Breaking Down She-Hulk S01’s Negotiation and Communication Scenes

Episode 01: A Normal Amount of Rage

00:00:40

Jen’s rehearsal of her closing argument

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, she does two things here which I really like: first, she uses contrast. She says, “They think they’re getting away with it because they have power… but we can show the opposite can occur”. And she also uses identity to distance them from the jury. She’s not talking about them being wealthy and powerful by accident – it’s a way to create a disconnect and create an “us vs. them” mentality;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity (Jen making the defendants seem distant in identity from the jury);
    • Contrast (Jen contrasting them thinking they will get away with it with reality);

00:07:10

Guy harassing Jen

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a basic example of intimidation by a random person. We already see a difference in context here, because a random man is a danger to a random woman, when out at night, alone, in the darkness. So there’s already a contextual power difference here. And then he starts pressuring her and intimidating her, despite her trying to get away from it. Basic macho/bully move;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual differences (Man having power due to being with friends and being muscled);
    • Pressure/intimidation (The guy keeping intimidating Jen despite her trying to sneak away);

00:09:40

Bruce and Jen speaking

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • The “lethal dose of gamma radiation” line is hilarious, but it’s a great example of labeling manipulation. He’s picking a word that is sensationalistic, bombastic, exaggerated, but is not actually true. It’s not lethal to Jen;
    • I also love the spinning here. Bruce says he healed himself with Jen’s blood, and she says, “So I’m better?”, and he says, “Not better, different”. Funny, but a good example of spinning, and label manipulation, too – each one picks the label that is most convenient for them;
    • And yes, as Jen says very well, despite Bruce not coming up with “Smart Hulk”, if he uses it, he’s benefitting from the association;
    • It’s interesting later that Bruce says, “This is a multi-year journey, you have to completely change your life, etc etc”. Although it’s not necessarily as radical as this, it’s a great negative anchoring technique. If he mentions the absolute worst-case scenario, then you can only go up from there. It’s always a good impression. But if he told her that everything would be good and dandy, then she would be disappointed. Set the initial anchor, and you define what you feel by contrast later. Smart. Putting the “Smart” in “Smart Hulk”, I guess;
    • It’s funny when Bruce uses the air horn to wake Jen up. It’s a great case of making someone vulnerable and catching them off-guard by distracting them. In this case, that was precisely what he wanted. Same when he pushes her off the cliff. In this case it’s not to persuade, it’s to make her vulnerable and test her. So it’s simultaneously an obstacle/test, too;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Label manipulation (Bruce using the expression “lethal dose” when it wasn’t lethal);
    • Spinning/reframing (Bruce and Jen fighting over her blood – “better” versus “different”);
    • Association (Bruce using “Smart Hulk” despite not having come up with it);
    • Anchoring (Set the initial anchor as negative, and everything seems better by comparison);
    • Distractions/obstacles/tests (When Bruce catches Jen off-guard with the air horn);

00:21:10

Bruce and Jen meditating

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • What Jen mentions is very interesting, because it’s a perfect case of standard manipulation. Women are more judged by men, and more easily. In other words, men in general use different standards to judge men and women. It’s a great illustration of sexism as a specific case of having two sets of standards for two categories of people;
    • Then, in their their fight, we also have an interesting example of authority. When Bruce is telling her to listen to him because he’s done it before, he’s giving himself authority because he went through his transformation, while Jen is not giving him authority as she’s claiming he is a different person. Two interpretations of the same events, one which gives Bruce authority, and one which doesn’t;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (Sexist treatment of women by many men);
    • Authority/credibility (Bruce considering he has authority to teach Jen, and her not);

00:28:30

Court scene

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a realistic example of a defense lawyer trying to exculpate his client in his closing argument. Saying that, despite a company causing deaths, them not being responsible for them, and them just being the unfortunate byproduct of an expansion. Trying to reduce the association between the deaths and his client, and spinning this as an accident;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Association (Defense lawyer reducing the association between the deaths and his client);
    • Spinning/reframing (Interpreting the deaths as an accident);

