Put a Spell on You – Review of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” Episode Four “Is This Not Real Magic?”

When the Sorcerer Supreme seeks you out for legal work, you just know nothing is going to go according to plan. Jennifer Walters finds herself in an odd predicament thanks to the returning Wong (while also trying to find her way through the dating pool) in the fourth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, titled “Is This Not Real Magic?”. And a nuisance character from the first episode returns in the closing moments to cause even more of a nuisance.

Spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the fourth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

I have to give Tatiana Maslany credit for being able to carry these episodes, since there’s only a handful of scenes that she’s not directly involved in. As She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has progressed, you can see a clear distinction between Maslany’s portrayals of Jen and She-Hulk. When Jen transforms, she carries herself with far more confidence, most notably when she decides to create a Matcher profile (a dating app similar to Tinder) as She-Hulk. This is after creating a profile on the same app using her business headshot as her profile picture as simply Jen. The difference in results is of course played for laughs, with Jen getting one match and She-Hulk getting over a dozen within minutes of creating the profile.

The dating montage is cringe-worthy but that is largely due to the guys rather than Jen. One even goes so far as to refer to Jen as a “specimen”, which lands about as well as you can imagine. Jen even makes the 4th wall-breaking comment of never dating in your 30s. I like these little slice-of-life moments in between the more outlandish superhero moments. Between the dating scene and Jen’s lovable father showing up with new security measures (including a shovel for “digging holes”) after she got attacked by the Wrecking Crew, these scenes help to ground the series in a form of quasi-reality, something the mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe films and series have always lacked (not that I’m complaining about that in the slightest). I can’t help but feel a great deal of sympathy for Jen the morning after she took one of her dates home when he meets normal Jen the next morning and decides to leave. You can see the disappointment all over Jen’s face and you just want to give her a hug.

In between the moments of relative normalcy, the return of Benedict Wong as Wong, the Sorcerer Supreme, is always fun (in one of her 4th wall breaks, Jen refers to Wong’s cameos as Twitter armor). Benedict has a natural talent for comedy and it shows in this episode, particularly during the scenes with Madisynn (an unlucky party girl who gets sent to a hell dimension and has to make a deal with a goat demon to get out) and when he interrupts Jen’s date when she’s about to get intimate. The main plot of the episode revolves around Donny Blaze, a stage magician who looks like a cross between Russell Brand and Criss Angel (and not in a good way), who is formerly a student of Kamar-Taj. As part of his act, Blaze is using a sling ring to open portals to other dimensions, which goes about as badly as you can imagine when he opens a portal to the wrong one and ends up setting loose a bunch of demons in the Magic Castle, causing Wong and She-Hulk to have to step in to save the day (and get Blaze to agree to a cease-and-desist order Wong brought against him earlier in the episode).

The ending of the episode sets up the next story arc in the series, with the return of Tatiana (the super-powered influencer that Jen took down at the end of the first episode). Having been cleared of all charges (cause the law in shows like this is horrendously inadequate), Tatiana serves a lawsuit to Jen after trademarking the name “She-Hulk”. Given what little we’ve seen of Tatiana at this point, it’s a good excuse to bring the character back into the fold. What we have seen of Tatiana is that she’s as vapid as she is strong, so this level of pettiness fits what we’ve been shown about the character. And it puts Jen in the unfortunate spot of having to fight for a name that she wasn’t that thrilled with at the start but has been slowly learning to accept.

Overall, “Is This Not Real Magic?” was a fun little escapade. None of the metaplot threads were followed up on, which I didn’t mind all that much. The Wrecking Crew are sure to make another appearance, as well as their mysterious backer, at some point in the near future. For now, I’m enjoying the performance of Tatiana Maslany in the lead role and look forward to seeing what the next episode brings.

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