Fight Court: Always a Bridesmaid, Never the She-Hulk
Jonathan, we would walk down the aisle with you anytime.
Jennifer Walters may be having a tough time, but ‘She Hulk: Attorney at Law’ is hitting its stride as a delightfully subversive feminist superhero comedy. While Twitter is filled with complaints that episode 6, ‘Just Jen’, didn’t deliver on last week’s Daredevil tease, Jen reminds us that weddings often come at the most inconvenient times. And after all, the show isn’t called ‘Daredevil’.
Episode 6 sees Jen roped into bridesmaid duty by her high school friend Lulu (a hilarious Patti Harrison). Like most things in Jen’s personal life, she has a tough time saying no to the inconvenient invite, and most women can relate. The wedding industrial complex is a powerful one, roping us into expensive destination weddings, ugly bridesmaid dresses, and a variety of minor humiliations in the name of friendship and sisterhood. Jen shows up at the (ugh weekday!) wedding as She-Hulk, looking amazing, but Lulu quickly guilts her into being just Jen so as not to pull focus on her big day. Jen of course acquiesces.
Meanwhile back in LA, Nikki teams up with Mallory to represent Craig Hollis aka Mr. Immortal (Veep‘s David Pasquesi) in a divorce case. But given that it’s superhero law, Mr. Immortal’s case is way more complicated. The self-professed “nice guy” is terrified of confrontation, so instead of communicating with his spouses, he fakes his own death. We get a demonstration when he jumps out of Mallory’s office window to avoid getting questioned by her and Nikki. The plaintiffs in the divorce case include several spurned wives and one husband (let’s here it for bisexual representation!), who demand apologies and compensation from Immortal. And speaking of bisexuality, it seems like Nikki is possibly crushing on Mallory? The two have some solid chemistry, and Mallory is clearly impressed by Nikki’s unorthodox approach to settling the terms of the case. But we also learn that Mallory is married (to who?) and has a son. Still, I’m shipping this power femme couple.
Back at the wedding, the indignities are piling up on Jen. She’s forced to iron the groomsmen’s shirts, she’s paired with a decrepit old dog to walk down the aisle, and no one cares that she’s a kickass lawyer or a budding superhero, since she’s still single. Worst of all, there’s a cash bar. Oh, and Titania crashes the wedding just to mess with Jen. The one bright spot is cute attendee Josh (Trevor Salter) who seems genuinely interested in flirting with Jen. As Jen spends the wedding getting hammered and dancing, she runs out to puke in the bushes (we’ve all been there, girl) where she is accosted by Titania, angling for a fight. Titania kicks Jen’s ass, and demands that She-Hulk come out and play. at first, Jen is too drunk to summon her, but soon she goes green and wipes the dance floor with Titania to the tune of “The Electric Slide”. Titania slips, cracks her veneers, and embarrasses herself as guests livestream the fight. She-Hulk wins the day, and a tipsy Lulu is psyched that She-Hulk crashed her wedding.
Once again, She-Hulk filters the daily struggles of being a woman (workplace harassment, bad dates, bridesmaid duty) through its own snarky superhero lens, without losing Jen’s own insecurities or inability to stand up for herself. In a world of intergalactic battles and life or death stakes, She-Hulk carves a niche for itself with strong character development, giving us the most relatable hero to ever grace the MCU. And while the series crushes the comedic tone, it never strays away from the real-world implications of rampant sexism and hatred for superhero women and women in general. She-Hulk has touched on the sexism aimed at its hero in previous episodes, but this episode takes it a step further by introducing Nikki and Mallory to Intelligencia, a Kiwi Farms/Reddit website filled with hateful and threatening posts against She-Hulk, which range from trollish memes to outright death threats. The online vitriol aimed at She-Hulk is painfully similar to what many women experience online, especially actresses taking roles in geek properties like Star Wars or the MCU. And once again, women are forced to parse out the threat level between your basic misogynist trolling vs. actual death threats. No superhero series has directly addressed violent online misogyny before, and it’s long overdue.
And speaking of misogyny, we see that Intelligencia poster HulkKing is enacting a plan to steal She-Hulk’s DNA. We see a shadowy underground lab (which looks like Smart Hulk’s lab- is this why he hasn’t called Jen back?), where unseen techs are assembling a bigger, sharper needle to puncture her skin. As for the identity of HulkKing, my money is on Todd (Jon Bass), Jen’s creepy date who calls her a “specimen” and who happens to be one of GLK&H’s biggest clients. And unfortunately for Jen, I think that handsome Josh may be in on the plan as well. With only 3 episodes to go, She-Hulk is ramping up to its endgame. I just hope Jonathan makes it and doesn’t need to be resuscitated again.
(featured image: Marvel)
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