Hawkeye Episode 3 - "Echoes" Spoiler Review


 The opening scene of the episode was an amazing and heartfelt introduction to Maya Lopez (Echo), I had never heard of the character until this series. Those first few minutes were a great choice, even though Maya seemed to be beyond reason I understood why she was intent on finding Ronin. One of the things that Marvel does so good is that it finds a way to pull on your heart strings, I often think of the opening scene in Black Panther in which the emotional core of the film is centered around. Maya in this episode is a villain, but a villain we can be sympathetic to since her motivation is revenge for the murder of her father. Maya is being driven by her need for revenge, there appears to be no other purpose for her beyond that (yet). After the episode (or if you know of Echo's history from the comics) then you will know that Maya's uncle is Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) and that the laugh we heard was by Vincent D'Onofrio who played Fisk on the Daredevil Netflix series. Since the debut of Wilson Fisk in the MCU, Charlie Cox (Daredevil) will also be continuing to play his character from the series. 

Before all of the action begins, there is more funny banter between Hawkeye and Kate as well as a member of the Tracksuit Mafia. I think Maya is an incredibly intimidating figure, but the rest of her team are a bunch of losers. The constant use of "Bro" always is good for a laugh from me, and the Tracksuit Mafia give the show a lighter vibe with a much darker shade being hinted. Clint and Kate are showing to be a formidable pair, but Kate's inexperience and lack of awareness to the dangers she is in also makes her vulnerable. Kate is a hero, there is no doubt about how brave and skilled she is, but she is not an Avenger (not yet at least). Kate is having fun on these adventures with Clint, but for Clint this is business and Kate is not prepared for what might be coming. Kate as of right now is a civilian playing a hero, but now that she is starting to get some experience, she is beginning her journey into heroism. Everyone has to start somewhere and for Kate we are seeing her first steps toward being a hero. This episode goes a long way in showing that Kate is special and that she might be a good fit to replace Hawkeye. In my review of the first two episodes I felt that I did not have a good handle on what the show is, but after episode three I am still struggling to get the vibe of the show. I do not mean that as a bad thing, I think the show is trying to have fun and I am enjoying it. I guess I find Hawkeye similar to Black Widow in that it feels like a setup to introduce a replacement character into the MCU. Episode three shows just how good Clint is, but it is also showing how capable Kate is too. 

WHAT HAPPENS IN 'ECHOES'

The episode starts with an introduction to Maya Lopez (Echo), we see her as a small child who is deaf and missing a leg. We see that despite her disabilities Maya is smart and tough, we also see that her father and her shared a special bond. We see that a scene where Maya is in karate class and she is with her dad (who is wearing a tracksuit) and he has to leave but her uncle (who we hear laugh, but never see) will take her home. In the karate class Maya is sparring with a boy who is bigger, but she easily defeats him. We see Maya as an adult in a ring and she beats up a guy with ease, she rides her bike to an auto shop where we she sees Ronin inside taking out everybody inside. The shop appears to be a Tracksuit Mafia lair, Maya enters and see Ronin impale her father with his sword and jump out the window. Maya rushes to her father's side, he tells her to leave but Maya will not, and she holds her father until he passes away. We then jump to the present where Hawkeye and now Kate are tied up and are prisoners of the Tracksuit Mafia. Maya enters the room; she is with her Kazi (her right-hand man) who is her interpreter. Clint tells Maya that Kate put on the Ronin suit by accident, Maya replies that doesn't mean anything. Clint tells Maya that Ronin is dead, that Ronin was killed by Black Widow. Maya does not believe Clint since there is no way to prove this, Maya then chokes Kate until Kazi stop her. Clint then escapes and runs away; Kate is still tied up but while Clint distracts the goons, he is able to get his hands on a bow and arrow which he uses to free Kate. Kate takes out Kazi while Clint takes out the rest of the Tracksuit Mafia allowing them to escape the building. 

