How ‘She-Hulk’ Deals With the Struggle for Self-Acceptance

Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.The most recent episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law takes us on a closer look at Jen’s (Tatiana Maslany) personal life as well as the struggles that she’s trying to overcome. Besides being the face of the Superhuman Law Division at her elite NYC law firm, she also has to deal with certain issues that many of us may relate to — a lot.

One of the main themes of the Disney+ show is Jen learning how to accept herself for who she really is. Jen is presented as a strong-willed, intelligent person as she takes on cases like the great lawyer that she is. However, Jen doesn’t really feel that way, especially when she becomes She-Hulk. Having to juggle two identities can be difficult, and this series shows that firsthand.


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Jen’s Struggles With the Dating World

Wanting to put herself out there in regard to her social and dating life, Jen decides to try out an online dating app. Unfortunately, she has no success in connecting with a potential suitor — that is, until she creates a new profile as She-Hulk. While getting tons of matches feels great, it’s also a bit sad, with Jen sensing that she’s only receiving more attention when she is in She-Hulk form.

She-Hulk goes on several dates with different men she met on the dating app, which is quite an interesting ride. As expected, there are those who are either too full of themselves, mean, or guys who are just not a match for the lawyer. Then, she meets a very charming doctor who seems to be a great guy. The two hit it off and spent the night together. But when morning comes around, the doctor quickly leaves upon seeing Jen and not She-Hulk, giving her some lame excuse while doing so. It’s one of the moments where Jen feels as if being Jen is just not enough anymore for people to be fully interested in her.

The Thing With Josh

Josh (Trevor Salter) is first seen as one of the wedding guests in Episode 6. Jen is already having problems with the bride (Patti Harrison) not allowing her to be She-Hulk and having to clean up after her fellow bridesmaids and groomsmen. While at the reception, Jen lets loose with a couple of drinks and dances to her heart’s content. Josh approaches her and strikes up a conversation wherein Jen confesses that she is already great just the way she is. Not only is she working at this huge law firm, but she’s accomplished a lot since then — and all of it has been done as Jen, so for guys to only want to be with She-Hulk doesn’t feel all that great.

In Episode 7, the two go on a series of dates where the chemistry is pretty clear. Jen looks so happy spending time with Josh, and it’s obvious that she hasn’t felt this way towards a guy in a while. But then the show takes a wild turn. Josh turns out to have an ulterior motive when it comes to earning Jen’s trust. On the night of their third date, Josh gets Jen’s blood, copies content from her phone to his, and even takes a picture of her sleeping. Jen wakes up with Josh gone and having no clue about what just happened, believing it’s just a typical ghosting situation when in reality it’s something far more evil. Josh working for HulkKing is the twist of that episode, and it just goes to show that you cannot trust any new character on the show.

How Jen Reconnects With Herself

In the same episode, Jen visits Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) at his retreat due to a malfunction on his power inhibitor. After it’s fixed, Jen is about to go back home when her car is totaled due to a fight between two guests, leaving her with no choice but to stay there for a couple of hours.

Jen circles the property in the hopes of finding cell service but ends up walking into a supervillain group therapy session led by Blonsky. Initially defensive, Jen later talks about her problems with the surprisingly attentive group. In She-Hulk form, she discusses feeling like she’s not good enough as “just Jen” because a lot of people—coming from experience—prefer her as She-Hulk. When it comes to dating, she mentions the fact that no one wants to talk to her unless she is in her superhero form, and that doing so feels like cheating. As she’s talking, one can see just how much weight has been lifted from her shoulders, and she even turns back into Jen thanks to the gentle encouragement of the rest of the group, which is surprising yet a very wholesome moment to witness.

Besides the crazy twist at the end, this scene is one of the highlights of the episode. There are not a lot of moments in the show so far that truly feel as relatable as this one. It is such an important scene and conversation — because even though you can’t transform into a Hulk, you can still personally connect with Jen’s struggle with her identity and self-acceptance.

Jen’s Self-Acceptance Journey Moving Forward

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is more than just a fun, super-powered lawyer show; it also touches on identity struggles, as well as the challenge that comes with suddenly being turned into something you don’t initially want. Audiences have already had a glimpse of what Jen is struggling with in the previous episodes, but the series’ most recent one gave people more to go on. The group therapy scene is handled with care, honesty, and a sprinkle of humor that makes it feel more real or grounded.

While Jen’s journey towards acceptance is not yet over, her having stated those feelings out loud definitely made her feel more at ease, and with two more episodes to go, fans will hopefully see Jen move forward in her realization that while saving the world as She-Hulk may be badass, helping people out as Jennifer Walters, lawyer, is just as rewarding and cool.

The first seven episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are now available to stream exclusively on Disney+.


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