Episode 02: Superhuman Law

00:02:20

Jen and Nikki entering the bar

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we start with the “She-Hulk” label. It’s interesting how this is a great example of how labels work. Labels oversimplify the world around us and oversimplify things into a couple of key characteristics. This is such an example. Despite whatever else Jen has going for her, she’s the “She-Hulk”. A hulk who is female. That’s it. Simple labels spread easily, and are sticky. I find it funny how she says, “That name better not stick”. I’m 100% sure it will – it’s what it’s designed to do! That’s the only thing you can’t ask of a label;
    • We also see a good example of contextual power here. Jen’s boss wants to talk to her, but he feels intimidated by She-Hulk, so he asks she change back so he can speak with her on equal terms. Or, more accurately, she’s an equal in power when in She-Hulk form, she he asks her to turn back to have an advantage. Instead of neutralising an advantage, he’s forcing her to give him one;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling ();
    • Neutralising advantages (Jen’s boss forcing her to change back before speaking with her);

00:09:30

Holliway offering Jen a job

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • I find funny Jen’s demand. It’s unexpected rigidity at its best. She says “OK”, and then last-minute says, “Wait, I will only do it if I can pick my paralegal”. It’s pretty funny, because Holliway didn’t even care;
    • Also, this should be a lesson in leverage. Since Holliway clearly wanted her, she could have named her terms, and could probably have asked for a gigantic salary or something else. But naturally, her friend Nikki took precedence. But I would have asked for even more. Her own paralegal is probably not even a big demand;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity (Unexpected rigidity by Jen);

00:11:05

Jen entering the office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • We see here a very interesting case of tension. Holliway is the one now making the last-minute demand, not having warned her he needs her in She-Hulk form. Also, he doesn’t force her to. He simply says, “We need She-Hulk”, and she asks, “Right now?” and he says “Hm-hm”. So, he doesn’t force her, he just stares at her in silence while Jen caves. Presence without needing to be aggressive;
    • Also, on her way up, Jen states people will just think she got her job due to being the She-Hulk, and not her qualifications. True. This is standard manipulation at its best. They are making an exception for Jen due her being the She-Hulk. This means she didn’t go through the normal hiring criteria, the normal process, or compete against others;
    • I really like Nikki’s reframe when Jen enters the office. Jen is focusing on the negatives – only being hired due to being a superhuman, not having enough clothes, etc etc – and Nikki saying they have the corner office, a mini-fridge, and she will make a lot of money. Not a persuasion case, but a good reframe to the positive;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Tension/presence (By Holliway);
    • Standard manipulation (By GLK&H, making the exception when hiring Jen);

00:13:55

Holliway telling Jen to take Emil’s case

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Jen is uncomfortable with the case, and there is the whole story between Bruce and Emil, but Holliway says Emil simply signed a conflict waiver. It’s permission manipulation. This document gives Jen permission to represent him without issue – at least, from Emil’s end;
    • Also, we see some interesting labeling manipulation when Jen is visiting Emil. The guards don’t call him Emil or Mr. Blonsky, they call him “The Abomination”. They say, “Do not touch the glass separating you and the prisoner, Abomination”. This label, and the removal of Emil’s name, dehumanises him. Common in prison/legal situations to discredit someone. Funny how Emil uses the same about Bruce later. “Your cousin, The Hulk”, and Jen corrects him to “Bruce”. Same exact situation with the same exact intention. On top of that, when he mentions Bruce again, talking about the injustice of him being out and Emil being locked, he says, “The other threat, your cousin, is out there”. Refusing to use his name again;
    • Also, naturally, intent labeling by forcing Jen to accept the conditions verbally and also sign the document to visit Emil, and permission manipulation when he says, “Despite all this, we cannot guarantee your safety” – it’s a disclaimer, giving them permission to be exculpated of anything bad happening to Jen;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (The conflict waiver gives Jen permission to take the case without conflict);
    • Naming/Labeling/Labeling manipulation (Guards calling Emil the Abomination instead of using his name);
    • Intent labeling + permission manipulation (Jen needing to agree to the terms and signing the document, with the disclaimer it’s not their fault if she gets hurt);

