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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hulk at his peak, June 10, 2008
This review is from: The Incredible Hulk: Season 4 (DVD)
The 4th season is my favorite after season 2 as the show returns from a lethargic 3rd season to kick into high gear. The Hulk's best episodes were usually the two parters and the 3rd year was totally lacking in any epic episodes. The one episode which could have been an outstanding two fer, "Homecoming", was made as a one shot and is standout. But it needed to be bigger.

This season makes up for it in the first episode. "Prometheus" is my all-time favorite episode (with "Myster Man" of year 2 a very close second), as Banner deals with being stuck in mid-transformation. The cliffhanger is outstanding and this actually would have made a great season ender for year 3. But season ending cliffhangers were just getting started and not the Hulk's forte. The commentary by Kenny Johnson, as usual, has a wealth of fascinating information. Either he kept every scrap of info on his shows at hand or has the best memory of all time. Part 2 is something of a let down as it becomes a series or rampages, enlivened by one really great confrontation between the half-changed Banner and Jack McGee (really, Jack should be piecing this together by now).

Another classic and final two-part episode is "The First," which is a wonderful homage to the classic Universal monster movies of the 30's and 40's. Dr. Clive, Visaria, Del "Frye" are all names taken from those films. The final battle is disappointing since Dick Durock is no Lou Ferrigno (cmoe on, an old Hulk should have been played by no less than Jack LaLanne!), but the pacing is wonderful and the music score (as in "Prometheus") is outstanding. Not as much Banner and Hulk in this one, since it focuses on Frye and his creature, but it's interesting to see a murderous Hulk type creature and what he would do. Jack McGee, at this point, isn't just an obsessed reporter. He's become a crusader, out to save the people. It's an interesting change and it's because Bixby and Colvin wanted McGee to be a foil for Banner on par with the doctor. He's been decidedly less sleazy the last two years. :-)

"Free Fall" is a favorite for nostalia reasons, but it's a solid story. The sky diving shots and the music behind them are beautiful.

Other favorites for me include "Deep Shock" where Banner acquires temporary ESP and "The Harder The Fall" which is a great story about Banner being paralyzed in an accident, but realizes his healing factor will cure him. In desperation, he actually wants to become the Hulk. When it finally does happen, the creature doesn't understand why his legs won't work. This is, frankly, the last great episode of the series.

Other episodes work on a guilty pleasure level like "Dark Side" and "Bring Me The Head of The Hulk." But "Half Nelson" is just embarrassing (but with some laughs).

Even with the energy petering out toward the end, it's still a superior season, cut short by CBS. The final 5 episodes were aired the next year, but they were shot for season 4. However, these episodes are not on this set (which runs 18 episodes on 4 discs). I wish Universal would have just tacked on season 5, bringing it up to 23 episodes and 5 discs (season 3 has 5 discs). As much as I really love how they put out two seasons at once to capitalize on the new Hulk movie, they could have wrapped it up with the last 5 (I mean, is 5 episodes considerd a season for any show but The Sopranos?). With luck, the final set will come out when the Hulk movie hits DVD.

Aside from that, a worthy set which makes the series 98% complete now. te commentaries by Ken Johnson are always great and his tributes to the cast and crew no longer with us are truly touching. He really loved his people and it shows. He one again urges people to send him any questions or comments. Do so, he's a great guy to talk to.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 12, 2008 9:14:47 PM PDT
Roman85 says:
just finished watching both 3 & 4, & I agree, you think McGee would figure that John Doe is Banner, BUT... If you watch the 1st episode(pilot) Banner(Bixby) had shorter hair, & did look a bit different, so naturally I believe this explains McGee not putting two & two together.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 10:19:37 PM PDT
D. Eklof says:
Actually, there were seven episodes aired during the Hulk's last season, but I agree - Universal should have added them onto Season 4 so all of the show would be released.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2008 2:33:28 PM PDT
Roman85 says:
I was sure Universal would release the last 7 too with Season 4, but I am sure they will put the last 7 with the new film, just an excuse to get us to buy the new movie in October or November!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2008 7:28:25 AM PDT
Yeah, you're right. I don't know why the number 5 stuck in my head. Thanks!

And I did hear that Universal will release the final 7 in October for the movie DVD release. Huzzah!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2008 7:32:41 AM PDT
Going on just the pilot and Mystery Man, I agree. But in the Broken Image episode, when McGee met Mike Cassidy (the Banner evil double), that's when it should have hit him. Sure the hair is a little different in length, but the voice really should be tipping McGee off. They went to lengths to have Banner's throat injured in Mystery Man so McGee wouldn't make that connection, but later on (as early as the end of part 1), he began to sound like Banner. I can understand McGee might not totally remember the voice he only heard a couple of times a year and a half before, but when he met Banner in Broken Image, and then heard him in Equinox and saw the facial similarity in Prometheus....

"Holy crap! Banner you ARE alive!"

But, this ain't real life. :-) So I'm just sayin'.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 5:43:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 31, 2010 5:43:42 PM PDT
FYI, and appropox of nothing, the line was "Good God, Banner, you're alive!"
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Location: Long Island, NY

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