She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Episode 8 – Ribbit and Rip It (Review) – Truth Or Daredevil

DIRECTOR: Kat Coiro

CAST: Tatiana Maslany, Ginger Gonzaga, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Charlie Cox, Griffin Matthews, Brandon Stanley, Jon Bass

RUNNING TIME: 36 mins

PREVIOUSLY, ON SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW: Jennifer Walters (Maslany) has been attempting to find a balance between her life as a lawyer for GDK&H representing superhuman clients, for which she has been nominated for a Female Lawyer of the Year award, and her new existence as a Hulk, which has brought her extreme scrutiny from a mysterious, woman-hating website known as Intelligencia, who have gone so far as to clone her phone contents after sleeping with her.

IN THIS EPISODE: Jennifer represents a new client in court, which sees her go up against a new rival lawyer: Matt Murdock (Cox)…

NOW FOR THE REVIEW…

At last, Daredevil is back. Sure, he already made his MCU debut with a brief cameo to help Peter Parker out in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but this time it’s official: Charlie Cox’s blind lawyer turned vigilante Matt Murdock has made the firm transition from Netflix to Disney+, in – of all things – the eighth and penultimate episode of someone else’s show. However, it’s not just the much-anticipated return of this character that elevates this week’s entry into She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (although it certainly does help), for it contains some of the most fun action, funniest moments, and even the furthest plot development of this show so far.

The episode – titled Ribbit and Rip It – starts off as a decent enough standalone; Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is approached to represent Eugene Patilio (Brandon Stanley), the son of a wealthy client at her law firm, in court as he attempts to sue superhero fashion designer Luke Jacobson (Griffin Matthews). Apparently, Eugene has been going around fighting crime dressed as a frog (hence the title, named after his lame catchphrase) but an apparent design flaw in the costume has left Walters’ new client fuming. Unfortunately for her, Jacobson has an ace up his meticulously designed sleeve: Cox’s Murdock, all the way in from New York, practically decimates the case within minutes, leaving Jennifer embarrassed by her client’s stupidity. Later, though, Jennifer and Matt’s paths cross more than once, including as their superhero personas when they investigate the fallout of Eugene’s case.

Undoubtedly, the main attraction of this episode is Charlie Cox, who easily slips back into the role with ease, but also with a noticeably greater penchant for sass and MCU-style quips. That might take some getting used to for those who only know the character from his far darker and bloodier Netflix series, but the humorous lines that he is given aren’t overly wacky or tonally disruptive, like certain other characters who have popped up over the course of this show. It does still feel like the same character, only slightly rewritten to fit the more comedic tone of the series, and Cox seems to have no problem presenting a lighter side to Matt Murdock as he swaps some fun barbs with Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer, generating some strong chemistry between the two actors in the process. Even if this is Cox’s only appearance in the show (though maybe don’t rule out him showing in next week’s finale just yet), it’s a welcome reintroduction that gives viewers just what they want, including a new red-and-yellow costume that is apparently more comics-accurate than the traditional all-red suit, but still might prove divisive right up until Daredevil’s own in-development Disney+ series in 2024.

Beyond Matt Murdock’s return, though, Ribbit and Rip It is another pretty engaging episode that, like last week’s surprisingly character-heavy entry, offers plenty of juicy new details that set up what could be a pretty full-on conclusion next week. There are more encounters with male creeps like Jon Bass’ loathsome Todd who give Jennifer more than enough reason to give into her Hulk-ish instincts (and with Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky/Abomination seemingly in the clear, the smart bet would be on this guy to be behind the whole Intelligencia movement), leading up to a cliffhanger that is just devastatingly cruel for the character, and really just makes you want her to tear these villains apart. On the lighter side, the comedy is finally starting to work; there are sight gags, line deliveries, and overall comedic timing that generate more laughs than most of the other episodes, particularly with this hilariously naff would-be superhero who’s essentially Batman, but if Marvel decided to troll the hell out of Batman fans by making him dress up as a frog instead of a bat. There’s also a shot of Murdock towards the end of the episode which is pretty funny, but again there’s still plenty of dignity left with this character to not feel like his entire existence is betrayed.

If the show had this much drive and energy earlier on, instead of mostly meandering from episode to episode without much direction in the plot or its characters, then it’s possible that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law might not have been dunked on so hard by some viewers. It hasn’t been a terrible show overall, but it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to tighten itself up – and who knows, with one episode left, next week might finally be when it all comes together.

SO, TO SUM UP…

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Episode 8 – Ribbit and Rip It is a strong penultimate episode that benefits greatly from the anticipated reintroduction of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil, which is certainly lighter than previous incarnations but never feels like a completely different character, but also sets the stage for a compelling finale with some devastating new developments.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Episodes 1-8 are now available on Disney+. Episode 9 will be available next week.

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