CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

'She-Hulk' Episode 7 Recap: Marvel Goes to Therapy in the Best Episode Yet

Multiple Marvel comic characters make their MCU debut as Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk: Attorney at Law streams now on Disney Plus. (Spoilers!)

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
4 min read
Tatiana Maslany plays Jen Walters, a lawyer sitting on a bench next to an advert showing her green superhero alter ego She-Hulk.

Jen faces her She-Hulk issues.

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel

She-Hulk finds herself (with a little help from Tim Roth's Emil Blonsky and some MCU newcomers) in a zingy episode 7 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, streaming on Disney Plus now.

If you need a refresher, here's our recap of last week's wedding crashing shenanigans in She-Hulk episode 6 (or start with She-Hulk episode 1). Now it's time for a look at the fun latest installment, titled The Retreat. There's a bunch of Marvel comics characters making their first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plus Easter eggs -- and spoilers !

The next outing is Episode 8, which drops on Oct. 6, with more arriving every Thursday (here's the full schedule of episode release dates for She-Hulk).

No service

The episode opens with a top-down shot of a bathroom, followed by overlapping time lapse and then a montage of successive dates, as Haim plays and text appears on screen. This feels like the most visually intentional storytelling in the series so far. With the excellent "no Service" visual gag, plus lots of solid jokes ("Apologize to my Prius Prime -- with money!" "Previously on this guy!" "I'm hurtin' for a yurtin'…") this feels like one of the best episodes so far. 

Sadly, this is the second time Jen has slept with someone and then they've disappeared. Nikki's advice is to play it cool for the first 12 hours after going to bed together, but that's easier said than done. Luckily a distraction shows up: Chuck Donelan, Emil Blonsky's underresourced parole officer, calls for backup from She-Hulk.

Blonsky's inhibitor, which prevents him Hulking out into the Abomination, appears to have malfunctioned. So they head to Blonsky's ranch retreat (with a Hanson singalong, on the way), where Jen jolly-greens herself. Happily it's a false alarm: Blonsky got a jolt from an electric fence thanks to his favorite chicken, Princess Silk Feather. But Jen winds up stuck at the wellness retreat when her Prius Prime is smashed by a half-human bull creature and a matador. 

Sorry, he's actually a swashbuckler. This is El Águila aka Alejandro Montoya, a mutant swordsman vigilante who can generate bioelectric blasts. Introduced in the comics in 1979, he usually hangs out with Luke Cage and Iron Fist (and is played by Joseph Castillo-Midyett, who appeared in an episode of Marvel/Netflix show Jessica Jones). His buddy Man-Bull, meanwhile, was a villain introduced in a 1971 Daredevil comic. In the show they're just two dudes working through their resentments in a safe environment (without Wi-Fi).

Hurtin' for a yurtin'

Jen finds herself in a support group with Saracen, who believes himself to be a vampire (in the comics he is a genuine ancient bloodsucker who fights against Blade) and Porcupine, who refuses to take his suit off (this is a Marvel comics deep cut, as Porcupine aka Alexander Gentry was a weapons designer created by Stan Lee, Ernest Hart and Don Heck way back in 1963). Life presents a teacher when there's a lesson to be learned, and Jen is shocked when the group is joined by the dude whose hapless Wrecking Crew tried to steal Jen's blood in episode 3.

The former villain has set aside his magic crowbar and decided to work on himself, and so Jen is drawn into a circle of radical accountability. Blonsky and his superpowered support group encourage Jen to explore her feelings. Interestingly, she talks about Jen and She-Hulk in the third person, suggesting her split identity and the pressures of presenting a different face to the world makes her disassociate from her real self. People love She-Hulk, and so she takes advantage of that, but it feels like cheating. Happily, the group helps guide Jen to an emotional breakthrough that ends with a euphoric stay in a ceremonial sweat yurt. Which is not what I'd expect from a superhero show, and I'm here for it.

Episode 7 post-credits scene

Again, no post-credits scene this week. But the episode's gratifying ending cuts to a flashback: Three days earlier, as Jen snoozes in presumably post-coital bliss, dreamy Josh shows his true colors. He scores some Hulk blood and splits with a grin and a triumphant text to the as-yet-unseen villain HulkKing. It seems the real bad guys aren't the capes working through their emotional issues, it's the guys who look normal but then behave in despicable, callous and manipulative ways.

She-Hulk random thoughts and Marvel Easter eggs

  • Jen prepares for a date to the euphoric sound of Now I'm In It by Haim.
  • Let's play the She-Hulk drinking game: Take a drink every time the camera cuts away from Jen when she transforms into She-Hulk. How low is the effects budget for this show?!
  • Jen's post-ghosting mental state is summed up by Miss Piggy in jail from The Great Muppet Caper. "Time goes slow in the cooler!"
  • Blonsky's ranch is called Summer Twilight. We know Emil is a poet, so perhaps it's a reference to a tranquil verse of the same name by African-American poet Joshua Henry Jones Jr. (Or possibly a similarly pastoral poem by Charles Tennyson Turner. Or none of these. Not everything is an Easter egg.)
  • The tow truck comes from Slott Towing, driven by a guy whose shirt names him Dan. Dan Slott is a comics writer known for his run on She-Hulk, Spider-Man and many more.
  • Jen is nominated for female lawyer of the year.
  • Where are Blonsky's wives/soulmates?
  • I don't care what anyone says, sending a "Getting worried…" text with a blushing emoji is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you're normal people.

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

See all photos

2023's Best TV and Streaming Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

See all photos