Captain America is officially not the only hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who fucks. Such a claim already would not have held up in court, since there are multiple parents in the Avengers lineup, Peter Quill gets busy in space, and the incurably flirtatious Matt Murdock (a.k.a. Daredevil) seems poised for an imminent arrival on She-Hulk. Still — let me have this. She-Hulk fucks! The fourth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law saw Jennifer Walters crushing it in the courtroom and in the bedroom — but as She-Hulk in both instances. Nobody wants Jen to just be Jen, which leaves a sour note on an otherwise spicy episode. And Wong’s back!
Not to be a Titania and pit women against each other, but the real hero of the episode is Madisynn King (played by Patty Guggenheim). After the perpetually tipsy woman — whose name is spelled like her parents are from House Targaryen — drops via portal into Wong’s living room and immediately spoils the episode of The Sopranos he’s watching, the Sorcerer Supreme requests legal assistance from Jennifer Walters. Turns out that a magician named Donny Blaze, who was expelled from Kamar-Taj, has been using a stolen sling ring to amp up his act at the Mystic Castle, the MCU’s version of the Magic Castle. (This is the most L.A. thing about the show so far, I say with confidence as a person who has visited the City of Angels all of one time. I will never understand the fascination with a clubhouse for Gob Bluth types.)
Blaze opened the portal that sent Madisynn to a dangerous dimension with a talking-goat demon named Jake who helped her escape after making a blood pact. This prompts Wong to put a stop to his shenanigans before he ends up hurting more people and entire worlds. It’s a perfectly pitched case-of-the-week episode that proves She-Hulk: Attorney at Law could run for years. This and the previous episode are the procedural we were promised! The tone, and Madisynn’s journey to a “diff dimensh” in particular, reminds me of the best episodes of Angel — another show about being supernatural and nonchalant about things like goblins and demons in a corporate environment.
Initially, the hearing does not go well. Blaze, his lawyer, and boss and hype man put on such a goofy show that the judge doesn’t take Wong’s assertion seriously that he could cause great harm to the universe. Madisynn’s testimony doesn’t help either. She’s not bothered by anything — be it portals, lava pits, or Sopranos spoilers. It’s great for Madisynn that she isn’t traumatized or hurt, and more or less able to fend for herself, but bad for the case against Donny Blaze. Then, emboldened by his courtroom victory, Donny returns to the Mystic Castle and makes more portals. This time, a flurry of winged demons flies out, endangering his whole audience. Donny summons Wong, who summons She-Hulk, and while battling it out, She-Hulk gets Donny and his associates to agree to Wong’s cease-and-desist.
Meanwhile, in her never-ending side quest to get her normal life back on track, Jen downloads a dating app called Matcher and, with some encouragement from Nikki, gets to swiping. The first date she goes on is grim. The guy barely pays attention to her, doesn’t even attempt to go Dutch on the drinks, and calls her “a six” while she’s still within earshot. So Jen tries something new. She makes a profile as She-Hulk. The matches start rolling in and cover an impressive range. Each is mildly annoying in his own special way. There’s a bodybuilder who lifts, bro, and really wants to prove that he’s just as strong as her without superpowers. There’s a director who won’t stop talking about his own film. There’s a fanboy, played by Jon Bass, who seems fun, then edges on the creepy side by asking if vibranium could penetrate her skin and calling her a “specimen” — nothing like men calling you “creature” and “specimen” and other terms disguised as fascination but implying that women are less than human, am I right, ladies?
Finally, she sits across from a nice man who listens to her and has a great job. They immediately go back to her place. He’s sympathetic about her work scenario. He’s nonplussed when she leaves mid-makeout to fight some demons with Wong and picks up Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist to flip through in the meantime. He even stays the night. But when he sees Jen in her tiny, dorky human form the next morning, he’s disappointed and makes an awkward exit. It’s surprisingly nuanced for the typically broad genres of comedy and superhero. This guy’s not a fuckboy, toxic, or necessarily a bad person, but it’s disappointing for Jen nonetheless.
Both her work and social life seem to prefer her big, green, and with hair out of a Dyson Airwrap commercial. Even the law side of this episode of She-Hulk is resolved when Jen is smashing things at the Mystic Castle, not arguing rationally in court. She won her case but not the way she would have preferred. In Marvel comics, She-Hulk ultimately decides to be green 24/7 and not switch back and forth. Based on what we’ve seen so far on the Disney+ series, a similar decision would come with a twinge of sadness.
Things go from bad to worse when Jen answers the door and is served. She learns the hard way that Titania trademarked the name “She-Hulk” before Jen thought to do so and is now suing her. Yikes! She’s gonna need a really good lawyer, if you catch my drift. (Just a guess, not a spoiler; this was the last episode sent to press in advance, so I have no idea what happens next.)
Jen turns to the camera and admits that this is a bummer ending, but maybe the tag will be fun … and it is! In the mid-credits scene, Madisynn and her bestie, Wongers, talk cocktails while watching This Is Us. Please, Big Marvel, don’t let Madisynn go. I love how she’s chaotic and messy but never the butt of the joke. A lesser or more patriarchal show would have relentlessly made fun of her. It’s a credit to how unapologetically feminist this show has been.
• In the tag, Wong says that he has some vodka and yak milk left over from “the wedding.” Whose wedding? Christine Palmer’s as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Wong wasn’t there.
• This is now the second Disney+ Marvel show to mention dating apps. The first was The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, in which Bucky bemoans the technology being too much for his 106-year-old self. Should someone set up the only two MCU characters, as far as we know, who are actively dating? Jen might want to change her phone background of America’s ass before meeting up with him, but Bucky could answer some more of her questions.
• How can I get a sling ring? It would make FaceTiming and late-stage pandemic travel so much easier.
• I’ll save you the trip to IMDb: Donny’s boss, Cornelius, is played by Leon Lamar from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, whose character dies after saluting Katniss and Peeta in District 11. Glad he’s well!
• Was Nikki saying “hetero life is grim” an exclusively queer moment?
• Why is the magician Donny Blaze’s name so similar to Johnny Blaze? The character and antihero, a.k.a. Ghost Rider, is connected to the Mystic Arts and the Darkhold in both Marvel comics and the Marvel TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (The latter told the story of a different Ghost Rider named Robbie Reyes but did mention and briefly feature Johnny Blaze.) Maybe it’s an Easter egg, or maybe She-Hulk is just trolling us with potential cameos.
• Speaking of Easter eggs, Jen’s to-do list has a few. The cases listed include Lee v. Byrne, referring to original She-Hulk creator Stan Lee and The Sensational She-Hulk artist John Byrne, as well as Kraft v. Soule, a reference to She-Hulk writers David Anthony Kraft and Charles Soule.
• Not an Easter egg, but it is funny that Jen did not click “science” as an interest in her dating profile. Bruce Banner she ain’t!