Court’s in Session – Review of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” Episode Three “The People vs. Emil Blonsky”

For a legal comedy, there hasn’t been much in the way of actual courtroom antics so far in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. The third episode of the first season, titled “The People vs. Emil Blonsky” changes that, with two plotlines involving courtroom cases, with Jennifer Walters smack in the middle of both of them. We also get a cameo from a beloved member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a special cameo from the last celebrity I thought I’d ever see in anything for the MCU, as well as the first inkling of an overarching plot that will focus on Jennifer’s new life as a superhero.

Spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched “The People vs. Emil Blonsky”, the third episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Picking up where the previous episode left off, the world now knows that Emil Blonsky has escaped from prison and was fighting as the Abomination in an underground fight club (the scene of Blonsky fighting Wong in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings). Jennifer naturally calls Blonsky out on this when she visits him in jail, where Blonsky has voluntarily returned after his fight with Wong. It turns out Wong broke Blonsky free from prison to complete his trial as Sorcerer Supreme, needing to take on a worthy opponent. The fact that Wong broke the law by doing so doesn’t factor in to his decision-making, given that as the Sorcerer Supreme, he feels he is outside of the laws of any given society. It’s played for comedic effect, particularly when Wong sits down with Jennifer to discuss the situation with Blonsky.

For his part, Blonsky also makes things difficult for Jennifer during his parole hearing. There’s something deeply unnerving about this version of Blonsky, which I give Tim Roth credit for making him magnetic despite not being as bombastic as his first turn as the Abomination. When Blonsky turns into the Abomination, he naturally terrifies the parole board. Jennifer is able to make a quick save, thanks in no small part to Wong also appearing before the board and explaining the reasoning behind his breaking Blonsky out of jail. When Wong gets called out for committing the crime of breaking an inmate out of prison, he promptly creates a portal and walks out, which had me giggling as I watched the scene unfold. Jennifer does win the case, getting Emil Blonsky released from prison (with several stringent demands) but Emil also convinces Jennifer to finally sit down for an interview to give her side of the story, something Jennifer has been trying to avoid.

Parallel to Jennifer’s storyline, we get to see Dennis Bukowski (the shallow, misogynistic douchebag from Jennifer’s old job in the District Attorney’s office) hire Jennifer’s firm to go after a Light Elf from New Asgard named Runa. Apparently, Dennis thought he was in a relationship with the real Megan Thee Stallion, enough to spend six figures on Runa. I would say that Dennis is a caricature rather than a character but sadly, I know way too many guys who think like Dennis to say that he is anything but a caricature. As Jennifer rightly puts it when her colleague Pug puts her on the stand, Dennis is the type of self-entitled man with a god-complex that would think someone as plain and ordinary as him could get the attention of Megan Thee Stallion (who makes a cameo during Dennis’ court hearing and in the rather hilarious stinger after the end credits). Runa fits in to the mischievous elf trope from Norse mythology, constantly shapeshifting into people and causing problems. The case does end in a realistic outcome, with Runa having to pay back the money and spend time in jail for impersonating a judge. Dennis wins his case but it’s public record that he’s a delusional moron (and it is quite satisfying to see Jennifer take him down several pegs during her testimony).

There were some excellent little nods to the fourth wall during the episode, something I appreciate in this show. One big example was showing social media posts about “women superheroes”, which is on the nose but it really needs to be. The producers of the show were well aware of the backlash they would be facing from a certain portion of the “fanbase”. I use quotation marks for that because anyone who’s main criticism of the show is that it has a female lead and is helmed by female creators isn’t a fan of Marvel as far as I’m concerned.

Having done this kind of show criticism for well over a decade off and on, there are legitimate reasons to dislike shows and movies. With She-Hulk, the biggest gripe I still have is the unnatural CGI for the main character. Particularly seen during the walk-and-talk segments in the office, it’s clear that the CGI needed some more polishing in post-production. The tone of the episodes sometimes goes all over the place, at least in the first three episodes. Case in point, the ending of the episode, which comes out of left field. This is a soft criticism, though, since this was meant to establish that someone is now targeting Jennifer (specifically to steal her gamma-enhanced blood). A few subtle hints before the scene happened would have done a better job of setting this up, like seeing Jennifer go into her apartment or out at the bar being watched. Like I said, it’s a minor criticism but it is there. The ones who criticize the show simply for being “woke” entertainment are nothing more than professional outrage peddlers looking to increase their ad revenues with clickbait videos and articles.

Personally, I’m digging the show, despite its flaws.

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