She-Hulk: Ribbit and Rip It

This time I get to do more than catch a brick.

After a lot of teasing and hints, we finally get the guest star a lot of us have been waiting for. She-Hulk’s “Ribbit and Rip It,” is the first live action appearance of Leapfrog, but no, that’s not what got so many of us excited. Matt Murdock is in this episode, and so is his costumed alter ego, Daredevil. It’s his first big appearance in the MCU, as Spider-Man: No Way Home was just a cameo. Since he and Jen are the two lawyers connected to superheroes the most in Marvel Comics, it was inevitable they’d meet eventually. Especially if the show-runners listen to the fans.

The show opens with the MCU debut of a D-list character, which She-Hulk has been good at introducing. Leapfrog shows up, attacks some guys who are robbing a store, and makes an idiot of himself. Then, we see this has been a flashback and Leapfrog is now in Jen’s office, trying to sue the maker of his suit. This, in turn, introduces several complications on its own.

Leapfrog is a very minor villain from Marvel Comics. Interestingly, given the episode, he most often clashes with Daredevil. He was never a serious threat, and has been reported dead at least once, but then, nobody dies forever in comics, and that goes double for mutants and villains. Leapfrog has a son who has been about as effective a hero as his father was a villain under the name Frog-Man. No, really.

Jen, pushed into a case she doesn’t want by her boss, tries for an out of court settlement. This doesn’t work, and has some consequences for her. With no other option, we proceed to trial, and, of course, opposing counsel is Matt Murdock. There’s some interesting sparring that comes down to legal maneuvering and a debate about heroes with secret identities, and then Leapfrog manages to show he’s an even bigger idiot than it seemed at first, and that says something. Jen doesn’t win this one, and later ends up running across Matt in a bar. They flirt and banter, but then he gets called away for a work emergency. Jen, with nothing else to do, ends up meeting with rich, obnoxious Todd. Todd, after some seemingly pointless boasting, has acquired something from Wakanda, and they want it back. Todd takes things in very much the wrong direction and She-Hulk ends the meeting, stalking off and telling him she’s billing for a whole hour, which is about right for an LA attorney.

Not happy about the way her evening has gone, Jen goes home and flops on the couch. Of course, if she was just going to chill out for the night, it wouldn’t be much of an episode, but we’re saved from that when she gets a desperate call from Leapfrog, saying he’s under attack. After getting a few facts straight, Jen pauses, and we finally see her super-suit before she charges off to the rescue.

It turns out Leapfrog really is under attack, as we see when She-Hulk arrives to find Daredevil (not that she knows who he is) clinging to the roof of Leapfrog’s car. While we saw Matt in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and he was clearly more than just a lawyer, this is the first time we get to see Daredevil in the MCU. We even get a musical sting of the Netflix Daredevil theme when he says his name. What follows is a fight that mostly shows brute strength and enthusiasm versus skill and experience. She-Hulk eventually wins (hey, it’s her show) and learns both Matt’s secret and why he was after Leapfrog. Let’s just say that Jen’s not necessarily on the right side of this one.

Now that the hero vs. hero over a misunderstanding trope has been attended to, we get to the obligatory team up. They have very different styles, and it’s fun watching them argue/banter/flirt before the big fight starts in earnest. There’s a nod to the classic Daredevil hallway fight scene, but shorter and funnier, as our heroes close in on the villain and the hostage. With minimal effort, the good guys win, the bad guy more or less beats himself, and the hostage is saved, with Our Hero getting a reward. Later, she rewards herself when she brings Matt home for the night.

The episode could end there, and we get more breaking the fourth wall commentary to that effect. Instead, Matt does an amusing walk home, Nikki shows up, and we’re on to a big event that was touched on earlier. She-Hulk attends with her parents and Nikki, and the night turns a bit weird with what almost feels like a beauty pageant until Mallory speaks her truth and quashes that vibe.

Then things take a turn. The weird group Intelligencia we’ve been hearing about makes their move. They hack the big video screen at the event, and start sharing things their operative Josh (Remember him? We liked him at first) stole from Jen’s phone. Then we see just how far the honey trap situation went, and that Josh is willing to go to great lengths (or sink to great depths) for his cause. She-Hulk loses her temper, trashes the equipment, and then does a lot more property damage (she’s big on that this episode) trying to catch one of Intelligencia’s agents. This was definitely a setup, as there are Damage Control agents on hand suddenly, and She-Hulk ends the episode embarrassed, enraged, and about to be arrested as far as we can tell. It’s a hell of a turn, and while I loathe groups like Intelligencia, I will say they executed a decent plan here.

What I Liked: I loved the Netflix Defender shows (yeah, I’m that one guy who liked Iron Fist, even though it had issues) so I’m thrilled to see more of Charlie Cox as both Matt and Daredevil. I continue to enjoy the humor they use in this series. The fight scenes were well done, and the conspiracy against She-Hulk was clearly well-planned. Tatiana Maslany gives us a great performance as Jen deals with the chaos that is her life, and the nod to Wakanda was a nice touch. The end drawing/credits were, as usual, fun to watch. Jen not knowing who Daredevil is makes perfect sense and makes for a moment that’s both funny and cool.

What I Didn’t: I wasn’t hugely impressed by She-Hulk’s costume, but then she’s rarely had a definitive look in the comics. I might have liked her Fantastic Four uniform the best, but that also might have had to do with John Byrne’s art. I really do feel bad for her during that final sequence.

I enjoyed this a lot. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5. The season finale awaits, and so far, I believe of all the Disney+ series, only Loki and What If…? have a confirmed second season. There are rumors about both Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, but those have not been confirmed. We’ll have to see what the future holds for She-Hulk and company after the finale.


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