Hawkeye wraps up the season right in the heart of Christmastime, at New York’s Rockefeller Center, with a really fun episode that pays off everything leading up to it and setting the stage for a variety of future spinoffs.
We left LAST WEEK’S EPISODE with the big reveal: Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Kingpin! One of the best parts of DAREDEVIL’s Netflix run was this casting and it was a great week overall to see Netflix characters in MCU projects!
We start up with Kingpin and Kate’s mom, Eleanor, talking about their arrangement, taking credit for killing Armand, framing Jack, and allowing Kingpin to use her security firm. Eleanor was forced to work for Kingpin years earlier to pay off debts of Kate’s father. Now that Kate is getting too close to everything, Eleanor wants out. Kingpin’s later response shows this is naive “She thinks she can just quit? Like she works for Goldman Sachs?”
Clint and Kate Bishop are able to watch this meeting thanks to the video Yelena Bolova sent Kate. Clint warns Kate that this puts a target squarely on Eleanor’s head and no one just walks away from Kingpin.
Next we revisit Maya Lopez, she clearly realizes Clint was right about Kingpin’s role in her father’s death and she tries to bluff Kingpin into believing she’s still on his side. Kingpin, knowing she’s lying but also wishing she wasn’t tries to talk her back into the fold but tells Maya’s right hand man, Kazi, that he knows what he’ll have to do after Maya leaves.
From here we see Clint and Kate Bishop strategizing on a train. They realize Kingpin will make a big move and with Eleanor having a huge Christmas party planned at Rockefeller Center, assume that will be the target. Clint tells Kate it’s time to refill their trick arrow supply. Cut to a building montage as Clint preps arrows and Kate labels them things like “Too Dangerous” to ready for their fight to come.
Clint gives Kate a pep talk reminiscent of him and Wanda Maximoff in Age of Ultron; “if you’re going to do this, I need to know you’re ready.”
Kate tells Clint for the first time what made her become fixated on Hawkeye and archery: watching his bravery during the Battle of New York, Clint proving a person doesn’t need powers or tricks to be a hero, just a desire to do what is right.
We get to the party and Clint has Kate assess the situation. We see the LARPers are back again, serving as waiters at the party and extra eyes and ears for Clint and Kate. We see Jack, back from jail, wanting answers from Eleanor.
The Tracksuit Mafia has also joined the fray, with Kazi leading them and setting up surveillance, looking for Eleanor.
As the party progresses, Clint notices the telltale markings of a laser sight and realizes he’s being targeted. Clint’s able to push a helping LARPer out of the way and direct Kate to start evacuating the party. Kate, though, sees an arriving Yelena and realizes she needs to stop Yelena from killing Clint. Yelena and Kate bicker in an elevator and the bickering leads to an all out, but punches-pulled brawl between the two. Yelena is impressed with Kate Bishop’s moxie but also driven by her contract and thirst for revenge on Clint.
The fight quickly leaves the building with various groups of Tracksuit Bros, Kazi, Yelena, Kate, and Clint squaring off, ultimately in the ice rink next to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Clint ends up stuck in the tree, leading Kate to arrow it down. We get a great look at another batch of trick arrows as the Tracksuit Mafia is intent on killing Kate and Clint. After disarming the Bros with a nifty arrow that magnetizes the flag poles around the ice rink, Kate is able to leave the rink but Clint is stopped by Yelena. Here we reshuffle the pairings; Clint and Yelena, Kate finds Eleanor, and Maya Lopez hits the scene, trying one last time to talk Kazi into leaving with her.
Maya’s efforts fail when Kazi tells her this is the life he chose and even if he’d consider it, Kingpin would never rest until they’re both dead. Kazi tries to kill Maya but she’s able to stab him with one of Clint’s discarded arrows. Kazi warns her with his apparent dying breath “Leave Maya, he’s coming for you.”
