tek's rating: ½

Hawkeye, on Disney+
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Caution: spoilers for this as well as other parts of the MCU.

The story begins in 2012, during the Chitauri invasion of New York City. We meet a young girl named Kate Bishop, whose parents are arguing over money, which Kate's mother, Eleanor (Vera Farmiga), thought they didn't have enough of. (She was talking about selling their penthouse, which neither her husband, Derek, nor Kate wanted to do.) Anyway, during the attack on the city, Derek is killed. Kate was almost killed, herself, but her death was averted by Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) blowing up a Chitauri ship or whatever, with an arrow. This leads Kate to decide to take up archery.

The story then flashes forward to the "present day", though it should be noted that while the series came out in 2021, it's actually set in 2024, following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Kate's mother is now wealthy, which confused me up until the season finale, which finally explained both the problem with money in the first episode and the wealth throughout the season. But anyway, Kate is now an adult (played by Hailee Steinfeld), and a total badass. She attends a prestigious school, I guess, but she visits her mother after an unfortunate incident at her school. They attend some kind of party for rich people, where Kate chats with an old family friend named Armand Duquesne III. It's he who informs her of her mother's engagement to his nephew, Jack Duquesne. Later, Kate surreptitiously follows Armand downstairs, and discovers a secret black market auction, which includes a sword and outfit formerly used by a vigilante called "the Ronin", who viewers of "Endgame" know was Clint Barton (Hawkeye), though no one else knows the Ronin's identity. Suddenly there's an attack on the auction, and Kate steals the Ronin outfit, then beats up some bad guys while helping people escape. But eventually she has to escape, herself. She's later tracked down by the bad guys, who seek revenge. Meanwhile, Clint is visiting the city with his kids, six days before Christmas. When he hears about the attack on the news, he apparently goes out looking for the bad guys, because he suddenly shows up and saves Kate. Oh, just before that, Kate had found that Armand had been murdered. Also she meets a dog. (I thought that would turn out to be more important than it did, but at least she kept it throughout the season. She eventually names the dog "Lucky", which I think might have been the idea of a LARPer named Grills, I'm not sure.) Oh yeah, the series has LARPers. They eventually help out Clint and Kate with various things. It's just one of the many humorous touches the series has.

So, all that is the first episode, and then there are five more episodes. Things get really complicated. There's this gang called the Tracksuit Mafia, led by a deaf woman named Maya Lopez, along with her interpreter and apparently either good friend or lover, it's never clear, a guy named Kazi. Clint and Kate have to deal with trouble from that gang throughout the series, largely because Maya's father had been killed by the Ronin, and she believed Clint knew who he was. (At first the gang thought it was Kate, because she had been wearing the Ronin suit at one point, but that didn't last long.) But things get even more complicated when Natasha Romanoff's sister, Yelena Belova (who was introduced in the film Black Widow), comes to New York City to kill Clint. While at first I assumed that was to get revenge for her belief that he was responsible for Natasha's death in "Endgame", it turns out she's specifically been hired by someone to kill him, for a reason that never actually became clear to me. Still, her sister's death remains a major motivation. Also at one point Clint and Kate go on a mission to retrieve a watch that had been part of the auction I guess. I turns out to belong to Clint's wife, Laura (Linda Cardellini), but its significance isn't revealed until the finale, in a very subtle way. And eventually a character from the Netflix corner of the MCU gets involved in the story. (I've never seen any of that because I don't get Netflix, but I was kind of excited about it anyway, because as far as I know it's the first solid connection between the Netflix shows and the larger MCU. But I won't spoil who the character was or even what series they were from.) Anyway... so much more happens throughout the season, and it's hard to keep it all straight, and while it seems like Clint and Kate's problems are wrapped up by the end of the finale, in time for Clint to get back to his family on Christmas day, some plotline resolutions seemed a little too easy, to me.

Well, I don't know what else to say except that it's fun to see Hawkeye get a show of his own, since he always seemed a bit underused in the movies. He's a good character, and so is Kate, and watching their partnership develop throughout the season was interesting. And as I said there's a lot of humor. And a lot of drama, personal trauma for several characters, and moral ambiguity. There's also a lot of incredible action, in both hand-to-hand fights and fights with all kinds of trick arrows. It's just all really fun, even if there were a few flaws in the storytelling. And I really hope there'll be another season. Oh, and the finale has a mid-credits scene that's just... you know, it doesn't set up any new plot threads to be picked up later, all it does is entertain. So much.


superhero webseries index

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok *
Black Panther * Avengers: Infinity War * Ant-Man and the Wasp * Captain Marvel * Avengers: Endgame * Spider-Man: Far from Home
Phase Four: Black Widow * Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings * Eternals * Spider-Man: No Way Home *
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
short films: Marvel One-Shots
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans * Cloak & Dagger
streaming: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher * Runaways * Helstrom
Disney+: WandaVision * The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Loki * What If...? * Hawkeye * Moon Knight