“She-Hulk” does not end with a second season announcement, which is—possibly reasonably, possibly not—heartbreaking. Especially since the mid-credit sequence erases one of the episode’s “wins.”
Because even though “She-Hulk” is a Marvel show in an MCU, the show and its star—Tatiana Maslany (She-Hulk gets significantly less to do this episode)—would rather be a superhero legal comedy than set up Planet Hulk for 2033 or whenever. And Maslany tells the head honcho at Marvel Studios as much after she does a major wall break to plead the show’s case.
There are a handful of surprise guest stars, several twists, and another good subplot for Ginger Gonzaga and Josh Segarra. The show does a rapid-fire cliffhanger resolution, with Maslany ending up back at home with parents Mark Linn-Baker and Tess Malis Kincaid. Kincaid’s finally distinct, opposite Gonzaga; there’s potential there. There’s potential all over the place for “She-Hulk,” including a move to New York City or at least a guest appearance in a sequel to a particular Netflix Marvel show. Not to mention the big MCU reveal, stealing Maslany’s last scene from her like it’s a Robert Downey Jr. cameo.
The episode starts with some inspired franchise homage, then destroys the fourth wall to save Maslany from having to do just another Marvel movie resolution, only to leave her in limbo. The episode wraps things up, including some solidly acerbic observations about the Marvel Studios creative process, but it doesn’t take the show anywhere new. It just doesn’t take it anywhere old.
And if “She-Hulk” doesn’t continue, if Maslany just gets wrapped into the occasional guest spot, it won’t get to go anywhere. The second season tag would at least acknowledge they know what they’ve got here. The show’s incredibly aware of what it’s done, what it’s accomplished, and what it’s whiffed on, but it also says those things might not matter.
The finale’s not disappointing or even underwhelming. It’s also not the home run I’d been hoping for.
If they don’t do a season two, I hope they’ve better plans for Maslany than costarring in Fantastic Four and guesting on “Daredevil” as the love interest. I feel like “She-Hulk” knows better, but does Marvel?
The season’s an incredible success for Maslany, who took the show over from big-name guest stars and CGI twerking, and there have been some excellent scripts throughout the season.
I want more “She-Hulk.” I’m glad we got any at all. I hope we get some more.