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She Hulk ep 5.png

'She-Hulk' Gets A Nemesis And Ditches The End-Credit Scene For ... Reasons?

By Tori Preston | TV | September 16, 2022 |

By Tori Preston | TV | September 16, 2022 |


She Hulk ep 5.png

Turns out I spoke too soon last week when I was claimed that every episode of She-Hulk would have a (meaningless) end credit tag. To be fair, showrunner Jessica Gao only confirmed that most episodes would have one. As she told Entertainment Weekly, “I think there’s only one or two episodes that don’t but nearly every episode has an end-credits scene. It’s just a result of the fact that we’re all comedy writers. If you give us a chance to do an extra joke, we’re going to make an extra joke.” Sure enough, this week’s episode is the first of the season to eschew the end-credit scene, breaking a social contract that only existed in my mind. And here I was, thinking we lived in a SOCIETY.

Anyway, the good news is that we finally got a whole episode of Titania, and she’s great. I mean, she’s awful — a vapid influencer peddling suspicious beauty products using She-Hulk’s good name — but she’s supposed to be awful and Jameela Jamil is very good at that. Titania sues Jennifer for using the name “She-Hulk”, which she’s trademarked, and Jennifer counters by proving she was using the name first and that Titania only trademarked it to capitalize on Jennifer’s notoriety. The thing is, the only way she can prove it is by showing her online dating profile and calling all of her terrible dates from last week in as witnesses (hello again, Jon Bass!), so they can testify that they only dated her because she was She-Hulk — not Jennifer. It’s a parade of utter humiliation overseen by her colleague and counsel, Mallory Book (Renée Elise Goldsberry), because Jennifer rightfully did not represent herself in court.

Sure, the show’s version of Titania is admittedly a far cry from the source material, but one thing that is consistent is the way the She-Hulk/Titania rivalry is mostly one-sided. Titania has it out for Jennifer, for no other reason than that she was beaten — as she will be beaten again and again. I’m still not entirely sure what Titania was doing busting into that courtroom in the first episode, but after getting thrown into a wall and now getting her budding business taken away from her, it’s obvious what her continued beef against She-Hulk will be: She doesn’t like to lose. Turning the character from a petty criminal into a famous-for-being-famous grifter works for the series, which has always been more interested in being a legal comedy than a comic book show. I have no doubt that someday we’ll learn the origins and nature of Titania’s powers, but today ain’t that day. While Jennifer is still trying to reconcile herself with her powers and persona — is She-Hulk just something that happened to her? will she ever be seen as the same person no matter her size? — Titania is out there with superpowers that haven’t overwhelmed her personality. She’s so singular we don’t even know her last name. She’s a great counterpoint! And if Titania is Jennifer’s nemesis, then at least their drama was forged in a courtroom instead of a brawl.

Mallory Book is also primarily a rival in the comics, so I’m curious if her character will take a turn in future episodes. For now, at least, it seems Jennifer and Mallory have forged a tentative bond — and it’s a welcome one. The coolly professional, no-nonsense Mallory can’t help but be a little won over by Jennifer’s willingness to humiliate herself to win a case, noting that it’s something their male colleagues would never be able to do. As women in a male-dominated field, they represent two recognizable approaches — Mallory is flawless, using perfection as strength, while Jennifer finds strength in her flaws and her willingness to go farther for results. At the end of the episode, when Mallory told Jennifer she deserved better (than those bad dates with bad men) and Jennifer immediately asked if she wanted to get a drink, yeah: I shipped it a little. But if I can’t get these two dating, I’ll at least settle for them being friends instead of foes.

MEANWHILE: Nikki manages to find an underground superhero clothing designer named Luke, and he agrees to outfit Jennifer with some shape-changing professional clothes… and he also throws in a lil superhero costume for funsies. While we don’t see Jennifer in her new duds, we DO catch sight of another hero’s gear in Luke’s workshop…

Daredevil’s helmet! Bring on Charlie Cox! And bring back Luke, he’s great, I hope he’s gonna be a whole thing moving forward. Mr. Fantastic is gonna need shape-shifting clothes too someday, just sayin’.

As for stuff that’ll make Twitter bros mad, this line was sheer perfection: “You can have literal superpowers and some guy with an internet connection will still think he can do better.” I continue to marvel at how much this show anticipated its own reception!



Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



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