Previously on Hawkeye: After rescuing Kate from the Tracksuit Mafia, Clint demands to know where she got the Ronin suit from, and whether anyone knows her true identity. After the suit goes missing due to another encounter with the Tracksuit Mafia that results in Kate’s apartment being severely damaged by Molotov cocktails, Clint needs to find out who took it and why. Meanwhile, Kate is still trying to discover the truth about Jack, since she doesn’t trust him and thinks he has something to hide.
THE STORY SO FAR: Clint and Kate are held captive by the Tracksuit Mafia and their leader, Maya Lopez, a.k.a. Echo, who demands to know what their involvement is with the Ronin and with the Ronin suit. The two of them manage to escape, and unleash plenty of mass destruction while doing so, before figuring out what their next move is going to be.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: The flashback sequence that shows us who Maya Lopez is, her relationship with her father, William (who was a high-ranking member of the Tracksuit Mafia), and how she refused to let being deaf and an amputee stop her from excelling in academics and in knowing how to whoop someone’s ass. Maya witnessing William and several other Tracksuits being killed by Ronin. Clint and Kate being tortured and humiliated by the Tracksuit Mafia by … being tied up on coin-operated horse rides meant for children that they keep operational for hours by putting in more and more quarters. Kate conversing with Tomas about his relationship problems and giving him advice on how he and his girlfriend need to apologize to one another so they can be back on good terms (All of which is so much better and funnier thanks to the expressions on Kate’s face during their conversation, which vary from “Is this really happening right now? Am I really listening to this guy who has me held at gunpoint talking about his girlfriend and Imagine Dragons tickets?” to “You and your girlfriend are being silly, and this is how you need to make the right.”) Clint attempting to communicate with Maya despite his limited knowledge of American Sign Language, and explain to her that Ronin is actually dead because of Black Widow. (Which is somewhat accurate, as Clint stopped being Ronin when Natasha tracked him down and explained that his help was needed to reverse The Snap and bring back his family) The entire fight/escape scene with Clint and Kate vs. Maya and the Tracksuit Mafia, in which we get to see just how dangerous Maya is when it comes to her fighting skills, and Clint using his archery skills to remind all of us viewers at home why he’s an Avenger and why he’s not to be underestimated. The car chase that follows, which begins in a single take with Clint and Kate driving away from their captors at full speed, and is very reminiscent of the car chase from Children Of Men. Kate finding out that Clint was lying in the previous episode about not using or having trick arrows, due to the fact that she must use his trick arrows to keep Maya and the Tracksuits at bay. The Pym arrow, and seeing what it does when Clint uses it to hit the arrow that he tells Kate to fire. Kate: “A USB arrow? What am I supposed to do with this? God, I hope he’s got a dongle arrow to make this thing useful.” Kate helping Clint talk to Nathaniel on the phone after his hearing aid is damaged. The conversation between Clint and Kate in the coffee shop about branding, and Clint making it clear that he’s not a role model for anyone to look up to, least of all her, most of which is shot in close-up and makes it feel as if it’s being filmed by directors/masters of the close-up shot Barry Jenkins and the late, great Jonathan Demme.
I will say that when I watched the opening flashback sequence and got to the part where we find out that Clint/Ronin killed William, my first thought was, “Yeah, everyone who already thinks that Hawkeye is a racist who only kills people of color are going to hate this.”
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: My only minor complaint: It would’ve been cool to see more of how Maya’s photographic reflexes work. For example, we get to see in the comics that her knowledge and mastery of Jeet Kune Do comes from watching Bruce Lee movies. But I also wouldn’t be shocked if Disney and Marvel wanted to avoid appearing as if they were repeating themselves after Black Widow and how Taskmaster’s abilities were shown in that film. We’ll most likely have more time to become familiar with her and her abilities when her upcoming spin-off airs on Disney Plus.
DO ANY OF THE AVENGERS APPEAR IN THIS EPISODE?: No.
