She-Hulk: Attorney At Law – Season 1, Episode 5: Mean, Green And Straight Poured Into These Jeans

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Most superhero properties seem to want to continuously push the boundaries to bringing whatever metaphysical properties the lead character has, stretching budgets to come up with ever more expansive set pieces to fully realise exactly what the hero can do. Its completely natural, after all, if you’re watching a Spider-Man movie you’re going to want to watch him swing and if you watch a Doctor Strange flick, he’d better be busting out as much magic shit as he can.
However, in seemingly yet another act of cheeky defiance against a world-full of haters, She-Hulk turns in it’s fifth episode to reveal something truly audacious – an episode of a superhero TV that doesn’t contain an actual ounce of classic superhero-ing. That’s right, no lives are in peril, no villains to be thwarted (not by physical means, anyway) and not a single three point superhero landing to be seen. Can the season, now at it’s halfway point, manage to pull this one off?

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Having stopped a previous rampage of super-strong social media influencer Titania, reluctant Hulk Jennifer Walters finds that the vindictive b-word has not only had all of her previous charges mysteriously dropped, but has decided to copywrite She-Hulk’s name and use it to hock her shitty beauty products.
Unsure of how she feels about this turn if events, Walters – as always – attempts to get on with her ever more chaotic life and bullshits to her friend that it genuinely doesn’t bother her.
Of course, it does, so Jen’s firm, pissed that one of their lawyers got so easily out maneuvered by someone who dresses like Barbie going through a manic episode, gets no-nonsense colleague Mallory Book to fight Walters’ case.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to try and secure professional and stylish clothes that’ll fit Jennifer in both of her forms, Nikki and Pug get on the trail of a mysterious stylist who is reported to create uniforms for various superhero types on the sly. What they find – aside from a crap load of bootleg Avengers merchandise, is clandestine tailor Luke Jacobson who agrees to knock up a custom suit for our jade giantess and give her a much needed boost in chic.
However, as she tries to counter-sue Titania for the rights to her name, Jen finds that the moniker of She-Hulk has bizarrely grown on her, but that’s not going to stop her having to parade all of her recent hookups from her dating app in front of the court to prove that she really does identify as her super strong alter-ego.

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From the start, Marvel had always hinted that She-Hulk: Attorney At Law would skew more towards the “Attorney” part than the “Hulk” for a good chunk of this run the latest of the continuing, wacky misadventures of Miss Jennifer Walters is  probably the hardest the show has lent into this to date. The results are nicely solid, even if the introduction of Jacobson and a last second reveal (more on this later) does sort of take the spotlight of our lead character thanks to Marvel fandom hungering for easter eggs and foreshadowing more than Galactus fancies a galaxy-sized buffet. The main focus is (or at least, supposed to be) She-Hulk fighting for the rights to her own name in court against the hideously tacky Titania (ably portrayed as a blizzard of self importance by The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil), but weirdly the A-plot feels oddly shoved aside in favour of Jen’s desperate attempt to befriend fellow lawyer Malloy Book and Nikki and Pug’s hugely entertaining side mission to sniff out the underground tailor ring. Maybe it’s because we don’t know anything about Titania yet beyond her devastating levels of selfishness that makes her turn in the guest star spot feel a little flat in comparison to two whole episodes of Wong, but beyond being super strong mean girl with an Instagram account, there isn’t much to the character other than some nicely vicious put downs (“Nice Suit, Shrek.”) and legitimately impressive lashes.

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Elsewhere, however, Jen’s fawning need to be liked by the professional, capable – and vaguely hostile – Mallory Book us legitimately sweet and still shows that our teeny tiny hero still has a way to go before that strutting confidence that Shulkie projects in the comics. In fact, while no punches are actually thrown in this episode, She-Hulk still receives an almighty battering from all sides thanks to a deluge of catty comments from both friends and enemies that no doubt is going to have our heroine eventually announce “Jennifer Walters no more” and go all Hulk all the time until she inevitably gains her emotional balance to be both.
One of the many people responsible for delivering a haymaker of a verbal smack down is Griffin Matthews’ Jacobson who greets our lead with a blunt “Is the hag convention in town?” and just raises to Edna Mode levels of snark from there, but it’s this spot of unexpected world building that gives Episode 5 it’s spark.
As previously mentioned, it primarily gifts us with the unforgiving tongue of Jacobson and the world he works in but we also get an impressively sweet team up of Nikki and Pug who pick their way first through the amusing realms of Avengers merchandise (Pug owns limited edition trainers based of various heroes) and then into the dodgy area of shockingly misspelled knock offs that include hats, t-shirts and replica Cap shields and Thor hammers  – although the fact that the episode failed to give us an “Avongers ensemble” joke is nigh unforgivable.

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The laughs are high and the easter eggs plentiful (keep an extra sharp eye out for Pug’s shoe collection during the typically awesome closing credits), but attention is well and truly stolen by the sight of a familiar horned cowl that’ll no doubt have those tired of Jennifer’s antics back-flipping for joy. Yup it’s time to address the red and yellow elephant in the room as we’re given a massive heads up to the imminent arrival of Matt Murdock’s alter ego, Daredevil. Excitement will no doubt be at maximum even though we already knew he’d be in it thanks to the trailers and you cant help but feel that Marvel’s let something of a quieter She-Hulk episode deliberately get essentially overshadowed by a flashy hat, but thankfully the season has obtained solid enough footing to weather it in what feels like something of a breather before the real craziness starts – after all, never mind Daredevil, Leapfrog is coming. Nah, I kid.

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