The idea that Jen wants the people in her life to take her professional and superheroic successes seriously and see that they have just as much value as whether or not she has a boyfriend is both sympathetic and painfully realistic (though the episode undercuts that tension a bit by having Jen meet a handsome friend of the groom at the reception to flirt with anyway.) And, again, the show nails the awkward pity and inexpressible frustration that always accompanies these kinds of questions, that all imply you’re a complete failure at life if you’re not paired off romantically.
Unfortunately, the insertion of Tatiana—who crashes the wedding as a date of a friend of the groom and tries to gaslight everyone into believing she’s not there to mess with her apparent archnemesis before the two inevitably come to blows—doesn’t help this story find its way. Look, I’m not opposed to watching She-Hulk punch the human avatar of influencer culture in the face every week. And a low-stakes villain for a low-stakes series makes a ton of sense, after all, But their rivalry is, at this point, paper-thin. I mean: Why is Tatiana so obsessed with Jen? And who is she as a character in her own right? The show doesn’t seem particularly interested in telling us, but since it doesn’t seem as though she’s going away any time soon, it would be nice to understand a bit more about what her motivations are.
On the plus side, this week’s B-plot is actually one of the series’ strongest yet, pairing off Nikki and Mallory to tackle a divorce case while Jen’s out of town. The client is a general dirtbag of a man named Mr. Immortal (who believe it or not is actually an Avenger in the world of Marvel Comics) who has been married many times. But instead of legally ending those relationships, he repeatedly stages his own death: running into traffic, “accidentally” swallowing poison, etc. He even throws himself out of a window to get out of an awkward meeting with his GLK&H lawyers (and you are a stronger person than I am if you didn’t laugh out loud at that moment—or instantly long for a GIF of it.)
The clip of him falling to his death immediately goes viral, bringing nearly a dozen of Mr. Immortal’s previous partners out of the woodwork to demand retribution for the various ways he has harmed, abandoned, or otherwise wronged them. (Favorite slight: the New Orleans jazz funeral he let one former spouse spend 10K on!) This subplot is a fun, original use of She-Hulk’s unique procedural format—after all, the Superhuman Law Division should actually start working on some cases that don’t involve Jen and the idea of random low-level superpowered people rolling through the office with problems that need solving has always been the part of the concept that sets this series apart from everything else in this universe.
Maybe it’s just that Nikki has rapidly become my favorite character on this show, but I love getting to see her expand her role beyond her designated slot as “Jen’s BFF” into an out-of-the-box thinker and problem solver. Renee Elise Goldberry and Ginger Gonzaga have a wonderfully offbeat, delightful chemistry with one another, and I hope the relationship between Nikki and Mallory is one that She-Hulk allows to develop further. There’s every reason to hope it will, now that two women have discovered “Intelligentsia”, the vile internet cesspit for “hateful man babies” that seems to exist solely to insult and levy death threats at Jen, and also presumably serve as a sort of Big Bad for the back half of the season.