Man do I wish She-Hulk was like this every week. After last week’s surprisingly great episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the second to last episode of this series (maybe season?) finally brings The Man without Fear into the mix and continues to follow a formula that should have been this entire series’ MO. We get another random Z-lister Marvel character, some funny in-court antics, and great interplay between the primary cast. Was that so hard, Marvel?
This eighth episode, titled “Ribbit and Rip It,” begins with the antics of inept Marvel character Leap-Frog (Brandon Stanley). In an attempt to stop some robbers from making off with OLED TVs, Leap-Frog’s suit catches on fire and injures him. Looking to seek compensation from the manufacturer, he heads to GLK&H and has his case assigned to Jen.
Revealing himself to be Eugene Patilio, the son of one of GLK&H’s wealthiest clients, he tells Jen about his previous night’s emotional and physical damage. When she asks about who created the suit for him, it turns out to be Luke Jacobson, which would obviously be a gigantic conflict of interest for Jen. Her boss has her sign a waiver (much like in the second episode) and she is practically forced to speak against Jacobson in court.
When Jen arrives at Jacobson’s place, he’s obviously none too happy about this turn of events. After destroying her gala dress and banning her from the premises, the two vow to see each other in court to settle this fight. The next day, it appears as if Jacobson will be representing himself, but at the last second, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) enters the courtroom and reveals himself to be representing Jacobson.
Matt and Jen engage in a battle of wits that sees Matt get a leg up on her. Not wishing to bow out, Eugene stands up to protest the judge’s decision to allow Jacobson’s clients to retain anonymity and Jen demands he sit down. With Matt’s super senses, he picks up on the fact that Eugene used jet fuel in his rocket boots, which Jacobson had strictly forbidden him from doing. Jen is now furious with her client as his gross negligence cost her the case.
Following her defeat, Jen heads to the bar to drink her sorrows away when Matt formerly introduces himself. Not wishing to keep things on a sour note, he buys her a drink and the two begin chatting about their lawyer lives. Since Jen has not hidden her She-Hulk identity, Matt knows all about her powers and her ability to help people through brute strength. He gives her a pep talk about how she can be the best of both worlds, helping people when the law fails them and when they need representation. Matt gets called away before they can get really serious, so Jen returns home for the night.
After plopping herself on her couch, Jen is almost immediately called by Eugene with another problem. Some assailants are attacking him as he attempts to head back to the Lilli-Pad (his “secret” lair). He gives Jen a GPS signal so she can assist and she rushes to the scene in her brand new super suit -which is the first time we’re actually seeing it!
Atop a parking garage, Jen manages to stop Eugene’s car and sends a masked figure flying off the hood. Landing on his feet, he turns around to reveal himself as Daredevil, who Jen doesn’t realize is actually Matt. Eugene leaves while the two scrap in a reasonably decent fight that sees Jen overpower the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. As she goes in to smack him around, she unmasks Daredevil and discovers Matt’s secret identity. Unsure of what is going on, Matt explains how Eugene kidnapped Jacobson and is demanding a new set of gear. That certainly complicates things.
Now that everyone is on the same page, Jen and Matt team up to assault Eugene’s hideout (with its completely not conspicuous signage) and save Jacobson. There’s a good hallway battle for Daredevil here that is reminiscent of the Netflix series and Matt definitely has kept his abilities from that show. After taking out roughly five opponents, a whole squad seems to round the corner, and Matt gears up for battle. Just as they run down the hallway, Jen stomps in from the ceiling and utters, “She-Hulk smash.” Cute.
The two proceed to lay the smackdown on everyone in the next room over and free Jacobson from his shackles. Eugene, not willing to accept defeat so readily, jumps out the window and promptly breaks his leg. A fitting end for Leap-Frog. The police soon arrive and all of the henchgoons are taken into custody. Matt slinks away while Jen catches up with him. The two discuss her future plans and with the chemistry overflowing, it’s pretty clear what will come next.
Not wishing to miss this opportunity, Jen brings Matt home and the two get busy. While not the first sex scene of this series (and hardly even a sex scene as you see nothing), it feels very appropriate and sort of caps off this episode with a happy ending -pun intended. The next morning, too, Matt gets to do the walk of shame in his Daredevil outfit as he leaves Jen’s apartment.
But wait! For some odd reason, there are still 10 minutes left in this episode, something Jen points out to the audience. Shouldn’t we be wrapping things up? No, we have to have a penultimate episode twist, so Nikki helps Jen get ready for the gala that night and we’re whisked away.
Things are going pretty smoothly for Jen as she prepares to accept her award for “Best Female Lawyer” at the Southern California Law Awards. While she has to share it with a bunch of other candidates, she’s ecstatic and is thrilled to have her parents there. As she commences to give her speech, the monitor behind her gets hacked by Intelligencia and they start showing off private footage of Jen’s life to aggravate and humiliate her.
In a fit of rage, Jen destroys the monitor and goes a bit haywire on a group of shady figures in the background. As she smashes through the wall to give chase, she’s greeted by armed guards with several guns trained on her. With Nikki yelling at her to calm down and the entire audience believing she’s out of control, things end on a cliffhanger of what’s to come next.
While I didn’t like this episode more than last week’s character-driven one, it seems the writers finally figured out what to do with She-Hulk for her series. It actually is kind of a shame that it comes so late into the season, because I would have liked to see more funny antics with Z-listers and maybe even dig into this Intelligencia thing as a full-season arc.
What really helps this episode is Daredevil’s presence. After being teased for so long, Matt’s arrival in the MCU is a welcomed breath of fresh air for She-Hulk. While he’s not as dark and brooding as the Netflix interpretation, Cox’s performance helps sell his new friendly demeanor well. He and Maslany have great chemistry together and it’s sad that we may not see this pairing again for a while.
With only one more episode left, it appears as if next week’s She-Hulk will need to rush to the finish line on this particular story. If Marvel does renew the show for a second season, I can only hope the writers don’t attempt to serialize the proceedings and go for a more episodic approach. I’m really digging the comedic legal drama stuff.