Love and magic collide in episode 4 of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, streaming on Disney Plus now. Plus, meet Madisynn, our new favorite MCU hero.
The first three episodes are already available. Here are our recaps of She-Hulk episode 1, episode 2 and episode 3. Below is our dive into the fourth installment, titled “Is This Not Real Magic?” In the episode, the sorcerer simply known as Wong returns for another cameo, plus there are lots of Easter eggs and a fun post-credits scene.
Spoilers to follow!
Episode 5 drops on Sept. 15, with more arriving every Thursday. (Here’s the full schedule of episode release dates for She-Hulk.)
Episode 4 introduces Donnie Blaze, a low-rent stage magician in possession of a teleporting Sling Ring (as used by Doctor Strange and his sorceror chums). It turns out Donnie actually is a former Kamar-Taj student and uses his fire hole to send unwitting assistants to another dimension. Encouraged by Cornelius Willows, the Mystic Castle’s curiosity curator, Blaze isn’t particularly confident about his ability to control the portal — pretty nasty for the hapless volunteers who might end up in a land of blood or worse, Pomona.
Meanwhile Wong is grooving to the Sopranos theme tune in Kathmandu. He’s watching season 5 episode 12, Long Term Parking, which is, yes, the one where glamorous nightclub manager and reluctant FBI informant Adriana is taken into the woods and murdered. Is there any significance to that reference, other than perhaps hinting at the danger of living a double life? Wong swears revenge for the spoiler and to make an example of Blaze setting a precedent for anyone who threatens the fabric reality by misusing the Mystic Arts.
Sure, everyone loves Wongers, but my new favorite character is Madisynn King (two Ns, one Y but it’s not where you thiiiink!). Played by Patty Guggenheim, this perennially tipsy party girl from Fort Lauderdale doesn’t bat a fake eyelash when she winds up in a diff dimensh, makes a deal with a talking goat and teleports with a bloody heart. Case clooosed!
Sex and the She-Hulk
Is there anything worse than dating in your 30s? Jen embraces romance in her She-Hulk form, setting up a dating app profile only to discover no one wants the real her (except for oblivious wannabe entrepreneur Alan, leading to a tense stand-off over the bill). Did you know Tinder is 10 years old? It is, and still providing fodder for sitcoms, apparently.
Best friend Nikki notes that “hetero life is grim” and suggests Jen sets up a profile in She-Hulk form (has to be better than a corporate headshot). Jen’s dates involve a handsome but angry guy, a pretentious director and a weirdo fanboy before she gets to a sensitive, attentive and gorgeous pediatric oncologist who just wants to split some fries. Sadly, even he isn’t perfect, ducking out the second he sees Jen back to her regular self. Another example of She-Hulk using the superhero genre to offer barbed commentary on sexual politics in the modern world.
Kind of a bummer
Episode 4 is almost halfway through the season, and it’s usually the point when these Marvel shows dramatically escalate the stakes. That still hasn’t really happened here: The fight with CGI critters is the most basic, throwaway form of superhero fight. And the big cliffhanger involves… a process server knocking on Jen’s door.
Is it too much to ask for Jameela Jamil to actually show up? She’s the closest thing to show’s main antagonist so far, and her character Titania hasn’t been seen since episode 1’s cliffhanger. This episode at least sets up a head-to-head between the pair, in the form of… a trademark dispute. Can’t wait.
“Kind of a bummer way to end this episode,” Jen notes as she breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the audience. “I bet there’s a fun tag!” There is, but yet again: Just because the show points out a weakness doesn’t mean it isn’t a weakness.
Episode 4 post-credits scene
Told you Wongers couldn’t stay mad. Maddisynn and the Sorcerer Supreme are now popcorn and cocktails buds, drinking yak milk and watching This Is Us.
She-Hulk random thoughts and Marvel Easter eggs
- Wong’s favorite cocktail is a gin and tonic. Simple, classic, tasty.
- Look out for the hot doctor reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, a collection of essays on feminism, race and competitive Scrabble.
- Jen’s to-do list includes preparing guidance language for Emil Blonsky’s inhibitor, buying purple and green highlighters, meeting Nikki in the bathroom at 11:47, buying (and reading) How to Make Friends and Influence People, signing up to Big and Tall, editing to-do list (2hrs), ordering Cheetos (and chopsticks), researching landmark privacy cases and drinking more water.
- Also on her to-do list are cases involving names familiar to comics fans: Kraft v. Soule refers to David Kraft, who wrote almost all of the early 1980s Savage She-Hulk comics, and Charles Soule, who wrote an acclaimed She-Hulk run starting in 2014. Lee v. Byrne requires no explanation. Judge Hanna is also likely a reference to artist Scott Hanna.
- The to-do list refers to some work required on likeness rights for a client called “Ms Pete”: that’s Megan Thee Stallion’s real name.
- Donnie Blaze is played by Rhys Coiro, husband of show director Kat Coiro.
- Wong wants to make an example of Donnie Blaze for misusing a Sling Ring, but it’s OK for Spider-Man’s buddy Ned?
- Wong may not think much of the “Mystic Castle” (notice how I put that in quotes), but it does remind me of LA’s real-life Magic Castle, which has an enchantingly odd history.