00:20:00

Jen calling Bruce

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, permission manipulation here. Jen is calling Bruce and wants him to be OK with her representing Emil. She literally wants permission from him to be able to do it. But she doesn’t want his opinion – she wants him to give her permission, period, as he states;
    • We also see some funny justifications. That is, she could have just said: “Can I represent Emil?”, but instead she rambles on saying, “He made good arguments”, “Maybe he’s reformed”, and so on. It’s funny, because in this case it’s a sign of proving yourself and trying to persuade desperately, but the justifications still persuade, as they cause empathy;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Permission manipulation (Jen wanting permission from Bruce to take on Emil);
    • Justifications (Jen trying to justify herself to Bruce in numerous ways);

Episode 03: The People vs. Emil Blonsky

00:01:40

Jen confronting Emil on the fight club

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Fairly);
  • Description:
    • Notice adverse transparency here. Emil says that, since he was already out of jail when teleported by Wong, he could have stayed out, but he chose to return and be imprisoned. This is adverse transparency – he did something that harmed himself, which he did not need to do, in order to establish trustworthiness. In his case, this could be used as another argument for his redemption;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (Emil didn’t need to go back to prison, but he did, becoming more trustworthy);

00:07:25

Pug with Dennis

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • We see how, naturally, he calls Dennis Mr. Bukowski, since he is representing him. In this case, using the formal version of his name establishes that level of professionalism, authority and image as a lawyer;
    • I also love how there is an attempt of intent labeling here, where he asks him “Are you going to help me or not?”, and Pug doesn’t answer, deflecting and saying, “I will start building your case and I will be in touch”. Notice the language. It seems like it’s the same thing but isn’t. He says he is building the case, but he’s not saying he is helping him;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Naming/labeling (Using Dennis full name, by Pug, to establish professionalism and credibility);
    • Intent labeling (Failed, by Dennis);

00:10:10

Blonsky’s parole hearing

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, first, we see one of the board members discrediting Emil, using the escape as an argument. Saying, “Are we even going to consider letting out someone who escaped?”. But one of the other members decides to ask Emil, himself, whether he is rehabilitated;
    • Then, we see Emil giving an exaggerated answer, which doesn’t convince. When he says “I feel rehabilitated. Cosmically, karmically, etc etc”. Jen cuts him off because she knows this sounds phony and not authentic. He needs to sound realistic, not artificial. Which is why Jen cuts him off to say, “All he wants now is to be a contributing member of society”;
    • We also see an extremely good case of implementation intention. Remember, it can be used to detect lies. Therefore, the different board members asking, “Where will he live?”, “What will he do?”, “How will he financially support the retreat?” are all answers to figure out wether Emil’s plan is realistic or not;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity/stereotypes (The first board member limiting his beliefs about Emil due to him having escaped);
    • Implementation intention (The different board members asking Emil the details of what his life outside would be, to gauge the realism);

00:14:10

Runa vs. Bukowski hearing

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Standard manipulation at the start, in terms of the jurisdiction. And it’s a funny example. Naturally, she has diplomatic immunity in New Asgard, but they’re not in New Asgard. But she says New Asgard is a people, not a place. I don’t know whether this is legally true or not – I guess not – but it’s funny how the rule may apply or not based on the different circumstances;
    • We also see an interesting case of flipping by the judge. Pug argues that Bukowski was scammed, but the judge says that he would need to be too stupid to be scammed like that, so Pug is the one that must prove he was, in fact, that stupid;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (Runa’s diplomatic immunity being valid or not);
    • Flipping (By the judge, telling Pug that it’s his responsibility to prove Dennis could be scammed, not the opposite);

00:16:05

Emil hearing (continued)

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • When Wong later testifies for Emil, he uses the argument he returned willingly – adverse transparency – and Jen piggybacks on it to associate with his identity, saying that someone who behaves like that must be reformed. Good combo, I must admit;
    • It’s also interesting how the board member uses standard manipulation. That is, he says the problem isn’t Emil anymore, the problem is The Abomination. So it doesn’t matter how reformed Emil is, because the problem is The Abomination;
    • It’s interesting Emil’s move to change in real time to show he’s in control. It’s adverse transparency again. Yes, he is a threat due to changing right here, but he also increases trustworthiness by demonstrating that he can, in fact, change and be in control);
    • It’s also pretty funny the reporter at the end. Jen is just leaving, and the reporter says, “Jennifer Walters rushing, no doubt trying to avoid the protesters”. She can spin it however she wants, and she is. It’s suggestion and exposure. Just giving time to a crazy idea will seed it in someone’s mind for sure;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency + identity (Emil returning to prison by choice, and Jen considering him reformed due to it);

