Released simultaneously with Episode 1, Hawkeye’s second episode continued to give us more of what we saw in the series’ debut, and we are absolutely here for it.
Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) got even more screen time in Episode 2. It’s clear that Barton has adopted Kate Bishop as his fourth child already. The touching scene with Barton fixing Bishop’s cut shows that his biggest superpower is being a father (except of course when he’s abandoning his real family so close to Christmas). Steinfeld and Renner have undeniable on screen chemistry, and this may be in the top father-daughter relationships Marvel has given fans to date.
We got a further explanation of exactly how Clint Barton came to lose his hearing, and to be honest it totally makes sense. Being constantly exposed to loud noise and explosions has to leave a mark somehow. Marvel has set a trend in recent entries of reckoning with the full effects of what the sometimes otherworldly events have on the ordinary people of the world. Hawkeye appears to be continuing the trend. To be honest, it makes the stakes a lot more relatable. It’s a testament to how much Marvel has grown in storytelling to take a moment to consider what the real life implications would be of these life-and-death, often otherworldly stakes that have become Marvel staples.
Hawkeye still feels like Daredevil continued. As Episode 2 continues to give us the slower pace that seems to be characterizing this series, we continue to get the street-level superhero fighting as opposed to the giant action sequences Marvel has become so known for. The episode even ended in a scene with the iconic red lighting that made Daredevil instantly recognizable. If Marvel is going to incorporate Daredevil into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), this would be a perfect avenue to do it, Spider-Man No Way Home notwithstanding.
One of the best scenes in Episode 2 had to be watching Clint Barton join a Live Action Role Playing (LARP) game to retrieve his iconic Ronin suite from a man who just wanted to use it to add to his character. This was such a brilliant character moment for Barton, having to be completely out of his comfort zone and rely on his wits to solve his problem rather than relying on his bow and arrows.
We also saw Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) establish himself as a villain of the most stereotypical and overplayed kind. With a name like that, what else could he really be? He has already become an *actual* mustache-twirling villain, being challenged to a fencing duel by our main hero. At least we got to see more of Kate Bishop’s talents, and with archery, fencing and martial arts, she’s definitely set to be the best fighter of the next Marvel generation. Risotto aficionados too will have an extra reason to hate this villain as he professes his hatred of the tried and true dish that is appropriate in nearly every circumstance.
It should be noted that the first two Hawkeye episodes illustrate how necessary it is for fans to read Matt Fraction’s graphic novel Hawkeye: The Saga of Barton and Bishop. Illustrated by David Aja, this graphic novel not only informs the stories in Hawkeye itself, but so much of the art is incorporated into the show in such an organic way. The credit art especially is based so much artistically on this graphic novel. It’s definitely worth a read for all Marvel fans.
Next week, fans may get our first look at Florence Pugh’s return as the iconic Yelena Balova. According to IMDb, Pugh is set to appear in four episodes of Hawkeye. Since the first two episodes are now in the books, and the series is confirmed to be six episodes long in total…well, we can do the math. There’s only one way to find out, and we know Hawkeye has a lot more in store for us.
New episodes of Hawkeye air Wednesdays on Disney+.