Verdict: Storylines collide as Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) continue to work together to get to the bottom of the mysteries behind Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) and the motivations behind the Tracksuit Mafia’s obsession with the Ronin in this quieter episode of Hawkeye.
Breakdown: It is official: Hawkeye is the best MCU show on Disney+ yet. Hands down. This episode delivers almost everything a great superhero show needs to deliver and is a true case study for why splitting narratives between major blockbusters and smaller-scale TV shows and developing true synergy between the two is such a smart strategy for the MCU.
It is always risky for a show to take a bit of a pause and focus on quieter character-driven moments, especially when there are only a total of six episodes to tell the story they are trying to tell. The main purpose of this episode was to really cement the bond between Clint and Kate, and the scenes with them celebrating Christmas and trying to come up with a plan to get the Tracksuit Mafia off of their backs were pitch perfect. The chemistry between the two is undeniable and is the best part of the series, and it is incredibly smart of the writers to spend so much time organically developing and showcasing it.
I also really enjoyed how much time is being spent on Clint grieving the loss of his best friend, Natasha Romanoff. A lot of fans were upset with how her death was handled in Avengers: Endgame, complaining that her sacrifice was barely mentioned and not given the weight it deserved, yet Tony Stark got a full funeral scene. Personally, I didn’t take issue with how it was handled and think that it would have weighed down an already over-full and emotional film if they added more in, but I understand where they are coming from. I would even argue that focusing on the fall-out from her sacrifice in this series allows more time to be spent on Natasha than would have been allowed on film.
I’m unsure of what to think about Jack and Elanor (Vera Farmiga). Are they bad guys? Are they red herrings? What roles do they have to play in the greater story? Who did Elanor call after talking with Hawkeye in her apartment? Obviously, these questions will be answered over the next two weeks, but I’m curious as to where it all will eventually go. This episode did a good job of making me care about the Bishop family drama a bit more, and it was nice to see Kate start to develop somewhat of a soft-spot for Jack and Elanor’s relationship.
I’d be remiss to not mention the cameo at the end of the episode. While not the cameo I’ve been hoping for (GIVE US KINGPIN ALREADY!), it was an exciting reveal none-the-less to see that Yelena (Florence Pugh) has shown up to make Clint pay for killing her sister. This plot line, while only just beginning, is a perfect example of the now two-way street between the TV shows and movies in the MCU. Hopefully her storyline won’t just be a speedbump on the road to the finale and will actually tie into the larger story at play in the show.
Also, this episode did a great job of redeeming the worst episode of the season by giving the LARPers something to do and actually making their story integral to the plot. I’m loving the story of Kate trying to turn Hawkeye into a true superhero with a team of regular civilians to help him get things done.
Verdict: Hawkeye is a fantastic show. It is funny (but not overly quippy annoying funny like some MCU projects can tend to be), heartwarming, action packed, and emotionally heavy at times. It effortlessly navigates the road between the smaller-scale TV story it is trying to tell while still dealing with the major plot lines established in the big-budget blockbuster films. It is the perfect marriage between cinema and television and is just a true joy to watch. Hopefully it can stick the landing over the next two weeks.
Mark Pereira is a senior writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward Sword, Super Mario 3D World and Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can find him on Twitter where he’s usually talking about Nintendo, video games, movies, and TV shows.
Featured image source: Gadgets 360