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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law tackles love’s shortcomings

She-Hulk Just Jen Tatiana Maslany

“Just Jen” heads to an awkward wedding while an obscure Marvel hero needs legal services.

You may recall last week, I praised She-Hulk for keeping things moving and not wasting time. Well…

Even the show joking about it—in the form of a fourth wall breaker to camera, a thing Tatiana Maslany has gotten very good at—doesn’t change that “Just Jen” is an awkwardly timed episode. There’s still plenty charming about it, but it definitely disrupts the series’ momentum.

She-Hulk Just Jen Patty Harrison
Patti Harrison’s impeccable poker face. (Marvel Studios)

In the A-plot, Jen (Maslany) heads to a mid-week wedding for an old friend she hasn’t much kept in touch with over the years. Perhaps she’s still smarting from her dating app luck that saw the account she made for She-Hulk gain significantly more attention than her account as Jen Walters. Or maybe it was Arthur’s (Michel Curiel) testimony under oath that She-Hulk was incredible while Jen just wasn’t his type. Whatever the case, Jen decides she’ll do the rehearsal day mean, green, and poured into that blue and white polka dot dress. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be Lulu (Patti Harrison)—in the grand tradition of brides in pop culture—can’t stand anyone getting attention during her big day. Hence, she demands our protagonist be “Just Jen.” Hey, that’s the name of this episode!

Lulu offers Jen plenty of evidence why the two may have drifted apart, including asking Jen to clean up the rehearsal dinner, iron the groomsmen’s shirts, and be the bridesmaid stuck walking an occasionally dying, often leaking, dog down the aisle. However, the biggest red flag is Lulu inviting Titania (Jameela Jamil) to the wedding as the villainous influencer is apparently dating her fiancé’s friend. Jen protests, but Lulu remains unmoved. The bride seems more of a Titania type, anyway, to be honest.

She-Hulk Just Jen Jameela Jamil
Jameela Jamil is about to have a disappointing wedding reception. (Marvel Studios)

Realizing she’s going to have to make her own fun, Jen gets drunk on champagne, owns the dance floor, and flirts with attractive guest Josh (Trevor Salter). Alas, her prediction is accurate. Titania is indeed at the wedding to screw with She-Hulk. Jen tolerates Titania hitting her for a short time, but soon realizes she has to fight back. So she hulks out and makes Titania eat her veneers. Well, some spilled ice ends up being the thing to knock Titania down and her teeth out, but Jen was handling her pretty thoroughly by then.

I appreciated how brief and ultimately silly their fight was. As discussed last week, Titania isn’t so much a physical enemy in this adaptation as she is a “going to harass you into misery” antagonist. Having her show up at a wedding and ruin Jen’s good time is a great idea. Unfortunately, we never really see Titania do that. If anything, Lulu is way more Jen’s antagonist in “Just Jen.” That would also be a fun twist on formula, Lulu proving so unpleasant that nothing Titania can do proves distracting or frustrating. Unfortunately, “Just Jen” doesn’t do that either. As a result, we are told Titania is screwing with Jen, but we never see it. On the other hand, the one we see making Jen miserable ends up hugging her and sort of complimenting her chest.

There’s still plenty charming about [the episode], but it definitely disrupts the series’ momentum.

Back In Los Angeles, Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) is helping Mallory (Renée Elise Goldberry) with a divorce case. The client—who insists on going by Mr. Immortal (David Pasquesi)—can’t die. Or rather, he can, but only sort of and only for a little while before being alive again. As a result, he’s repeatedly faked his death to get out of marriages that he never longer wants to be part of rather than file for divorce. After getting caught on camera resurrecting, one ex recognizes her as her “idiot husband.” She quickly puts together what he’s been doing and rounds up the rest of his still living exes.

Pasquesi is great fun playing Mr. Immortal as a man utterly convinced of his own decency and cleverness. Gonzaga gets another strong showcase, two in a row now. I like Goldberry’s Mallory as well, but the “mystery” of her isn’t especially compelling. I can get why her co-workers want to know more, but, as an audience member, I still don’t share that curiosity.

She-Hulk Just Jen
Check out David Pasquesi’s drip. (Marvel Studios)

After Nikki helps successfully settle the case by giving everyone something different that still makes them feel heard, she and Mallory check out the lad site that first has Mr. Immortal’s video. There they discover a message board filled with She-Hulk opinions ranging from “she thinks she’s so great, but she isn’t” to “let’s say we murder the big green lady.” Given how this season has been handling the public’s feelings about Jen’s alter ego, the escalation makes sense. It’s a far more effective “danger coming” button than the closer. That’s where we see the Wrecking Crew’s syringe upgraded with an even stronger needle.

Overall, “Just Jen” is an enjoyable enough way to kill a half hour. All the Mr. Immortal stuff is quite funny. There are worse fates than attending a wedding with Maslany’s drunken Jen, Harrison’s frequently unpleasant bride, and Jameela’s bad at revenge wedding crasher, certainly. However, so much of the A-plot seems to be reaching for something they never show, it makes the episode feel a bit slack.

She-Hulk The Title Card
Gotta love an alternate title card. (Marvel Studios)

Closing Arguments

– If you like Harrison, and of course, you will, check out her appearances on I Think You Should Leave and her turn as a semi-dramatic lead in Together Together.

– I can’t believe I saw a TV show with Mr. Immortal in it! WILD!

– I just have to say again how little that danger foreshadowing ending did for me. She-Hulk isn’t that kind of show. I’m open to being proven wrong, of course. For now, though, I think closing on the website would’ve been the stronger move. Perhaps we’re meant to infer they’re connected, though?

– “KingHulk” is totally The Leader, right?

– Nice to see Ched getting some DJ work.

– Are fries the most seductive of side dishes? The sexiest of potato dishes?

She-Hulk Ginger Gonzaga Renée Elise Goldsberry
Ginger Gonzaga and Renée Elise Goldsberry visit their favorite subreddit, r/manatee. (Chuck Zlotnick, Marvel Studios)

The Court Records

“If you think this is happening at an inconvenient time in the season, you’re right. Because that’s how weddings always are.”

“Everybody has an ass.”- Patti Harrison, crushing it.

“Team Edward or Jacob?” “Oh let it rest.”

No, I didn’t mean any of—I didn’t want that. I meant are you dating a guy, a boy—is there a boy in your life?”

“I love that you never make any effort at all.”

“If will never understand women if I live to be a…and I will.”

“Be careful, he leaks a little.”

“It’s your boy, DJ In-CHED-ible Hulk.”

-“WEDDING FIGHT!”

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Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens is a freelance writer and therapist from the Nutmeg State, hailing from the home of the World’s Smallest Natural Waterfall. In addition to The Spool, you can read his stuff in CC Magazine, Marvel.com, ComicsVerse, and The New Paris Press. His work has been quoted in Psychology Today, The Atlantic, and MSN Ireland. And yes, he is listing all this to try and impress you.

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