She-Hulk Finale - What Was That?

by 
 | October 17, 2022

She-Hulk has divided Marvel fans in their love or disdain for the newest show. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is about Jennifer Walters, a lawyer specializing in superhuman-superhero-oriented legal cases. Her newfound success at a major law firm is attributed to her new abilities, which she acquired in a car accident with her cousin Bruce Banner, the Hulk. As she learns to navigate the world with her newfound powers, she is still faced with many of the challenges of being a woman in her 30s. The writing is reminiscent of the She-Hulk comics, where Jennifer breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience. 

What’s breaking the fourth wall? The fourth wall is the imaginary wall that separates the fictional story from the real world. The character addresses the audience directly, acknowledging the artificiality of the environment and that both parties are aware of the fiction being played out. 

It’s had a surprisingly polarizing effect within the fan base despite staying true to its character’s origins. Why, though? Everyone loves Deadpool, and he is notorious for breaking the fourth wall. Why is She-Hulk getting hate for it? Is it because she’s a woman? 

WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

If you haven’t watched the finale, read on with caution. 

The series ramps up to the climax, where Jennifer Walters discovers the man behind Intelligencia. She finds out one of her clients, Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination, is violating his parole by taking his beastly form for paid-for appearances. Titania randomly appears to join the fight, and then The Hulk drops from the sky to assist his cousin in an all-out hulk smashing good time for truth and justice. 

All the players are posed and ready to fight. As the scene started, I mentally rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. Here we go again, I thought. One giant, chaotic mashup that doesn’t make sense because where did The Hulk and Titania come from other than the fact that Marvel needed to jam them in for nonsensical action. This is going to be exhausting. 

*Record Scratch* 

Jen Walters breaks the fourth wall and addresses this. 

Wait. What?

“Wait. What is even happening here? This is a mess. None of these storylines make sense. Is this working for you?”

This series has been extremely self-aware and on point. They’re actually addressing chaos and ridiculous amounts of nonstop action that Marvel has been consistently over the top with? 

Okay…

The audience follows Jen as she breaks the fourth wall, climbs out of the menu on Disney Plus, finds her way to the studio’s writers’ room and demands to talk to Kevin. I thought she was seeking an audience with Kevin Fiege, the president of Marvel Studios. She finally gets an audience with ‘Kevin.’ It’s not what we thought. ‘K.E.V.I.N’ stands for Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus. Basically, K.E.V.I.N is an advanced AI that creates entertaining storylines for Marvel. It self-proclaims to make “near-perfect products.” 

Jen and K.E.V.I.N talk about recycled storylines, the overuse of action, and addressing the excessive use of CGI. She expresses not wanting to follow the proper algorithm but to do something new and different. She makes some demands about changing the ending more to her liking. 

So, what you’re telling me is that our main antagonist here is Marvel’s AI unit K.E.V.I.N? We should all be mad at K.E.V.I.N when the newest Marvel addition, whether it’s a movie or tv series, doesn’t hit its mark or falls flat. 

Ever since the end of Phase III of the Marvel Universe, I have felt that Marvel has been struggling to come up with new ideas to keep things feeling fresh and different. New characters’ introductions have felt rushed or underdeveloped, stale, and like we’ve already seen it. There has been so much Marvel content as of late that it’s hard for busy people to keep up with it, along with the digital artists who make the magic happen. 

I was impressed with the harsh, scathingly analytical conversation between Jen and K.E.V.I.N with which this was discussed. Marvel is self-aware. Great. Now I’m unsure if this is a good or bad thing. If they keep churning out the same kinds of stories and the audience keeps eating them up, then who really isn’t learning from this? Them? Or us? 

Maybe we should all do our own self-reflection. Do I really enjoy all corners of the Marvel Universe just because it’s Marvel, or maybe we, as the audience, should give them a little more feedback so they can further perfect their algorithm? They will always make money off of us. We may as well get what we pay for. 

The series was smart, witty, and self-aware. I enjoyed She-Hulk. It was very different from the other Marvel shows. There were moments where I thought things were a little silly, but sometimes that can be refreshing to just let the characters have their fun. Jen’s relationship with Matt Murdock felt rushed. Daredevil is typically hesitant to trust, and he isn’t the type to reveal his identity willy-nilly. I guess LA Matt Murdock is lackadaisical and more of a free spirit than New York Matt. The Hulk’s son Skaar’s introduction felt rushed. It makes sense he was introduced at a family get together, but that was an unexpected curve ball. Move over Thor; it looks like we might get a Hulk romance story next. 

With the abrupt halt in the flow of action within the story’s finale and Jen asking for what she wants, K.E.V.I.N delivers on her requests. It seems counterintuitive to the plot, but everything gets wrapped up in a nice neat story where our female protagonist is happy and fulfilled with minimal catastrophic property damage.

“You must first transform back to Jennifer. You are very expensive. Wait until the camera is off you. The visual effects team has moved onto another project.” - K.E.V.I.N

I don’t think hulk smashing the fourth wall in the finale was a terrible idea, but I have to admit it was one I wasn’t really ready for. As I think back on it, I appreciate what they did and admire the boldness of taking the chance. It was smart. I enjoyed Tatiana Maslany's delivery. She nailed the character. I would like to see new adventures of Jennifer Walters now that she has accepted her new form. Hopefully, we get a season two. 

What do you think of the finale? Love it or hate it? 

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