One Hour Impressions: Hawkeye (2021)
The new Disney+ series following a post Infinity Saga Clint Barton has been out on the streaming platform for a little while since the tail end of November. With Hawkeye being one of my favourite Avengers besides the usual suspects (Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman etc.) and the show set around the Christmas period, it’s really a no-brainer for me to check it out this week.
I’ve watched the first two episodes of the show at time of writing and as the title of the post should clue you in, I’m going to dish out my impressions of these first two episodes and then either recommend the show to you or warn you off wasting your time.
Season 1 Episode 1: Never Meet Your Heroes
It’s Christmas time in the MCU and for former Avenger Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye, that means just one thing – the best family Christmas ever! Barton and his children having recovered from their little dusting event have decided to head into New York and check out the latest Broadway show Rogers: The Musical.
While the audience is loving the show, Clint is less than impressed by the creative liberties taken by the show (Antman wasn’t even at the Battle of New York yet here he is dancing his heart out with the rest of them). However, the sight of Natasha Romanoff – or the knock-off Broadway version of her- brings a bunch of emotions to the surface and the family decides to spend the rest of the day doing more family stuff.
At the same time, we’re introduced to Kate Bishop, a proficient archer who’s also in New York visiting her mother for the holiday. This isn’t the first time Kate and Clint have been in New York together as we’re shown in a flashback to the first Avengers film in 2012. This is a great opening scene that actually links up shot for shot with the film if you play it side by side.
Kate finds out that her mum is planning on marrying her new partner while at a charity auction. While snooping around, she finds out that the real auction is hidden away from prying eyes. All these specialist items being sold include the sword and suit worn by Clint as he tore through the criminal underworld as the vigilante Ronin.
This past comes back to haunt Clint as Kate ends up nicking the suit, donning it and getting framed as a person of interest in the death of an old New York socialite. So, the Barton family Christmas plans are derailed as he has to clean up the mess Kate’s caused and deal with his past actions at the same time.
This pilot episode hooked me in straight away with the opening scene mirroring the Avengers film and keeping me invested throughout the entire runtime of the episode which is an accolade not a lot of MCU work can proudly display. I like Kate as a character, Hailee Steinfeld injects a sense of carefree flippant attitude and charm into her scenes. Jeremy Renner impresses yet again in his fifth outing as the famous archer and the two characters make a good student-mentor relationship.
Bring on the next episode!
Season 1 Episode 2: Hide and Seek
With Kate Bishop’s identity as The Ronin now common knowledge amongst the criminal underworld of New York, Clint’s job just got a lot harder. Not only does he need to get the suit and make sure it never sees the light of day again, he also needs to clear Kate’s name with the various criminal elements of New York.
Surely keeping the suit hidden can’t be that hard for Clint? I mean he’s already got it in tow so I guess it’s time to start busting in heads oh no wait the Tracksuit Gang firebombed Kate’s apartment and in the subsequent ruckus, the suit gets picked up by one of the firefighters that arrive at the scene.
Through a bit of internet sleuthing, Clint figures out that the person that has the Ronin suit is now using it for Live Action Role Play (LARP) sessions around the New York area. The only problem is you can’t just walk up to a LARPing group and ask for the suit back. No, to reclaim the suit, Clint needs to best the warrior in a battle to the death… or at least pretend to battle to the death.
Once that titan is bested, Clint now just has to clear Kate’s name. With the suit safely stowed away from any interested parties, Clint decides to pull out one of Natasha’s old plays – the catch and release. True to form, the Tracksuit Gang rocks up and kidnaps Clint in the cliché white van in order to interrogate him to find out where Kate is.
No sooner has Clint finished engaging in an amusing exchange with his captors that he knows nothing about Kate or where she is currently located that Kate comes crashing through the skylight, ready to free Clint only to be met by a whole lot of guns. The episode ends on a cliffhanger yet again with Clint and Kate tied up and about to be interrogated by the mysterious head of the Tracksuit Gang.
Much like the first episode, episode two treads the line between intense dramatic actions and pure love for the source material and its goofy origins. It’s not afraid to have some fun at the ridiculous situations it puts Clint in, with the LARP scene being front and centre as Exhibit A.
The introduction of the new big bad right at the end of the episode has been done before with these types of shows to keep audiences hooked and I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t worked this time. I’m excited to learn more about the identity of this character and their origins.
Overall, so far the Hawkeye tv series has kept me engaged and excited through the first two episodes and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the season as it drops on Disney+
Have you seen Hawkeye? What do you think of it and what other Marvel characters do you want to see get their own standalone series? Let me know down below.
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