Hawkeye Episodes 1 and 2 Spoiler Review

 There will never come a time when I am not excited for a new entry into the MCU, Hawkeye's first two episodes dropped this week, and I might have overhyped myself for it. The MCU is slowly shifting away from the core Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Black Widow) since the end of Avengers: Endgame. Hawkeye feels similar to Black Widow in that we are being introduced to the replacement to our original replacement. Hawkeye seems to be an introduction to Kate Bishop and a goodbye (for now) to Clint Barton. There is a She-Hulk Disney Plus series coming out next year, and that feels like we are saying goodbye to Hulk. I am sure Bruce Banner will be around in the MCU in a supporting appearance kind of way, but we might not see the Hulk again. Hawkeye's first two episodes are a lot of fun, but the show is very light which is something I was not expecting. My expectations are my own fault as the trailers seemed to show the tone of the show was more lighthearted than serious. I think I got too used to the tones of Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki, those shows all had humor, but the tone of the shows were heavier. Hawkeye after two episodes is already 1/3 the way through the season; I don't think the show is going to get darker or heavier. 


The show opens with a flashback to the Chitauri attack on New York, we see family in the midst of an argument as the attack begins. The family in question belongs to Kate Bishop, we see a younger Kate witnessing the heroism of Hawkeye before she is whisked to safety by her mother Eleanor (played by Vera Farmiga). Kate's father is killed during the attack (?) and after his funeral she asks her mother for a bow and arrow. The opening credits start, and they appear to be a montage of Kate being trained in various forms of combat. In Present day Kate is now grown up and is breaking into a building to get the roof where she can attempt an archery shot to prove she could do it. Kate hits the shot, but she breaks the bell of a historic clock tower; Kate gets caught by a security guard. We are now in New York City and Clint Barton and his kids are on Broadway watching the Steve Rogers musical. Clint seems to be having a minor PTSD attack during the show, he is brought back by his daughter who accuses him of turning his hearing aid off. Clint goes to the bathroom where his approached by a man looking for a selfie, he turns the request down. Kate is back home in New York City and her mom asks her to stop by before going home. Kate goes to her mom's apartment where she finds out that her mom is living with her boyfriend Jack (Tony Dalton). Kate is asked by her mother to attend a charity dinner with her and Jack, Kate agrees only because she destroyed the clock tower. Clint is enjoying dinner with his kids, and he gets a call from his wife Laura (played by Linda Cardellini), the restaurant gives them a free dinner because he saved New York.

At the charity soiree Kate runs into Jack's father Armand (played by Simon Cowell) who accidentally lets Kate know that her mother and Jack are getting married. Kate accosts her mother about the wedding, and then heads outside where she finds a dog alone who then runs away. Kate goes back inside and sees her mother and Armand having an argument where she tells him that she has dangerous friends. Kate follows Armand who seems to be sneaking off to somewhere, she follows him to a wine cellar where an underworld auction is taking place. Armand is joined by Jack, and they bid against each other to acquire Ronin's sword, which Armand wins. The next item is Ronin's costume, Kate is discovered but before anything can happen a bomb goes off. With everything in chaos Kate puts on Ronin's outfit and is mistaken for Ronin by a group known as the Tracksuit Mafia who are there looking for a watch. Kate fights a few of them off, but she is barely capable of holding her own; Kate is trained and skilled, but she knows she is outmatched, and she runs away. The Tracksuit Mafia find the watch which is labelled Avengers Compound. Kate encounters the dog she saw earlier, and she rescues it from cars, and she brings it to her apartment. After having a long day out with his family Clint returns to their hotel and on the news, they see Kate saving the dog. Kate feeds a pizza slice to the dog and leaves to go and confront Armand, but when she gets to Armand's house, she finds him dead on the floor. Kate runs away, but she runs into the Tracksuit Mafia, she fights them, but Clint arrives and saves her. Clint pulls her into an alley where he takes off the mask, she recognizes Clint, but he asks "who the hell are you" as the episode ends.

Episode two opens exactly where episode one left off, Kate introduces herself to Clint and she brings him back to her place. Clint wants the Ronin suit; he tells Kate that the person who wore the suit made a lot of enemies, and the Tracksuit Mafia are one of them. They tracked Kate back to her apartment and they start throwing molotov cocktails into her apartment. The apartment is burning, and the suit is in the middle of the fire, Kate, Clint and the dog flee the scene. They go to a store to get supplies where Kate peppers him with questions about the Avengers, Kate brings Clint to her aunt's apartment where they can lay low. Clint leaves Kate there and heads back to the scene in an attempt to get the suit back, he is too late as a fireman already has taken it as a souvenir. On the fire truck he sees a sticker for NYC Larpers, Clint is using the supplies they got to do some first aid on both of them. Kate is happy to meet her hero, but you get the feeling it is not living up to her expectations. Clint checks his family out of the hotel, and he is sending them back home, so they are safe. Clint has not told Kate that he was Ronin, but he does tell her that he has hearing issues due to all of his adventures. 

