Saturday, October 8, 2022

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law S01E08: Ribbit and Rip It

© Disney+

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has its first great, if way too short episode.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is called “Ribbit and Rip It” and essentially handles the integration of Matt Murdock/Daredevil nearly seamlessly into this show. The episode starts with a complete trolling of the “twerk” haters by remixing that scene into a few seconds of a precursor, which is fine, I suppose -- I still think it was not very funny and a date joke, but I don’t mind the show trolling the worst parts of the audience.

The episode revolves around a new wannabe superhero calling himself “Leapfrog” but is actually the rich son of one of the evil law firm’s many major rich, terrible clients. His attempt at a cool catchphrase of “Ribbit and Rip It” isn’t so funny at first, but it’s very funny when he uses it later before jumping out a window and seriously injuring himself. Idiots seriously injuring themselves is always funny, as long as they don’t die.

It turns out his suit is allegedly defective, wanting to sue the manufacturer, who is obviously Luke Jacobson, the designer we’ve seen already because who else could it be? His character is really one of those “your mileage may vary” sorts of camp fashion designer types, meaning sometimes he’s funny and sometimes he sounds like what a writer thought a sassy fashion designer would say.

Here the main little courtroom scene is both fun and nonsensical -- Luke says “Your Honor, I’m not a fool” which is hard to imagine going over well, and apparently this hearing is taking place the same week (because the female lawyer gala is mentioned as being later in the week)? That’s extremely, unrealistically fast even for this show, and the whole “dude incriminates himself” has already happened on this show -- but the fun part is everything Matt Murdock does and how Jen quickly changes her perspective as the episode goes on.

© Disney+

At first she’s annoyed by his capable legal tactics against her, but then they have a legit flirtatious moment where he seems to be the first to truly understand both of her sides (which makes sense considering his own secret identity). The episode also contrasts their real chemistry with the cheesy, cliched awfulness of rich jerk Todd who turns off Jen in seconds. The whole Todd thing feels like an obvious villain foreshadowing, but if it isn’t, he’s kinda a pointlessly annoying character, and if it is, it’s too obvious to be a surprise.

But the actual later fight between Daredevil and She-Hulk is pretty fun, even if Jen is certainly causing a lot of property damage (she throws someone’s car!) and only offers to “leave a note” afterward. In fairness comic book movies rarely consider such things, but considering Matt mentions it, it does strike a discordant note.

Happily, the chemistry between the two only escalates, with a pretty heated moment of him “listening” to her accelerated heartbeat. Jen actually breaks the fourth wall a lot in this episode, and I was glad to see it, except for the final meta moments of pondering the final segment twist, which felt a bit too meta, honestly.

The actual hookup between the two made a lot of sense, as did the cute walk of shame moments afterward. The episode also serves to set up a decent cliffhanger for the finale, with She-Hulk being portrayed as a sort of out of control monster, something that she’s been able to avoid since the first episode.

Whether or not they should’ve showed the actual revenge sex footage in the episode is up for debate, but it certainly served to make it quite understandable that Jen would “Hulk out” for the first time since she got the Hulk powers. It’s perhaps not a great sign that the two best episodes of the show had extended cameos (Daredevil and Wong), but this was also the first time that my issues with the episode were ignorable instead of making it all worse.

Still, it was an episode that felt too short, like they all have, which is a classic Disney+ problem -- things are too rushed and there’s way too much coming out at once. No wonder there are concerns about the Phase 4 MCU properties overall. There have been way too many things released. I’m just hoping the finale works better than the show’s been overall.

Get it on Apple TV

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