Episode 2 starts right where we LEFT OFF, with Clint unmasking Kate and incredulous that a kid has his Ronin suit. Clint’s top priority remains getting back to his family, so he only wants the suit back and to leave New York City behind. He and Kate have a fun chemistry here with Kate fangirling out meeting one of the few remaining original Avengers and her personal favorite. Clint, already shown to be above all the fan interaction, is beyond that and just wants to be all business. They get back to Kate’s apartment where the Tracksuit Mafia has also tracked them. A brief skirmish destroys Kate’s apartment and sends her and Clint fleeing.
They end up at Kate’s aunt’s apartment to regroup, dress their wounds, and plan what is next. For Clint, that means getting rid of Kate as quick as possible, getting his suit back, and calling it a day to get back to his family Christmas.
Clint returns to the burned remains of Kate’s apartment and finds the suit missing. He immediately assumes a firefighter took it because of a NYC LARP sticker on the truck and that turns out to be the case. The episode side tracks with Clint having to go to a LARP exhibition and “fight” his way to his suit, now worn by a firefighter. To get the suit back, Clint has to throw the fight to make the LARPer look like a champ by beating an Avenger in fake combat.
Meanwhile, Kate is still suspicious of her mom’s fiance, Jack. At one point she ends up fencing with him. She realizes he’s toying with her and attempts to hit him in the head to prove he’s better. He easily disarms her, showing his skills with a foil and by extension, sword. To continue forecasting Jack’s involvement in Armand’s death, Jack hands Kate a monogrammed candy from Armand’s candy bowl.
Clint calls his family, who are back home doing Christmas things, telling his wife Laura work has come up and he needs some time. He mentions he’s going to do a “catch and release,” which Laura points out was Black Widow’s favorite spy game. A somber moment for for Clint thinking of his former partner ensues.
The episode builds to Clint, captured by the Tracksuit Mafia, trying to do Black Widow’s routine where the bad guy thinks they’re in control but they’re really giving the spy all the info they need. Clint lacks Natasha’s patience though so immediately unties himself and wants to speak to their leader. At this point Kate hits the scene, thinking Clint needs saving, only leading to both held at gun point by show’s end.
We finish with our first look at Echo, the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, and a character Disney is committed to, already having announced her own Disney+ series.
Likes: Steinfeld and Renner have good chemistry. Hailee’s Kate in full hero worship mode and Clint crabbily beyond any time of celebration of being a hero is a nice dynamic. The LARP scene will pull double duty and show up in dislikes later too! Seeing Clint so obviously beyond his comfort zone, an actual soldier befuddled by role players was a fun diversion. First two episodes are coming in lower than I imagined but I’m committed both based on rumors of things to come and the performances of the two leads. And to be honest? The Christmas theme is going to help and if they come even halfway close to nailing the landing, they’ll win me back pretty quick.
Dislikes: I’m not sure at this point why exactly Clint’s so hot to get the suit back. They haven’t established it as having any particular tech or abilities. No one knows Clint was Ronin publicly. Again, maybe I’m impatient and they’ll write it into the show later but now it just appears as a plot contrivance to keep Hawkeye in NYC. I’m not sure why they’re keeping Jack on the fence at this point either. It’s obvious enough he killed his uncle that my only wonder at this point is if Kate’s mom is in on it, too. And now for my dislike of the LARP scene: we have 4 episodes left already and once again the shows are sidetracking on things that, while entertaining, are pushing aside a driven, fast-paced narrative these short run shows should get. We now have a murder mystery, Echo, and rumors of even more still to come and only 4 episodes left to salvage it. The biggest knock on these Disney shows so far is too many dangling plot points and not enough time to bring them to a satisfying conclusion. I hate to project but I can’t help but wonder if that’s where we’re heading here too.