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.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all around Rockefeller Plaza, a battle was brewing, feasting Hawkeye. Everything comes to a head on the series finale of Hawkeye, as Clint and Kate take on both Yelena and Kingpin at the Bishop Security holiday party.
With the formal introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk aka. Kingpin at the end of the penultimate episode, we finally got to see his character in action this week. And right from the opening scene, D’Onofrio continued his terrifying portrayal of the iconic Marvel villain. He brings a true rage to the character that is bubbling beneath the surface, while exploding at the most unexpected moments. While I still need to finish Netflix’s Daredevil, D’Onofrio was phenomenal in his first season and I can’t wait for his larger role in the MCU going forward.
In terms of Marvel Disney+ finales, Hawkeye’s finale delivers exactly what fans have come to expect from these finales: a fast paced, action packed extravaganza for the better part of an hour with lots of wonderful character moments to complete Clint and Kate’s character arcs for the series. Clint has his long teased, emotionally charged showdown with Yelena, and Kate becomes the hero that she has aspired all her life to be. The character moments that made the series such a memorable Marvel storyline continue throughout the episode, and Florence Pugh once again is a scene stealer as Yelena. Her scene with Steinfeld is another laugh a minute moment, combined with great action, that will leave you wanting more of the two of them in the future of the MCU.
Also, the episode brings the most amount of Christmas spirit to the series. We get the Bishop Security holiday party, the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, and Christophe Beck and Michael Paraskevas’ musical score which geniusly intertwines portions of the Nutcracker suite with an action twist. It’s these small details that makes Hawkeye the Die Hard of the MCU, an entry that fans will debate whether it truly is a Christmas story or not, but one that I will watch every year during the holiday season.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen the series finale of Hawkeye or Spider-Man: No Way Home, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in the finale…
The episode opens with Kate watching the video of Eleanor and Kingpin that Yelena sent to her. In the video, we learn that Eleanor has been working for Kingpin for years to pay off a debt her first husband racked up with Kingpin. And while Eleanor has repaid the debt and more, killed Armad under Kingpin’s orders and let Jack take the fall for Sloan Ltd., she now wants out as Kate is getting mixed up in Kingpin’s operations. However, Kingpin is not happy that Eleanor wants out, and is visibly enraged when Eleanor lets him know that she has an insurance policy: copies of everything that Fisk has had her do. Fisk tells Eleanor to take a minute before deciding what to do, but Eleanor tells him she does not need a minute, tells him she’s out and leaves.
After watching this video, Kate does not understand what she has just watched as this is not the mother she knows. Clint, seeing Eleanor involved with Kingpin, tells Kate that her mother needs help as Kingpin will react in a big way. Kate tries calling her mother, but is sent straight to voicemail. Kate tells Clint to go home and be with his family and that this is her mess to clean up, but Clint tells her that they are partners and he is not going anywhere until everything is finished.
Kingpin has summoned Maya to find out what she has been up to. Maya tells him that she got carried away trying to kill Ronin to avenge her father’s death, but she has come to her senses now. She tells Kingpin that she realizes that she needs to focus on the job they have to do and stop chasing ghosts. Kingpin tells Maya that this is quite the change in attitude, but Maya tells him it’s what her father would have wanted. Given everything she’s gone through, Maya asks Kingpin for a few days to clear her head, to which Kingpin agrees and tells Maya he loves her. After Maya leaves, Kingpin turns to Kazi and tells him that Maya has turned on them, Eleanor has walked away, Ronin is back and an Avenger is in New York City. When Kazai asks Kingpin what he wants to do about all of this, Kingpin tells Kazi that it’s time to remind everyone that the city belongs to him.