00:24:25

Jen interviewed

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Jen is calling out the reporter on the labeling manipulation. Saying “It’s not Abomination, it’s Emil Blonsky”, and “It’s not She-Hulk, it’s Jennifer Walters”;
    • Also, when she says, “Oh, I didn’t come up with the name, a random guy on the news did, but it stuck, and I am now forever She-Hulk”. Called it! Labels are possibly the stickiest and most destructive persuasion tool ever. There is no way to escape them, except to fight the label with an even better one;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling manipulation (The reporter calling Jen and Emil by their superhero names to dehumanise them);

Episode 04: Is This Not Real Magic?

00:06:25

Wong asking Jen for help

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • It’s hilarious how Wong uses the “magician” label ironically, under quotes, and then explains it to Jen for emphasis. Another simple example of using naming/labeling to discredit someone;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Naming/labeling/Labeling manipulation (Wong calling Donny Blaze a “magician”);

00:08:55

Jen and Nikki after guy leaves

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • It’s pretty funny, because this is a great example of filtering by characteristics. Like Nikki says, it’s a numbers game. She’s getting the initial pool of dating candidates for Je, and then she will use the characteristics she’s looking for (such as, I assume, being intelligent, sophisticated, no shirtless photos and so on), to filter more and more. Basic priming funnel and priming by characteristics;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Priming by characteristics (Nikki swiping for Jen, getting the matches);

00:10:10

Jen and Wong getting Donny Blaze to cease and desist

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Blaze starts by using four related expressions. Can’t own magic, can’t trademark a spirit, register a soul, copyright art. But you can copyright art. So he loses credibility due to this. He associated all of the expressions for momentum, but one of them was wrong, so he lost credibility. This does happen. When you associate with something, make sure it’s a good, not bad association;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Association (Blaze using all the expressions but failing at one of them);

00:12:55

Wong vs. Blaze in court

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Madisynn isn’t saying what Jen and Wong want. They should have prepped her, anyway. She says that her experience was “fun and spooky”, and Blaze’s lawyer spins that as an argument in their favor;
    • It’s also pretty funny that Blaze conjures a bunny and judge has lenience with him due to it. Although this is hilarious, cute and beautiful things are persuasive by nature;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning (The defense lawyer framing Madisynn’s experience as not harmful, which is the opposite of what Jen and Wong wanted);
    • Cuteness/beauty (Blaze conjuring the bunny);

00:26:05

Jen forcing Blaze and his teacher to accept the terms

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Jen is about to send the lat demon in, and save their butts, and before doing that she makes a last-minute demand, for them to accept the terms. Last-minute rigidity + intent labeling. I would force them to get it in writing on the spot, but this is already a type of consistency trap. Them giving their word, or agreeing to it;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Unexpected rigidity (Jen making the demand);
    • Intent labeling (Jen forcing them to accept the terms);

Episode 05: Mean, Green, and Straight Poured Into These Jeans

00:04:20

Jen talking to Nikki at the office

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • When Jen says, “I’m not She-Hulk, She-Hulk is just something that happened to me”, as Nikki says, it’s an interesting take. She’s not reducing herself to her label, and reducing the label to just a part of her life;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Naming/labeling (Jen not being reduced to her label);

00:05:10

Nikki and Pug exchanging favors

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, I love how transactional Pug is. He literally says, “I can’t pretend I’m here for a friendly visit, I need a favor”. Then Nikki decides to do it, and then she finds out the fashion broker may be in touch with a tailor for Jennifer, and she decides to ask a favor in exchange first;
    • I like how Nikki is also transactional and clearly says, “I will need a return favor plus interest”. This is realistic. Because she’s doing the favor first, so she will be at an advantage. But due to favor dynamics, not for long. Remember, as time goes by, people value favors less. Also, when she finds out she needs her favor first, she tells Pug she forgoes the interest. It’s funny, but stil interesting. They’re transactional, but true to themselves, and fair. I like how Pug even compliments and says, “Sounds good – Slick Nik”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Giving/Reciprocity (Pug asking Nikki a favor, and wanting one in return);
    • Favor dynamics (The person who gives first has the advantage, and it will decrease over time);

