*Warning: the following review contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law*
The fifth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law ends on a high note. The camera pans to a gift box featuring Daredevil’s (Charlie Cox) gold helmet, signaling to the audience that The Man Without Fear returns to the MCU next week. It’s quite possibly one of the MCU’s greatest-ever teases. Seeing Daredevil’s helmet again, knowing that Cox will be wearing the suit, and being one of Phase Five’s major players fills me with so much joy. We’ll have to wait for his highly-anticipated return next Thursday, but it was the best possible way you could’ve ended an otherwise forgettable episode.
Aside from Jameela Jamil delivering a devilish performance as influencer Titania, She-Hulk‘s fifth episode only seems to serve as a filler for the show’s best upcoming episodes. Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) will finally have a superhero suit and will team up with one of the MCU’s best superheroes next week. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode is poorly paced, written, and feels redundant.
We’re back with another “case of the week,” but it doesn’t seem like director Anu Valia, and writer Dana Schwartz want to reinvent the wheel or take any risks with how this week’s trial is presented. As a result, both stories (A and B) aren’t as interesting to watch as last week’s and don’t seem to have the same sense of urgency as previous episodes. Even the dour first episode got the story moving. Each trial (as thorough as some were) is the next logical step in Jennifer Walters’ journey, but this week’s case seems rather pointless when it should’ve been huge.
When Titania sued Jennifer Walters for the name She-Hulk in last week’s episode, you’d think, “Oh, this is gonna be a trial for the ages.” But the actual execution of that said trial is boring. It’s as flatly shot as previous episodes (even though a different cinematographer works with Valia) and feels languid in its pacing. Thankfully, the addition of Mallory Book (Renée Elise Goldsberry), who represents Walters in the trial, adds a good amount of comedy to the mix. Goldsberry was briefly introduced in the third episode, but here we get a sense that Walters is jealous of Book’s looks and organized sense of pace that allows her to win any case she takes. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of Goldsberry in the show.
There will undoubtedly be more to her rivalry with Titania that will be explored in future episodes, but there isn’t that same level of exploration. We know that She-Hulk will become the hero she doesn’t want to be and that Daredevil will show up, but what did her trial with Titania achieve? Not much, aside from an incredible acting showcase from Jameela Jamil.
Jamil draws lots of controversy on social media, but there’s no denying how talented of an actor she is. I won’t lie: Titania is the best she’s done, and no one else could’ve portrayed her the way she does. That’s how good she is; you can tell how much of a blast she’s having at being the most insufferable person around. It’s a fun turn, and her dynamic with Maslany will be deepened in future episodes, which I look forward to seeing.
And that’s the episode’s fundamental problem: instead of focusing on the main plot, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is too busy setting up things we need to look forward to. Spoiler alert: I’ve been looking forward to Daredevil’s inclusion in the show since he was confirmed. The end tease was nice, but it’s OK to focus on other aspects of the show that will convince me to stay on board which pertains to the story and characters, and not necessarily the set-ups. I quickly get tired when all the Marvel title has to offer is one setup after the other. There needs to be more! Fun action, character growth, good performances, stunning visual effects, etc. We see an evolution in Jennifer Walters’ personality, but the setups falter the episode’s (and the show’s) momentum.
But since we spent most of the 25 minutes teasing things that would occur in future episodes, here’s hoping that the next ones are good. But I have high hopes that Daredevil will be making one heck of a grand return to the MCU before his presence starts to expand itself in Echo and Daredevil: Born Again.
The fifth episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now available to stream on Disney+.