TELLY TALK TODAY #05—MY REVIEW OF SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW EPISODE 4.
Greetings and bienvenue, all.
In this installment of my Telly Talk Today series, I’ll be reviewing She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 4, “Is This Not Real Magic?”
First things first, though.
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With that in mind and without further ado, as follows is my review of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s fourth episode, “Is This Not Real Magic?”
*BE WARNED: MILD TO MEDIUM SPOILERS FOLLOW*
• SUMMARY •
Hack magician Donny Blaze performs for an unimpressed crowd. When he asks for a volunteer, a lady named Madisynn King agrees. He gives her white roses that he turns red. When the audience remains unimpressed, he uses a Sling-Ring to open an Inter-Dimensional Portal.
At Kamar-Taj, Wong is watching The Sopranos when King falls through a portal holding a bleeding heart and saying that she was sent to a hellish dimension in which she met a demon who let her escape in exchange for six drops of blood. She notices Wong’s show and begins spoiling the episode for him, after which Wong vows that Blaze will pay for his actions.
At Jen’s home, Morris appears in the morning with protective security items in case Jen is attacked again. Jen rebuffs his efforts—saying that she is a Hulk and will be fine—before leaving for work.
At work, Jen creates a “Matcher” dating app account before Wong arrives to request her help in making a legal example of Blaze (a former Kamar-Taj student) so that other such magicians will not similarly abuse their powers and potentially endanger lives. Jen deduces fast that, legally speaking, Blaze is not liable for using real magic to entertain; and she tells Wong that the case against Blaze will be hard to prove. Wong leaves after giving Jen his card.
At a bar that night, Jen and Nikki finish work on the Emil Blonsky case. Nikki tweaks Jen’s Matcher profile so that she’ll get more matches, then she suggests that Jen create an account as She-Hulk, though Jen refuses.
The next day, at Blaze’s place, Blaze and his associate Cornelius P. Willows claim that Wong cannot copyright magic. Wong, through Jen, gives them a cease-and-desist letter before leaving.
That night, Jen goes on a Matcher date with an uninteresting, arrogant man who ends up ditching her and leaving her with the bill after a little conversation.
The next day, Jen and Wong go up against Blaze, Cornelius, and their lawyer in court. Wong, at Jen’s suggestion, makes a portal to bring in King as a “witness” to Blaze’s use of real magic. King drunkenly greets Wong as “Wongers” and testifies that she was sent to a fire world by Blaze and met a demon named Blake, who sent her through a portal to Wong. Willows argues that Jen and Wong cannot copyright magic. Walters counters that Blaze practices fake magic but that the Mystic Arts are real magic. Blaze’s team then shows off “real” magic with a variety of tricks. Wong argues that if Blaze doesn’t stop using real magic in his shows, the world itself might fall into danger. Blaze responds by using a smoke bomb in another trick. The judge, impressed by his tricks, allows him to go on practicing magic in his shows until another hearing regarding whether he should be ordered to stop.
That night, Jen, after finishing some work and facing the prospect of spending Friday night alone, finally transforms into She-Hulk to make a new Matcher profile and attempt getting more matches. She instantly gets many matches and goes on several dates, though most are very demoralizing. (One man makes a big deal out of comparing how much weight she can lift. Another calls her a “specimen” and seems unable to see past her powers.) A final man, Arthur, a pediatric oncologist, appears genuinely honest and interested and kind, grabbing She-Hulk’s interest.
At another magic show, Blaze opens a portal for another lady volunteer; but she refuses to enter it. Blaze then uses more magic to conjure a bird—which hatches an egg that releases a demon. Blaze opens a portal to send it back to its place of origin, but even more demons spring through the portal. Blaze desperately opens a portal to contact Wong and ask for his help.
At Jen’s home, She-Hulk and Arthur hit it off, as Arthur seems very interested in She-Hulk. She-Hulk repeatedly silences her phone when Wong attempts contacting her. She-Hulk and Arthur then return to flirting and are about to kiss when Wong opens a portal into her home to directly ask for her help.
She-Hulk reluctantly joins Wong in fighting off the demons—which don’t die and which seem to grow when injured. She-Hulk and Wong succeed in sending the demons back to their dimension, though She-Hulk first uses one to threaten Blaze into agreeing to cease and desist his use of magic.
