Hawkeye Episode 5 - 'Ronin' Spoiler Review

 Hawkeye just keeps getting better and better, episode five titled Ronin was my favourite so far and not just because of the reveal at the end. The ending while shocking was something I predicted in my review of episode four, I suspected Kate's mom (Eleanor) for awhile and I was proven correct. If it is not clear by now, episode five has stitched together all the narratives of the season into one big thing, the Kingpin. I believe the show has revealed the season's big bad, but it has also given us more depth to Kate and Yelena in the process. The opening scene in episode five was reminiscent of the opening scene in WandaVision's fourth episode, both featured a character that we found out were snapped away and came back. Yelena's scene was not as tragic as Monica's, but they both suffered tragic losses that were compounded by the inability to say goodbye. The hurt and rage that Yelena feels at having lost her sister is fueling her, which makes her and Maya so similar to Clint. Clint even tells Maya how similar they are, they are both weapons that were manipulated (less so in Ronin's case) into killing. I think it was very satisfying for Hawkeye to explore how grief can be weaponized, even though the show is lighthearted (for the most part) the underlying themes of grief, regret and redemption are quite heavy. 

The action in this episode took a backseat, but the action we did get was great and I thought it was a fantastic fight between Ronin and Maya. I know I really do think the Tracksuit Mafia are ne of the funnier villains in the MCU, I hope we will continue to see them once in a while. The delivery truck they drive "call a bro" makes me laugh every time, I like that Marvel is embracing the absurdity of them. The dynamic between Kate and Yelena was both funny and an introduction to what could be a great partnership in the near future. Kate and Yelena are taking over for Hawkeye and Black Widow, so I think it is interesting that they also have great chemistry like Clint and Natasha did. There is a lot going on in this episode, but it did not feel overstuffed, and it left me wanting more so I think it was a great episode. Each of the Marvel Disney Plus live action series (I haven't seen What If...? yet) have all been different, but they all have tackled some mature subject material. Having Yelena and Maya both wanting to hold Clint accountable for his actions as Ronin is very reasonable given what he did. I think Clint is struggling with remorse for what he did and grief over what happened to Natasha. Kate meanwhile overcame her own issues in this episode, she was upset at Clint pushing her away so she just decided she wouldn't listen to him. It turned out to be a good idea as Kate saved Clint's life, her second attempt at saving Clint was more successful than her first attempt (falling though a sunroof window). 


The episode opened with a flashback to Yelena (before Infinity War but after Black Widow) as she and another former Black Widow attempt to free a former Black Widow (Ana) from the mind control. It turns out that Ana was already free and working as an assassin to make money, while in the washroom Yelena is snapped away and instantly, she comes back but five years later. Ana whose house she was in is surprised to see her, that Ana is now married with a family. Ana tells Yelena that she can start on contract work, but Yelena wants to first contact Natasha to let her know she is okay. We then jump to Kate coming after the fight on the rooftop at the end of last episode, she is greeted by her mom who fusses over her. Kate is crying because Clint has sent her away, Eleanor comforts her daughter and does some first aid on her. Kate tells her mother that her and Clint have been investigating Jack, she explains that Jack is CEO of a shady looking company. Kate asks her mother to look into it. We now move to Kazi doing first aid on Maya, Maya is explaining that there was someone else on the roof, Kazi says her will help her capture Ronin and kill him, but after that she needs to move on. 

Kate goes back to her burned apartment; Kate finds that Yelena is there and is making mac and cheese. Yelena is more relaxed and just wants to talk with Kate, Yelena tries to find out why Kate is supporting Hawkeye. Clint with nowhere left to go ends up on Grills' (the firefighter Larper who found the Ronin outfit) doorstep. Yelena is enjoying the food, but she and Kate can't seem to have small talk without it going back to the subject of Clint. Kate asks if Yelena wants to talk with Clint, but Yelena says she is there to kill him and she asks Kate why she believes in Clint. Kate says that Clint saved the world, to which Yelena says Natasha saved the world and that Natasha was her sister. Yelena goes on to say that Clint's time as Ronin left a trail of blood that goes around the world. They argue over Clint's culpability in regard to Natasha's death, but then Kate figures out that someone has hired Yelena to kill Clint. Kate tells Yelena that she should look into finding out who hired her, that she should find out why someone wants Clint dead. Yelena believes that Kate doesn't know where Clint is, but she warns Kate to not get in her way again as Yelena jumps out the window. Grills offers Clint his couch, Clint goes to sleep immediately. 

Kate goes back to her mother's place and finds the police arresting Jack, Eleanor tells Kate that she looked into Jack and reported his actions to the police. Clint has gone to a memorial plaque so he can ask Natasha for help, he also says that he misses her and that he is sorry for what he is about to do. Kate is in bed, and she looks around her room and focuses on her achievements which gives her confidence a boost. Kate then makes a decision that she will not let Clint push her away, she leaves a bunch of messages for Clint letting him know to call her. We join a couple of Tracksuit Mafia Bros driving a truck when an arrow pierces the windshield, the arrow has a note for Maya to meet Ronin at the place where she first encountered him. Clint calls his wife and explains what is going on, he tells her that he thinks he will need to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. Laura tells Clint that she trusts his judgement to do whatever is necessary and that she of all people knows what he needs to do. Clint arrives and finds various members of the Tracksuit Mafia waiting for him in the car dealership lot. Clint disposes of all of them before he confronts Maya, they fight with Clint eventually getting the upper hand. Clint is wearing the Ronin outfit and he reveals to Maya that he was Ronin. Clint tells Maya to leave him and his family alone or else he will come for her. Clint tells Maya that they are both weapons, and they both have been used by someone exploiting their grief. Clint says that someone in her organization sent him after her father, that her boss was the one responsible for her father's death. Maya doesn't want to believe Clint; she then turns the tables on him and is about to stab him with his own sword before Kate appears and shoots the sword out of Maya's hand. Kate and Clint escape to safety using an Uber, while Maya goes to confront Kazi. Maya asks Kazi where he was on the night her father was killed, that he should have been there too. Kazi replies that he was never called to the meeting where Ronin came and killed everyone, Maya does not seem happy with his answer, and she drives off. Kate in the Uber tells Clint who Yelena is, Clint knows of her, but he says nothing to Kate, they end up back at Grill's place. Yelena is seen following Eleanor; she follows her to a fancy building. At Grill's enjoying some food Kate receives a text from Yelena letting Kate know she looked into who hired her and attaches a photo of Eleanor meeting with Wilson Fisk. Kate shows the photo to Clint and asks him if he knows who the guy with her mom is to which Clint replies it is the guy he has been worried about this whole time as the episode ends.


