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She Hulk | The penultimate episode is the best of the series so far.




If you haven’t watched all eight episodes of She-Hulk: Defender of Heroes, avoid this article as it contains spoilers.

The penultimate episode of She-Hulk arrived to please even those who didn’t enjoy the show that much. Not just because of Daredevil’s long-awaited presence, but because he truly feels like a live comic. In fact, it works like a wrap-up of the series so far, pulling together the best bits from previous installments and bringing them together in one chapter. From the start, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is keen to emphasize that the show is hers, giving a slight hint to the bags that have spent the past few weeks crying on the internet that Daredevil wasn’t appearing. It seems silly to have to point out that a series called She-Hulk is about She-Hulk, but in the times we live in… It’s always good to reinforce.

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But even so, it is not wrong to say that the Frogman is the big “engine” of this episode. Created in the 60s, Frogman poses as a Daredevil villain, but ends up joining the hero team with him. In the series, he is the son of one of the main clients of the law firm where Jen works, and dreams of being a superhero. And nothing is more dangerous than a rich man with no notion of reality. So he pursues Jen’s posh stylist to make her a working hero outfit based on a frog. The problem is that he doesn’t read the instructions, uses the suit wrongly and ends up hurting himself during an approach. So he calls on Jen to defend him in court in a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

This creates a conflict of interest, as Jen knew and was dependent on the defendant’s services. In court, the case is resolved within minutes, as the frogman has no idea and surrenders. Subsequently, he decides to kidnap the stylist, taking him to the Victoria Regia, his “Bat-Cavern”. And there is a swamp of references. Starting with the episode’s QR Code, which is on the post in front of the “cache”. Inside, we see several references to the “world of frogs”, such as the Frogger video game, its “tadpoles” or the “Signal Frog”, which projects its face into the clouds. He even asks the stylist for a costume related to a British butler. Okay, okay, Jarvis (Paul Bettany) was a virtual butler with a British accent, but with so many Batman references, we can assume the show just decided to poke fun at the DC name anyway. In his final appearance in the chapter, Frog-Man jumps out of a window and falls to the ground entire torso, breaking his legs. The curious thing is that, despite being so rude, it does happen in the comics, where he hires the services of Nelson & Murdock to defend him in a lawsuit against… The maker of his costume. Simply put, his entire arc in this episode is pretty faithful.

What Frogman didn’t expect was that the stylist’s main client he decided to fight with was none other than the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Making his official “super-debut,” as he appeared as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Return Home (2021), Daredevil finds himself with his rival in court, but once he wins the business, he puts on the new suit and chases the helpless across the rooftops of Los Angeles.

It’s really good to see Charlie Cox back in this role, because he’s doing so well, and now he’s able to explore the phases of Daredevil beyond Frank Miller. Some alleged fans cried on the internet, which made Daredevil less dark. But you only need to read a comic of the character that wasn’t written by Frank Miller to know that the show made a fantastic adaptation of Matthew Murdock’s feminist, ambiguous, and even lovable personality. And it also brought him a more “cartoonish” movement, claiming the title of “World’s Greatest Acrobat”. And there is more: the guy arrives, wins the case, wins the heart of the protagonist, shows that what the eyes do not see, maybe the heart feels, there is a night when everything is fine. .. And there are people who want him to make him leave sad? No strings attached.

And of the references Daredevil brings with it, like the Netflix series soundtrack when he reveals himself to Jen and the henchman’s hallway fight sequence, the most important of them still unfolds. in court, where he cites, in defense of his client, that the Treaty of Sokovia has been revoked. For those who don’t remember, this treaty was the main reason for contention in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Faced with the consequences of the heroes’ actions, the government introduced a law that required the heroes to work for world governments, revealing secret identities and operating as “super cops”.

This divides the main Avengers and sends some of them to prison. Of course, they all escaped and played an important role in the battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin). However, the interesting thing about this revocation is to show that Captain America (Chris Evans) was right, and you can imagine the consequences this revocation can bring to this universe. Obviously Marvel isn’t going to explore that, but you can bring in an arc of one of the prisoners, like Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), for example, who was wrongfully imprisoned, treated like a martyr and all. Either way, the important thing is that the treaty is over and “secret identities” are legitimized again in the MCU.

Still focused on Easter Eggs, after spending a “more than satisfying” night with Daredevil, Jen realizes she’s on the penultimate episode of her own series and wonders why the episode isn’t. not finished yet. Suddenly, she leaves the suspicion that the prize for the best lawyer of the year could be a big trap for enemies. So she says she hopes it’s not an ambush with a Red Hulk waiting to hit her and she hopes she doesn’t end up in a fridge overnight. The Red Hulk actually exists in the comics, and it’s General Ross who institutes the Treaty of Sokovia in the MCU. The only problem is that he was played by William Hurt, who died this year. So if he reappears, chances are he’s like the Hulk himself or the actor is recast. The phrase from the fridge is even more interesting. “Woman in the Fridge” is a concept used in the comics to emphasize the machismo of the stories. He happens to designate that female character, usually the love interest of the hero, whose function in the plot is solely to die in order to motivate the protagonist. By saying she hopes she doesn’t end up dead night in a fridge, Jen throws a huge hint at the comic book market.

Oh sure, her best friend Nikki shows up and makes another mention of the X-Men. She takes the makeup brushes and puts them between her fingers, mimicking the classic gesture of Wolverine, who will make his MCU debut, again played by Hugh Jackman, in Deadpool 3.

Finally, I will end this text by talking about the main attraction of the episode: Jennifer Walters. For all the pomp and iconic cameos, the episode gets right to who its protagonist is. After going through the trauma of “ghosting” the boy she had opened up to, Jen takes the concepts she learned in “abominable therapy” seriously and begins to value herself more.

She feels an attraction to Matthew Murdock, not only physically, but intellectually. And she manages to work up the courage to talk to him about personal issues, all the more so after discovering that he too is a superhero. They fight, flirt and sleep together, showing that she was ready to overcome the trauma of the later episodes. However, at the end of the chapter, while she is at the prizes, the Intelligence decides to humiliate her, trying to make her look like a “bitch” just to have relations with men. At this point, the episode itself provides contrast in how the characters are treated for having sex. After the night with Jen, Matt walks whistling down the street, and no one looks badly at him for that. Jen, on the other hand, after having sex with a man, is exposed and cursed in public in a moment that should be very happy for her. It’s societal machismo open in the series and not in a subtle way, thankfully.

Another manifestation of machismo in this final sequence is that Jen finds herself exposed, the victim of at least two crimes by someone she thought was good for her, and loses control. But after all, who wouldn’t panic at the thought of seeing a sex tape exhibited in front of leading professionals in their field and their own family? But, because it is about a woman, having this epidemic – more than justified – has a greater weight. Step into the “uncontrolled hysterical woman” stereotype, even though Jen has more control over her “Hulk” status than her cousin, Bruce. Surely, this epidemic and the devastating consequences it has on a woman’s career will guide the last episode of this season.

The final episode of She-Hulk: Defender of Heroes airs next Thursday (13), only on Disney+.

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