Clint, not willing (and possibly unable) to hurt Yelena, fights defensively, telling her he loved Natasha and didn’t want her to sacrifice herself in Endgame. Yelena doesn’t believe him at first, insisting he deserves to die for failing Natasha. Clint doesn’t disagree but uses the whistle the sisters shared in Black Widow; Yelena stops at this, realizing she wasn’t the only one hurt over losing Natasha. Begrudgingly, she helps Clint up, realizing the tragedy of it all and lets Clint be, leaving him and her vendetta behind.
Kate ends up with the toughest of the tasks, as when she finds Eleanor, Kingpin is already there, ready to show Eleanor what happens when you desert the Kingpin. Kingpin takes an arrow point blank in the chest, showing his threat level and power to Kate’s shock. Eleanor, seeing her daughter in danger, runs down Kingpin with her car. This barely phases the mountain of a man. Kate and Kingpin have quite the fight in a toy store, Kingpin repeatedly telling her to stay out of it while he tries to finish off Eleanor.
Kate is able to incapacitate Kingpin by using the flick trick Clint showed her to activate one of the explosive arrows. Kate finally confronts her mother, telling her this has gone too far and she needs to pay for her actions. Eleanor is taken away by the police, leaving Kate and Clint to take in the battle they’ve just been through.
We cut to where we last saw Kingpin and he’s gone, having limped away, shaking off yet another blow that would kill an average person. He’s stopped by Maya, who pulls a gun on him. As Kingpin tells her all family fights and this too must pass, we fade out of the scene as a bullet rings out, implying Maya has taken her revenge on Kingpin.
The season wraps up with Clint keeping his promise, making it home for Christmas. He has company! Kate and Lucky the Pizza Dog have gone to Clint’s farm with him. We get an answer to one of the show’s initial mystery’s: the Rolex. It belonged to Laura, Clint’s wife, who apparently has a past life as Agent 19 of Shield. Clint burns the Ronin costume with Kate’s help, leaving that darkness behind him. The show ends with Kate brainstorming hero names for herself as we cut to the closing credit: Hawkeye!
Likes: Fun episode! I wasn’t really in a Christmas mood this season but the show honestly helped, playing off the iconic Christmas imagery of NYC and incorporating various Christmas tunes to the show. Clint finally embracing Kate, calling her his partner as well as one last batch of trick arrows were fun. Jack Duquesne getting a redemption arc after his time as a villainous red herring was fun as well. I have to admit not being wowed by him at first because it appeared so paint by numbers evil. Yelena was great fun as well and while I hope the character has a future on the big screen, I look forward to her and Kate Bishop getting more screen time together, whether it’s on Disney+ or theaters. Kingpin! Huge week for the NETFLIX properties and I look forward to them getting worked into the MCU proper.
Dislikes: For the show itself, Eleanor Bishop didn’t do much for me. Pegged her from the start as evil just based on the casting of Vera Farmiga, so the twist wasn’t a surprise. Didn’t love trying to justify it either with her monologue to Kate that life is hard and sometimes hard decisions have to be made. I imagine if there’s a season 2, there will be more of this plotline, but can’t say I’m excited. While the Netflix Marvel offerings received new life this week, I remain bummed that Agents of Shield remains the red-headed stepchild of the MCU. They’ve had multiple opportunities to incorporate Shield characters or lore into these shows and have gone the opposite direction at every turn, whether it was the Darkhold in Wandavision, a chance to mention Coulson in Loki, or now, apparently taking the Agent 19 Mockingbird call signal away from Agent of Shield’s Bobbi Morse. I’ll also say a friend mentioned what could have been the all time best way to incorporate the two: During the end credits Rogers musical number? Coulson should have been in the crowd! Maybe somewhere in the multiverse!
Season 1 Overall: 8/10
Of the Disney+ shows, this was maybe the most consistent of the shows. After a rough episode 2, the arrow (ha!) kept pointing up and the show consistently improved. They put a lot of trust in it as well to bring on Florence Pugh’s Yelena and D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and it paid off.