Ronin gave fans a glimpse of the future of the Avengers with both the new Hawkeye and Black Widow sharing a mac and cheese dinner. We also got a glimpse of how Yelena and Maya will transition into heroes; both were told hard truths and both in the moment rejected them but later followed up on them. Kazi definitely failed his test, not only did he look nervous, but Maya obviously did not believe him. Yelena was less convinced by Kate's attempt to dissuade her from killing Clint, but she still did find out who hired her to kill him. I am sure once she learns who Wilson Fisk she will start rethinking things. For Yelena to stop going after Clint I think she will need to have a conversation with Clint and hear his explanation for what happened. Maya had her conversation with Clint, and she now seems to be distrusting Kazi and likely her boss the Kingpin. It will be interesting to see where Maya goes from there, will she side with Clint against the Kingpin or will she go on her own journey. I liked Kazi, at the beginning of this episode when he was treating Maya's wound, I got the impression that he really cared for her (and maybe he does). I also wonder if there is/was something more to the relationship between Maya and Kazi, I think she is solely focused on revenge, but I wonder if he has feelings for her. Kazi looked very unsettled when Maya questioned him over his whereabouts on the night of her father's death. I wonder if Kazi was the one who told Hawkeye where to find Maya's father, the way he and Clint talked in the car in episode four suggested that they might have met before. 

We now have confirmation that the Kingpin is being portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio, also Charlie Cox is reprising his role of Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It is very exciting that Marvel is bringing the key players from the Netflix Daredevil series to the MCU. If the Netflix series are indeed being treated as part of the MCU I am curious to see some of the other characters from that universe appear. Those Netflix shows were pretty good, and I specifically really enjoyed Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Punisher. The MCU is full and there is not a lot of room for movies, but I think the Disney Plus series has a lot of room to expand. I could see a time where between Star Wars and Marvel there could be a show running weekly 52 weeks/year. I can also envision that at different times there could be two shows/week airing on different days. Hawkeye has been a fun watch and I think it proves that not all of the series needs to be as dramatic. I hope Disney Plus continues to invest in the Marvel and Star Wars series, it is nice having something to watch weekly that I am such a big fan of. Now that Spider-Man is out in theaters it feels like a long wait until the next MCU property will come out. With currently only three series scheduled for Disney Plus in 2022 (She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight) and three films (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Thor: Love and Thunder and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) I think there will be some dead air for the MCU. 

There was such a buildup to Clint becoming Ronin again and him possibly killing Maya to finally end all of this. Clint took out the guys with Maya (without killing them) and in his fight with Maya we again were reminded of how formidable he is. I am not sure if he changed his mind about killing her or if he never intended to kill her unless she left him no choice. I did feel that the build up to that scene was done well with his conversation with his wife, but in the moment once he defeated Maya there should have been a moment where he switched off. I think him not killing Maya should have been handled differently, if he was getting prepared to possibly kill her then I think Clint deciding to let her live should have played out as more of a struggle. It is a small nitpick but based on him calling Laura I thought he was planning to kill Maya. The main issue I have with Phase Four of the MCU is I am not sure what they are building towards and the timeline of when these shows/movies are taking place relative to each other. I would love to get an explanation about the MCU timeline of events for everything that has been released. Jeremy Renner, and well all of the cast keep delivering solid performances, there has not been a performance yet that I have not liked. With the upcoming finale I am not sure if everything will be wrapped up, I think Kate and her mother will get wrapped up, but I feel the Kingpin storyline will be wrapped up in a future property. I would be excited for an announcement on a second season that will feature Kate as Hawkeye and Clint as her mentor. 

I think with each episode we get a better understanding that Clint is a damaged man who is trying his best to make amends for his misdeeds. Kate is there to give him hope for the future and to try and get him to believe that he is still a hero, but the mess they are in is because of what he did as Ronin. After Clint sent Kate away it was obvious to me that he felt he had to do it to keep her safe, but he needs Kate. Kate is essential for his journey, she has proven resourceful, skilled and determined. The episode was at its best with Kate, the scene with her and her mother and Kate with Yelena were two of the best scenes of the episode. Clint's contribution was the moment on the phone with Laura and his fight with Maya, I think the balance of the episodes has swung to favour Kate. I thought the acting by all of the cast was really strong in this episode and I really enjoyed the fight between Maya and Ronin. I am going to rate this as an 8/10, my biggest issue with the episode was that I wanted it to be longer. I can't wait for episode six now, and I feel that Hawkeye has delivered some much-needed fun. 

Thank you for reading and please tune in for my review of episode six, my review of Spider-Man: No Way Home and my review of The Matrix Resurrections.     

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