“Ribbit and Rip It” also does a great job of conveying what makes Matt Murdock such a great character without leaning too hard into “and that’s what you missed on Daredevil” exposition, offering viewers unfamiliar with the world of Hell’s Kitchen a quick guide to who he is, how his powers work, and the extent of his lawyering ability. Jen finds herself equally matched in the courtroom—not to mention, Matt’s right about disclosing Luke’s client list even if part of his motive for suppressing it is that he himself is on it—and in the superhero realm when she ends up facing off with Daredevil in a fight after incorrectly assuming the horned vigilante was attacking Eugene. (Not realizing that her former client had in fact kidnapped her former tailor. Superhero life is messy, is what I’m saying.)
It’s a satisfying fight scene, showing off the best of both characters’ abilities and giving us some great banter in the meantime. Cox has delightful chemistry with Tatiana Maslany and their flirty vibes are something I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future. (Even if I am more of a Matt/Elektra shipper.) This is really the first time we’ve gotten to see Jen paired romantically with someone who feels like a potentially equal partner, both in terms of their intelligence and superhero ability, and it’s a breath of fresh air.
Though the episode’s Matt and Jen fun hookup would have been enough to make “Ribbit and Rip It” a great half-hour in its own right—that shot of Matt’s walk of shame in the Daredevil suit is instantly iconic—that’s also not the end of this week’s story. As Matt heads back to Hell’s Kitchen, Jen, freshly reconciled with Luke and in possession of a new dress, heads to the gala for the Female Lawyer of the Year awards, where Intelligencia hacks the presentation to share all the damaging information they stole from Jen’s phone.
And when Jen’s Hulk rage finally asserts itself, well—I don’t think it’s possible to argue she doesn’t have just cause. I mean, her parents are watching the most intimate details of her personal life, including what is essentially a sex tape recorded without her consent, played on a Jumbotron in front of them, with no aim beyond what appears to be simple public humiliation. Get mad, girl. Granted, Jen is a hulk, so her unfettered rage has a higher property damage price tag than most women in similar situations, but there’s something worth poking at here about how uncomfortable an angry woman makes people and how quickly they are willing to turn on that same woman when she doesn’t express that anger in a way that they approve of.
There’s a sense that much of the public is okay with She-Hulk simply because she is a woman, and therefore explicitly not allowed to be angry in the way that her cousin Bruce might be. The squad of security guys with very large guns who appear out of nowhere to point them at Jen rather than the obviously masked goons who literally committed a crime and are busy escaping was…revealing, at least. Has she ever publicly presented herself as any kind of threat? Were people just waiting for her to become dangerous?