She-Hulk: Attorney At Law – Season 1 Episode 6

Sep 22, 2022 | Posted by in TV

“Just Jen”

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law delivers a well-worn rom-com/sitcom plot when Jennifer attends a wedding as Mallory and Nikki represent an immortal with a collection of ex-spouses.

Weddings can be a draining experience depending on your role in the event. Many romantic comedies and sitcoms mine humour from weddings and the awkwardness along with the drama that can ensue from attending them. Weddings as settings share things in common with School Reunions in terms of some of the ground being covered. Both are a reason people come together after not seeing each other for an extended period of time so there can be natural anxiety over outward perception of success and achievements. If people see that others are in what appear to be stable committed relationships and successful careers then they may compare themselves and feel that their life pales in comparison.


Showing off

Another desire that can manifest in attending such an event is to flaunt success in front of others which is what Jennifer eventually admits to wanting to do. The bride, Lulu (Patti Harrison) initially requests that Jennifer not upstage her by appearing as She-Hulk during her wedding. It’s an understandable desire but one that Jennifer is uncomfortable with as she takes it as a request to not stand out. Context suggests that Jennifer is one of the quieter members of her friend group and is used to not being the centre of attention so it’s only natural that she would be excited by the opportunity to be in the limelight even if someone else’s wedding is not the event to stand out in the way she wants to it makes sense that she would want to experience that change.

This ties into her ongoing arc around defining her identity. The episode opens with her telling Nikki that she will never use the super suit that was made for her which highlights that she is resisting being a superhero. She wants to be “just Jen” but she is still conflicted about what that means and sees She-Hulk as a separate entity. In her mind, She-Hulk is something that happened to her and Jennifer Walters is who she is with the likely conclusion being full acceptance of that side of herself and true comfort in her own skin. In a later conversation with Josh (Trevor Salter) she admits that there’s a lot to like about being She-Hulk and her comfort level is increasing. With that comes an admission that she wanted to flaunt that comfort at the wedding and is disappointed that she was specifically told not to. It’s growth in a way even if a considerable step forward hasn’t been made at this point. Admitting to feeling that way shows that her comfort level with being She-Hulk is increasing along with her confidence. Making an entrance as She-Hulk in a dress custom built for that body was an obvious display of confidence and the attention she received because of how she looked was certainly something she welcomed.

Josh and Jennifer’s dynamic is really charming and his being interested in Jennifer’s non-She-Hulk form tells her that there’s no need for her to write off that side of herself in favour of She-Hulk. In some ways, it’s very shallow appearance-driven thinking which is limiting because it’s only one aspect of what makes up a person but at the same time, it’s understandable that she would take pleasure in being found superficially attractive. It also probably helps that Josh projects an air of substance that suggests there is more to him beyond the physical. Jennifer appears to be intellectually stimulated by him and that is what will ultimately be more meaningful for her. A shallow connection would be just that but someone who appreciates her for all she can offer is what she truly wants. She won’t be able to achieve that until she appreciates herself for all she can offer which is what she is currently working through.


Being immortal has its advantages

The wedding plot was a good catalyst for Jennifer to further her ongoing arc but it’s underwhelming in most other aspects. Comedy is subjective so what works for some won’t work for others but I found the command of comedy to be weak. Instead of leaning into the inherent awkwardness of being single at a wedding, the episode gets sidetracked by bizarre choices such as Jennifer having to act as staff after Lulu badly mistreats those working at her wedding or demeaning her by making her carry a small terrified dog down the aisle.

There are some interesting examples of social commentary such as Jennifer being grilled about her relationship status by Lulu who assumes that she feels bad about being single and strongly implies that there’s a time limit attached to her finding a relationship. It’s a commonly held belief by many that life should follow a certain trajectory that involves being married by a certain age. Alternative live choices are possible and not everyone feels the need to follow that path. Jennifer corrects Lulu’s assumption that she’s unhappy to reference the fact that other life choices are possible and equally valid. It’s not something that the episode dwells on but the point speaks for itself.

Lulu’s characterisation creates a different problem. She is presented as entitled and self-absorbed with Jennifer taking on the role of a victim being stamped down by an unpleasant ego. By her own admission, Jennifer wanted the wedding to be a showcase for her success and offer an opportunity for everyone to marvel -pun intended- at She-Hulk. This is a wholly unhealthy approach on her part as a wedding should be about the person actually getting married. Jennifer’s lesson for the episode should have been her realising that there’s a time and a place for her to look for a self-esteem boost. Instead, Lulu comes to embrace -literally and figuratively- Jennifer as She-Hulk without actually undergoing any development that justifies her mindset change. It happens to give Jennifer a victory rather than use it as a way to show that she’s fallible and prone to arrogance and jealousy just as anyone else is.


This isn’t going well

Titania randomly appears at the wedding in order to challenge Jennifer but the failure to characterise Titania beyond being a bland Gen-Z terminology spewing antagonist makes her appearance almost totally lacking in impact. A throwaway line explains why she’s at the wedding before having her later attack Jennifer for reasons that are poorly explained. It seems that she is entirely motivated by bitterness over Jennifer taking some of the spotlight from her. It is undeniably a motivation and the stakes are refreshingly low but it’s far from compelling and Titania has nothing going for her beyond her being an antagonistic presence who can somewhat challenge Jennifer physically. There’s no meaning to their conflict so any scene featuring her is frustrating.

