REVIEW: ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Episode 8

Given the fact that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has received rather positive reviews each week, it feels somewhat monotonous to call “Ribbit and Rip It” the best episode of the series—but it cannot be avoided. Of course, the character ensemble in Episode 8 seems instantly iconic, but the episode hit every beat it could: lawyer, superhero, Daredevil, sexy hilarious, and dark. This episode can only be thoroughly enjoyed and yet it still ends on the heaviest and most cliff-hanging note of the series.

All eyes are on Charlie Cox’s return as Daredevil in the character’s first MCU appearance. While this is She-Hulk’s show—as we are reminded—anyone who tries to suggest that he was not the highlight of the episode is lying. Predictably, Jennifer Walters and Matt Murdock meet in court on opposing sides before meeting as superheroes. Cox truly embodies the role, and his love for the character and the return is incredibly palpable. Quite honestly, he came across as substantially more charismatic than the character has previously been—and that is a high compliment. Daredevil is lighter than fans of only the Daredevil Netflix show may be used to, but being funny as hell does not take away from the rest of the character which was on full display. Those that will continue to scream into the void about She-Hulk ruining Daredevil are on another planet.

While Murdock was the biggest player, Episode 8 highlights that She-Hulk works best when the titular character has a colorful cast to play around with. Leapfrog and Jacobson held their own in such a high-profile episode, and the ultimate result of all the moving pieces was sublimely paced, extremely funny, and it felt like a much bigger and more exciting show than it had been until now. Obviously, She-Hulk as a bona fide superhero is new and played a major role in that. The chemistry between Jen and Matt—presumably aided by the chemistry between Tatiana Maslany and Cox—created the best pairing of characters in a series riddled with great character interactions.

Despite being an overwhelmingly fun episode, the penultimate episode landed on a dark note with haste to lead into the finale. She-Hulk has not been shy about weaving in themes and jokes surrounding misogyny, but it felt like the darker elements that existed within the show truly hit in full force all at once. It is not easy to compete with Daredevil in an episode, but the ending managed to put up an impressive fight in that regard. Not only did Jen have her entire private life broadcast to everyone during what was perhaps the greatest moment of her career, but it came in the form of sexual shame and revenge porn—activities that tend to almost exclusively attack and cause extreme harm to women. The word “slut” is not uncommon in reality, but even in the context of She-Hulk it landed with a thud. The dark brilliance of the sequence is that She-Hulk, who is ordinarily invincible, can be a vulnerable target to destroy because she is a woman and there are dedicated ways for someone to pursue that without any kind of confrontation. We see Jen lose control of her anger—finally calling back to the first episode—becoming an enemy and a monster regardless of how justified and ordinary that level of anger would be in that situation.

At the end of the day, Episode 8 managed to do everything She-Hulk can seemingly tackle and pull off in just one episode. Daredevil’s introduction to the MCU was beautiful, and this episode does quite a lot for the character going forward. Even though the penultimate episode was almost certainly the most entertaining and witty episode of the entire series (and it is hard to see how the finale can top it), it also ended on the darkest and most emotional beat yet. Before the last few minutes, the fact that the finale was right around the corner felt rather empty. There is still a very minimal underlying HulkKing plot, but for the first time, it actually feels important to She-Hulk. It may very likely go on to set up other Hulk-related MCU projects in the future, but the damage inflicted to the main character from it is now the driving force of the remainder of the series. The finale is still a mysterious concept given the format of the show, but Episode 8 finally begins to truly define the hero She-Hulk will be in the MCU.

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