This episode runs an incredibly (no pun) brief twenty-two minutes. There are end credits and a mid-credits sequence (which belongs in the episode proper) but also a long re-cap, so twenty-two minutes. Sitcom-length. Only “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” doesn’t feel like a sitcom. It does at times, and it’s definitely a comedy, but it needs space to stretch.
There’s also the on-release versus binging viewing experience. Waiting week after week for truncated episodes—this episode finishes up the pilot responsibilities of last episode and then sets up next episode; if “She-Hulk” was always supposed to be sitcom-length, it’s concerning. But, binging, it’ll probably run great. Depending on how the second half of the season goes.
The pilot wrap-up involves Tatiana Maslany losing her job for saving the jury’s lives as She-Hulk and not being able to find another lawyer gig. She has to put up with shit from her loser cousin Nicholas Cirillo at a family dinner where Mark Linn-Baker plays Maslany’s dad.
Linn-Baker’s a muted stunt cast, with mom Tess Malis Kincaid then not a stunt cast, which is… peculiar. They should’ve done Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt.
Anyway, pretty soon, the rest of the pilot’s over, and Steve Coulter offers Maslany a job so the show can fulfill its title.
Coulter doesn’t want human Maslany working for him; he wants She-Hulk Maslany working for him. While Maslany does get to bring sidekick Ginger Gonzaga along (who has zero character so far, another side effect of the sitcom-length), the other deal-breaker is her first case: she needs to defend Tim Roth. Roth’s been in prison since the first Incredible Hulk movie (the only Incredible Hulk movie) fourteen years ago. It’s nice to see Roth get to have fun in the role since he didn’t in the movie so much.
Maslany doesn’t want to represent Roth because he tried to kill her cousin in that movie, back when he was Edward Norton. Mark Ruffalo has a brief scene explaining he doesn’t care about the Incredible Hulk movie, it’s Universal, anyway, and he was a different person back then—the first time the MCU has acknowledged the recasting. Though wouldn’t Ed Norton just be a variant? #BringBackEdwardNortonYouCowards
It’s a good episode, Maslany continues to be great and just what the MCU needed in 2012, but damn, it’s too short.
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