LUCKY THE PIZZA DOG?: Yes, as he is taken out for a long walk (the good kind of long walk, not the Stephen King kind) by Clint and Kate after being cooped up indoors all day.
YELENA BELOVA?: No.
KINGPIN?: ………… I’ll get to that in a minute.
THE BARTON FAMILY?: No, but we get to hear Clint converse with Nathaniel on the phone, with some written assistance from Kate due to his hearing aid being damaged by Maya.
EXACTLY HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SEND YOUR CHILD TO ATTEND A SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF?: That depends on the school and its location. For some, tuition is free, and if not free, it can be affordable. For others, it can be high enough to make most parents want to start working in organized crime in order to afford it. According to this New York Times article from 2011, providing education to deaf children is not cheap, and in California, it can cost up to $87,000 per year for a student at one of their schools for the deaf. And just from looking at this link, the tuition to attend schools for the deaf has not gotten any cheaper since then.
ANY EASTER EGGS WE SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?: Maya asking her father if dragons are real and what would happen if they were to leave their world and arrive in our world. And if you watched
Shang-Chi’s Fine-Ass Daddy And Those Ten Bracelets Looking Good On His Forearms Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, it showed us that dragons most definitely exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that they’re nothing to scoff at. The bloody handprint that William leaves on Maya’s face right before he dies also comes from the comics, and becomes a symbol that Maya wears on her face as part of her costume when going into battle as Echo. The 1972 Dodge Challenger that Clint purchased and used in a car chase with the Tracksuit Mafia in the Matt Fraction/David Aja run of Hawkeye making an appearance in this episode as Clint and Kate are looking for a getaway vehicle, and which Clint refuses to steal or damage in any way. (Which also brings to mind Vincent Vega’s philosophy when it comes to cars: “What’s more chickensh-t than f-cking with a man’s automobile? I mean, don’t f-ck with another man’s vehicle. It’s against the rules.”) The Pym arrow, which is not only a reference to Dr. Hank Pym, a.k.a. Ant-Man (Original Flavor), but also to Captain America: Civil War, during the airport battle when Ant-Man (the Scott Reed version) and Hawkeye did their own version of the Fastball Special, with Hawkeye shooting an exploding arrow at Iron Man (an exploding arrow that Ant-Man is holding on to), and Ant-Man using that arrow as a distraction to infiltrate the armor and dismantle it from the inside. Kate referring to Kazi as the “hot one” while talking to Clint about Maya and the rest of the Tracksuits is a reference to the comic-book series when she and Kazi briefly dated before her realization that all of his charm was concealing the fact that he was actually a merciless psychopath. Kate drawing a sketch to show her idea of a new suit that Clint should wear to solve his ‘branding’ problem, which of course looks exactly like Hawkeye’s costume that he wears in the comics. (A costume that Clint makes very clear that he would never actually wear) Jack ambushing Clint with the Ronin sword, which is once again touching upon the character’s comic-book roots as The Swordsman. Whether he and Clint turn out to have any personal history together like their comic-book counterparts is something that we’ll have to wait until next Wednesday to find out.
And artist David Aja was kind enough to recently share Hawkeye’s arsenal of trick arrows on his Twitter page.
This page by the great Elliot R. Brown inspired Matt and I for doing Hawkeye #3. Issue is dedicated to Elliot (as seen in credits). I sent him issue, he loved it and we were chatting around for days, what a great talented guy.— David Aja (@davaja) December 1, 2021
(And nope, I have not seen series yet, I will) pic.twitter.com/veXIJ2uRQc
ANY FAN THEORIES SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE ACROSS THE INTERNET BECAUSE OF THIS EPISODE?: The biggest theory that has had people talking since this episode aired is due to the flashback sequence in which we see Maya preparing for a sparring match with another student (sadly, this sparring match does not take place in the Cobra Kai dojo with Johnny calling the shots), and William giving her some helpful advice on how to win before he leaves to go link up with the rest of the Tracksuit Mafia. He then tells Maya that “Uncle” will take her home after class, and a few seconds later, we see her uncle walk into frame, but we only see him from Maya’s perspective from the waist down, like Nanny from Muppet Babies. This large man wearing a dark suit pinches her cheek, which makes Maya smile, and we then hear him chuckle. If you’ve watched enough episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and seen Detective Robert Goren go head-to-head with many a murder suspect, you will probably recognize that chuckle as belonging to none other than Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Detective Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and more importantly, played Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, on Daredevil.