00:08:35

Nikki and Pug outside Luke’s office

  • Is It Realistic: No;
  • Description:
    • So, they are asking for access, so they can ask him to do Jen’s clothing. I like how he’s arrogant and just says “No”, but do notice that they’re dressed in Avengers knockoff clothing. Also, as Luke says himself, when Nikki says Titania referred her, she shrugs. Lack of harmony and congruence in body language, and Luke picks up on this;
    • Also, I don’t think this is realistic at all since Nikki was just caught in a lie about being referred by Titania, but afterwards she says she knows an Avenger and Luke… believes her? What?
  • Techniques Present:
    • Image/appearance (Both Nikki and Pug are not looking their best);
    • Congruence/harmony (Lack of, in Nikki, when lying);

00:09:40

Holliway confronting Jen about the lawsuit

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, we see rigidity and boundaries by Holliway. Jen is trying to justify herself, but Holliway just says, “I’m going to stop you, because that’s none of my concern”;
    • There’s also the concept of image and authority here. As he says, they won’t seem competent as a law firm if they can’t handle their own cases;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Rigidity and boundaries (By Holliway);
    • Justifications (By Jen);
    • Image/authority (GLK&H not seeming competent if it doesn’t handle its own case);

00:10:45

Mallory taking Jen on

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • First, I like how she establishes the dynamic here. She is naturally changing the context from colleagues to client and attorney so that she has the power to make recommendations and obtain respect from her as a client;
    • We also see in her strategy here that she is decreasing Titania’s association with the name She-Hulk. Naturally, I’m no legal expert, but in persuasion terms, Titania is making it seem she is associated with the name, and that Jen is trying to profit off that, while Mallory is making it seem like the opposite;
    • We also see in court Titania’s lawyer trying to discredit Mallory, by saying the lawsuit is frivolous and wasting everyone’s time;
    • I also find it excellent the use of labeling by both here. So, Titania’s lawyer presents a clip of Jen of her saying she does not identify as She-Hulk, and it’s not her name, which removes the association, but Mallory presents a clip of her saying that, whether she likes it or not, the name stuck and she is now forever She-Hulk. Great back and forth;
    • Also notice here the judge considers that it’s Jen’s responsibility to prove she uses the name. That is, since Titania got the trademark, it’s Jen who needs to prove she was already using the name, not Titania, because it’s Jen who is actively going against the trademark. It’s a type of flipping, in a way. Jen is trying to establish she was already She-Hulk and doesn’t need to prove it, while the court is saying she actively needs to prove it;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual change (Mallory changing her relationship with Jen from colleagues to attorney and client);
    • Associations (Mallory trying to reduce Titania’s association with the name);
    • Labeling manipulation (Both sides saying Jen is/is not She-Hulk);
    • Flipping (Judge saying it’s Jen’s responsibility to prove she used the name);

00:15:05

Jen and Nikki trying to convince Luke

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Right away, we see abundance. Since Luke is exclusive and everyone seeks him, he does whatever he wants, and that’s how he acts. You see it in his attitude. He’s literally insulting Jen, saying they’re not good enough, etc;
    • Notice how he is making them prove themselves. Luke says, “You told me she was an Avenger”, and Nikki replies “Oh, they just haven’t signed her yet”. And she says she’s related to the Hulk, and he asks, “By blood?”. He’s making them prove Jen at every stage;
    • Also, naturally, home advantage, because they are coming to him in his office;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Abundance/value (Luke behaving with value);
    • Power dynamics (Making Jen prove herself);
    • The home advantage (Them coming to Luke);

00:18:50

Jen winning the case with her dating history

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmm;
  • Description:
    • Although this is funny, and for comedic purposes, it’s a great example of paradox intention. Using a flaw as an advantage. Her embarrassing set of previous dates becomes precisely what allows her to win the case;
    • And again, same exact thing with the doctor that slept with her. The fact that he would date She-Hulk but not Jennifer is precisely what reinforces she was She-Hulk, because they dated. It’s also a great use of contrast;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Paradox intention (Using her flaw as an advantage);

