Previously on Hawkeye: 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.
THE STORY SO FAR: Clint and Kate continue their attempts to stop the Tracksuit Mafia from coming after them. Kate is sent out on an assignment to retrieve their trick arrows from the NYPD, and a phone conversation results in Clint realizing that his Ronin suit and sword wasn’t the only thing that was taken from the secret auction by the Tracksuit Mafia.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: When Jack realizes who is at the other end of the Ronin sword: “Oh my God, you’re Archer.” (Though I will admit that the very thought of Sterling Archer making an appearance on Hawkeye is already making my imagination run wild) The conversation between Clint, Kate, Eleanor, and Jack, followed by Eleanor warning Clint that Kate isn’t a superhero and that he doesn’t want her to end up dead like Black Widow. Kate lying on the couch with Pizza Dog as she overhears Eleanor and Jack talking about her (Jack: “Well, she seemed awfully composed around her idol. If I met Huey Lewis, I’d be a wreck.”), only for us to realize that this is all happening in the same room, and they’re just talking about her as if she isn’t there. Kate being unable to hide her smile when she sees Eleanor and Jack dancing and singing together, followed by Kate and Eleanor teasing Jack about his incorrect usage of certain phrases, such as “life is short, you never know what you’re going to get” and “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your ear.” (Though that second one may have just been him flirting playfully with Eleanor) Clint and Kate figuring out their next move while also getting in the Christmas spirit.
Kate learning from Clint how to take someone out by snapping a coin at them. (Which looked really cool, and also made me miss Wilson Bethel’s portrayal of Bullseye on Daredevil), followed by Clint not only revealing how he and Black Widow actually met, but that he actually is Ronin, and that this was how he coped with his family being gone. Kate meeting up with the larpers (including Griggs) and doing a much better job of getting along with them than Clint did. Kazi getting ambushed in his car by Clint, and him being warned to convince Maya that Ronin really is dead and to call off her hunt so that no one else ends up dead. Kate ignoring Clint’s advice on how to break into Maya’s apartment and just simply being her usual polite and socially awkward self to work her way into the building. The four-way rooftop fight between Clint, Kate, Maya, and Yelena. Clint immediately reminded of Natasha’s death when he reaches down to pull her back up from falling, and immediately ending their partnership to avoid watching her die as well.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: I know that the Bishop penthouse is big enough to hold three New York apartments, but it seemed a little too convenient that Clint and Kate weren’t aware that Eleanor and Jack were home, and that Jack was so shocked at the presence of Kate and Clint that he found it necessary to wield a sword in the first place. (The following conversation was good to watch, but as a resolution to last week’s cliffhanger, it was pretty weak.) How exactly did Maya find out all those details about Clint, Laura, and their kids if his family’s existence was kept completely secret by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.? (Which is what we were told when Clint’s family was introduced in Avengers: Age Of Ultron). And any New Yorkers watching this episode of Hawkeye know damn well that our Lite FM station isn’t 107.6 (and not just because there is no station on 107.6 here in New York), it’s 106.7 Lite FM. Other than that, I don’t have too many complaints about this episode.
DO ANY OF THE AVENGERS APPEAR IN THIS EPISODE?: The closest that we get to seeing another Avenger appear in this episode is when Clint flashes back to the last time he saw Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame, when she sacrificed her own life in order to obtain the Soul Stone. (If you’re still mad as hell about the fact that it was Black Widow who died in that movie instead of Hawkeye, especially because you still think that Hawkeye is a murderous racist, there are dozens of you, dozens, so join the club)
LUCKY THE PIZZA DOG?: Yes, and as seen in the ads and trailers, we see him rocking some lovely Christmas-themed headgear.
YELENA BELOVA?: Yes, much to the delight of everyone who loved this character, and who loved Florence Pugh’s portrayal of her in Black Widow. She ambushes Clint on the rooftop opposite Maya’s apartment building, and their fight soon leads to a four-way dance between Clint, Kate, Yelena, and Maya. The fight ends when Kate puts an arrow in Maya’s
knee shoulder, and much like how Clint was somehow convinced not to take the shot when he had Natasha in his sights, Kate lowers her bow and decides to not shoot Yelena, who then uses her grappling hook to jump off the roof and make her exit.
Do I even have to tell you how Marvel stans have already been losing their sh-t over these two meeting up? That they already want Kate and Yelena to be gay and/or kick ass together, and that there are already fancams on Twitter for the two of them?
