There’s a term in storytelling called a “humiliation conga”, where a character has to endure repeated humiliating events. The crux of the 5th episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, titled “Mean, Green, Straight Poured Into These Jeans”, puts that front and center as Jennifer Walters has to battle Titania in court for the right to use the name She-Hulk. The episode marks a turning point for Jennifer as she decides she wants to hold down the moniker given to her and own it in a way she had been avoiding up to this point.
Spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the 5th episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
You have to feel for Jennifer Walters at this point in the story. After spending a night with a guy that clearly didn’t like waking up to Jen instead of She-Hulk, she gets a cease-and-desist suit from Titania, the “superpowered influencer”, who claims that she’s copyrighted the name “She-Hulk”. It turns out Titania is using the name for a line of beauty products and has already created advertising billboards for them. At first, Jennifer doesn’t want to pursue the matter, stating that she doesn’t care if she can’t use the name She-Hulk but its clear early on that this Titania matter is bothering her quite a bit.
It’s her boss Holliway that puts things in perspective, basically pushing Jennifer to fight the lawsuit. Since She-Hulk is the face of their Superhuman Law division, it would reflect poorly on the firm if they don’t deal with the lawsuit, regardless of how vindictively petty it is. And it is a petty lawsuit, as we see when Jennifer tries to confront Titania about it. It’s clear that Titania is simply using the lawsuit as a means to get back at Jennifer for knocking her out in court during the tail end of the 1st episode. The episode also has a bit of a meta-criticism of a certain MCU actress and her line of beauty and skincare products (if you’re not sure who I’m referring to, Google it and get back to me).
Deciding against representing herself, Jennifer goes to one of the other lawyers at the firm, Mallory. Mallory makes it clear that she’s only accepting the case to make the firm look good, presenting some clear resentment over Jennifer’s presence. While Jennifer can’t help being a Hulk, I get where Mallory is coming from. As we see during the actual trial, Mallory is a good attorney and has probably worked for their firm for an extended period of time.
In the midst of the She-Hulk lawsuit, we also get an interesting side story with Pug and Nikki (the other main lawyer in the Superhuman Law division and Jen’s paralegal, respectively). Nikki is tasked with getting Jennifer some better clothes, since the ones she’s currently wearing don’t suit She-Hulk. This leads to the discovery of Luke, a fashion designer with a vicious streak who excels at making clothing and costumes for superheroes. The scenes with Luke are quite a bit of fun to watch. They definitely have a Devil Wears Prada vibe, which I found rather hilarious. It was also nice to see Pug and Nikki bonding, since Pug is one of the few male characters in the series (aside from Holliway and Jen’s Dad) that isn’t a complete douchebag.
Speaking of douchebags, the humiliation conga I mentioned in the beginning of this review is where I as a viewer felt the most sympathy for Jennifer. When it becomes clear that Jennifer will have to show she was using the She-Hulk name long before Titania trademarked it, Jennifer has to bring up her dating profile and several of the men she went on a date with in the last episode. All of them, even the one Jennifer eventually brought home and slept with, come across as complete tools. The one she slept with even admits, under oath, that he was attracted to She-Hulk, not Jennifer. You can see Jennifer deflate at that admission and it hurts to see that. The CGI for She-Hulk was much better in this episode, really managing to capture Jen’s humiliation as she had to listen to her dates basically make themselves sound better than they actually are at her expense.
Titania loses the lawsuit after that, vowing to come after Jennifer at some point for foiling this scheme of hers. And in the end, Mallory and Jennifer are able to bond over a drink, with Mallory giving Jen some sound advice about not letting those guys define who she is because they can’t accept what she is. It’s a powerful message and one that I feel any number of people can take something from. There was also an excellent little easter egg at the end of the episode when Jen goes back to Luke to pick up her clothes. I already knew that Daredevil would be making an appearance in the show due to the trailers but getting to see the yellow, horned helmet in a box made me more than a little giddy.
While not as much fun as the previous episode, “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured Into These Jeans” was still a good episode. Advancing the Titania plotline along was a welcome change of pace from the cameo-heavy run of episodes. And getting to lay in the easter egg of Matt Murdock’s eventual appearance was a nice note to end the episode on. The post credits scenes with Holliway checking out his butt after drinking some of Titania’s “She-Hulk” booty drinks was quite funny, especially given how out of touch Holliway normally comes across as during the episodes. Seeing Pug get his Iron Man 3 sneakers, with Nikky admiring them as well, was also a nice touch. So far, I’m enjoying She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and some of the growing pains for the series are starting to work themselves out.
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