“Just Jen” is a standalone episode that intentionally feels antagonistic to the audience. It reuses a gritty antagonist and doesn’t hint at much intrigue in the immediate future of the series.
This recap of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 6, “Just Jen” contains spoilers.
And this week I think I’m turning to the dark side.
As much as I hate being part of the consensus, it’s difficult to advocate for “Just Jen” on multiple levels. I’ve mostly enjoyed it for the past few weeks She-Hulk: Lawyer for what it is, which is a serviceable procedural palate cleanser between much grander, more self-serious superhero shenanigans. I didn’t particularly dislike its playful tone or mostly low-key storytelling, at least in part because it still felt like it was part of a broader mythology and built on something that we, the audience, weren’t necessarily aware of. I could have done without a lot of the social comments, but only because for the most part they weren’t well written or executed; The very ideas behind horrible characters like Dennis seemed valuable and relevant to me, and they still are.
But this week I’m in a different mood and I’m a little concerned about that.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 6 Recap
You can boil it down to a question that has been asked by many, most maliciously – what is the point of this show? Of course, art doesn’t need a “dot”; it exists on its own terms and for its own pleasure, and the recent trend – heralded by war of stars and of course the MCU itself – judging everything by what it contributes to canon is pretty concerning. But it’s not worth raising because I don’t think so She Hulk has a point, but because I think the point is to intentionally piss off a large portion of his audience.
Normally I would be fine with that – most listeners would do well to be intentionally annoyed more often. but She Hulk seems to want to have his cake and eat it. Up until the final shot of last week’s episode, fans were responsible for going into a frenzy over the upcoming Daredevil cameo. But since She Hulk explicitly teasing the character’s imminent arrival and then deciding to fit a self-contained wedding episode right after, there’s little argument that it’s playing with expectations both intentionally and at this point to its own detriment.
Honestly, it’s not good storytelling. I have no problem with She Hulk a process, but it needs to develop an overarching story around the edges. Something meaningful has to happen. To tease Daredevil and then not only not capitalize on the tease, but to make an episode that couldn’t be further from what was implied harms the show’s dramatic cadence. It’s all buildup and no payoff, turning the fun visual storytelling into essentially cynical marketing for later episodes.
It also feels at least a little bit like taking the p**s.
Don’t be paranoid. but She Hulk was always clear about his awareness of audience expectations – the whole “Oh, Wong, you like him!” breaking the fourth wall wasn’t exactly subtle, and neither were any of the others. There is a certain level of irritation in saying one thing and doing the other. It’s not subversion, it’s more like trolling, and while trolling can be fun, it’s only when it’s purposeful. I can’t figure out what She Hulk has to win by goading its audience because it doesn’t seem to offer anything all that substantial on its own terms.
Case in point: “Only Jen”. Here, Jen attends the wedding of a high school friend named Lulu (Patti Harrison) and ends up getting into a fight with Titania, who is obviously there to goad Jen. After a cameo in the premiere and a copyright infringement claim last week that was ultimately settled in court, why are we still pretending Titania is a real villain? Or even a real character?
Once again I had more fun with the B plot, but only just this time. The joke — a man named Mr. Immortal (David Pasquesi) is so conflict-averse that instead of divorcing each of his multiple wives, he simply faked his death and rebuilt his identity each time — was pretty funny, but Nikki did Dating Mallory It felt like exactly the same dynamic as when Jen started dating Mallory just last week. Yes, we get it, Mallory has a frosty exterior but is quite family oriented and empathetic; We get it because we learned it two weeks in a row in the long run.
I’ve always been interested in how superpowers manifest in a more mundane way, and I think so She HulkCredit, between the shapeshifting elf and this fella, it does a good job of highlighting how special abilities would manifest among the normal, flawed humans that form the cavernous middle ground between “hero” and “supervillain” – where, for what it’s worth is, Jen herself currently fits. But the show is doing a terrible — and seemingly deteriorating — job of letting us see where it’s all going. Sure, it seems Jen is being stalked by the same people who wanted her blood, but how many weeks do we have to wait for a payout for that?
I think time will tell.
You can stream She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 6, “Just Jen” exclusively on Disney+.
https://readysteadycut.com/2022/09/22/she-hulk-attorney-at-law-season-1-episode-6-recap-just-jen/ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season 1, episode 6 recap