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Does Jennifer Walters care about the superhero name that she was branded with? Nobody asked for her input, the name got tossed around and it stuck to her. Like the initial accident that gave her Hulk powers, she had no choice. Jennifer Walters has little say or control over anything in her life.
Episode 5 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the latest series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently streaming on Disney+, features Jen having to fight for a name and an identity that she doesn’t even want… or does she? In the process, the episode gives us our first tease of the upcoming appearance of Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. He didn’t choose his moniker either, everyone just called him “the devil of Hell’s Kitchen.”
WARNING: Spoilers follow for Episode 5 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. If you have not watched yet, smash your way out of here.
Super-powered influencer Titania (Jameela Jamil) is now using the “She-Hulk” name that she trademarked to sell awful beauty products. She’s also taken over the main titles of the series. “I am strength. I am beauty. I own who I am,” is her tagline. Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) definitely does not yet own who she is.
Apart from the lawsuit that Titania is throwing at her, does this bother Jen? She didn’t choose the name, and she tells Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) that she doesn’t care. It’s not who she is. “It’s just a thing that happened to me,” she says.
Yes it was, but she should get to own that thing. There are parts that she likes, specifically being able to walk home at night without fear. Jen insists that she’s over it, but Nikki doesn’t believe her. Jen breaks the fourth wall and tries to sell us on it too, but we don’t believe her either. She's going to have to fight for something that she's only ever fought against.
Titania selling some awful thing called a “She-Hulk Booty Boost Smoothie” isn’t good for GLK&H, so Mallory Book (Renée Elise Goldsberry) is brought in to help Jen’s case. Nikki and Pug (Josh Segarra) have already begun a quest to get Jen some better clothing.
In court, it is argued that Jen has never cared about the She-Hulk name until now. This may be true, but the episode gradually shows her how, like it or not, it is a part of her now. Footage of her denying the name does not impress the judge, but footage of Jen played by Mallory tells the real story.
“Whether I like it or not, I am forever She-Hulk,” Jen says in the footage.
An accident gave her these powers, but society gave her the name. It forced it, and how it's making her prove that it’s a part of her? Come on. She meets with Luke, the superhero clothing designer, and he’s clearly going to give her more than the size adjusting suit that she’s asking for. As he says, “I don’t make basic s***.”
After seeing Todd, one of her creepy app dates, Jen has an idea about how to win the case. Naturally, it involves humiliating herself. She parades all of the app dates that she had under the She-Hulk profile to testify, with the hot doctor who ditched her sealing it. Would he have been interested if she was just Jen, and not She-Hulk? No, he would not have. He sucks.
Book has already read some of She-Hulk’s profile (self-identifying as “mean, green, and straight poured into these jeans”) but the shaming is enough, and Jen wins the case. She’s the proud owner of a name that she never chose.
In terms of the hot doctor who should go right to hell, Mallory gives Jen comfort: “You can do better. You deserve better.” Damn right she does. When the two have drinks, she brings up the idiocy of the men on the apps.
“You can have literal superpowers and some guy with an internet connection will still think he can do better,” Mallory says, and wow is she right on that. Whether Jen looks like She-Hulk or Tatiana Maslany, she is not appreciated. Yes, Jen swiped on all of those men herself, but if that’s what she ended up with, she must not have had a bunch of diamonds to choose from. These morons were the best she could find, which really says something.
Back with Luke, Jen receives the suit that she asked for as well as something that she did not ask for. That’s when Luke finds a special order lying on the counter and scolds someone. “Does client confidentiality mean nothing to you?” he says, moving the box to another spot.
We’ve already seen what’s inside of it, though. Matt Murdock must use Luke’s services, because the designer hatbox has a Daredevil helmet/mask inside. Unlike previous versions that we’ve seen, this one has the yellow color that Murdock has occasionally worn in the comics.
Daredevil (Charlie Cox) is coming, and he is going to have a lot to talk about with She-Hulk. We’re excited for them to talk as their alter-egos, but honestly? We’re more excited for scenes between Matt and Jen.
-Mallory Book is a regular presence in Marvel Comics, appearing often in the pages of She-Hulk as a recurring adversary to Jennifer Walters. She’s worked in Superhuman Law with GLK&H and has dealt with cases that involve Doctor Strange, Hank Pym, and more. The MCU didn’t cast an acting heavyweight like Goldsberry (Hamilton, Altered Carbon, Girls5Eva) for nothing.
-Titania to She-Hulk in court: “Nice suit, Shrek.” Good one, Titania. Got her.
-Jen asks Mallory why this branding issue is a problem. “Did Doctor Strange have to trademark his name? Did Thor?” she asks. Mallory’s response: “You chose two examples of people who use their real names.”
-Favorite line of the episode goes to Jen as she looks at Titania’s awful array of products: “She’s literally selling snake oil.”
-Pug is into shoes, and he currently has his eyes on two pairs of “Iron Man Threes.” Why two pairs? One to rock and one to stock, of course. The episode subtitles show that the sneakers use the full spelling of “three” much like the titles of the movie Iron Man Three.
-To talk to Luke, Nikki and Pug have to buy an assortment of bootleg Avengers merch, which is revealed with a snippet of the Avengers theme. None of it is legitimate, all of the characters look wrong, and they have to be called either the “Avongers” or the “Avingers.” It ties into the branding issues in the central story, but it’s also just fun to see. Pug buys a bootleg Cap shield as well as a bootleg Mjolnir.
-To get inside to see Luke, Nikki lies and says that She-Hulk is an Avenger. Once inside, she changes the story says she’s going to be. In the comics, She-Hulk definitely becomes an Avenger, and will almost certainly do the same thing in the MCU.
-Luke is in full Edna Mode mode from the The Incredibles, and we were ready for a “no capes” line at any moment. We think it’s likely that the extra clothing that he made for Jen is She-Hulk’s familiar white and purple garment.
-Also on She-Hulk’s dating profile is what is she looking for in a partner: “A sturdy back and a reinforced King sized bed. JK JK JK.”
-This is the first episode of the series to have no post-credits tag. We'll just have to go and re-watch the tag from last week, Wongers.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law streams on Disney+ every Thursday. It is not brought to you by Titania.
Looking for more sci-fi comedy? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, which is rolling out new episodes every Wednesday and can be watched next-day on Peacock.