For better or worse, She-Hulk has fallen into its sitcom groove, but it continues to be elevated by Jennifer Walters’ complicated struggle with her own superpowered form

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law - Episode 5 Review


Warning: The below contains full spoilers for She-Hulk Episode 5, which is now streaming on Disney+. To refresh your memory, check out our review of last week's episode.

She-Hulk may have been shining a light on the multiversal absurdities we’re willing to accept as comic-book fans, but Episode 5 has gone on to prove just how ridiculous our real-life beauty industry can be. While the show’s format as a whole may be beginning to feel a bit familiar – and hey, since it’s both a sitcom and a lawyer show, what else can you expect? – this week’s half-hour still had some nice character development from Jennifer Walters and her complicated feelings around She-Hulk.
But first of all, let’s just take a second to appreciate just how painfully realistic Titania’s ads for her She-Hulk line are. The TV commercial, the podcast spot, the billboard – none of these over-the-top advertisements would look a tad bit out of place amidst the onslaught of beauty-based capitalism we see everyday. And Jameela Jamil is playing this comically self-obsessed superhuman perfectly, although anyone who’s seen The Good Place shouldn’t be surprised about her ability to effortlessly cut down anyone with just a graceful look.
It’s Titania’s legal claim, too, that serves as a catalyst for Jen’s journey in reckoning with She-Hulk. It’s something that’s a highlight of this episode, one that’s devoid of some of the scene-stealers of episodes past. One one hand, it doesn’t quite live up to the excellent midseason finale of last week, which had demon-fighting goodness (proving that the She-Hulk digital effects absolutely look better in action mode than the do in the harsh lighting of a lawyer’s office) and some hilarious scene stealers (give us the Madisynn/Wongers spinoff you cowards). On the other, it has some inspired character exploration: Jen’s gotta figure out how she feels about her big green super-form, and how that makes her feel about her comparatively real tiny human self.
With the origin story out of the way, as well as some of the MCU tie-ins, She-Hulk is starting to feel a bit formulaic.
And, as She-Hulk has juggled this entire season, it does so while balancing a good amount of sitcom humor. Never does it get too heavy or existential, aside from Jen admitting that she, like, really needs a good talk with a therapist about this. Instead, we get the humiliating parade of mediocre men that Jen – or, rather, She-Hulk – went on dates with. It’s funny to see some of the classic dating archetypes play out, but when last week’s hook-up admits he wouldn’t have gone out with her if she weren’t She-Hulk, it stings. It’s not an easy line to walk, but She-Hulk – and by extension, Tatania Maslany’s continuously winning lead performance – continues to do it impressively. And Mallory Book (Renée Elise Goldsberry), being as seemingly self-assured as she is, presents a good contrast in this respect.
Still, we’re really getting into a sitcom flow five episodes in. With the origin story out of the way, as well as some of the MCU tie-ins, She-Hulk is starting to feel a bit formulaic. Like any typical sitcom, it sets up its A-plot storyline at the top, weaves in its B-story shenanigans, and slaps a bow on the main conflict by the end. That’s not inherently a bad thing – the sitcom model lives on for a reason! – but it does mean it’s starting to feel a little predictable.
Speaking of the B-story, this week’s had some welcome additional screentime for Ginger Gonzaga’s Nikki, who’s consistently been great, albeit underutilized. This episode has started to correct that, with her and Josh Segarra’s Pug embarking on a quest to get Jen a proper superhero suit. Their sidestory is a fun one, as the two have some nice chemistry, and it’s refreshing to see them get something productive to do. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want some “Avongers” merch.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - 8 Wacky MCU Legal Cases That Need to Be AddressedFrom Spider-Man's beef with J. Jonah Jameson to Captain America violating the Flag Code, these are the goofy court cases we want to see play out in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.<b>The Avengers and Collateral Damage</b>
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The Avengers have saved the world at large several times over, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're in everyone's good graces. If you had the misfortune of watching as Hulk hurls your car at a group of invading Chitauri or running for your life as Hawkeye crashes through your living room window, you might hold a little resentment toward Earth's Mightiest Heroes. We can only imagine there are at least a few cutthroat law firms willing to sue the Avengers for property damage, emotional distress and the whole nine yards.
