It’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of Hawkeye, with only two episodes left in Marvel’s latest TV series. The fourth episode had the most heart yet, and the character development fans got to see was among the strongest we’ve seen from a Marvel entry.
This episode featured even more bonding between Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint (Jeremy Renner). We got to see the classic Marvel banter that Steinfeld and Renner do so well. Fans also got a chance to see Clint take a step back and acknowledge the toll that him being an Avenger has taken. He has suffered a tremendous amount of grief and loss, including losing his family in the blip of Avengers: Infinity War. For a franchise that hits its fans with fast and furious action sequences, it was really nice to see Marvel take a step back and take a breath and let a character take stock.
The acknowledgement of the trauma the blip would have caused has been something Marvel has had to address. The political ramifications were addressed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but we haven’t yet seen the trauma addressed in a meaningful way by Marvel, with arguably a less than satisfying conclusion. Losing an entire family like Clint did, even if it was temporary, would have taken an unimaginable toll. It’s good to see this acknowledged and it’s great to see continued character development of a character that has so often been left in the background.
The Christmas ambiance was turned up to a hundred, featuring glorious ugly sweaters, delicious looking holiday drinks, and tree tree lights for days. The only acknowledgement of Kate’s Jewishness was a small menorah (or more accurately, a chanukiah). For characters that are so often heavily coded as Jewish, if not explicitly identified as such, it remains frustrating that this part of so many character identities is never celebrated or at the very least mentioned. It would have been great to see some Hanukkah decorations or setup for Kate to add some Jewish representation to the holiday season.
Fans got another far too brief look at Maya/Echo (Alaqua Cox) in action. We still didn’t get a Kingpin reveal, but we still know deep in our hearts Vincent D’Onofrio is waiting in the wings. There are still major Daredevil vibes coming through this entire series, from the lighting to the grittier setting. With the premiere of Spider-Man No Way Home just around the corner, we’re still waiting to see exactly how Matt Murdoch is going to be incorporated from the Netflix streaming show into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Fans finally FINALLY got to see the return of Florence Pugh as Yelena Balova. Even though we only got a tiny glimpse of her at the end of the episode, we know she’s set to make a big impact in the series with her vendetta against the man who she thinks killed her sister. The fight sequence we saw with her was so epic and really just a continuation of the groundwork set for the character during her introduction in Black Widow. Pugh’s appearance was the capstone of an episode that was really a 40+ minute tribute to Black Widow, and honestly, she deserved nothing less.
Yelena’s influence on the rest of the story has the potential to be massive. It was so on-brand for Clint to send Kate away, knowing how real their situation has just become. Could we see the reappearance of shadowy villain Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who sent Yelena after Clint? Will Clint intentionally let himself be put in harm’s way because of his guilt over his best friend’s death? We have two more episodes to find out.
As Hawkeye winds down, there is still so much potential for where this story should go. This series continues to set up so many future storylines for the MCU but has so far balanced this with remaining to be its own self-contained story. The Marvel TV series have so far had such a hard time wrapping up the series in a satisfying way. Hopefully Hawkeye will break that mold.
New episodes of Hawkeye air Wednesdays on Disney+.