"The Incredible Hulk" The Harder They Fall (TV Episode 1981) Poster

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Paralytic Hulk
Martin III30 November 2017
After an offbeat two-parter like "The First", you might expect a back-to-basics, formulaic episode. Nope. This episode opens with a car accident which leaves David paralyzed, a condition his doctor believes he will never recover from. David lapses into self-pity, and a wheelchair-bound counselor named Paul strives to bring him out. Cue lots of quiet scenes with David coming to grips with his new condition.

Sound boring? I thought it did, but a heartfelt script and presentation elevates this seemingly clich├ęd tale of learning to live with a handicap to a new level. Nor did writer Nancy Faulkner (sadly, this is her only "Hulk" script) forget about the Hulk, as proved in a no-dialogue scene which, through a combination of flashbacks and Bill Bixby's evocative acting, poignantly conveys Banner's temptation to turn into the Hulk and thus cure his legs, as well as his reason for resisting. For all the advantages being the Hulk has shown, this is the first scene in the series where David considers transforming on purpose. It's worth the wait.

Inevitably, though, Banner does become the Hulk again, and the Hulk's childlike frustration at being crippled surely ranks as one of Lou Ferrigno's best performances. Things get more interesting as Paul proves to be not so enlightened and adjusted to his paralysis as he led David - and himself - to believe. It's a thought-provoking twist which is played well, save for the climax, which stretches credibility a little to provide an excuse for some Hulk action.

Still, they had to find some way for the Hulk to kick some butt, and in any case one misstep does not take away from this episode's moving depiction of the inherent vulnerability of all human beings, even big heroes like David and Paul.
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Response to JoeG29
mikemic7311010 January 2015
This is not really a review, but more of a response to the previous reviewer, JoeG29. His "review" comes off to me as more or less racist, republican propaganda and a pointless attack against liberals with no basis whatsoever. If the republicans weren't out there cutting taxes and at the same time making rich people richer while lower to middle class people continue to struggle, then Hollywood wouldn't make this "low class propaganda" for "liberal scum".

As far as "unemployable blacks" being the reason that most government jobs exist, what the **** do you mean by that? If it wasn't for racist bigots holding down blacks in the private sector, then there wouldn't be a need for blacks to seek aid from the government. Your mindset and singling out of black people by saying that they are "unemployable" just reeks of racial stereotyping because of the belief that blacks are lazy and don't want to work. It has been proved that a white person with a criminal record is more than likely to get hired for job than a black person with no record and ultimately more qualified. People like you are the reason why there is more government spending, not the liberal "scum". Other than that, this was a great episode of The Incredible Hulk with great acting by Bill Bixby.
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The Paralyzed
AaronCapenBanner22 November 2014
David Banner(Bill Bixby) suffers a serious back injury after he is hit by a car while waiting at a bus stop. Waking up in hospital to find himself paralyzed, David goes through a depressing ordeal of grief and acceptance over his new condition. On the verge of giving up, David is helped by a fellow paraplegic named Paul(played by Denny Miller) who urges him to keep fighting. David then remembers his conversation with Elaina Marks(from the pilot episode) about how the Hulk will cure all injuries, though this time it will take at least two transformations, as David must help his new friend avoid making a terrible mistake with the law... Effective episode with a thoughtful story and fine performance by Bixby, though your heart really goes out to him once again(the poor man!)
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A Very Good Episode If You Can Overlook The Liberal Bias
JoeG2918 February 2013
A very good episode dealing with spinal injuries. However, the liberal writers couldn't help themselves from using this show to bash the Reagan tax cuts. The main plot line is about a wheel chair bound man waiting for a government loan. He gets a rejection letter claiming he's been turned down because of the new federal tax cuts. What low class propaganda. Just one more way the liberal scum in Hollywood condition gullible Americans to believe that no cuts in government spending are possible without taking food from orphans and crippled people. About half of all Federal government jobs are redundant or useless. Many government jobs exist just to keep otherwise unemployable blacks employed.
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One of the best episodes
Bjorn (ODDBear)27 July 2008
David is paralyzed after an accident. Being told that he will most likely never walk again, David goes through much turmoil in accepting his condition. He is partially convinced that if he turns into the creature he might be able to cure his condition but his fear of hurting those around him prevent him from deliberately trying to change.

One of the stronger entries in "The Incredible Hulk" series. Bill Bixby's always good as the cursed David Banner but here he's just perfect in displaying a wide range of emotions as David tries to accept his condition. Showing strong support is Denny Miller (who previously appeared in a Season 2 episode called "Killer Instinct" as a different character), a fellow paraplegic who helps David deal with his problem.

The Fourth Season of "The Incredible Hulk" is a mixed bag. It has some of the best episodes ("Prometheus", "The First", "Dark Side", "Interview With The Hulk") but also some fairly weak ones. It's apparent that in some respects the series overstayed it's welcome but it had far too many good moments to be killed off in the way it was. "The Harder They Fall" is a prime example of the series at it's best; displaying strong acting, a good storyline and human characters who face some tough times.
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