Warning: Spoilers for She-Hulk episode 7 ahead – turn back now if you have not seen the latest episode of the MCU show.
It’s official, She-Hulk is trolling us. In a bid to remind you who’s show this really is, the latest episode ignores the Daredevil and Intelligencia teases of previous episodes for another self-contained Jen-centric adventure. This time, we’re in supervillain therapy at Emil Blonsky’s "wackadoo ranch" – resulting in a witty, tight, and tonally unique outing that’s She-Hulk at its best yet.
First, though, a rom-com montage as Jen goes on a collection of sickly sweet dates with Josh, the seemingly perfect guy she met at her cousin’s wedding. The pair walk around Los Angeles hand-in-hand, perusing food trucks, before saying awkward goodbyes at the door. One night, he finally enters Jen’s house – and, the rose-tinted romance comes crashing down. She wakes up to an empty bed and unreturned messages after a night of passion.
As Jen grapples with being ghosted, Blonsky’s parole officer Chuck Donelan calls for help checking on Abomination after his inhibitor malfunctioned. The pair head to Blonsky’s Wi-Fi-free retreat, Summer Twilight, to investigate. They find the zenned out former supervillain running a refuge for troubled individuals, plying them with affirmations as profound as "Today is Today" and "Make Your Goal A Reality".
Superhero rehab is a great concept and Tim Roth completely sells it as Blonsky. His heightened version of the character was funny but incongruous within earlier episodes, yet here he works perfectly, set in a location as odd as him. The side characters elevate the sequence further. From Man-Bull and a matador working out their feelings by beating each other up, to a creepy vampire who takes things too far, every single one of these D-list Marvel characters commits to the bit.
Where this could have all been superficial dressing, She-Hulk digs deeper. Jen initially resists any help but finds herself in the center of a therapy session, pouring her heart out about her dual identity. It’s painful and powerful and Tatiana Maslany proves once more that she’s the perfect choice to play Jen. As the show continues to lay bare her insecurities in unflinching detail, she’s becoming one of the MCU’s most-fleshed out new arrivals, and I cannot wait to see her impact in when she teams up with the Avengers.
The episode’s tonal switches work well, the writers cutting the dramatic tension with just the right amount of humor – the supervillain’s calls to "kill Josh" are brilliant. The deft alternation between different genres is a particular strength of 'The Retreat', which cohesively mixes rom-com, thriller, and comedy without feeling jarring. A lot of that is down to the music. The final moments see Jen go from vibing to Dua Lipa to a sharp cut to three days earlier. Suddenly, we’re in thriller territory as Josh takes a photo of a sleeping Jen. Jarring notes filter into Amie Doherty’s score and it makes for an effective creepy conclusion.
And yes, it’s another cliffhanger, and yes, we now have another villain to contend with as we question 'just who is HulkKing?' Given how expertly the writers have begun to pull the threads of Jen’s story together, it seems these narrative offshoots will all make sense as we head into the final episodes. And who knows, maybe Jen will finally get the help of another superpowered lawyer? Or, perhaps, in the ultimate trolling move, She-Hulk will continue to defy our expectations and leave us waiting once more.
She-Hulk is airing on Disney Plus weekly, check out our She-Hulk release schedule to make sure you don't miss a moment. We've also rounded up all of the upcoming Marvel movies and shows left in Marvel Phase 4 and beyond.