Happy New Year! Before jumping into this review, which is slightly late from when the show actually ended, I wanted to remind everyone that I will now be posting blog posts every other Monday, and Podcast episodes (hopefully) on the Monday’s that have no blog post. This will be an easier schedule for me to maintain, especially because I need more time to watch the animated show when I review those.
We’re back with another Marvel show! So far I’ve had a good time watching the MCU shows and the movies that’ve been coming out have been getting really good (excluding that shitshow that was Slyvie). For this show I’m going to write individual episode reviews after I have seen each episode twice, like I normally do with the movies. I will also write a general review about the show as a whole. So, while this should be implied, this review contains spoilers!
Episode One: This episode was pretty good and set up Kate’s story well. The show begins back during the invasion of NYC in 2012 where we meet a young Kate Bishop where she sees Clint and is inspired to be just like him. The dad goes mysteriously missing during this scene and I can’t help but suspect that the mother is responsible for his death…but this never gets resolved. Then we jump ahead to current times (exact year unclear but it’s set right before Spider-Man NWH I believe) to Rogers the Musical…an interesting experience with fairly inaccurate broadway representations of everyone involved. Clint is there with his fake family (explanation later) and leaves because he can’t handle seeing the actress playing Natasha. He also comments that Ant-Man wasn’t there, but because of Endgame, perhaps he was! They finally show his hearing aid and explain it in a later episode (Hawkeye wears them in the comics). At the same time, Kate is escaping a black market auction and ends up wearing the Ronin suit which brings her a lot of negative attention from the Tracksuit Mafia, a group under Kingpin. Clint meets her at the end of the episode once he sees the suit on the news and goes to investigate who is wearing it. Also, Pizza Dog introduction!
Episode Two: This episode was better as there was a bit more humor in it from Kate and the Tracksuit Mafia. They are formally introduced and are mostly a group of hilarious Russians that you kinda want to root for. They explain Clint’s hearing problems (he’s mostly deaf now) by showing fight scenes and explosions from the previous movies. Kate’s personality is clear from the start and she’s probably the most relatable character in all of Marvel, at least for a fangirl in her 20’s. The LARPers are introduced and are really cool people that show that there’s more to our heroes than meets the eye. They also have great respect for Hawkeye but expect him to respect their craft, which is pretty cool. The end of the episode introduces Echo, who is a character I had to Google at first because I didn’t understand who she was right off the bat.
Episode Three: This episode was a bit more intense as it brought in some new characters and continued developing Kate and Clint’s friendship. In this episode Echo’s backstory is given to the viewer (most of whom probably needed it like me) and they show us Kingpin’s hand, foreshadowing his importance to the show and that she would logically be working under him. We learn that Ronin killed her father and she is seeking justice/revenge for her fathers murder and is not chasing him down because Kingpin wants her to. Hawkeye shows off his incredible fight skills but mainly his skill with his bow, which is always cool to see in close up fights. Also, his bow is taped from where Black Panther split it in half in Civil War. Kate and Clint are learning to communicate and she is allowed to use a few trick arrows during their escape. Clint and Scott are clearly friends as Clint has a PYM Tech arrowhead that enlarged Kate’s arrow and crushed the truck. At the diner, where Pizza Dog is named Pizza Dog, she talks about his branding and draws the classic Hawkeye suit for him. Which he of course rejects because it’s too ridiculous.
Episode Four: I liked this episode because it ended with one of my new favorite characters, had Kate and Clint bonding, and had some emotional moments. Elenor (a bitch) lowkey threatens Hawkeye to stay away from Kate and it’s mostly because she hired an assassin to take him out for getting too close to her and her boss. Kate realizes what Clint is sacrificing to help her and decides to bring the holidays to him, where some fun Christmas hijinks occur. Clint then shares how he met Natasha (he’s totally in love with her, explanation later) and Kate then figures out he was the Ronin. Then, they go get the watch Laura Barton lost. This plot point, however, left me with a lot of questions. Why did Maya and/or Kingpin want the watch in the first place? Why does it matter? How did they know what it was? This seemed like a bit of a plothole that needs some explaining. At the end of the episode an assassin shows up and is unmasked to be YELENA! This connects the end-credit scene from Black Widow to the show and gives us the chance to see more of Yelena as she learns who she is and does things she’s always wanted to do. There are also parallels because Kate doesn’t take the shot with her just like Clint didn’t take the shot with Natasha.