Episode 06: Just Jen

00:03:30

Jen showing up at the rehearsal

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, we see an interesting use of contextual power here, which is that Jen is naturally stealing attention as she is the only superhuman in the group, so the her friend asks her to not be She-Hulk and be just Jen so she doesn’t stand out at the wedding. In other words, she’s asking permission to take power away from her;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual power (Jen’s friend asking her to not show up as She-Hulk);

00:05:10

Mr. Immortal meeting

  • Is It Realistic: Hmmmmm;
  • Description:
    • I love the guilting and shaming here. Naturally, him killing himself to get out of a relationship instead of just sitting down and talking is pretty bad, and they’re shaming him for it. “Did you ever feel bad about this marriage?”, “Considerate, that’s now the word you’re looking for”. “You just don’t know how to have any conversation whatsoever”. I know this is comedy, and although morally I’m not against them, I’m not sure if, when representing someone, you want to do this. If Mallory has the power to decide to represent him or not, sure, but if she was mandated to represent him, I’m not sure being hostile will help;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Guilting/shaming (Mallory and Nikki shaming Mr. Immortal);

00:08:00

Jen’s friend Lulu talking with her

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • So, here we see another screwed-up power dynamic. Jen’s friend is asking about her life, and Jen mentions all of her accomplishments, and she decides that’s not the topics she wants to talk about, to take away power from Jen. That is, she switches the conversational context to find a topic where Jen is weak, to prey on that. I already hate this person. Extremely entitled and condescending;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual power (Switching the conversation topic);

00:10:05

Jen meeting Josh

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • We see Josh open with some adverse transparency and vulnerability, by saying he’s awkward and doesn’t know how to approach her. He didn’t need to make himself seem humble, but he does, and therefore seems more trustworthy in his approach. Seeming too confident could come across as confrontational. So, good trustworthiness and likability here;
    • So, a quick mention of standard manipulation here. Which metrics did they use to decide who gets a plus one? Perfect example. Hide the criteria, and you can screw some people over without them even noticing;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Adverse transparency (By Josh, confessing he’s awkward);
    • Standard manipulation (Deciding who gets a plus one);

00:11:15

Mr. Immortal meeting with his previous partners

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • See how Mallory begins with empathy – “Ladies and gentleman, I hear you”. Good to get them to drop their guard and not be aggressive;
    • We also see Mallory using anchoring and contrast in the beginning in a great way. She wants him to take the deal she’s going to present, naturally. So, to convince him, she says that he has done much worse things and is lucky he’s not in jail, so he should take the deal, and she tells him right away he will have to pay. Great technique. Paint the worst-case scenario so that everything else seems good by comparison;
    • Then, later, we also see an interesting case of standard manipulation. That is, should they split his Apple shares and the gold 8 ways? Or should different partners get different amounts based on the time they were with him? Or should the ladies who had kids receive more due to that? I don’t think there is a way to easily define criteria that would be fair to everyone;
    • I love how, in the end, Nikki goes to every single one of them and gauges the specific damage they suffered and what they want. It’s a different solution. Instead of giving them all a proportional part of what they’re owed, each one gets what they want, which may be radically different, and in some cases is not even money;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Empathy (By Mallory to the victims);
    • Negative anchoring/perceived contrast (Mallory, presenting the worst-case scenario so the deal seems good by comparison);

00:18:15

Titania attacking Jen

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • When Titania tells Jen, “It’s not fun to fight unless you’re She-Hulk”, it’s changing the contextual power, but in a good way. She’s saying she only wants to fight her at full power, not when she’s holding back (also a very common trop in almost every single anime). It’s contextual power in a way – she wants to raise Jen’s power so she’s equal to her, and then only engage in equal terms;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Contextual power (Titania only wanting to fight Jen as She-Hulk, as equals);

