A largely frivolous episode at least has the decency to build to a tantalizing ending.
This recap of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season 1, episode 5, “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured Into These Jeans”, contains spoilers.
So, as we learned at the end of last week’s episode, Titania (here reduced to a smarmy influencer archetype, since that’s “hip”) is suing Jen for copyright infringement over the She-Hulk name. It didn’t make much sense at the time, but in the opening moments of “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured Into These Jeans”, we learn that she’s using the name for a line of overpriced skincare and wellness products. As Jen’s delivery driver friend Chet puts it, copyright is kind of a finder’s keepers deal. Whoever gets there first, gets the name. It isn’t worth contesting.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season 1, episode 5 recap
Jen also wants to rise above it on another level. She claims to have never liked the She-Hulk name anyway — it was just something people started calling her. Since it doesn’t determine who she is, then Titania using the name shouldn’t matter… should it?
Well, it matters to GLK&H, since no big business is going to hire a firm that can’t even keep its own frivolous internal lawsuits in check, so Jen has to contest the case legally. And as I predicted last week, she needs a lawyer for that since she can’t defend herself. But whereas that seemed like an ideal opportunity to introduce Matt Murdock, Jen is instead appointed Mallory Book, who makes fun of her for dressing like a football player trying to get out of a DUI and only agrees to take on the case as a professional courtesy.
But the legal angle should be pretty cut-and-dry. The name She-Hulk only started being used among the press and public after Jen first debuted in her Hulk form. Titania is obviously using the goodwill of an already-existing moniker to flog her products. But since Jen has publicly denounced the name on several occasions that makes things a little complicated.
In this week’s B-plot, we learn that Pug collects sneakers two pairs at a time — “One to rock, one to stock” — and wants Nikki to accompany him to a launch event that is limited to a single pair per customer. But she wants a favor in return and wants to call it in immediately, leading the two of them to a secret rendezvous with Pug’s “drip broker”, which quickly turns into a wild goose chase and sees the two of them wearing knock-off “Avongers” merchandise. This immediately became my favorite thing about the episode.
Naturally, these two threads begin to intertwine — Nikki wants to have a suit designed for Jen that accommodates both of her forms (it doesn’t help that Book is endlessly, effortlessly glamorous) while Jen, through Nikki, realizes that her dating history (tying back into the previous episode) essentially constitutes regular, public use of the She-Hulk name. But that means parading all of the weirdos she dated in the courtroom.
Of course, all of Jen’s previous dates claim not to have enjoyed the time they spent with her, except for the insanely attractive doctor who was there when she went to fight demons with Wong, but they do all confirm that she used the She-Hulk name. So, the court rules in favor of Jen. And even Book recognizes the sheer embarrassment of what she had to sit through in that courtroom, reminding her that she’s better than that and deserves to be treated as such. They even go out for a drink and complain about men together. But Book still doesn’t seem totally sold — especially not with the fashion issue. Which reminds Jen, who reminds the audience, that we’ve forgotten about the B-plot!
Luke designs She-Hulk a bespoke form-fitting suit that we don’t see her wearing. But he also whets the appetite of audiences worldwide by packing up an order for collection — Daredevil’s helmet.