This recap of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season 1, episode 6, titled "Just Jen," contains spoilers.
I think I've turned to the dark side this week.
On several levels, it's difficult to argue for "Just Jen." That's because it's a solid procedural palate-cleanser between rather grander, more self-serious superhero shenanigans. I've preferred it to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law for what it is, both because it still felt like it was a component of a larger narrative that I, the listener, wasn't necessarily aware of.
This week, I received a different energy, and I’m worried about it.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1, Episode 6 recap
What follows is a question many have asked, most in bad faith, and it exists on its own terms and for its own pleasure, and the current trend – initiated by Star Wars and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself – of everything being judged based on what it contributes to canon is concerning. However, I think it's worthwhile to raise the issue not because I don't believe She-Hulk has a point, but because I believe the purpose of it is to deliberately animus an important
I'd be fine with this — most audiences would prefer to be deliberately antagonized more often. However, She-Hulk seems to want to eat its cake. Until the final shot of last week's episode, the fans were responsible for causing themselves to engulf over the upcoming Daredevil cameo. However, she-Hulk seems to be playing with expectations both intentionally and, at this point, to its own prejudice.
It's not good storytelling, although I don't mind if She-Hulk is a procedural game, but it needs to be building to something meaningful. Teasing Daredevil and then not only not capitalizing on the tease but also not letting it be any further from what was implied damages the show's dramatic cadence. It's all build-up and no payoff, turning what was once enjoyable visual storytelling into cynical marketing for future episodes.
It also feels, at least a little bit, like it's taking the p**s.
To be honest, She-Hulk has been consistent with its awareness of audience expectations, and none of the others have been particularly subtle. It's not subversion, but rather trolling, and although trolling can be funny, it's only when it's purposeful.
Jen attends the wedding of a high school friend named Lulu (Patti Harrison) and then gets into a fight with Titania, who is obviously there to sway Jen. So why are we still assuming that Titania is a real villain, or even a real person, for that matter?
The B-plot was more enjoyable once more, although this time only marginally. Mr. Immortal, after all, is so conflict-averse that he instead divorced his several wives and rebuilt his identity each time. We know it, but we've learned it the hard way two weeks in a row.
I like how superpowers work in a less glamorous manner, and I think to She-Hulk's credit, the show is doing a decent job of highlighting how special abilities might be present among the regular, flawed individuals who compose the cavernous middle ground between "hero" and "supervillain" — where, for what it's worth, Jen currently fits. Yet, the program is doing a terrible – and apparently worsening — job of making us care where all this is going.
I'm sure time will tell.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season 1, episode 6, “Just Jen,” is now available on Disney+.