D’Onofrio has repeatedly denied that he would appear on Hawkeye, even after there were some leaked photos that apparently showed him on set and possibly wearing a fat suit to make him look larger and like how Kingpin traditionally looks in the comics. (And before you understandably roll your eyes at the thought of yet another actor wearing prosthetics and a fat-suit, keep in mind that Kingpin’s large size is not because of fat, it’s because of muscle) However, this brief appearance, as well as Kazi warning Maya that “Uncle” wouldn’t be happy about them not keeping a low profile and risking everything just to go after Clint, is now being interpreted as further proof that Kingpin will not only make a full appearance on Hawkeye before the season is over but that this could all lead to Daredevil being revived on Disney Plus. (The auto repair shop where William and the Tracksuit Mafia upper management is killed by Clint/Ronin is called Fat Man Auto Repair, which can be seen as another Easter egg hinting at Kingpin’s presence) It also gives us reason to wonder if Kingpin is still in jail after the events that took place in Season 3 of Daredevil, or if he is somehow free and keeping a low profile himself in the building formerly known as Avengers Tower after buying it from Tony Stark. (Kingpin being the new owner of Avengers Tower is yet another theory that has a lot of fans on the Internet talking)
ARE THERE ANY SCENES DURING THE CLOSING CREDITS?: No.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: After the first two episodes, which were good but not nearly as impressive as they could’ve and should’ve been, “Echoes” was a vast improvement, and probably one of the best episodes of this show or any other Marvel show. It gave us more than enough to grab our interest from the moment the episode began, including Maya’s origin story, Zahn McClernan once again gracing our screens with his incredibly talented presence as William Lopez, Alaqua Cox making a damn great impression with her acting debut as Maya Lopez, Clint and Kate fighting side-by-side and not only impressing one another with their archery, but being on the same wavelength with their ideas and thoughts, whether it’s about offensive tactics against the Tracksuit Mafia while moving at 60 MPH or about making sure that Lucky the Pizza Dog is taken outside and given a walk as soon as possible. Hailee Steinfeld continues to be phenomenal on this show as she usually is, and Jeremy Renner is every bit as impressive here, as we get to see more of the baggage that he’s been carrying for so many years as Hawkeye and as Ronin, and the toll that it has been taking on him. Particularly when he’s on the phone with Nathaniel, and we see him struggle with the need to keep his promise about being home with his family in time for Christmas, as well as staying alive and surviving everything he’s currently dealing with in order to keep that promise. Now that Hawkeye has finally kicked it into high gear, here’s hoping that it can keep up this momentum, and make it all the way to the finish line without sputtering at the very end. Which is one complaint that some fans and critics have shared about other Marvel shows on Disney Plus so far.
Finally, I’d like to conclude this recap by offering my condolences to Alaqua Cox, and to the rest of her family. According to her most recent Instagram post, her father passed away on November 30th, one day before this episode aired.
This episode of Hawkeye has been brought to you by “Right Between The Eyes” by Garbage…
“Warriors” by Imagine Dragons…
And by this old-ass commercial for K·B Toys, back when it was known as Kay-Bee Toy Stores. (P.S. For reasons that don’t need further elaboration, don’t ever let me or Kaleena catch you talking sh-t about the Game Boy and how awesome it was back in the day, or else your ass is grass and we’re gonna mow it)
Header Image Source: Marvel Studios