Hawkeye is in full swing and we’re already halfway through, but is there enough time left to wrap up this story?
The opening of this episode was a touching parallel to Kate’s origin seen in the first episode; this time focusing on Maya Lopez and her relationship with her father growing up. It does a great job at endearing us to the character we were left with a villainous perception of in the last episode.
Rather than establishing a bad guy with evil motivations, we instead see Maya as a victim of Clint’s many years in the Ronin mask. An exploration of the repercussions of Clint’s time as the murderous vigilante could serve as an intriguing epilogue to Endgame.
This opening sequence would also seem to give us a look at the big bad of the series that will be a familiar face for some: Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Rumors began to circulate earlier this year that Vincent D’Onofrio would be reprising his role as the Daredevil villain in a redesign that will present something more in line with the comics.
The giant, well-dressed figure who lovingly pinches Maya’s cheek with a chuckle is almost unmistakable as D’Onofri, would seem to confirm the rumors. So far he has only been referred to as “Uncle.” In the comics, Kingpin was a surrogate father to Maya, so it seems the MCU is taking a similar approach. I would say it’s safe to assume he’ll be making more clear appearances in the coming weeks.
The episode also gave an emphasis on Maya and Clint’s hearing loss. It’s led to Maya becoming an excellent fighter and observant tactician, while Clint is yet to adapt and has to cope with his reliance on a hearing aid head-on during the major action sequence. Marvel continues to give more representation of various groups that were in sore need of it, it took them over a decade but it’s good to see it.
Despite the dour opening, this was an incredibly fun episode with some brilliant action sequences that exude comic book wackiness and the fun of the Matt Fraction and David Aja comic run. In an escape from Maya and the Tracksuit Mafia, we get to see Clint in his spy element, swiftly taking out thugs and displaying the expert marksmanship that we all know the character for.
It’s when the car chase begins the action really kicks off and shows a great level of well-thought-out editing, choreography, performances, and special effects. In my last review, I critiqued the action. It hadn’t been bad in the previous episodes but none of it massively stuck out to me as particularly interesting. But once the two Hawkeye’s get their hands on a bow we get to see the show’s action at its best and the abilities of the iconic archers get a spotlight.
The desperate car chase with the mix of trick arrows is ripped straight from the My Life As A Weapon comic and translates wonderfully with some great delivery from Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner playing an overly cautious Clint that makes for some great levity in the scene.
The highlight of the sequence is by far-right at its conclusion when Clint uses a Pym Particle arrow to take out a truck with a giant arrow. Not only is this just the type of stupid comic fun that I love to see in live-action, it’s also a fantastic piece of world and character building. Reminding us that the Avengers are still around and they’re friends, Clint clearly friendly enough with Scott Lang to get a Pym particle arrow specially made. I’d love to see the two interact in a future property.
The episode took a break from the fun for a heartfelt moment between Clint and his son, it put a focus on his hearing loss and how it affects him on a personal level unaided. It also enriched his relationship with Kate, who helps him talk to his kid and is starting to see him in a fatherly role herself.
This episode continued to maintain a wonderful level of levity, heart, and drama that improved on a lot of my minor issues with the first two. With memorable action, touching character development, and our first hint at a classic comics villain, Marvel continues to deliver a consistent level of quality that is yet to fail in Phase 4. Wrap it all up in a street-level but the heartfelt story and we have a wonderful Christmas venture into the Marvel Universe that continues to entertain.