00:22:20

Nikki and Mallory in the Intelligencia forums

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, both have good points on whether to tell Jen. Nikki says she needs to know, as they are death threats, while Mallory says they would just be feeding the trolls. I do see Mallory’s point – any chance you in your behavior due to them means they win, they got what they wanted – but Jen may still be at risk, so I would tell her in this case. There may be lunatics with guns, as there are in other cultish areas of real life;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning (Nikki and Mallory having different points of view about whether to tell Jen);

Episode 07: The Retreat

00:06:35

Parole Officer Chuck calling Jen

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, pretty standard request here. He uses some justifications, “I don’t have the resources for a team”, “With you, my chances of ending up in the ICU are lower”, and so on. Not special, but not bad either. OK;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Justifications (By parole officer Chuck);

00:10:35

Man-Bull and El Águila introducing themselves to Jen

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • It’s funny because they both give their backstory, and Emil talks about the background of both of them, and Jen says, “This is so much unnecessary backstory to tell to someone whose car you just destroyed”. But this is the point. Justifications. Sharing with the other side “forces” them to understand you, and due to this, most people become more lenient with you. A lot of people do precisely this to get mercy after they screw up;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Justifications (Everyone giving their backstory as justification for who they are);

00:14:35

Emil conducting the session

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • Again, it’s for comedic purposes, but it’s true. Él Aguila is saying that his characteristics are serving to simplify him under the label of a “matador”. True. To be fair, he does have a lot of the similar characteristics, but it’s an example of a how a label reduces someone to those characteristics. In this case, he has those characteristics and people attribute the label, which is a stereotype. Either way, it affects his identity;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity/labeling (Él Aguila being simplified as being a matador);

00:20:10

Jen sharing about Josh

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see here a very specific example of abundance. That is, we later find out that Josh was absolutely only focused on She-Hulk, and that was his goal. Jen here is sharing that he was specifically focused on Jen, and never asked about She-Hulk. That is the point. He made it seem like he didn’t care about She-Hulk at all, which gave Jen a false sense of security with him, and that is exactly what he wanted. If he seemed interesting in She-Hulk from the get-go, she would have been defensive. But he seemed to not care, projecting abundance and indifference, and due to that she was attracted to him;
    • In the end, it’s also a funny example of reciprocity. As they say, if Josh is not spending time on “Jen”, “Jen” doesn’t need to spend time on Josh. As simple as that. Balancing the power dynamic – in this case, terminating the relationship. Also a personal boundary;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Abundance (Josh’s attitude towards Jen in the beginning);
    • Reciprocity/personal boundaries (Jen deciding to ignore Josh since she was ignored by him);

Episode 08: Ribbit and Rip It

00:03:10

Jen trying to argue with Holliway

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Holliway says that Jen has already worked on a case with a conflict waiver before. That is, she opened the precedent, therefore Holliway is using escalation of commitment, asking her to do it again;
    • I also like how Holliway is the sensible person here. He suggests that they come to an agreement, and that way Jen can preserve her relationship with Luke. For someone who seems to genuinely not care, very civilised reply;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Escalation of commitment (Holliway getting Jen to take another conflicted case, since she has done it before);

00:06:20

Matt and Jen in court

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • We have some interesting arguments here. Again, not a legal expert, but notice how the standards are changed based on different arguments. For example, Jen argues there is no inherent right to anonymity, so she wants the list of Luke’s other clients, but Matt argues that superheroes need privacy by nature, therefore it doesn’t apply;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (Whether the clients have a right to privacy or not depending on different rules and interpretations);

00:09:20

Matt and Jen at the bar

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • I like that Matt uses the work excuse to leave, and Jen says, “Oh, totally, I got work, too”, as not to seem weaker. Trying to project abundance and non-neediness. In this case, since he has no free time, she is pretending she doesn’t have it either;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Abundance (Jen projecting abundance to not try and seem needy);

00:12:10

Todd speaking with Jen

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Extremely);
  • Description:
    • First, see Todd telling Jen to call him Todd and not “Mr. Phelps”. An attempt to be closer to her, to create intimacy through manipulation of the label;
    • Then, he’s using costly signaling. That is, saying he spent a lot of money that he didn’t need to, just for art;
    • I love Jen using tension and presence here. She could not be more disgusted with the guy, so she literally says nothing and keeps looking him in the eyes. And he keeps on talking, clarifying, until she says, curtly, “I got it”;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Labeling manipulation (Todd telling Jen to call him “Todd”);
    • Costly signaling (Todd sayng he sptn $1M on a Wakandan spear);
    • Presence/tension (Jen saying nothing while Todd keeps stating what he spent);