Back to Clint and Kate, Clint apologizes to Kate for how everything has turned out to her. Kate tells Clint she can’t think about it and needs to stay focused on what they need to do tonight. Clint tells Kate that they will need trick arrows, which leads to an arrow building montage. While building arrows, Clint tells Kate that she does not have to go tonight. He tells her that she may get hurt and that heroes have to make tough decisions in such circumstances. Kate tells Clint that when she was young, she saw him fight the T’Chari when they invaded New York City, and that taught her that being a hero is for anyone who is brave enough to do what’s right, no matter the cost, even without powers. Therefore, she tells Clint she’s ready for what’s coming that night.
Kazi and the Tracksuit Mafia are in place outside Rockefeller Plaza, where the Bishop Security holiday party is occurring. They have a plan in place to break up the party, forcing Eleanor to come out into the street. But Kate and Clint arrive at the party, ready to find and protect Eleanor from Kingpin’s men. And they’ve brought backup: the LARPers who are posing as wait staff at the party. At the party, Kate sees that Jack is there, no longer in prison and walking around with a sword. But that’s not all, Yelena has also arrived at the party, ready to fight and kill Clint.
Eleanor then arrives at the party, and Kate immediately grabs her mother and moves her away from the windows, thwarting Kazi’s attempt to shoot Eleanor. Kate confronts Eleanor with the truth about Eleanor’s dealings with Kingpin. Eleanor doesn’t deny her part in everything, but she tells Kate that she was blindsided by the debt Kate’s father left her with and that she had no choice but to work for Kingpin. Though Eleanor tells Kate that she has everything under control, and leaves Kate alone to talk to Jack who has come looking for Eleanor.
Back at the party, Clint sees a red dot and saves one of the LARPers from being hit by Kazi’s bullets. Kazi continues to shoot at Clint, causing chaos to erupt at the party. Yelena moves in on Clint, Kate tells Jack and her mother to stay out of sight, while the LARPers begin to evacuate the party goers. But Eleanor ignores Kate and leaves Jack alone. As Kate re-enters the party, she spots Yelena and follows her to the elevator. Yelena has followed Clint and is after him, but Kate throws herself into the elevator in an effort to stop Yelena from finding Clint. After a quick fight in the elevator, Kate hits every button on the elevator, forcing Yelena to exit the elevator. Kate follows and the two of them continue fighting.
While Kate and Yelena fight, Clint takes place at a window and fires a trick arrow at Kazi which releases purple smoke, forcing Kazi to leave his position. Floors above him, Kate and Yelena’s fight ends with Yelena repelling down the side of the building. When she hits the floor Clint is on, she unleashes gunfire but Clint dodges the bullets as Yelena continues repelling down the building. Tying a wire to Yelena’s repelling line, Kate follows Yelena down the side of the building, and despite an uncontrolled landing, lands safely on the ground. But at that moment, the Tracksuit Mafia move in and Kate begins fighting them. As the party goers exit the building, Jack sees Kate fighting the Tracksuit Mafia and he begins to help Kate, while noting that he has lost track of Eleanor in all the chaos.
The Tracksuit Mafia have also entered Rockefeller Plaza, and Clint begins placing explosive devices throughout the floor he is on. Kazi enters and begins fighting Clint, but Clint knocks Kazi out, sets off the explosives which takes out the majority of the Tracksuit Mafia in the building and Clint jumps out the window to join Kate down on the ground. But his line snaps, and he flies into the tree at Rockefeller Plaza alongside a baby owl.
Still on the ground, Kate continues to fight the Tracksuit Mafia and discovers that Clint is stuck in the tree. She asks the LARPers to bring her her gear. Kate runs off to get a better vantage point, and Grills decides it’s time for the LARPers to be taken seriously by the scared party goers who are ignoring their attempts to save them.
We briefly cut away from the action at Rockefeller Plaza to Maya at her apartment, who is packing a go bag. While packing, she sees a photo of her father and is reminded of why she was looking for Ronin in the first place.
