Synopsis: Storylines from earlier in the season come to a thrilling conclusion as Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) confronts her mother (Vera Farmiga); Clint (Jeremy Renner) atones for his role in Natasha’s death with Yelena (Florence Pugh); and Maya (Alaqua Cox) avenges her father with the terrifying Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio).
Breakdown: Another week, and here I am saying once again that this is the best show Marvel has done on Disney Plus yet. Their other shows have started out with promise but usually miss the target once they reach their end, but Hawkeye… is an absolute bullseye (forgive me).
That’s not to say that the show was perfect; in fact, it was far from it. Most of the time, it struck a nice balance between funny quips and heartfelt moments, but like with every other MCU project, sometimes the calibration is off. This comes to a head specifically with the Tracksuit Mafia, who veers a bit too much into the unbelievable with their incessant ‘bros’ and need to be funny.
In an effort to avoid spoilers, my only other complaint was how one major character was handled in the end, but that is mostly due to my own desires and not to the fact that it wasn’t earned or deserved. I’ll be writing a piece on that in the future, so stay tuned to Boss Rush and our Twitter to see when that piece drops.
Besides those two minor, minor issues, this episode was an extremely satisfying end to an extremely satisfying television show. What an absolute joy it was to see D’Onofrio reprise his role as Wilson Fisk (or did he? More on that soon). Once again, Fisk is nuanced, physically intimidating, and terrifyingly dangerous. Though I knew nothing was going to happen to Kate during their fight towards the end of the episode, I did get a little nervous because it was so brutal and they were so unevenly matched.
At the heart of this series, the show is about Clint dealing with the trauma of his past, and once again this episode delivered on that front. After an excellent fight scene with Yelena, watching the two of them come to terms with the decision that Natasha made in Avengers: Endgame was both incredibly cathartic and heartbreaking. You can see a mutual respect between the two, and one can only hope they will interact more in the future.
Speaking of future interactions, I’d love to see more of Kate and Yelena, who share another great fight scene as well as some more of their excellent chemistry. Surely Marvel will pair these two in other projects, right?
It was also nice to see Maya start to remove herself from a life of organized crime and confront Kingpin for his role in her father’s death. Though the culmination of this storyline ended off screen, there are several options as to where this could go in the already announced Echo series coming in the nearish future to Disney Plus.
Verdict: At the beginning of 2021, Hawkeye was dead last in my list of Marvel projects I was looking forward to this year. Never in a million years did I think it would become the project I loved the most. Well, almost the most. There’s still Spider-Man: No Way Home, and I’m not a crazy person. The show is the first time that Marvel has truly delivered on synergy between its film and television properties, and it did the behemoth task of turning the least interesting Avenger, played by the least interesting actor in the MCU, into the most nuanced, human, and exciting character they have shown yet. That final scene, with Kate joining the Barton’s for their Christmas, works as both an excellent finale for Clint’s journey or the beginning of a new, brighter chapter. And with loose ends, such as the SHEILD watch that belonged to Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini), or Eleanor’s incarceration, or Jack (Tony Dalton) embracing his Swordsman roots, or Maya’s journey now free from the Tracksuit Mafia, there is so much promise for what will come next for these excellent new additions to the MCU. Thank you, Marvel, for an absolutely marvelous 2021. Here’s to an even better 2022.
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.
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