Remember when I said last week’s episode of She-Hulk was the best one yet? I was maybe being presumptuous, but after viewing the latest episode, I really have no clue what the writers want for Marvel’s green lady. Neither a serialized show nor an episodic one, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law seems to be lost on what it wants to be or how its audience should react. Before I get into review territory, let’s get the recap out of the way.
Beginning with a magic show performed by the ridiculous Donny Blaze (Rhys Coiro), clearly a satire of spectacle magicians such as Chris Angel, things take a turn for the worst when he calls up a member of the audience to teleport them away using the magic of Kamar-Taj. While the act was bombing because Blaze sucks, the very inebriated Madisynn (Patty Guggenheim) walks into a portal that takes her to some demonic realm. The audience claps, but Madisynn eventually winds up in Wong’s home just as he is wrapping up an episode of The Sopranos.
When Wong finds out Blaze is behind this latest intrusion, he heads into Jen’s office in an attempt to serve a cease and desist to Blaze. Not wishing to make a mockery of the mystic arts, he explains to Jen that Blaze was an expelled student of Kamar-Taj that has repeatedly been misusing his powers for personal gain. Without any legal documentation proving this, however, it seems like the upcoming case will be a wash.
Before heading to court, Jen’s father comes over to console her after her assault in the previous episode. Completely forgetting that she has Hulk powers, her father brings a bunch of tools and supplies that will safeguard Jen from any assailants. She reassures him that everything is under control, especially since she can just open a can of whoop ass on anyone that dares touch her.
After that aside, a decent chunk of this episode focuses on Jen’s struggles with dating. As her average human self, Jen isn’t able to really attract anyone with her Matcher profile. Nikki, Jen’s ever-helpful paralegal, suggests dating as She-Hulk before some creepy dude at the bar (humorously called Legal Ease) attempts to pick them both up.
Back to Wong’s dilemma, Jen and Wong have a meeting with Blaze and his manager, Cornelius P. Willows (Leon Lamar), to discuss the C&D. Both assert that one cannot own magic, and before Blaze and Wong get into a pissing contest, Jen interjects to serve Blaze his papers. Just as they are leaving, Jen’s phone rings with a Matcher notification that leads us to our next scene.
At Finley’s bar, Jen meets with a very self-absorbed man that couldn’t care less about the actual date they are on. While he starts off with a question for her, he eventually looks down at his phone while disregarding her presence. Once things are over, the guy walks away muttering something about Jen being “only a six.” Gross.
Cut to court where Wong’s case doesn’t seem to be going in his favor. As Blaze argues with the same talking points he made earlier, Jen suggests bringing in a witness to corroborate Wong’s story. Reluctantly, he agrees and Madisynn is teleported in from whatever dive she was inhabiting. She heads to the stand and begins to explain Blaze’s show. We get some running gag about the spelling of her name (“With two N’s, and one Y, but it’s not where you think.”) and a brief overview of the evening.
Despite Jen’s intention to show that Blaze is irresponsible, Madisynn winds up making him look better and that causes the judge to put the trial on hold while she deliberates. Stating it will take three weeks, she refuses Jen’s insistence to okay a preliminary injunction and gives Blaze the ability to continue practicing his “magic” in the interim. There is at least a funny moment where Blaze hides his hand under a scarf, says he’ll make a bird appear, then flips Jen off.
Back at Jen’s house, she is in her pajamas and going over court documents on a Friday night when Nikki calls. At her insistence -and maybe feeling a bit pathetic at her current situation-, Jen configures her Matcher profile to be She-Hulk and immediately gets many matches. Cue a montage of men being douchebags (we even get one guy trying to flex that he can deadlift 600+ lbs) before Jen happens upon a very buff guy that is more interested in learning about her.
While all of this is going on, Blaze is off performing another show and getting a bit coyer with his mystic arts. After unsuccessfully trying to persuade a new assistant into a portal, Blaze magics a bird into his hand that flies over to the assistant and lays an egg. That egg then hatches into some goblin thing and Blaze proceeds to open yet another portal to drop it off. Lo and behold, he loses control of the creature and a bunch of goblins are now running amok in the theater. Blaze opens a portal to Wong and begs for his help. Wong angrily agrees and starts doing his thing. He tries calling Jen numerous times before simply portaling to her house.
After the successful date, Jen is back home with her match and the two are getting very comfortable on her couch. Before she can make anything sexy happen, Wong grabs her, and the two spring into action. With some very average-looking CG, we get the first real action scene of the episode and it feels particularly out of place. I understand this show is She-Hulk, so Jen is going to be involved, but she feels completely unnecessary here.
Anyway, with that invasion resolved and Blaze agreeing to the C&D, Jen returns home to her date and the two get busy… or at least, it is implied they do. The following morning, Jen makes breakfast for her date in her regular form, but the man wants nothing to do with her. It seems the moral of this plotline is that people are far more interested in She-Hulk, who happens to be almost a non-presence in her own show.
Once the man leaves, a paralegal knocks at Jen’s door to serve her papers from Titania, the lady introduced in the first episode and almost completely dropped after. Turns out, she is suing Jen for stealing the She-Hulk name and wants to meet her in court. I’m not sure where that came from or how it plays into anything, but Jen makes a fourth wall comment about that being a downer and references how the end credits scene should be fun.
Well, sadly, this is the first time I didn’t really get a chuckle out of the closer. Back at Kamar-Taj, Wong and Madisynn are watching The Sopranos while discussing their favorite drinks. I understand it’s meant to be funny to see Wong chatting so nonchalantly since his entire shtick is being serious, but with how She-Hulk seems to keep throwing away things from previous weeks, I doubt we’ll ever even see Madisynn again (she also only has a credit for a single episode on IMDB).
Overall, I’m not sure what to think of She-Hulk anymore. The writers don’t seem to understand what they want from this legal dramedy. Is it a serialized show with a season-long arc, or an episodic cameo series? Are we going to delve into Jen’s mental state as a Hulk, or just gloss over that and go for spectacle? Is Jen the main focus here, or is this show meant to serve more as a bridge between other MCU properties?
I hate to bring up Twitter drama too, but Jen’s strange comment about Wong giving them “Twitter armor” for a week also falls completely flat. While I would hesitate to call the angry denizens of the net fans, people are still complaining over the first episode of She-Hulk. Trying to then poke fun at how cameos will distract from lousy writing doesn’t work in the way I think the writers believe it will.
With only five episodes left for this season -if the show even becomes more than a miniseries-, the only real guess as to what is next comes from IMDB. Cast credits don’t necessarily mean anything, but Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth, and Charlie Cox are apparently all set to appear in the remainder of the season. Maybe after fumbling for a few weeks, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will finally pick up steam properly.