Back at Rockefeller Plaza, Kate has taken position in a toy story, while the LARPers have emerged in their viking costumes and begin to direct the party goers away from the fight. After jumping on a giant keyboard, in a nice little nod the Penny Marshall’s Big, Kate takes out one of the wires holding up the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree and shots a trick arrow that releases acid which eats away at the tree, causing it to crash to the ground despite Clint pleading with her not to as he can get down himself. Kate and Clint meet on the ice rink, with the Tracksuit Mafia surrounding them. In a fight montage, the two of them use regular arrows, hand to hand combat and trick arrows to neutralize the Tracksuit Mafia, with a little help from the baby owl that was in the Christmas tree too.
The LARPers spot Eleanor running out the side door, and Kate rushes to find her mother. At that moment, Kazi attacks Clint, but Clint urges Kate to find her mother instead of helping him. Maya then appears and attacks Kazi, while Yelena appears out of nowhere and tackles Clint to the ground.
Kazi tells Maya that she should have left, but Maya tells Kazi that she knows what she has to do. They continue their fight, and despite Maya pleading with Kazi to leave with her and leave Kingpin and the Tracksuit Mafia behind, Kazi tells her he can’t and continues the fight. As they fight, he tells Maya that this is his life and it is not meant to be hers, and begs her not to make him do this. But Maya tells Kazi he can be brave, but Kazi tells her that Kingpin will never allow him to leave. However, the fight ends as Maya stabs Kazi and kills him. With his dying breath, Kazi tells Maya to leave as Kingpin is coming for her.
We then cut to Eleanor, escaping the chaos of the party. She gets into her car, only to find her driver has been murdered. Then, her guards outside the car are sent flying, seconds before the door of her car is ripped off by Kingpin. He tells Eleanor not to leave, but Kate appears and pulls her bow and arrow on Kingpin and tells him to get away from her mother. Kingpin begins walking towards Kate, and despite Kate firing an arrow and hitting him, he flicks it off of him like it made no impact at all. A fight breaks out between the two, ending with Kingpin knocking Kate to the ground. As Kingpin is about to strike his final blow against Kate, Eleanor hits Kingpin with her car and sends him flying into the toy store. However, Kingpin gets up and walks towards Eleanor, but Kate attacks Kingpin to save her mother. Kingpin knocks Kate to the ground and sends her flying into the toy store. But that won’t stop Kate, as she continues her fight against Kingpin. However, Kate ends the fight by flicking a small piece of metal, triggering explosive arrows around Kingpin which knocks him out. After doing so, she runs to her mother to ensure that she is ok despite the car crash.
While Eleanor is a little beat up, she’s fine and tells Kate that she is sorry for everything that has happened and promises everything will go back to normal. But Kate tells her that it won’t ever go back to normal, even though Eleanor claims everything she did was to protect Kate. Eleanor tells Kate that Kate can’t continue to think that she can live her life without consequences as someone has to clean up afterwards, which is what Eleanor did for Kate. But the police arrive and arrest Eleanor for the murder of Armand. As Eleanor is being escorted away by the police, she turns to Kate and asks her if this is what heroes do: arrest their mothers on Christmas Eve. Kate then tells her mother that she’s sorry and loves her, before heading off to search for Clint.
Back at Rockefeller Plaza, Clint and Yelena’s fight rages on. Yelena is driven by her anger that Clint killed Natasha, and despite Clint trying to explain to Yelena that Natasha sacrificed herself to save the world, Yelena won’t listen to him. She tells Clint that he needs to stop lying, that he is pathetic and continues the fight. As the fight continues, Yelena asks Clint why Natasha would sacrifice herself to save him? Clint says that he didn’t deserve to be saved, but that he fought Natasha trying to save her. But Natasha was stronge and he couldn’t beat her. Yelena eventually pulls her gun on Clint and whistles, to which Clint responds with Natasha’s corresponding whistle. This catches Yelena’s attention, and she asks him how he knew that. He tells her that Natasha talked about her all the time. Yelena asks Clint what Natasha said about her, to which Clint tells her that Natasha told him about their childhood and how she was always concerned with Yelena’s safety as Natasha loved her. Hearing this, Yelean begins crying and tells Clint that she doesn’t believe that Clint should have got this much time with Natasha, and that she deserved that time, and she would have stopped Natasha from sacrificing herself. Clint agrees that it isn’t fair, but that Yelena could not have stopped Natasha as Natasha made her choice. He tells her that both of them will have to find a way to live with that, and both of them express their love for her. After hearing this, Yelena drops her gun and helps Clint up. Clint tells Yelena that he’s sorry, but Yelena walks away without responding to Clint.