Wong makes a portal to send Jen home. She lands in Arthur’s lap, then carries him to her room.
The next morning, Jen is very happy. When she turns on the television, though, she learns that Titania has been released. Arthur, who spent the night with She-Hulk, later dumps Jen and leaves as soon as he realizes that She-Hulk is only Jen’s alternative form and not her sole identity. Immediately afterwards, a process server arrives to serve Jen with notice that Titania is suing her for misuse of the name She-Hulk, which Titania claims that she copyrighted before Jen did. Jen remarks to the audience that this is a bummer of a way to end an episode.
In a post-credits scene, Wong and King watch The Sopranos while King showers Wong with questions about his alcoholic beverage preferences.
• MY REVIEW •
First, the good:
1. This episode is definitely the funniest of the released four, acting in many ways like a live-action cartoon. It revels in its treatment of magic, demons, the legal process, and even Hell dimensions as one large joke. What’s more, the humor properly lands every last time.
2. Despite the hilarity, this episode also serves up a satirical showcase of just how hard the dating grind can be for mid-thirties people who want to find serious companionship. Jen goes through a series of relatably poor dates with superficial men, finds one man who seems genuine and respectful of her, then ultimately realizes that those feelings of his only extend to her She-Hulk side. It’s all played with comedy, but it’s still rather sobering.
3. The feminazi stance was on a significantly lower boil this week than it has been up until now. Yes, it was there. (It’s apparently now wrong for men to flirt with attractive women in public or choose them for physical reasons, but it’s wholly okay for women to do the exact same thing with attractive men. Go figure.) But it was more secondary to the episode’s comedic magic law premise.
Now, the bad:
1. She-Hulk is fast proving itself a show that’s at its best when it focuses on communicating via comedy. So when it attempts to inject actual gravitas into the narrative, it largely fails. This episode was no exception.
The viewer is told that Wong wants Blaze to stop using real magic in his shows because it could endanger innocent lives and even entire dimensions—a valid concern. On the other hand, though, it’s hard for anyone to take Wong seriously when he commences the case against Blaze because Blaze’s machinations led to Wong’s getting Sopranos spoilers. It’s even harder to buy Wong’s stabs at seriousness when his new best friend is a white-girl-wasted lady who calls him “Wongers” and when he spends more time watching TV under the blankets and discussing liquor choices than defending the realm. He raises very serious points about the dangers of abusing magic, but they just sound silly when they come out of his mouth.
2. The action here also falls very flat. The climax features Jen and Wong’s battling demons from a different dimension to send them back to their home world before they kill people on earth. On paper, that sounds like a spectacular fight from a Dr. Strange or Avengers movie. In this show, it comes off like a janitor who’s taking out the trash. There are no tangible stakes, and the fight plays out like an afterthought before She-Hulk goes home to take her attractive date to bed.
And the nitpicky:
1. This show’s tragic misunderstanding of the actual legal system never fails to entertain. No WAY would drunken witnesses be allowed to testify in any courtroom without having the testimony ripped apart and thrown out. Wong’s case against Blaze basically amounts to a civil dispute versus a criminal one; so, since Wong can claim neither personal damages against Blaze nor damages on behalf of another injured party, his case isn’t even arguable in American court. No WAY would Blaze or his entourage be able to get smoke bombs and other weaponizable objects through security before entering the courtroom; and if they did, they would be ARRESTED by the security officers instead of earning laughs from the judge.
2. Then there’s the question of why Wong would even pursue a case like this against a man like Blaze through the American legal system AT ALL. There must surely be a mystical tribunal that can more effectively regulate the use of magic and the actions of rogue magicians throughout the various dimensions. And as the Sorcerer Supreme, Wong must surely be aware of it. What good will a cease-and-desist letter or an American court order do against an authentic sorcerer? Wong CANNOT be this stupid.
• BRASS TACKS •
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s fourth episode is a comedic riot whose only real failures are its attempts at gravitas and its tackling of superhero action.
• MY RATING •
I give She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s Episode 4, “Is This Not Real Magic?” three cronuts out of five.