(+++ WARNING: This review contains some spoilers for Hawkeye, series one, episode three +++)
With both Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) hostages of the Tracksuit Mafia and the revelation of Maya Lopez/Echo (Alaqua Cox) in last week’e episode, this is more than enough of an excuse to move away from the main plot of episodes one and two and onto the mystery of the Tracksuit Mafia’s interest in the Ronin suit. Turns out it was because Clint Barton killed Echo’s father (Zahn McClarnon) when he was cutting a swathe through organised crime rings the length and breadth of the globe. But, this revelation comes after another flashback opening. This time tracking Maya’s childhood and upbringing.
And while this is another chapter that is very much in the mould of many Marvel screen outings (hey, why mess with a winning formula, right?) this was by far the best episode yet. Not that the first two weren’t goo, but this one really hit all the right notes. Yes, we get the overused budding friendship between the wizened old hero and up-and-coming spunky young thing told a million times before, but we also get a great car chase across New York with some very creative camera work courtesy of directors Bert & Bertie. It’s a moment when you feel these two are able to leave their mark on a series that has not been allowed to deviate too much away from the norm, unlike Loki and WandaVision. It’s fast, furious, dynamic and utilised some amazing 360 degree camera shots too. It really put the viewer right in the middle of the action. You feel at times like you’re riding alongside Hawkeye and Kate in the care with them.
It’s also an episode that pulls on the viewers’ heartstrings too. Firstly, we get Maya’s close relationship with her father. So, when he is revealed as a bad guy, the viewer is encouraged to sympathise with her. After all, Clint’s a hero, right? He doesn’t kill now, but in his guise as Ronin, had a bloody killing spree worthy of Macbeth. But, that as then. And this is now. And later we have Clint trying to communicate with his son who only wants his dad home by Christmas. It’s all a bit muddy, isn’t it? Echo’s a criminal after seeing her father die, while Hawkeye’s the good guy who killed him and caused Maya to turn to the life she now lives. And with this being a six-part series, unlike the movies, this gives the creative team behind this series the time to explore these relationships while forging new relationships, such as the one between Hawkeye, the master, and Kate, the student.
If this, as I suspect, going to be Clint’s swan song, then it’s building up to be a good one. And, as Hawkeye is so ingrained in the MCU, why wouldn’t the producers of this show want something that looks and feels like a Marvel movie? Three episodes in, and three to go. With a goo deal still left to uncover. After all, with this episode ramping up the action and focusing on new character Maya Lopez, we aren’t any closer to solving the murder mystery of episode one, or how the Jack ‘Swordsman’ Duquesne (Tony Dalton) fits into all of this?
Hawkeye is streaming now on Disney + with new episodes every Wednesday for the next three weeks.