Back at the toy store, the police begin searching for Kingpin but he has vanished. We then see him running down a street, but Maya appears and pulls a gun on him. Kingpin tells Maya that despite not always seeing eye to eye with her, that they are family. However, the camera pans up as we hear a gunshot and a loud thud, leaving both Maya and Kingpin’s fates unknown to us.
After both of their battles, Clint tells Kate that every once in a while you come across somehow who makes yourself better in every way. And despite a quick joke about it being Melissa who made their costumes, he tells Kate that he is proud of how she handled herself this evening and taking on Kingpin by herself. Not lingering on this moment for long, they both remark they have to get home to walk Lucky.
The next morning, being Christmas morning, Clint returns home to his family. He has brought Kate and Lucky with him to celebrate Christmas with his family. His family instantly welcomes Kate with open arms, while Laura embraces Clint as he enters the house. While watching their kids unwrap their presents, Clint tells Laura that she won’t believe what ended up at a black market auction in New York? He then pulls out the watch and hands it to Laura. Laura says thank you to Clint, and turns it over revealing the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the back of the watch. Clint jokes with Laura that she needs to take better care of her stuff (proving my theory correct that Laura was the owner of the watch), with Laura telling him he is one to talk given the Ronin suit reappearing. Clint then asks Kate to help him with something quickly.
Clint takes Kate outside to the barn, where he tosses his Ronin suit on it and douses it in lighter fluid. He then lights a match and throws it on the suit, and the two of them stand there and watch it burn. But Kate has a question for Clint: she asks him what he thinks of the name Lady Hawk? Clint quickly rejects it, and a few more names Kate has. Then Clint tells Kate he has an idea, but the credits begin rolling before we hear Clint’s suggestion.
While Marvel does not have a traditional post or mid credit scene, Marvel does have a holiday treat for us. We instead get the full performance of “Save the City” from Rogers: The Musical from the first episode of Hawkeye. I think it was a great way to end the show, it’s a fun musical number and we had enough teases of the character’s future in the last ten minutes of the episode, that there was nothing more to tease. Plus, this scene has further fueled my need for a full Disney+ musical version of Rogers: The Musical. So come on Kevin Feige, make it happen!
In terms of Easter eggs throughout the episode, there were definitely some with references to Pym and Stark with the trick arrows, but none are shaking up the future of the MCU. While Yelena has not joined the Avengers like some fans thought she would by the end of this show, she will definitely be questioning Val now knowing the truth behind Natasha’s death from Clint. This will definitely have repercussions for Val’s plan to “assemble a team”, and given the fan reaction to Yelena, we will for sure see her again in the MCU. As for the unknown fate of Maya and Kingpin, we know that Maya is getting her own Disney+ series entitled “Echo” so she will be back very soon. And with Charlie Cox appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, there is no doubt in my mind that Kingpin survived that gun shot and he will be back, causing more trouble in New York and hopefully facing off against Cox once again.
Thank you for checking in every week for the past five weeks for my recaps of Hawkeye. While we know there are potentially 13 Marvel Disney+ shows premiering next year, including the already confirmed Moon Knight, She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel, we do not know which Marvel show will be airing first. So until there is an announcement of the next Disney+ MCU series, do not miss out the other great recaps at guyatthemovies.com each week, and my recaps will return once the next Marvel show starts up.