As She-Hulk continues on, I’m becoming increasingly more and more detached from it. What started with an interesting premise is now getting lost in awkward plotting and no payoff. With last week’s episode spending most of its time setting up Jen’s suit and then ending on a tease of Daredevil jumping into action, it’s a real shock that this sixth episode doesn’t address either of those points.
Titled “Just Jen,” this is maybe the first episode that gives us any kind of development for its titular star. Things kick off when Jen gets a surprise invitation to a wedding from her old high-school pal Lulu (Patti Harrison). Talking things over with Nikki, Jen reluctantly agrees to go as a bridesmaid so she can show off the dress that she got from Luke, who designed it in the previous episode. When she strolls up to the rehearsal, Jen is obviously hulking out and that sends Lulu into a tiff.
Weirdly, this is one of those times where I feel the fourth wall breaking doesn’t work. Jen points out how pointless the whole idea of wedding episodes is while still indulging in one, which is the same kind of mistake a lot of modern meta-media makes. You can’t comment on a thing sucking and then do nothing to change that perception. Either way, the stage is set for an episode where Jen gets to struggle with the fact that people want her to act in some specific fashion while Jen just wants to be herself.
The B-plot for this episode (which is dramatically better than the A-plot and really should be this entire series) sees Nikki teaming up with Mallory to deal with a divorce case at GLK&H. A superpowered individual known as “Mr. Immortal” (David Pasquesi) comes to Mallory for help in dealing with his settlement. He argues that his ex-wife is simply taking him to the cleaners over a misunderstanding, but quickly reveals that he has been married roughly eight times before and usually ends things by killing himself. Since he cannot die but for a few minutes, he believes that he has legally ended all of his past marriages through death.
The best part of his whole ordeal is the pairing of Nikki and Mallory. While Mallory has been almost a non-entity throughout the previous episodes, her more diplomatic approach to dealing with clients contrasts wonderfully with Nikki’s straight-shooting attitude. The two begin telling Mr. Immortal he’s full of shit and not wanting to deal with conversation -the whole reason for his multiple divorces- and he jumps out a window.
Back at the wedding, Jen is having some problems with Lulu when instead of wanting to discuss her actual life, Lulu starts talking about men. After she makes a snide remark about Jen having a little bit of time left, Jen walks away and spots Titania in the room. Knowing that something is up with her, she confronts Titania and accuses her of turning up at the wedding to sabotage her day, but Lulu steps in to reassure Jen that she is overreacting. There are a lot of passive-aggressive comments about Jen being “crazy” and “insane,” which is meant to reflect the struggle Jen faces as a woman in a professional field. It’s really on the nose and doesn’t quite land for how overt it is.
Not feeling up to continue getting dogpiled, Jen leaves the room and sits outside on a bench by herself. Indulging in some candy nuts, a man named Josh (Trevor Salter) sits next to her and strikes up a conversation about how difficult it has been to meet people. Being the first decent guy Jen has met all season -though this could be a ploy- the two quickly bond, but Lulu interrupts and asks the two to clean up some things for her. Her wait staff didn’t like her attitude, so Lulu is short on help at the moment. It seems absurd that Jen would get roped into these duties, but neither she, Josh nor anyone else really comments on it.
Returning to GLK&H, an entire board room needs to be taken out to deal with Mr. Immortal’s divorce case. Across the table from Nikki and Mallory are all eight of Immortal’s previous partners, including seven wives and one husband. They all recount stories of how Immortal acted lovey-dovey at first before becoming detached and then killing himself to get out of his responsibilities. While Mallory believes she is in control, a quick sidebar with Nikki shows that Nikki has a better handle on things than Mallory thought. Mallory can cut straight to the point, but Nikki’s more personal approach allows her to bond with the ex-wives and render some agreeable terms for everyone. Mr. Immortal isn’t exactly pleased that his own lawyers seem to be teaming up against him, but he is able to avoid some serious jail time thanks to Nikki’s quick wits.
The next day at the wedding, Jen is introduced to the best man she’ll be walking down the aisle with: a rather tiny dog. Once again, She-Hulk delves into stereotypical catty woman behavior that this show should be avoiding and the revelation causes Jen to tune out the proceedings. She gets wasted at the paid bar (because of course Lulu would have a paid bar) and ignores pretty much everyone there. Josh does find her a little later and pays her an actual compliment. While intrigued by what She-Hulk is, Josh is also very much attracted to Jen and everything she represents without superpowers.
It seems like things are going pretty well with Josh when Jen suddenly feels sick. After rushing outside to vomit, Titania picks her up and socks her across the jaw. At long last, the completely-not-obvious heel turn happens and Jen doesn’t even want a part of it. She had promised Lulu earlier that she wouldn’t hulk out, but after Titania keeps egging her on, Jen gives into her rage and beats the crap out of Titania. It’s a decent-ish action sequence and it ends on a pretty funny note. Titania trips, breaks a tooth, and makes herself look like a complete ass. You’d think Lulu would be furious, but even she is drunk out of her mind, and she hugs She-Hulk. Crisis averted.
Later that evening, we catch up with Nikki and Mallory after their victory today. The two pay each other compliments and are laughing over the footage of Mr. Immortal jumping out of the GLK&H window when they happen to see a thread about Jen on the website “Intelligencia.” An analog for something like 8Chan or Kiwi Farms, this site is comprised of a user base of bigoted, hateful, spiteful individuals that want to tear down those they deem unworthy. Jen and She-Hulk have multiple threads dedicated to death threats and such and while Nikki and Mallory agree not to tell Jen, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes before Nikki is spilling the beans over the phone.
This episode ends on a shot inside of an unknown laboratory where we get a close-up of some needle being put into a case. If I had to guess, this is maybe some Hydra off-shoot that is looking to inject Jen with a serum that will obliterate her She-Hulk powers. Whatever it may be, the episode ends after this and that’s that.
Once again, there is no after-credits sequence, so it seems like She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is breaking its own rules again. While the main plot with Jen did give us some extra substance to her personality, the only thing that makes his episode watchable is Nikki and Mallory’s exploits. The two make a great pairing and having them deal with a Z-list Marvel character is exactly the type of show that She-Hulk should have been.
I’m conflicted about this sixth episode because it does contain bits that are genuinely funny and lighthearted, but then it also has all of the same problems that the past few weeks have had. We still don’t really get much of She-Hulk and Jen is becoming the least interesting character in her own show. That and I’m just flabbergasted that Daredevil is once again not in the show after being teased this long. I honestly wouldn’t hold your breath at seeing Daredevil next week, either.
There are only three more episodes left in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and I don’t think there is much that can be done to salvage this particular season. If Marvel does bring this back for a second run, it should really go for the “villain of the week” style and stop with the inconsistent season-long arc that has no payoff. She-Hulk is the perfect character to deal with random Marvel stars that would never get their own films but can be acknowledged for how wacky comics can be.