**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gives us its most relatable episode yet, with ‘Just Jen’. As a self-contained episode, it works incredibly well. As a feature on Jen’s character development, it feels like a bit of a stall. This episode would be perfect had it come earlier in the season. However, it is still charming, funny, and incredibly smart, which has been a hallmark combination of the series so far.
Tatiana Maslany is still the greatest of all time. Here, she’s given a chance to more fully flesh out Jen as opposed to relying on She-Hulk alone. This is Jen at her most relatable. In her thirties, with friends who really don’t like her, and just feeling a desperate need to connect with anybody. It’s unbelievably sad, watching her supposed friends take advantage of her good nature, and express nothing but disinterest in her accomplishments.
The problem with structuring Jen’s character arc this way is that it could be perceived as a step backwards. We were introduced to her as a fully fleshed-out character. Now, we’re being asked to consider all of the flaws and quirks that make her human. Perhaps the powers at be didn’t think this would be a relatable character if she wasn’t absolutely perfect when first introduced. If anything, that’s an indictment on fandom culture, that women or really any non-male characters have to be absolutely perfect to be taken seriously.
What this episode does exceptionally well is place the entire wedding experience under a microscope. Specifically, this is an ode to the wedding guest experience at a terrible wedding with a terrible couple (by all accounts). It’s chaos out there. The wedding industry is brutal, and turns otherwise normal people into raving animals. The casual cruelty with which people getting married feel that they can treat their single friends is on full display here, and it’s alarming.
Titania (Jameela Jamil) fizzles out, and joins the Marvel villains in the ash heap. It’s disappointing, since this villain had a tonne of potential. She could have been a commentary on the horrors of influencer culture. Unfortunately, we’re left with a sub-par action sequence, broken veneers, and broken promises of a compelling villain. Will Marvel ever give us a lasting villain we can get to know, and root against? Not yet, apparently.
Somehow, Titiana isn’t the worst villain in this episode. A man who would rather kill himself than have an actual conversation? The stuff of nightmares. This storyline actually gives Renée Elise Goldsberry and Ginger Gonzaga chances to show off their incredible comedic chops. The ex-wives are all more than justified. If anything, they didn’t get nearly enough of what they deserved.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hit this writer where she lives. While this episode probably should have come earlier in the series, it’s a solid stand-alone entry, with a self-contained story. Unfortunately, the show seems to be deviating from everything that has made it great. There’s less lawyering, less fourth wall breaking, and no more end credits. What this show needs is perhaps more Jen, and less effort to remind everyone that this series is part of the larger MCU. There is still time to right the ship.
New Episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law air Thursdays on Disney+.