00:21:15

Jen advising Leapfrog when fighting

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Reasonably);
  • Description:
    • So, she tells Eugene they could frame it as an episode of mania, and Matt says it would be better to diagnose it as a form of PTSD. It’s interesting because they are different layers of justifications. Again, no legal expert, just analysing the persuasion. Mania is an emotional state, and it can be triggered by anything – drugs, emotions, personality traits, others – while PTSD is usually trauma suffered due to being a victim of something. So, in terms of persuasion, PTSD would frame him as a victim in a way, which would grant more leniency in his sentencing, probably;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Justifications (The mania justification would be less powerful than the PTSD one, due to not necessarily being a victim);

00:22:30

Matt and Jen debriefing

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • You see some funny spinning here. When Jen says, “Thanks for your help”, she’s making it seem she’s the star, and Matt was a guest in her world. Matt says the opposite, saying “Thanks for YOUR help”. Besides spinning, it’s also the home advantage. It’s whether Jen is coming into Matt’s world, or the opposite;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Spinning/the home advantage (Matt and Jen discussing who is the main superhero and who is the guest);

00:24:35

Nikki meeting Jen at her home

  • Is It Realistic: Maximum (It’s literally a real situation in this case);
  • Description:
    • It’s funny, because the unexpected episode that was not part of the season as advertised yet could be considered unexpected giving. And anchoring. That is, by giving fans one extra episode they were not expecting, they will like the show more. It’s anchoring and contrast at their best. It’s one thing to say it’s 9 episodes, which is standard. It’s another to say it’s 8 episodes, but near the end of the 8th give you one more, and suddenly you have more positive feelings. Great example of unexpected giving, not within the show, but by the show (very meta);
  • Techniques Present:
    • Unexpected giving (By the show itself (?), giving us one extra episode);

00:26:35

The award

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • So, we see a perfect example of standard manipulation here. Awards. If one person is awarded, she’s special. Naturally. If all of them are awarded, nobody is special. We literally see the confusion in Jen when she realises she’s not the “chosen” one, she’s just one of everyone who was chosen;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Standard manipulation (The number of people chosen defines how special each of them is);

Episode 09: Whose Show Is This?

00:04:40

Nikki and Jen discussing the approach to tackling Intelligencia

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Very);
  • Description:
    • Notice how Nikki here uses “Jen Walters” as an insult. It’s a unique type of funny insult, similar to Monica’s mother saying she “pulled a Monica” in friends when she does something wrong. In this case, Nikki is trying to say she’s being too strict and boring, but she uses her name as the insult. Naturally, it’s not a heavy insult, but it’s a way to use her identity against her;
    • Then, the bit with Dennis and his allegations is a type of suggestion. Exposure. That is, there will be a lot of people with good and bad impressions of Jen, but showing someone with a bad opinion will make her look bad. That’s it. Just spending more time exposing bad opinions and bad views creates a bad impression, even if there are many other good impressions;
    • I also like Jen later trying to contact Bruce, and his name in the cell phone is “Smug Hulk”. A fun play on his name to ridicule him a bit. Labeling manipulation;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Identity/labeling manipulation (Nikki using Jen’s own name to call her boring);
    • Exposure/suggestion (Dennis talking trash about Jen);
    • Labeling manipulation (Jen calling Smart Hulk Smug Hulk);

00:17:10

Jen meeting the show’s creative team

  • Is It Realistic: Yes (Somewhat);
  • Description:
    • I know it’s for comedic purposes, but notice how, in this universe, the team treats K.E.V.I.N. like a god. Naturally, it’s a reference to Kevin Feige being the boss of all of them, but notice the level of indoctrination and rigidity here. They all follow his principles, they all do the shows like he wants, and nobody even touches him. Again, it’s a comedy, but some organisations in the real world are cultish like this;
  • Techniques Present:
    • Indoctrination/rigidity (The whole team treating K.E.V.I.N. like a god and protecting him);

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