Kate goes to her job where she works for her mom, and Clint attends a LARP (Live Action Role Playing) event to try and get the Ronin suit back. Kate goes to work and meets with her mother and Jack, and they make plans for dinner. Clint attends the Larp event and has to compete in the event to get to the guy who has the Ronin suit. Kate gets a call from the police department because they want to inquire about the fire in her apartment and what she knows about it. Clint makes a deal with the guy with the Ronin suit, they will engage in trial combat where Clint will let him win so he can get the suit back. Clint talks to his wife, and he tells her he will clean up the mess and head home, his plan involves letting himself get captured by the Tracksuit Mafia. At dinner with her mother and Jack, Kate challenges Jack to a fencing match where Jack lets her win and Kate gets mad that Jack is not trying. Kate fights with her mother too, she leaves unhappy and tries to contact Clint, but he has been taken. Kate then tracks Clint to where the Tracksuit Mafia is holding him, she breaks in to save him, but she fails and gets herself captured. The boss of the Tracksuit Mafia moves into question them, the boss is Maya Lopez (AKA as Echo) as the episode ends.


The first two episodes seem to show that Clint in his mind is retired, he was in New York trying to spend some time with his kids and he feels compelled to clean up the mess he made as Ronin. This Clint seems to no longer be as fun, thought he might not have said it, Natasha's death weighs heavily on him. I know that Florence Pugh is reprising her role as Yelena Belova (the new Black Widow), so I get the feeling the scenes between her and Clint will be heavy. The tone of the show in the first two episodes is fun, but there is a lot of mystery set up that I am interested to see if I am reading too much into it. Kate's mother is suspicious to me, I could see a reveal where she killed her husband during the Chitauri attack, and she might have also killed Armand. I feel maybe Eleanor and Jack are in league on something. This could all be a red herring to make us suspicious of her, but we are not meant to feel sympathetic towards her, at least not yet. It is obvious in the opening scene that Kate's bond with her father is very close, we never see him dead so who knows if he is actually dead. I am an over analytical person so I might be reading into things too much, or maybe I am just paranoid, and I need to take off the tinfoil hat. I just think there is something weird going on between her mother, Jack and Kate's father's death. 

The opening credits are similar in style and color to the Matt Fraction comic book from 2013 which I think the series is borrowing a lot from. I have never read that book, but I know it features Clint and Kate and the first volume deals with the Tracksuit Mafia. The angle that the show is taking by featuring Clint as being retired from the superhero business is good. Clint has been through a lot since he joined the Avengers, and now he has hearing loss issues as a direct result from his time with the Avengers. Clint also is struggling to live in a world without Nat (Black Widow), he feels like what he did during his time as Ronin made him unworthy of getting to be with his family again. I think when Clint and Yelena meet it will have a very emotional response in both of them, but we might not see until episode four. I think in episode three we will see Yelena, but only briefly. I am sure they will fight and only when they both start talking will we get the emotional catharsis both these characters require. Part of Clint's journey in the series will be him overcoming his feeling of inferiority and forming a bond with Kate. The bond between Kate and Clint will need to work for the show as a whole to work, if the chemistry between them is not there the series will be ineffective. 

Even though we are 33% of the way through the season, I do not feel that I have a good handle on the show. I think episodes three and four will be the key to knowing what type of show we will be getting; I think the first two episodes have been good but not great. The action was well done, but it also was not as good as the action in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The chemistry between Kate and Clint is only one episode old (they didn't really spend any time together until episode two), so it is too early to tell. We do not know who the main villain is yet, but the Tracksuit Mafia have been a pretty fun group so far (lots of Bro's). I would give episode one a 6/10 as I felt it was a lot of setup with little payoff, but in episode two I think we are progressing nicely into the dynamic of the show. I feel episode two is a 7/10, it is an improvement on episode one, but there is still room for improvement in the action department. The introduction of Echo (the boss of the Tracksuit Mafia) and Yelena compared with more development in the mother/Jack front will make the show get more interesting. 

Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for my review of episode three.

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