KINGPIN?: No, though Clint seems to have been referring to him when he ambushed Kazi in his car and pointed out how Maya’s boss is someone who (much like Kingpin himself back when he was seen on Daredevil) prefers to keep a low profile and not draw any negative attention to himself, and that Maya’s Roaring Rampage Of Revenge against Clint and Ronin is bad for business.
THE BARTON FAMILY?: Yes, thanks to another phone call between Clint and Laura. We see the kids in the background as Laura suddenly begins speaking in German to not only let him know that Jack’s company that he runs is laundering money for the Tracksuit Mafia, and to ask if a Rolex watch was taken from the black-market auction by them. Later in the episode, Clint explains to Kate that the watch belonged to someone who was in the spy game a long time ago but who is now retired, and that this watch could lead back to them and uncover their identity.
WHY IS IT THAT NONE OF THE OTHER AVENGERS ARE SHOWING UP TO HELP HAWKEYE? WOULDN’T ANY OF THEM HAVE NOTICED A GIGANTIC ARROW DROPPING ON THE MANHATTAN BRIDGE AND WANT TO GET INVOLVED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S GOING ON?: Because The Avengers are busy living their own lives and doing their own thing during the holiday season. Because the budget for this show is high enough already, and there’s only so much that Marvel/Disney is willing to pay when it comes to guest appearances for their shows on Disney Plus. Because, much like the Fraction/Aja comic-book series that inspired this television adaptation, this is a solo story about Hawkeye, and what his life is like when he’s not working and interacting with the rest of The Avengers. Just like every other solo comic-book series that shows what life is like when a superhero team member has to fight their way out of trouble without the help of their superhero team. Those are several reasons to choose from, so go ahead and take your pick.
ANY EASTER EGGS WE SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?: Wendy Conrad, the police officer/larper who enthusiastically agrees to help Clint and Kate retrieve their trick arrows (I’ll keep my mouth shut about how a cop is perfectly fine when approached with an offer for evidence tampering, even when approached by someone working with The Avengers, and just leave it at that) shares the same name as a character in Marvel Comics, who was a mercenary that specialized in explosives and was also known as “Bombshell.” And the live-action MCU version points out that the duffle bag that her wife gave her as a gift also has her nickname of “Bombshell” embroidered on it. When Kate and Clint are discussing where to get more trick arrows, she asks him if he’s ever considered using a boomerang arrow so that he never has to worry about losing them. To which Clint scoffs at her and tells her how foolish that is, because arrows are dangerous and having one that turns itself around to aim in your direction isn’t a good idea. However, we did get to see boomerang arrows put to use in the Fraction/Aja run of Hawkeye against the Tracksuit Mafia, and that version of Clint was much more fond of them, as opposed to the comics version of Kate, who didn’t see the point of their existence. Yelena is rocking another vest as part of her outfit, and as she revealed in Black Widow, tactical vests (especially those that that have lots of pockets) make her very happy, and bring her so much more joy than posing like her late sister when doing a Superhero Landing. (Which she ends up doing anyway while fighting on the rooftop) The T-shirt with Russian lettering worn by Kate is a reference to Laika, the cosmonaut dog who was sent into outer space in 1957.
ANY FAN THEORIES SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE ACROSS THE INTERNET BECAUSE OF THIS EPISODE?: There are a couple of theories worth discussing: Jack is not actually evil or corrupt, and the money laundering that is being done at his company is being done behind his back and without his knowledge, most likely being done by Eleanor. The phone call that Eleanor makes after Clint leaves the penthouse was either made to Kingpin to discuss whatever business they may have together, or it was made to Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who Yelena and U.S. Agent both work for, and would explain why Yelena locates Clint later in the episode. Vincent D’Onofrio is expected to finally appear as Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, on Hawkeye next week, around the same time that Charlie Cox is expected to appear as Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, in Spider-Man: No Way Home, when that film opens in theaters. (Keep in mind that these are just theories, and that there’s no official confirmation for either of their appearances) There’s also a theory going back to the previous episode, in that either Clint wasn’t the one dressed as Ronin who killed Maya’s father (and that it was possibly Jack, putting his swordsmanship to work), or it was Clint-as-Ronin who really did kill William Lopez, but was somehow manipulated into doing so by Kingpin. Either theory would save Maya from killing Clint at the end of the season, and would pit her against Kingpin in her upcoming series when it premieres on Disney Plus. And another theory is that Clint-as-Ronin handled some dirty work on Valentina’s behalf during the five years of The Snap (and again, I’m not referring to what Thanos did as ‘The Blip’), and now wants him dead, for some unknown reason.
