(+++ WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Hawkeye S01 Ep.4 ‘Partners, Am I Right?’ +++)
After a breathless all-action episode last week, this latest episode was always going to be a more tamer affair. A far more grounded instalment offering up some fun moments and a little Holiday cheer with a sprinkling of action, albeit with a big reveal only at the very end.
Opening up with an interrogation of Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint (Jeremy Renner) by Kate’s mother (Linda Cardinelli) and fiancé (Tony Dalton), the whole episode feels like a very typical multi-character scene we’ve seen countless times before in big screen Marvel movies, but drawn out across a whole episode. You know the kind; sassy, just the right amount of wisecracking and a touch of peril too. In this case the suggestion that, once more, Jack Duquesne (aka The Swordsman), could well be a lot more dodgy that he pretends to be. And just as Kate was warming to him in a scene in which he takes her mother by the hand and dances with her. Which brings a smile to her daughter’s face.
The plot, of course, thickens but doesn’t really develop too much. This is an episode all about Clint and Kate’s budding teacher/student relationship as well as a call back for the live action role playing troupe Clint befriended previously. A group more than happy to pilfer Clint’s arrows from Police storage thereby breaking who knows how many laws in the process. Surely this would call form some kind of internal investigation at some point, right? Goddamn crooked cops!
Meanwhile, we learn that Maya (Alaqua Cox) could be in more trouble than she thinks if she continues her obsession with finding Ronins and to make matters worse someone has hired a Black Widow assassin, who viewers will recognise even before here unmasking upon a New York rooftop as the new MCU’s Black Widow de jour, Nathasha Romanov’s little sister, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). But, we knew she was coming, so is it enough to keep fans happy until the “Big Guy” is finally revealed as Daredevil’s Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) as we are all hoping for?
All in all an okay episode, and one in which New York looks festively spectacular once more, but not one of the more memorable ones. Plus, I know its my age, but the positioning of Kate Bishop as a far-too-clever teenager – one of many that infest modern programming aimed at a a YA demographic as this one clearly is – is just another overused trope when it comes to establishing new characters. Surely when we do eventually get a Young Avengers team they can’t all be like that, right?
Hawkeye is streaming now on Disney + with a new episode dropping every Wednesday for the next two weeks.