Marvel’s Hawkeye 1.05 “Ronin” Episode Review

Synopsis: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) tries to understand what makes Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) trust and admire Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) so much; Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) looks into Jack’s (Tony Dalton) association with the Tracksuit Mafia; and Clint confronts the sins and mistakes of his past.

Breakdown: I started last week’s episode review by saying “It is official: Hawkeye is the best MCU show on Disney+ yet. Hands down.” I have never been more happy to continue to be right, especially when I had such low expectations to begin with in the first place. This show is absolutely the MCU’s best offering on the small screen, and may even rival some of the best of the up-until-now non-cannon MCU TV shows on Netflix. More on that in a minute.

Though Pugh’s debut on this show was at the tail end of last week’s episode, this episode is the one where we get to spend the most time with her, and she absolutely crushes it. She is funny, intimidating, disarming, tragic–all rolled up into one amazing package. I love it when shows go back to events we have seen before and shed some new light on the situation, especially when the moment we are seeing is right before Thanos snapped half of the universe out of existence. It was done on WandaVision earlier this year and was executed even better in this episode, as I really didn’t expect it to happen right then.

Side note–I need the MCU to spend more time exploring the very real and dramatic ramifications of people disappearing for five years. I would love to see a show or a movie dedicated to this. I’m thinking Lost or Manifest; nothing featuring people with super powers, just a show about regular people coping with losing loved ones for five years and then them reappearing just as suddenly.

Pugh’s chemistry and interactions with Kate were fantastic; working to show the promise of these new, post-OG Avengers lineup working and interacting together. However, as exciting as Pugh’s return was, this episode really worked as a sequel/epilogue to this year’s Black Widow solo flick. I am really enjoying that they are giving more of a spotlight to Natasha’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame and how that impacted Clint in the years sense. His conversation with her at the memorial for the Battle for New York was extremely emotional and very well done.

And, once again, the interconnectivity with the movie world is on full display in this episode, which aired the day before Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters. We get two mentions of things that will be explored in that movie: the first when Yelena mentions wanting to see the newly redesigned Statue of Liberty, which we know from trailers has been updated in honor of Captain America in the next Spider-Man film. The second gets into spoilers and rumors, so be warned now (although if you haven’t seen this episode yet… why are you reading a review of it?!).

At the very end of the episode, we finally find out who Uncle is and then get double confirmation when the credits roll. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Kingpin/Wilson Fisk from the excellent Daredevil series that ran on Netflix for three seasons. This is a massive deal, because it is the first time someone from the Netflix corner of the MCU has interacted with other characters from the mainline MCU. Is this the same exact version of the character? Or is it a variant from another universe? I guess time will tell, but this is very exciting. And with the rumored appearance of a certain blind vigilante showing up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it is an exciting time to be a fan of the Netflix series.

Verdict: The story lines are all tying together very nicely as we head into next week’s season (or series?) finale. And everything is connecting together so well. There are still some questions to be answered, such as how does Countess Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) fit into all of this considering that Yelena said it was Eleanor that hired her to kill Clint even though we saw Valentina hire Yelena during the mid-credits scene in Black Widow? Also, is Jack a bad guy? Or is he just being set up by Eleanor, who seems to be working for or with Kingpin? Was Kazi (Fra Fee) partly responsible for Maya’s (Alaqua Cox) father’s death? All will be revealed when Hawkeye‘s final episode airs next week.

Mark Pereira is a senior writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward SwordSuper 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: David Raudales Blog

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