Episode Five: I really loved this episode because of how much it incorporated Yelena and her badass/adorable outfits. It also sets up a Kate and Yelena friendship that I sincerely hope Marvel pursues. This episode begins by shower where Yelena was when she was snapped and how fast the event happened for the people who vanished. Throughout the episode she is trying to get justice for Natasha, not knowing the details of what happened, and she’s extremely cute and chaotic as she does so. The potential friendship dynamic with Kate and Yelena is established as they chat over a somewhat tense dinner and the new and improved statue of liberty is mentioned. Again establishing that this happens right before the events of Spider-Man NHW. Clint realizes what he was to do to show Maya she’s on the wrong side and goes to the Avengers tribute to “talk” to Natasha about it. He went to speak to his dead best friend before calling his “wife” and you expect me to believe he loves his wife and not Natasha? Bullshit. Anyway, we see more of Clint’s hand-to-hand combat abilities which are better because he trained with a Black Widow, but he’s still a bit rusty due to age and his somewhat retirement. More of Maya is shown in this episode and I’m still not a huge fan, but so far she’s only expressed rage so it’s difficult to see her as a full character. They end the episode by properly introducing Kingpin who is the same from Daredevil, a show I will get to eventually.
Episode Six: For the final episode of the season this one was pretty good and it’s tied with episode 5 for my favorite episode. Kingpin’s empire doesn’t seem to match what it was in Daredevil (or so I’ve heard), but consider that this is after the snap and the return of everyone. For five years half of the world was missing and everything was in chaos, of course his empire isn’t what it was and he’s working to get it back on track. Elenor is trying to get out of it but of course that won’t happen, also she’s a bitch and I was once again right in my distrust of a character. Clint has accepted Kate as his partner at this point and they get to work preparing to take on Kingpin and the Tracksuit mafia by making more trick arrows. We see a shrinking PYM Tech arrow and something with Stark on the side (I miss Tony Stark everyday). Yelena and Kate are more of a chaotic duo this time and compliment each other’s fighting skills after some hand-to-hand combat. Jack really is just a dude who loves swords (memes below) who we all misjudged, and he may become a LARPer! Hawkeye finally dawns his new suit with the classic purple color, hurray! He also affirms his and Scott’s friendship, making it seem like they chat regularly, as he mentions asking about what happens to the people he shrunk (though they get carried off by a cute owl we saw in the tree). Maya finally shows more emotions than just rage and looks more dynamic with her hair down. She also shoots Kingpin at the end of the episode but we know that even when he gets shot in both eyes in the comics he still survives. Daredevil season 4 perhaps?
Finally, my two main points of issue: Clint being in love with Natasha and his wife being a waste of a character. First, this entire show has shown us just how much Clint misses Natasha and how much he cared about her. The way he speaks about her is the way someone speaks about the person they love the most, especially when he’s talking to Yelena about how much Natasha meant to him. He also knows all about Natasha’s and Yelena’s bond and their secret whistle. It’s extremely difficult to believe he didn’t love her and if Joss Wheadon hadn’t fucked up everything in Age of Ultron we could’ve gotten a Natasha and Clint romance, which would’ve made the events of Endgame ten times more heartbreaking. Which brings me to my second point, his ‘wife.’ Laura Barton was introduced in Age of Ultron as a cop out because they didn’t know where else they could hide so they made up this entire fake family and now have no choice but to include them in the canon. However, because of how terribly they were introduced it is too late to try and make them relevant or cool, especially his ‘wife.’ Agent 19, Mockingbird, has already been introduced into the supposed MCU canon with Agents of SHIELD and is a much better choice for the character all around. I could tolerate them switching her romance history to someone else (her and Hawkeye married and divorced twice in the comics), but now they’re trying to ignore the first version of the character and make Laura Barton Agent 19? That’s lazy writing. It would’ve just been easier to keep her as a generic person instead of trying to make her relevant to the fans. At this point I think they’re only together for the sake of the kids because he doesn’t speak about her or to her like he’s in love and it’s nothing compared to the way he speaks about Natasha.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show and loved the character introduction and development of Kate. The intros and outros to each episode were beautiful, featuring the Hawkeye comic book style and different scenes from their lives and the episodes. There were also a lot of comic-accurate depictions of moments throughout the show, yay! The only end credit scene, though, was the full song from Rogers the Musical. While it was somewhat entertaining to watch, it needed to have included someone like Sam and Bucky walking out after talking about how horrible it was. I would recommend the show, but watch Black Widow first!
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