She-Hulk: Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into These Jeans

On the one hand, these two shouldn’t be left unattended. On the other, I’d probably watch their show.

Marvel’s She-Hulk series has been covering a lot of territory we haven’t seen before in the MCU. Last episode ended with Jennifer getting the surprising news that Titania, who she fought in court and was responsible for her being outed as a super, had trademarked the She-Hulk name and was suing to stop her from using it. It’s a weird dilemma that doesn’t come up often. Jennifer deals with that, and we get an episode with no cameos or mid-credit scenes, in “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured into these Jeans.”

The episode starts with Jennifer being subjected to a barrage of ads for Titania, who has coopted She-Hulk’s name, probably at least in part for She-Hulk beating her so easily in their courtroom tussle. And really, social influencer or not, how in the world did Titania not get jail time for assault and massive property damage that happened while she was fleeing court proceedings? We get a brief and unwelcome visit by the amazingly dense and man-splaining cousin Ched to end the opening sequence. The title card offers some more humor into the situation, and then Nikki drags Jennifer to one of Titania’s events in the vague, and foolish, hope of trying to settle things peacefully. Jennifer shows that she has some really serious problems standing up for herself.

At work, Jennifer claims to not be bothered by recent developments, and fails to convince either Nikki or the audience in one of the episode’s few breaking the 4th wall moments. Nikki then gets a visit from Pug, who wants a favor to help him stock up for his collection. The pair go through a few steps to try and find an exclusive dealer in superhero apparel, which gets in a few jokes and really shows what a good friend Nikki is to Jennifer. Pug also shows himself to be even more of an Avengers fan that we had thought.

At the office, Jennifer is dealing with even more repercussions of the Titania name issue. Her boss, Holden Holliway, isn’t happy about the publicity the situation is generating, and how it reflects on the office. To be fair, it’s actually a reasonable concern. Jennifer is about to do something foolish, but her boss heads that off and we get to see Mallory Book again. She briefly appeared during the mess with the Asgardian Light Elf. She’s played by Renee Goldsberry, and if she looks familiar, the actor was Angelica Schuyler in the video production of Hamilton, also on Disney+. Book gives Jennifer a lot of advice that the superhuman doesn’t want to hear, and Nikki ends up siding with Ms. Book.

As the case moves forward, Titania shows what an unpleasant person she is on pretty much every level. The lawyers for both sides seem to be relying heavily on various media clips, which seems like a very LA thing. Book at least does a good enough job to buy them some more time. Nikki and Jen go visit Luke, the reclusive designer, and things don’t go smoothly until they manage to present him with an interesting challenge. Back at the office, Book looks really stunning and she’s with a client we’ve seen before. This, in turn, gives Jennifer an idea of how to maybe win the case, but it’s not going to be pretty.

Back in court, Book moves ahead with Jennifer’s idea. This involves bringing back a few minor characters we’ve seen before, and a really masterful job of both acting and special effects as you can practically feel She-Hulk’s embarrassment radiating through the screen. The case goes well for our hero, and Titania continues to be irksome. Later, Jennifer invites Book out for a drink. Jennifer’s characterization seems to be shifting a bit in a way that doesn’t make sense to me. She started the series brash and self-confident to the point of being cocky. Now that she has powers and has won her first big case in her new job, she somehow seems less sure of herself. This is more character regression than progression, and I’m not sure what’s behind it.

The episode ends with She-Hulk returning to Luke’s… I don’t know what to call it. Store implies a public aspect this place definitely doesn’t have. Studio? Workshop? She tries on her new look, which we don’t get to see, gets an addition we also don’t get to see, and sounds pleased. There’s a nod to a hinted-at cameo, but this, too, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not only has the character in question got their own source for what’s shown, but they are based on the other side of the country, and the label we see clearly reads “for pickup.” Just as there are no cameos in this episode, there’s no live credit scene either. The illustrations continue to be really well done, however. A few of them seem to hint at characters we haven’t seen yet in the MCU, which makes me wonder if the show is being allowed to give us hints, or if they just kind of slipped this stuff in.

What I Liked: I enjoy the humor on the series, and Tatiana Maslany is really doing a great job. While it would be easy to play the boss for laughs or comic relief, he does some good and useful things in this episode. I enjoyed Nikki and Pug’s scenes.

What I Didn’t: They’re really drawing out the big cameo we all know is coming. I mentioned the few issues around that above. They writers have admitted they don’t know anything about how courts or the law works, and they really needed some consultants. I don’t understand how Jennifer is losing confidence as she goes.

Despite the quibbles above, I am enjoying the series. I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. I’d say it’s the weakest episode of the series so far. We’ll see where they go from here.