Saturday, March 2, 2024

She-Hulk Episode 5 Review

Article by Kieran Burt.

She-Hulk returns, and she’s in desperate need of a lawyer and some new clothes. This episode missed out on the balance of last week’s episode, and the case that the episode spent the majority of its runtime on wasn’t as gripping as the misuse of magic of episode four.

She-Hulk is forced to defend herself from Titania, but not in a traditional fight, but instead through a court case. Titania attempts to sue She-Hulk for trademark infringement, arguing that she trademarked the name She-Hulk. What follows is a rather uninteresting court case, with an extended moment of cringe for both the audience and She-Hulk, where the dating profile she created and several of the creepy guys she went out with are paraded in court. While the willingness to humiliate herself in court does illuminate that She-Hulk will do anything to stop herself from losing, there was no doubt to begin with that she might have lost. Titania poses no threat, in a similar fashion that the thugs that attacked She-Hulk at the end of episode three posed no threat. 

The second plot of the episode revolved around Nikki and Pug attempting to find some new clothes for She-Hulk. And this fits firmly into the territory of sitcom tropes, which is a first for Marvel. While not overly funny, seeing the pair buy bootleg Avengers merchandise does get a few chuckles. Alonzo, the individual who specialises in superhero clothing, channels his inner Edna Mode, though whether or not this intentional it’s not clear. One question the superhero clothes store poses is who uses it. It’s a hum of activity, but all the heroes in the MCU so far have received their costumes either by creating it themselves or in an official capacity. Daredevil seems to be the only other person who has ordered something. 

This episode, and largely the series as a whole, is very much an exploration of what would happen if a normal human got superpowers and attempted to live their life. Prior episodes have already dealt with the media attention that would come as a result, how it affects dating, and this episode deals with influencers attempting to ride off the coattails of the hero. However, while this might be true to life, real life is boring. There is a balance to be struck between the fantastical and the mundane, and this week it wasn’t hit.  

This episode dials back on the fourth wall breaking, which is a relief. While the case itself was uninteresting, the audience was allowed to watch it play out with little distraction from She-Hulk randomly turning to camera. Though this is likely to return in future episodes. 

Speaking of a return, the audience got a tantalising tease of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and his first full appearance in the MCU. His helmet is shown in the superhero clothes store, with a new look. Next week is likely to show him and his new costume off in full, and return to traditional Marvel action. 

Overall, while marginally improving on the humour, this episode is boring, presenting conflict that isn’t threatening. The sitcom style side plot does get some chuckles but isn’t enough to redeem the main plot. This episode fails to capture the balance that episode four struck and homed in too much on one aspect.

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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