IS THE “GET WOKE, GO BROKE” CROWD OF F-CKBOYS AND PICK-MES ON THE INTERNET STILL HATING ON KATE BISHOP?: Indeed they are. And much like how they hate Rey from the Star Wars sequel trilogy because they think she was a Mary Sue with no real training who could do anything and fight anyone (and not a scavenger abandoned by her family who had to spend her life familiarizing herself with survival techniques in order to stay alive before she eventually realized that she was one with The Force), they also hate Kate, and don’t like that she is already trained in martial arts/gymnastics/fencing/archery, and able to do such a good job of fighting alongside Hawkeye. Despite the fact that the show has made it clear that Kate is incredibly skilled thanks to years of intense training, but is still inexperienced and has a lot to learn when it comes to fighting bad guys. I’m sure that these same dumbasses have so much more to say about Kate (especially after seeing this episode), but I’d rather eat an entire bowl of unseasoned potato salad made with raisins before giving that corner of the Internet even a millisecond of my f-cking attention. (Please stop putting raisins in every damn thing, because that sh-t ain’t cute)
ARE THERE ANY SCENES DURING THE CLOSING CREDITS?: No.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: This episode did a really good job of maintaining the momentum from last week, as it slowly but surely expands the universe and gives both Clint and Kate even more problems to worry about, in the form of both Maya Lopez and now Yelena Belova. It also hammers home how much Clint still misses Natasha, and that no matter how grief-stricken he was when he lost his family to The Snap, the consequences of Clint’s actions as Ronin are ones that he’ll have to continue living with, even if he does survive his rivalry with Maya and goes back home to his family. Only two more episodes remain this season, and I look forward to seeing Clint and Kate fight alongside each other once again, and also seeing what other surprises this show will drop in our laps that will leave all of social media talking and spoiling everything before the sun is even up.
Finally, I’d like to end this recap by talking about George Pérez, one of the greatest writers and artists in the entire comic-book industry. His work for both Marvel and DC is not only legendary, but created many fans who still love and read comics to this very day. So when Pérez announced on his Facebook page earlier this week that he was recently diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer, and with a prognosis of six months to a year, it left a lot of people feeling heartbroken and yelling “F-ck cancer!” When the news began to spread across the Internet, it didn’t take long for his former colleagues, his peers, and his fans to let him know how much he and his work are both loved and appreciated.
I heard the news about George Perez, and I want to say something about how he changed my life, how important he is to so many. But I really can’t talk about it publicly yet. It’s too much.— Gail Simone (@GailSimone) December 8, 2021
The best ever, that’s all.
George Perez, the kindest of men, has brought so much beauty into this world. As an artist, as a writer, as a human being, he is and will always be an inspiration for generations of creators and fans. All the love from the all the Kings to George and his family. Thank you, sir. pic.twitter.com/TKt7HhL6hq— Tom King (@TomKingTK) December 7, 2021
We love you, George Perez. You can’t imagine the amount of smiles you’ve given millions and millions of people over the years. pic.twitter.com/culVzsSMil— Cool Comic Art (@CoolComicArt) December 7, 2021
Because it always makes me smile, George Perez making a fan's day at a comic convention. pic.twitter.com/stgoHCrrMK— Jessica Ritchey (@Ruby_Stevens) December 7, 2021
George Pérez, a Nuyorican kid from the Bronx going down to the Marvel offices on Madison and starting from the bottom, building the chops page after page, plugging into the comics ecosystem and chiseling a corner for himself until he was undeniable. Tell me that's not the dream. pic.twitter.com/azmW85x3Rg— Michel Fiffe (@MichelFiffe) December 8, 2021
Every day is a good day to tell the world how much you love George Perez. pic.twitter.com/9dbVi8Fusp— Colleen Doran (@ColleenDoran) December 8, 2021
We all love you, George Perez, you are the best. Thanks, big big hug, pal.— David Aja (@davaja) December 7, 2021
And when Pérez became aware of the reactions to his announcement, he shared this response:
A quick update from George ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SAtsH2AWl1— Constance 🐿 (@SunshineCVE) December 9, 2021
There aren’t nearly enough words to let George Pérez know how much he means to so many people, how his work brought so much joy whenever put pen to paper, and how we really do hope that he’s able to beat the odds and stay with us for a lot longer than six to twelve months. So I’ll just take this moment to raise a glass and join everyone else in telling him these things while he can still read and hear them.
Thank you for everything, George. Thank you.
This episode of Hawkeye has been brought to you by “Come Into My House” by Queen Latifah:
“Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis & The News:
And “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe.