Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of Hawkeye and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On this week’s episode of Hawkeye, Kate Bishops discovers the true meaning of the holiday season: causing vehicular mayhem with trick arrows! Picking up where last week’s two episode premiere ended, we see what happens next to Kate and Clint who are currently being held captive by the Tracksuit Mafia.
While the first two episodes of the latest Marvel miniseries spent their time establishing the characters, this week’s episode delivered an outstanding fight sequence and car chase that took about approximately half of the episodes run time. The sequence itself was a lot of fun, playing once again with the great banter between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld’s to great comedic effect. Technically speaking, the action sequence uses lots of long, continuous shots that look awesome and add to the intensity of the overall sequence. In terms of the overall story of the miniseries, we learn a few pieces of information that flushes out the mystery of the Tracksuit Mafia and their mysterious leader.
With the introduction of Echo, portrayed by Alaqua Cox, the episode uses sound and the lack of to great effect to not only develop her character, but bond her to Clint. It’s another great portrayal of a deaf character, which seems to be on the rise right now after such critically acclaimed films as Sound of Metal and C.O.D.A. However, the highlight of the episode was a moment between Clint and Kate in the latter half of the episode, utilizing sound to deliver the first great emotional sucker punch of the series. This was not the Marvel show I expected to cry during, but we’re only halfway through the miniseries and that has already happened.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this third episode of Hawkeye, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in the third episode…
The episode opens on a young Maya Lopez in 2007, at school, lip reading her teacher, while feeling out of place not being able to hear like the rest of her classmates. That night at home, Maya talks to her father about sounds and dragons, alluding to Shang-Chi with the latter topic. It naturally leads to Maya asking her father why she isn’t going to a school for deaf kids like she thought she was. Her dad tells her that she is one of a kind, and going to regular school will be better for her. She then asks her father if this means that she will have to stop signing, but her father tells her now, that instead this will allow her to jump between two worlds.
We next see Maya at a Capoeira lesson, with her father telling her that winning is not about size, but about speed. He then leaves her there, telling her that her uncle will bring her home. Her uncle, off screen, places his arm on her shoulder. Maya then begins a fight, easily beating her opponent with her speed. The scene transitions to an older version of Maya, not long before the timing of the series, fighting another opponent in the gym and easily defeating him. After the fight, Maya heads to Fat Man Auto Repair to meet her father. But upon her arrival, she sees a fight inside the repair shop. Inside is Ronin, hunting down the men inside, including her father. Maya enters just as Ronin leaves, able to hold her father one last time before he passes. After refusing to leave like her father asked her too, he uses his final breath to tell her to “fly away, little dragon”.
Back in the present, Clint and Kate are still both tied up. Kate feels some tension with Hawkeye, who tells her that she ruined him trying to clear her name from being connected with Ronin by falling through the roof. After a brief and very funny interaction between Kate and one of the gang members regarding Imagine Dragon concert tickets and his ex-girlfriend, Echo enters the room. Echo releases Clint from the ropes tying him down, and Clint signs her asking for more cookies. Through ASL, Echo tells Clint that he relies too much on technology, referring to his hearing aid. Clint replies by telling Echo that Kate put on the suit by accident and that she is not Ronin. While Echo believes Clint that Kate is not Ronin, she believes that Kate is connected to Ronin and the fact that she is not Ronin does not mean that Ronin is not back. However, Clint tells her that Ronin is dead and that he saw Ronin be killed by Black Widow. Echo says that it’s convenient that the person who killed Ronin is also dead, so there is no one to verify Clint’s story. She then asks Kate why she put on the suit, and immediately begins choking her. Kate, gasping for air, struggles to tell Echo she put on the suit because she didn’t want to be seen at the auction. However, Clint escapes and tells Kate to wait for his signal, kicking off the big action sequence of the episode.
As Clint runs off, the gang members and Echo chase after him. Echo kicks Clint’s hearing aid out of his ear, and crushes it with her foot. Clint eventually gets his hands on his bow and arrow, and Echo grabs Kate’s. Clint uses an arrow to free Kate, which allows her to knock out the gang member who stayed behind to watch her. Kate manages to run off, and Clint after jumping out of an office into a ball pit (which is a lovely homage to the classic scene in Jingle All The Way starring Arnold Schwarzenegger), he too escapes the warehouse.
In the parking lot, Kate and Clint snag a car. While Clint wants Kate to drive, she tries to tell him she does not know how to drive, but Clint cannot hear her. To their luck, the Tracksuit Mafia exit the building, forcing Clint to drive the car so they get a head start on the Tracksuit Mafia. All set to the music of The Nutcracker, we see a big car chase occur as the Tracksuit Mafia chase Clint and Kate. Clint attempts to educate Kate on the trick arrows in his quiver. Some of them are less impressive in the chase, including the one that oozes purple goop and the plunger arrow, while the explosive arrows and the one that launches wires pulling Christmas trees towards the Tracksuit Mafia’s car are the destructive hits Kate wants. Eventually, it is just down to Echo’s car and Clint’s car, ending the big chase on a bridge. Kate fires an arrow that unleashes purple gas into Echo’s car, which causes them to crash. However, the cars that they defeated earlier are back. Clint instructs Kate to shoot an arrow up into the air so that it will land on top of one of the vehicles. Clint then pulls a Pym arrow from his quiver, and shoots it at the arrow Kate shot. When it makes impact with Kate’s arrow, it causes Kate’s arrow to enlarge in size. It then crushes the car, causing it to explode. Clint and Kate then jump off the bridge, using a plunger arrow to swing onto the subway car below the bridge to speed them away to safety.
On the subway, Kate remarks that she needs to get back to her aunt’s apartment to walk the dog. Clint then tells her she’s not wrong, to which Kate asks about the dog? He says about being one of the world’s greatest archers before echoing the need to walk the dog.
Back at the apartment, Clint is not wearing his hearing aid. HIs phone rings, and he answers it seeing it’s his home number. He thinks it’s Laura, but in fact cannot hear that it’s his youngest son Nathaniel. Kate sees this and comes to Clint’s aid, writing out the conversation on a note pad so he can talk to Nathanael. It’s a beautiful scene, one that is guaranteed to tug at your heart strings, as Clint reassures Nathanael that he will be home for Christmas. However, Nathanael tells his father that it’s okay if he does not make it home in time for Christmas, but Clint reassures him that he will be there for Christmas and that it was great to hear his voice. After the call, Clint thanks Kate for helping him on the call.
Back at the warehouse, the Tracksuit Mafia are quickly packing up their gear and moving out of the warehouse now that Clint and Kate know its location. Kazi, Echo’s second in command, talks to Echo about what just happened through ASL. He tells Echo that this morning got out of hand, and that it is dangerous going after Ronin. He then says he hopes that her uncle does not find out what happened. Echo is not impressed, asking Kazi if he would have questioned her father like this. Kazi tells Echo that her father always put his crew first, however Echo tells him to stop and reminds him that she is in charge. Before leaving, she tells Kazi to look into Clint, sensing that there is something more to him.
Kate and Clint have found a doctor to fix Clint’s hearing aid. After getting it fixed, they go for food at a diner. Kate tells Clint that she has trained for this her entire life and that this is the moment where she becomes the person she is supposed to be. Clint tells her that he remembers that day for himself, but that this life comes with a price: sacrifice and losing things forever. But Kate tells him that there is also a gain: trick arrows and a cool costume. On the topic of cool costumes, Kate thinks she has found the solution to Hawkeye’s branding problem: he needs a more recognizable costume. Clint tells her that hsi job is to not be recognizable, but Kate tells him he has failed at that. She begins sketching costume designs for Clint on the back of the menu with a crayon. The conversation eventually moves to Ronin, and Kate says that Clint cannot tell anyone who Ronin is as Ronin is someone close to Clint that he has to protect. However Clint avoids this question, and tells Kate that it’s a hard pass on the flashy contest for three reasons:
1. His job requires him to be a ghost;
2. Laura would divroce him if he put on something like what Kate has drawn; and
3. He’s not a role model.
Clint then apologizes to Kate for not being a role model and that he never was one. However, Kate tells him that he is a role model as he’s left his family during the holidays to help a stranger even though she screwed up. Kate tells him that they are both stuck with the Tracksuit Mafia after them who won’t give up, and that her mother might be marrying a murderer. As leaving the restaurant, Clint tells Kate she has to give the dog a name. While the first few names she tries out on the dog do not connect with the pooch, when she suggests Pizza Dog to him, the dog is enthusiastic about that name.
Walking through Central Park, Kate tells Clint that she picked up on the tension between Echo and Kazi in the warehouse that morning. Clint tells her he won’t elaborate on what the Tracksuits are into, but he tells her that there is someone above Echo and that they are someone you don’t want to mess with. And that this mysterious head of the Tracksuit Mafia has bad blood with Ronin, due to the fact that Ronin took out one of their suppliers and wiped out upper management in the Tracksuit Mafia. Clint then asks Kate if the Tracksuit Mafia were after anything else at the auction, but Kate doesn’t know. However, she thinks that Jack is involved. Clint expresses his opinion on Jack, saying that Jack might be weird, but it does not mean he’s evil as it’s not airtight. Which Kate says is why they need to break into her mother’s apartment to use the Bishop Security system to look into files on Jack and the Tracksuit Mafia.
At her mother’s apartment, Kate logs into her mother’s computer and begins searching the files. As Hawkeye walks around checking out the place after Kate tells him that no one is home, he tells Kate to look into Kazi’s file. Under Kazi’s file, Kate discovers that Kazi is an employee of Sloan Limited. However, Clint hears a door open and goes to investigate. While doing this, Kate tries to open a file on Jack, but it is protected and Kate’s attempt to open it locks her out of the system. As Hawkeye is investigating the sound he heard, Jack appears, pulls a sword on him and tells him not to move.
While we are still waiting for Florence Pugh’s Yelena to appear, there are still two big things to talk about after this week’s episode: Echo’s unnamed uncle and Sloan Limited. Starting off with Echo’s uncle, there is a possibility it could be Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin. Based on the few lines describing him, he sounds dangerous to say the least, which would fit the character of Kingpin. Plus, rumours have been circling around the internet not only about Charlie Cox returning as Daredevil in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but rumours about Vincent D’Onofrio returning as Kingpin have been present. Fans have long theorized that he could show up in Hawkeye, and this unknown uncle of Echo’s and with her connection to Kingpin in the comics, this could be the way Kingpin returns to the MCU (because remember, the Netflix shows are technically in the same universe as the MCU despite the Disney films and shows not referencing them). Plus Fat Man is a nickname for Kingpin in the comics, and with the Tracksuit Mafia’s repair shop bearing the same name, it cannot just be mere coincidence.
Secondly, Sloan Limited is mentioned in the episode’s final minutes, and it’s something to pay attention to. While there is no Sloan limited in the comics, this could merely be a shell company for a larger threat. Kingpin has been known to hide his activities in plain sight using shell companies so this could support Kingpin appearing on the show. Also, there have been characters in the comics with the last name Sloan. While these characters did not appear in the Hawkeye comics but in the Spider-Man comics, they did have ties to Kingpin. The other character is Walker Sloan, the CEO of Alchemax in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is owned by Wilson Fisk. While the connection to Spider-Verse seems less likely as it is a Sony property not connected to the MCU (however that could change with the impending multiverse coming in a few weeks in Spider-Man: No Way Home), the name sharing a link to Kingpin cannot be coincidence.
What further clues will we learn about Echo’s unnamed uncle? How is Sloan Limited connected? Is Kingpin going to return? And when is Yelena going to make her scene stealing entrance? Check back next week for the next Hawkeye recap to see if we learn the answers to any of these questions.