‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Episode 4 Review: Romance Is a Broken Numbers Game

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The most baffling thing Hollywood has ever done is take people who are kind and objectively good-looking, and try to convince us that there is something the matter with them. They work too hard — in a quirky way, with none of those pesky side effects on their health — or they’re clumsy, or they’re just plain undesirable somehow. This is something She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has flirted with in the past when it comes to Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany), but it’s Episode 4, “Is This Not Real Magic?” from director Kat Coiro and writer Melissa Hunter, that finally really goes there.


Unlike previous weeks, this one feels the most like an episode of a conventional legal comedy, with an A, B, and C story all neatly interwoven and, for the most part, contained entirely to this episode. Yes, Wong (Benedict Wong) is back and seeking Jen’s help again, but that’s where the connections to the larger MCU end, making “Is This Not Real Magic?” feel like a return to lighthearted form.

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The episode finds Jen mostly recovered after her encounter with the Wrecking Crew last week, and looking to move forward. With Emil Blonsky’s (Tim Roth) case all taken care of, it looks like her workload is fairly light until Wong shows up looking to take a magician — and expelled Kamar-Taj student — by the name of Donny Blaze (Rhys Coiro) to trial for misusing the Mystic Arts. Blaze has been opening portals to other dimensions during his sparsely attended shows, one of which pulled in unsuspecting party girl Madisynn (Patty Guggenheim), who was then dropped off in Wong’s custody by a talking goat. That on its own isn’t so bad, but the fact that it ruined Wong’s TV night when Madisynn accidentally spoiled The Sopranos? Unforgivable.

RELATED: ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’: Tim Roth on Returning to the MCU and Whether We’ll See Abomination Again

The case against Donny Blaze itself is fairly straightforward, and it’s a clear sign that Jen, and not the interdimensional ramifications of portal-opening, is the main focus when the final battle against the demons that cross into our world takes up a single scene and isn’t even the climax of the episode. That honor, instead, goes to Jen’s personal life.

After Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga) learns Jen has made herself an online dating profile, she tries to help her best friend out by swiping right on every single man, claiming once the matches come in that’s where the real filtering begins. Which does beg the question: if everyone is playing the “numbers game” as Nikki put it, then how effective is this system really? Not very, as it turns out, when Jen goes on a date with an inattentive “entrepreneur” with a grossly inflated sense of self (ah, dating in your 30s). Nikki suggests that Jen try making a profile as She-Hulk instead, but Jen rightly counters that she has enough of playing She-Hulk at work, and would like to remain herself in her dating life.

This brings me back to my first point. I simply cannot comprehend a world where I am expected to believe that an educated woman with a caring personality and a sharp sense of humor, who looks like Maslany does is somehow undesireable. Three drops of blood into a superficial cut turning a woman into a green giant, I will believe. But this? My disbelief doesn’t suspend that far.

There is obviously some truth to Nikki’s suggestion, however, since Jen does cave and create a She-Hulk dating profile. The numbers game starts to play in her favor, and Jen goes on a series of dates ranging from bad, to worse, to suddenly too good to be true. The last of these is a pediatric oncologist (Michel Curiel) who is sweet, a good listener, and even patient enough to wait for Jen at her apartment when she leaves to help Wong put the visiting demons back where they belong. No matter how good a night they had together, though, when he’s faced with the sight of normal Jen in the morning, the hot doctor cannot get out of her apartment fast enough. Somehow that rejection feels bleaker than half of the life or death circumstances the MCU throws up on-screen.

Giving hope to us all, however, are Wong and Madisynn, the unlikely friendship that could. By the time she pops up in the courtroom to help Jen put a stop to Donny Blaze, she reacts so excitedly to “Wongers” that it’s obvious she’s gotten attached to the grumpy sorcerer. The feeling is clearly mutual when the two head out for frozen yogurt once court is adjourned, and then later during the post-credit scene when she visits Kamar-Taj for TV night (This Is Us, presumably because she keeps spoiling The Sopranos).

The main plot ends with Titania (Jameela Jamil) suing Jen for use of the name She-Hulk, which the superpowered influencer has trademarked, so this is likely going to come up next week. With things swinging back into the world of superheroes, it was nice to take a short break for a more procedural episode — even if it does confirm the too-real awfulness of trying to date in your 30s.

Rating: A-

The first four episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are streaming now on Disney+.



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Las Vegas News Magazine

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