There’s a big shadow looming over Hawkeye. Last week’s episode gave us a glimpse of a mysterious “uncle” in a brief flashback to Maya’s (Alaqua Cox) backstory, and the chapter ended with Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) bumping into an armed Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), aka The Swordsman.
We know Jack is a baddie because he has an evil moustache (and because this week sees him slow dancing with Vera Farmiga, whisper-singing a Christmas song like a complete creep), but since Marvel loves a bit of misdirection, we also know he’s almost certainly not the show’s big bad. Most fan theories seem to be expecting the arrival of Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin – since he’s a big part of Maya’s story in the comics, and since an off-camera laugh from last week’s show sounded a lot like Vincent D’Onofrio (who played Fisk in Netflix’s Daredevil) – but all of that will have to wait for now. This week’s episode does give us a big new reveal, but it isn’t Kingpin (yet…)
Back to that encounter with Jack and the two Hawkeyes have a bit of explaining to do. After promising to keep Kate safe, Clint heads to the safehouse to strap frozen daiquiris to his arms and legs. The big new MacGuffin here is the Rolex watch that turned up in the underground Avengers auction – now seemingly the thing that’s tying the Tracksuit Mafia to Maya’s quest for revenge. We don’t know who it belonged to just yet, but we do know that everyone wants it.
Kate comes over with pizza and Pizza Dog (and The Santa Clause on DVD) and the pair start bonding. After the huge set pieces of last week’s show it’s nice to see directors Bert and Bertie finding the time to let the characters develop – with some comedy Christmas jumpers, a bit of decorating, and a deadly coin flip trick giving Kate and Clint a chance to start working on their friendship – and Steinfeld and Renner a chance to show how much great chemistry they’re building up.
Clint brings the mood down by talking about Natasha, as well as finally admitting that he was the Ronin (“You were a hero…” “I was a weapon…”), and the pair get back on task by asking the LARPER cops for help in tracking down a stash of trick arrows. More importantly, Clint also finds the missing watch and reluctantly lets Kate break into Maya’s apartment to steal it back.
Tripping a silent alarm, Kate has to face Maya alone while Clint finds himself in a fight with a mysterious masked ninja on an opposite rooftop. The duels crossover via zip line, and Kate gets another shot to show off how good she is at shooting as the four-way fight escalates. Anyone who saw the end of Black Widow (or who read the cast list for Hawkeye…) knows who the new assassin is long before the hood gets pulled, but it’s still a neat moment to see Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) unmasked here as the new Widow – back on the revenge mission that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) sent her on a couple of MCU end-credit stings ago.
The fight breaks up and everyone goes their separate ways – clearly building up to a bigger showdown in the final two episodes left of season one. Clint tells Kate to go home, but we all know she won’t listen to a word he says…
- As Clint gets mopey about Natasha he drinks out of a pink mug that reads “Thanos was right”. Probably not his first choice.
- The obvious owner of the Rolex was Tony Stark, but here Clint says that it belongs to someone who wants to stay in hiding. Since Laura’s role in all this seems to be growing is there a chance that the watch is hers, and that she has a past as an agent that we don’t know about?
- Props seen in the LARPER apartment now confirm Dungeons And Dragons and Tomb Raider both now exist in the MCU, but a poster for “Valravn” might also be a clue to a Venom storyline (or it might just be a nod to a Danish folk band…)
‘Hawkeye’ releases new episodes on Disney+ every Wednesday