante thing on a different level from Jennifer. So many of the characters in the Marvel universe end up being defined by their powers by their titles, but Jennifer is unique. Jennifer is defined by her skills as a lawyer first and her abilities as a superhero second. This is her show, after all, and she will hulk smash the Disney+ interface to make sure it ends the way she wants it to, and we love that for her.