Once outside Clint hotwires a car which they use to escape but they are chased by the Tracksuit Mafia. Clint had his hearing aid smashed during the melee so communicating with Kate is a challenge, but Kate uses the bow and arrow to shoot trick arrows at their pursuers. One of the trick arrows contains Pym Particles which causes the arrow to grow and take a car. Clint and Kate are able to escape by climbing onto a subway while Maya and the Tracksuit Mafia were caught off guard. Clint is back at Kate's aunt's apartment when his phone rings and it is his son Nate. Kate sees that Clint needs help since he cannot hear what is being said, so Kate writes down what Nate is saying so Clint can talk to him. Clint explains to Nate that he won't be home yet and that he will miss the next family Christmas event, but he promises he will be home before Christmas. At the Tracksuit Mafia lair Kazi and Maya argue over her actions, Maya reminds Kazi that he works for her, and that uncle left her in charge. Kate and Hank go to get his hearing aid repaired and then have breakfast at a diner. During the breakfast Kate and Clint argue over whether he is a role model which Clint firmly denies being (since what he did as Ronin which Kate doesn't know about). Kate finally names the dog; she names him Pizza Dog and they leave. Kate and Clint then argue over whether Jack is bad, so Kate brings Clint to her family home, so Kate use her mother's computer to look up information on Jack. Kate is unable to gain access to network but is denied while Clint runs into Jack who uses Ronin's sword as a weapon as the episode ends.

FINAL VERDICT ON 'ECHOES'

This was an entertaining episode that had a lot of fun action, but it also ended too soon and did not really advance the plot in a meaningful way. I know what is frustrating me most is that with only six episodes I thought the plot would be moving faster. The introduction of Maya and the tease of Wilson Fisk worked really well, but the plot is being served in very small helpings. I am very much enjoying the show, I am just concerned that not everything will be answered and the possible second season will be more than a year away. There are just so many plot threads that are still dangling and with only 3 episodes left I am not sure how they can properly wrap up everything, deliver good action and gives us some strong character moments. Introducing Maya who is apparently being setup for her own Disney Plus series was done perfectly and I hope we see more of her in the final three episodes. I am curious what kind of arc Maya is being setup for, in the comics her character is a hero, so I wonder how she gets there. In the comics Maya is able to copy actions of other (similar to Taskmaster), we sort of see this in the flashback. We do not know for sure if Maya has powers or if she is just very adept at adapting to situations. I do not think Clint and Kate could beat Maya in a fight without using their weapons, based on Maya's desire for vengeance I do not see how she will not keep going after Clint especially if she learns he was Ronin. This series seems to be about Clint accepting what he did as Ronin and forgiving himself while becoming a mentor to Kate. 

We know Florence Pugh will be reprising her role Yelena and with each passing episode I keep feeling like this has to be the episode she first appears in. I was wrong again, three episodes and no appearance by Yelena, I am looking forward to it because I think it will be very emotional. I also think that there will be some strong emotional scenes with Maya dealing with her father's death. Clint is walking around with all this guilt about what he did as Ronin, I wonder how Kate will react when she learns the truth about his actions. I the dynamic between Kate and Clint is a lot of fun and I like that he is becoming more drawn into her family issues. The cliff-hanger ending of Jack holding Ronin's sword to Clint's neck promises an interesting start to episode four. I like that Pizza Dog has finally been named, but every time I see that he has only one eye it breaks my heart. I hope that Pizza Dog never gets the John Wick treatment of animals, having the dog around is cute but it is not necessary. The dynamic between Kazi and Maya is interesting, he seems to be the only member of the gang that know sign language and he seems to have some sway with her. I wonder what Maya and Kazi's history is, he was able to push her a bit and she pushed him right back. I think there might be something to their dynamic and I will be curious to see more that.

The action in this episode was the best of the series so far, Clint running around a store using whatever means possible was both cool and a lot of fun. The way the action was filmed in this episode was fantastic, there was something new and special to it. I really liked Kate's excitement about using the trick arrows, and I thought the arrow with the Pym particles was particularly amazing. On my first watch of the episode, I did not pick up that the arrow that hit the truck was a giant arrow, it looked giant, but my mind never made the connection to Pym particles. I am going to give 'Echoes' an 8/10, I think it is the best episode so far and I really enjoyed the action and introduction of Maya. The show is building up a head of steam and I am really excited for episode four.

Thank you for reading my review of episode three of Hawkeye, let me know your thoughts on the show and stayed tuned for my review of episode four.

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