(+++ WARNING: There are spoilers for the latest episode of Hawkeye in this review +++)
With the mystery of Armand Duquesne’s death solved and Hawkeye having come clean to Maya (Alaqua Cox) in the last episode of Hawkeye, as well as the big reveal of the Kingpin’s meaty paws having been all over this from the very get go, you’d think there was nothing more to do really, wouldn’t you? But, to deliver on a predictable ending, the producers of this latest Marvel by-the-numbers series shoehorn in an all new contrived plotline to ensure all players are in the right place at the right time for the big series finale.
Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) is a marked woman and so the tracksuit mafia, the Kingpin, Black Widow 2.0 (Florence Pugh) and the three wise men (well, not them) all converge on a fancy pants party in New York City. Oh, and Jack “The Swordsman” Duquesne (Tony Dalton) is conveniently on hand too. And, I’m happy to report, on the right side of the law as I had always hoped. One of the only saving graces of this whole affair and a character I do hope we get to see more of in the future.
Over the course of this extended final episode we get the requisite knock down of the bad guys by Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and the inevitable set up for future Marvel outings. Because, as we know, nothing ever ends in the MCU.
And, to add insult to injuring, we even get the most unnecessary post credit scene of all time. I’m sure it will tickle some viewers, but to me it feels rather indulgent and pointless.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s an episode that will appeal to most Marvel fans. And who hasn’t enjoyed Florence Pugh’s return as the fiery and funny Black Widow 2.0? But then, most Marvel fans seem to have been sucked into a never-ending cycle of homogenous content wrapped up as one thing or another but delivering pretty much the same thing over and over again for over a decade now. The costumes may change, and the faces too, but what we got with Hawkeye was nothing more than a well worn over-used narrative dressed up for Christmas. The misdirections, the huge fan-serving moments, and the slow-paced second act delivering some character development as well as the requisite humour, of course. All to detract from the mundanity of the core storytelling when stripped to its fundamentals. Yes, it’s flashy in all the right places and by delivering the odd familiar face it allows for the illusion of surprise, but it’s all beginning to feel too similar. Like a well wrapped Christmas present that, once unwrapped, offers up the usual pair of socks from your mum. And, as we have seen before in both WandaVision and Loki, it doesn’t have to be this way. So, here’s hoping Marvel’s best TV outing is more in line with the creativity of those two shows, rather than Hawkeye.
Hawkeye series 1 is streaming now on Disney +