The secondary plot involves Nikki and Mallory teaming up to defend an immortal who is being challenged by a string of ex-spouses for faking his death and changing his identity in order to escape the marriage. This is another example of this show failing to fully explore the ramifications of the unique problems that superpowers can create for the legal system. What this boils down to is someone faking their death and changing their identity in order to avoid awarding ex-spouses with what they are legally entitled to. The episode states that no criminal charges have been lobbied against him so the issue is entirely around settling this in a fair way.

Mr. Immortal (David Pasquesi) isn’t a character, he’s an extended joke which means he lacks any nuance. There was an opportunity to explore how an immortal might view commitment as a concept and the value that they place on relationships when their life is so long. An obvious connection could be made between that and the potential value those who aren’t immortal place on relationships and commitment when considering the divorce rate. The episode isn’t interested in covering that as it’s more concerned with trying to create comedy out of angry exes coming together to make him suffer for what he did. It’s a valid angle and one that could have been interesting had the episode actually told that story. Instead, it relegates it to a handful of obvious jokes before resolving it.


Out of the box thinking

Another angle that receives attention but doesn’t merit exploration is the internal conflict lawyers have when representing someone they hold in contempt. Mallory is clearly disgusted with Mr. Immortal which is arguably unprofessional and may affect her ability to represent him effectively. Nikki does clear up that lawyers only have to represent them and have no requirement to appear impartial. Even if that were true, professional courtesy would suggest that she refrain from expressing her opinion in front of the person paying to have her represent him. It makes Mallory come across as unprofessional for the sake of underwhelming jokes.

There is an implied interesting tension between Mallory and Nikki. Mallory thinks Nikki is unprofessional -which is rich considering her behaviour in the episode- and Nikki thinks that Mallory is too cold and distant. This sets up an obvious journey where they both recognise the depth within the other and the episode delivers on that but the actual realisation happens off-screen. Nikki ends up solving the problem with her unconventional thinking after Mallory suggests an unworkable overly simplistic resolution. It impresses Mallory as Nikki’s ability to read people and relate to them is what wins the day so she recognises validity in the way Nikki is. Their final interaction involves Mallory opening up to Nikki about aspects of her personal life and common ground is found between the two of them. Since the development is never actually shown it comes across as empty and the conflict was poorly set up in the first place as Mallory had barely been established in any context prior to this episode so the suggestion that she was cold and distant has no real basis.

This plot furthers the lightly developed season arc after Nikki and Mallory discover a website with some extreme hatred lobbied at She-Hulk. Nikki’s warning to Jennifer comes with the ominous imagery of a syringe being prepared along with the instruction to get She-Hulk’s blood. My prediction is that Tim Blake Nelson’s The Leader will be behind this plan but its existence runs counter to the style of this show though it remains to be seen how compelling it will be when the mystery is solved.


Making a connection


A frustrating episode that isn’t without merit but is dragged down by character development that happens off-screen and attention being put in the wrong places. Jennifer’s attendance at a wedding provides opportunities for her to be grilled about her relationship status and explore her comfort level with being She-Hulk in definitive ways. Her conversations with Josh are charming and highlight that there’s no need for her to write off the Jennifer form in favour of She-Hulk. It’s shallow appearance-driven thinking but understandable given Jennifer’s implied place in her friend group. The trouble is that Lulu is portrayed as being entitled and self-absorbed so that Jennifer can slot into the victim role who deserves to be central as She-Hulk. It’s an unhealthy approach as a wedding should be about the person getting married and that should be the lesson Jennifer learns rather than Lulu embracing She-Hulk. Titania continues to be a poorly developed antagonist with no meaning to their conflict. The secondary plot continues the trend of failing to explore interesting legal problems with a superhuman twist. Mr. Immortal is an extended joke rather than a character so lacks nuance. The problem is solved off-screen and relegated to a handful of obvious jokes. Nikki and Mallory’s lack of common ground is poorly established and resolved off-screen so fails to be as engaging as it could be. Using the secondary plot to further the lightly developed season arc runs counter to the style of this show though it remains to be seen how compelling it will be when the mystery is solved.

  • 3/10
    Just Jen - 3/10


Kneel Before…

  • furthering Jennifer’s arc towards comfortably accepting being She-Hulk
  • the charming Jennifer/Josh interactions
  • highlighting Nikki’s resourcefulness and ability to read and relate to people


Rise Against…

  • Lulu being presented as an entitled self-absorbed antagonistic presence to slot Jennifer in the role of the victim
  • the bizarre validation of Jennifer’s desire to be the centre of attention at her friend’s wedding
  • Lulu’s acceptance of Jennifer and She-Hulk happening off-screen
  • Titania continuing to be an underdeveloped antagonist
  • no strong basis for the Nikki/Mallory tension
  • their tension being resolved off-screen
  • Mr. Immortal being an extended joke rather than a character
  • once again failing to address any of the interesting implications of the legal problem


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User Review
6.22/10 (9 votes)

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