If after six episodes, it wasn’t quite clear, episode seven really hammered it home: She-Hulk: Lawyer is not a story lively show. It’s a character-driven show. For two weeks now, the persistent questions of Jen’s tracksuit and a Daredevil cameo were suspended so that Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) could continue to accept this unfathomable dichotomy in her life. The the problem just happened at the forefront in a masterful way, thanks to none other than Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth).
Episode seven of She-Hulk: Lawyer is called “The Retreat,But before Jen got to that, the thread that dangled from last week’s episode had to be resolved. Not the creeps of Intelligencia, although that would be too come back-we’re talking about Josh (Trevor Salter), the handsome man Jen met at the wedding. They’re ready to go out on their first date and we see it and two subsequent dates unfold in a very upbeat and slick rom-com style montage that ends with Jen and Josh sleeping together. Jen is over the moon, until she texts him the next day and doesn’t get a response. The non-response quickly takes over his life. At work, at home, she keeps getting cooler and cooler and cooler.
So when her phone rings three days later and it’s not Josh but Emil Blonsky’s parole officer, Jen quickly picks up. There’s been a malfunction with Blonsky’s ankle strap and the officer needs to come up and check. But, since he doesn’t know if Blonsky has turned into an Abomination, he asks Jen to come with him for a little Hulk backup.
Blonsky’s retreat is called “Summer Twilights”, and when Jen and the officer arrive, Blonsky explains that the bracelet has malfunctioned due to an electric fence and his favorite chicken, Princess Silk Feather. Obviously, this is not a man who has returned to his evil ways, and so the parole officer leaves immediately. Jen tries to leave to stumble upon Blonsky’s secret.
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Turns out, his retirement isn’t just for him and his multiple partners (which we, oddly enough, don’t see in this episode). No, he made it a retreat for superhumans who need to get in touch with their emotions. And Jen receives this information in the form of two super-powered men, the Man-Bull (Nathan Hurd) and the self-explanatory swashbuckler, but not a matador, El Aguila (Joseph Castillo-Midyett), fighter and breaking huh Prius. They’ve made it undriveable, and since Summer Twilights is so far away, it’ll be hours before a tow truck can show up.
Jen and Blonsky are walking around the lot, which is mainly how Jen tries to find a place where she has cell service and can see if Josh has texted. Eventually, she stumbles upon a group session, led by Blonsky, and featuring not only Man-Bull and El Aguila, but two other woul- being heroes, the vampire Saracen (Terrence Clowe) and once again, the explicit porcupine (Jordan Aaron Ford). In Jen, the men see one of their own. A super-powered human who needs help to figure it all out. Jen seems largely oblivious to this until another person joins the mix: Wrecker.
Who is Wrecker? Jen, for the first time in the episode (which seemed a bit surprising) decides to address the audience to remind us. It triggers a second “Previously on She-Hulkfootage that shows he was the leader of the gang from several episodes ago that tried to steal Jen’s blood. With that information, the fact that she throws him into a corner full of folding chairs isn’t all that surprising. But the group points out that this is proof that she has issues to deal with, and so they all sit down to do just that.
Jen explains why she’s acting so weird—the whole Josh thing—and the group transforms into a high school lunch table. They criticize Jen’s texts to Josh, and when she reveals that she sent him an additional desperate text earlier that day, they come to the conclusion that he ghosted her. This easily triggers the show’s most revealing scene where Jen as She-Hulk breaks down how she feels about her new identity.ow people treat She-Hulk so well but Jen, not so much. And how that makes her real self, Jen, feel bad. The group tells her that they love Jen on her own and as she returns to Jen, she feels she has had a breakthrough. She deletes Josh’s number from her phone, and after a quick sweat in another of Blonsky’s dressing rooms, as well as a heartfelt goodbye to her new friends, Jen is off in the tow truck.
The camera pans back to the mountains, revealing the ocean in a happy ending that would also fit a romantic comedy. That’s when the “Three Days Ago” title card slams onto the screen. It turns out that after Jen and Josh slept together, Josh got up, copied Jen’s phone and took pictures of her, before sending three emojis to a “HulkKing” friend: a bloody needle, a vile green and a thumbs up. Josh works for the group trying to kill She-Hulk.
With only two episodes remaining of She-Hulk: Lawyer, things are about to kick into high gear. And it will work because in “La Retraite,“Jen has finally reconciled with herself. This She-Hulk is part of her, but she’s still Jen Walters, a successful, successful lawyer, and that’s more than enough for anyone. So, with this new understanding, whatever forces she is about to come up against, they will come face to face with a fully formed superhero.
- This episode was filled with really clever and fun little touches. Just things that happen in the setting that added to the story in various ways. One example I really liked was when Jen was driving to retirement, you can clearly see she has her phone on Josh’s text feed.
- The quotes around Blonsky’s barn are so unnecessary yet so funny. “Today is today.” “Make your goal a reality.” They’re a great touch to give you an idea of its not-quite-professional level of support.
- “The Retreat” didn’t have a title card, which seemed odd at first as the title card became a fun part of earlier episodes. We think, however, that her omission here must be the filmmakers’ way of telling us that Jen isn’t sure who she is in this episode. Is she “Just Jen” is she “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law?” At first, in his mind, maybe she wasn’t either.
- No end credits scene yet this week, but you should always respect at least the illustrated part of the credits. There, we got some really fun little nods to the episode, like El Aguila playing matador in college or Porcupine bringing his costume to the cleaners.
Finally, let’s pay a little tribute to Man-Bull (Nathan Hurd), El Aguila (Joseph Castillo-Midyett), Saracen (Terrence Clowe), and Porcupine (Jordan Aaron Ford). Not only are these guys now official heroes/mutants/something in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, each brought such a unique and entertaining energy to the episode. Their relationships, their dynamics, their banter, it was all just wonderful and we hope this isn’t the last we see of them.
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