Throughout She-Hulk: Attorney at Law's nine-episode run on Disney+, audiences were continually surprised at how the series diverted expectations, not to mention how Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters would immediately address the audience's thoughts by breaking the fourth wall.
However, no one anticipated that She-Hulk's finale would top itself in terms of its transcendency.
In the Episode 9 finale, Jennifer Walters literally took control of her own predictable, out-of-control story by stopping the show, entering the Disney+ interface, and accessing Marvel Studios via a Marvel Assembled episode on the app.
After addressing her complaints, as well as the MCU formula, with Marvel Studios' AI robot named KEVIN, her story is resolved the way she wants it.
From the start, She-Hulk has been a magnet for criticism ranging from its tone to its VFX to its particular female-driven story. But the bold meta-ness of the finale naturally led to even more critiques.
Now that the dust has settled, She-Hulk's own Tatiana Maslany has opened up about the backlash and its own transcendent presence in the series.
Tatiana Maslany Comments on She-Hulk Finale Backlash
In talking with Extra, Tatiana Maslany revealed that she's embraced the mixed reception to She-Hulk's finale, saying, "I love that people have trouble with it:"
“I just want them to know that I feel like whatever you feel about that finale is great. I love that people have trouble with it. It’s difficult for some people and other people are like, what a relief. I think it’s challenging in the sense that it just dissembles a lot of things that we know to be true, and I think that’s a very exciting notion.”
In addition to the fact that the finale "dissembles" audiences' expectations of an MCU story, the episode continued to poke fun at what She-Hulk had done all along, which is addressing trolls.
In fact, during the finale's Intelligencia meeting, HulkKing and other members of the nefarious group repeated complaints commonly heard online from the Marvel fan base.
In an interview with Variety, Maslany commented on this meta-messaging and how these internet trolls ended up seeing themselves as "the villains of the show:"
"Jessica Gao is a genius and knows about the culture we’re living in and her position in it when she’s writing these stories about a woman superhero. She knows what that response is going to be. As a cast, it was delightful sending each other these troll responses, like 'Oh my god, give them a week and then they’re going to literally see this pop up verbatim in the show and become the villains of the show.' It was thrilling."
She-Hulk Was Always a Step Ahead
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will stand as one of the MCU's most divisive series to date.
But unlike other polarizing franchise projects, She-Hulk isn't just aware of its divisiveness: it's baked into its identity.
While She-Hulk is, technically, a legal comedy, its mission is that of a commentary. And, it's fascinating to hear from Maslany herself that she not only knew that coming into the MCU but embraced it.
It was equally fascinating to hear how she views the show's criticisms and the mixed responses to the finale's big swings.
Clearly, she and showrunner Jessica Gao were of the same mind in that She-Hulk was never meant to be a fan-favorite Avengers-style showpiece. Instead, Attorney at Law was designed to be challenging, to spark conversation, and, through its self-awareness, perhaps make fans self-aware too.
All episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are available to stream on Disney+.