She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is already looking like its a solid hit for Marvel Studios and Disney+, and the first episode alone is steeped in so much Marvel Cinematic Universe lore you need a basket to hold all the Easter eggs. It's not surprising that the first episode of She-Hulk focused almost entirely on the Hulk side of the MCU and its lore, as we learned how Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) first got transformed into a Hulk, and how she quickly learned exactly how similar – and different – she was from her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo).
Banner's version of Hulk got his own (brief) time in the spotlight during She-Hulk Episode 1, along with some much-needed updates on what has occurred with him since Avengers: Endgame – and it seems like Bruce is doing just fine. He managed to heal his arm from the Infinity Gauntlet burn; he made a module that can help control his Hulk transformations; and he's still maintaining the zen-like state of his "Smart Hulk" persona.
But will it last?
The first episode of She-Hulk sees Bruce take Jennifer on a training regiment at the gamma lab/hangout Bruce and Tony Stark built and experimented in, during The Blip. Bruce has a whole binder of therapy and treatment for addressing the Hulk persona inside him, and controlling it, which helped result in his Smart Hulk form. Of course, during She-Hulk Episode 1 Bruce and Jennifer's training comes to a head, when Jen outright punches Bruce in his big Hulk face.
Bruce's response to being attacked by Jen is not exactly what you would call a Smart Hulk attitude. Even after taking the high road at first, Bruce does eventually lose control of his anger and takes on Jen in a real family-style fight. Sure, Bruce pulls it together quickly once he and Jen wreck his beloved bar – but it's a hint that there's still a "Savage Hulk" inside Bruce, somewhere.
Indeed, a large portion of She-Hulk Episode 1's story and themes are dedicated to pointing out how Jen – as a woman – processes emotions like anger so much more differently (efficiently?) than Bruce, which is why she doesn't have a second persona she needs to constantly battle against. That advantage laves Bruce feeling emotions he hasn't struggled with for a minute – like jealousy, frustration, and, yes, anger. Jen makes Bruce realize just how far he has to go to really being one, unified, Banner/Hulk persona.
With She-Hulk planning a callback to The Incredible Hulk with the return of The Abomination (Tim Roth), it seems like there could also be potential for Bruce to also fall back into his Savage Hulk ways – with Jen possibly being the only one who could stand up to her cousin.
She-Hulk is now streaming on Disney+.1comments