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This issue has been loosely addressed in past MCU projects. Spider-Man: Homecoming revealed that Tony Stark personally bankrolled the clean-up crew at Damage Control. There's also the fact that the US government is probably footing the bill for any collateral damage caused by sanctioned, Sokovia Accords-abiding superheroes. 
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Still, there's a lot of legal gray area here, and it would be interesting to see She-Hulk tackle the question of accountability when it comes to superhero-related disaster events. Especially given that most of the original Avengers are either dead or off the grid in Phase 4. 
<b>The Legal Ramifications of The Blip</b>
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The Blip has been a major plot point influencing the course of the MCU's Phase 4 in ways big and small. And why shouldn't it? Having half of humanity suddenly snuffed out of existence, only to spring back into being just as quickly five years later is bound to cause a lot of chaos and social upheaval. She-Hulk seems like the perfect series to explore that turmoil in more depth.
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We saw some of the lasting ramifications of The Blip in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which revealed the world is suddenly struggling to house millions of new refugees displaced by The Blip. But what other legal conundrums might be caused by having billions of people declared legally dead and then suddenly resurrected? What if someone decides to sue Bruce Banner or the estate of Tony Stark for mishandling the Infinity Gauntlet? There's an almost endless amount of potential here. 
<b>Trapped in the Mirror Dimension</b>
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Wong's return appearance in She-Hulk's fourth episode gave us a taste of how the world of sorcery and interdimensional travel can collide with courtroom drama, but that just scratches the surface. Wong even has a throwaway line hinting at how he could one day find himself in even more dire need of Jen Walters' services.
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Based on that episode and previous Wong/Doctor Strange appearances, we get the distinct impression that these wizards have a bad habit of using the Mirror Dimension as their personal dumping ground. Anyone who annoys or inconveniences them is at risk of being banished to this otherwordly plane. What happens if Wong banishes another Donny Blaze and winds up being sued for the magical equivalent of excessive force? It might be fun to see Wong as the defendant, rather than the plaintiff, next time around.
<b>The Involuntary Memory Wipe</b>
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Thanks to the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, everyone in the world has forgotten Spider-Man's secret identity. Though the big question right now is whether that really includes everyone. There's already some evidence to believe Wong still remembers, as he specifically told Strange
If word gets out that Stephen Strange tinkered with the brains of everyone on Earth, that's sure to invite all sorts of lawsuits, mass protests and congressional hearings. Strange is probably lucky he's off in another universe with Clea, because that's a legal mess Wong may have to clean up. " src="/uploads/2022/09/15/for-better-or-worse-she-hulk-has-fallen-into-its-sitcom-groove-but-it-continues-to-be-elevated-by-jennifer-walters-complicated-struggle-with-her-own-superpowered-form-4.jpeg" class="jsx-2920405963 progressive-image image jsx-294430442 rounded expand loading"/><b>Captain America Violates the Flag Code</b>
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Captain America is an inherently ironic character in the sense that he's the ultimate patriot, yet he's also a walking violation of the United States Flag Code. One of the articles of the Flag Code states,
In the old days, the US government would never have risked starting a legal battle with Captain America. He was created to be the ultimate propaganda weapon. But in this post-Civil War climate, some enterprising Judge Advocate General might see an opening to go after Cap using the Flag Code as a loophole. And while they might have a hard time tracking down Steve Rogers these days, Sam Wilson presents a more vulnerable target. " src="/uploads/2022/09/15/for-better-or-worse-she-hulk-has-fallen-into-its-sitcom-groove-but-it-continues-to-be-elevated-by-jennifer-walters-complicated-struggle-with-her-own-superpowered-form-5.jpg" class="jsx-2920405963 progressive-image image jsx-294430442 rounded expand loading"/>
This episode does break formula on one aspect: no post-credits scene. But it does make up for that by setting up two important things down the line: firstly, actual She-Hulk costume! We’re still getting all our classic superhero origin beats here, after all. And secondly, confirmation of that highly anticipated Daredevil cameo. While it’s already been teased in the trailers, that subtle glimpse of his helmet is a clever way to continue to stoke our excitement.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Alex Stedman

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