Sunday, January 23, 2022

‘Hawkeye’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 4 “Partners, Am I Right?”

Maya Lopez aka Echo was introduced last week, and she’s got it out for Ronin. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get vengeance on the man who killed her father. Clint and Kate managed to shake off Maya and the Tracksuit Mafia thanks to a few of Clint’s trick arrows, and the pair are now after any info Kate’s mother may have on the Tracksuits within the Bishop Security database. One issue though, Jack is home and greets Clint with a familiar sword … Ronin’s.

Parent to Parent

Marvel Studios

Kate and Clint are busted by Eleanor and Jack, and the four sit down to hash out exactly what is going on. After some back and forth about what they actually are (friends, partners?), Clint has to admit to Kate’s mother that they are working on a case together. Jack makes sure to add-in a thank you to Clint for saving the world.

Eleanor acts excited for her daughter’s newest adventure, despite Kate’s break-in to her laptop in the process, but promptly shows Clint to the elevator after telling Kate to stay put. In her farewell to the Avenger, she mentions that she doesn’t want Kate mixed up in Avenger business; she isn’t willing to lose her. Clint compliments Kate’s skills, and Eleanor mentions that Natasha’s skill were also great, but that didn’t save her. Clint leaves promising to keep Kate safe, but also letting Eleanor know he cannot drop this case.

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After spotting the Ronin sword against the wall during their conversation, Clint manages to swipe it, cleaning up one more aspect of his Ronin mess. However, Eleanor leaves quite the shady message on someone’s voicemail after Clint leaves. It’s almost as if she’s trying to warn someone …

Clint also needs a little help from someone — Laura. He texts her asking her to look into Sloan LTD, the company Kazi works for.

The question after these interactions is mainly surrounding the relationship between Jack and Clint. They obviously have a deep comic history, but so far we haven’t been given any insight into any potential past between these two. Another interesting note was the subtle nod to Clint’s childhood not being so great by Kate. Clint’s childhood is notoriously awful in the comics, so perhaps we’ll get a little bit more of a dive into that aspect of the character.

There’s More to Laura Barton Than Meets the Eye

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Laura Barton is an MCU addition, and there’s not much known about her at all. How her and Clint met and what she did beforehand are a mystery. But a little more is coming to light now. She’s able to run a check on Sloan LTD, discovering that Jack Duquesne is the CEO and they’re a front for money laundering by the Tracksuit Mafia. Which means Kate was right about Jack, he is into some unsavory business, he’s directly involved with the Tracksuits and Maya’s boss.

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The mystery about Laura runs deeper as she asks, in German, if anything else was taken from the Avengers compound, particularly a Rolex watch (which was stolen at the black market auction). Clint isn’t sure, but thinks that was destroyed years ago. However, he asks her to ping its location just to be sure.

Clearly, there’s more to Laura than meets the eye. Whether she learned all of these skills from being Clint’s wife all these years, or she’s a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent herself remains to be seen. Might be worth pointing on Clint is married to a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent for a short while in the comics, Mockingbird. The watch realistically could be hers, and her own cover may be blown if that watch is found.

Pizza and Holiday Cheer

Marvel Studios

After spending the afternoon with her mother and Jack, where Jack seems to slightly win Kate over with her mother’s happiness with him, Kate heads back to her aunt’s apartment to see Clint. She comes bearing pizza, Christmas decor and sweaters, and movies, so Clint can participate in his family movie marathon from afar. Clint appreciates her gesture and goes along with it. He also tells her that she was right about Jack. So much for Jack winning her over.

The pair begins to scheme about their next steps, which includes finding his trick arrows they used. Kate also mentions that maybe he needs boomerang arrows, and Clint shoots it down (this is a great little Easter egg to the Fraction/Aja series!). Clint also introduces Kate to one of his other skills, the deadly coin snap that can knock someone unconcious. He snaps the coin-shaped ornament and flicks the television off, and obviously Kate is smitten with the technique, and Clint shows her how to do it. She picks it up quickly, too.

The Shot I Didn’t Take

After the apartment is decorated and the coin snap is perfected, Kate asks about Clint’s best shot. He tells her it was the shot he didn’t take. Natasha. The history of Natasha and Clint has always been alluded to, and we get no more information than what we already know — Clint was sent to take her out and he didn’t, instead choosing to help her — but as the series has been doing since episode 1, it’s a stark reminder of how much losing Natasha is still affecting Clint over a year later.

Kate asks about his family, confirming they were all lost after Thanos’ snap. Then, she figures out that Clint doesn’t know Ronin, he is Ronin. He tells her everyone dealt with the Blip in their own way, and he coped by continuing to do what he was trained to do. She thinks of his duty as helping people, but he sees himself as nothing more than a trained bow, a weapon used to hurt other people at the command of others. And his shame over his atrocities as Ronin is tied to himself, and his family. So he needs to fix this.

Kate and the LARPers

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

It’s Kate’s turn to meet everyone’s favorite LARPers, including Clint’s old pal, Grills. She needs to get Clint’s trick arrows from an NYPD facility, and Clint thinks maybe these guys will help. He was right, they agree to help on one condition …

Meanwhile, Clint pays a visit to Kazi, telling him he needs to convince Maya to lay off Ronin. He’s gone. She’s chasing a ghost, and she’s going to get killed hunting him down. He also knows the big boss isn’t enjoying all this attention the Tracksuit Mafia has been getting from her little revenge mission.

Kate is immersing herself into the LARP community when Clint finds her at Grills’ apartment. She’s trying on a Viking dress and ends up recruiting its creator’s help in creating two new costumes for herself and Clint, after repaying their debt for the arrows and info with material for new costumes for Grills and his guild. Clint’s going to love that …

The duo get their arrows back and Clint gets a text message from Laura, the watch is pinging at an apartment in the city.

Seeing Double

Kate and Clint head to the address where the Rolex is being stashed. The watch belongs to an old coworker of Clint’s whose cover is at risk of being blown if that watch was in the wrong hands (Laura!). Clint begins to explain the plan, he heads in and she keeps watch, but Kate heads off on her own, leaving Clint to be lookout. Kate sneaks into the building by helping a man with his groceries, a lot different than Clint’s grapple hook arrow approach, and she overexcitedly spills the beans about her working with an Avenger to the man in the elevator.

When Kate gets to the apartment in question, she’s quickly met with strobe lights flashing in her eyes, which she somewhat blacks out with her putty arrows. She locates the watch, and finds notes about Clint’s family on a notepad nearby. Clearly whoever’s apartment this is is after Clint, and now his family.

Quickly, they figure out exactly whose apartment this is — Maya’s. The strobe lights are her alarm system, and photos of Maya and her father confirm that. As does Maya showing up and knocking Kate down. But Clint is also fighting who he believes to be Maya on the roof across the street.

Kate takes on Maya, and Clint continues to battle his unknown masked and nightvision-goggled adversary, finding time to shoot a zipline over to Kate for a quick escape. Kate makes her escape and tries to help Clint with his problem, but Maya takes advantage of the zipline and a fight between Maya and the newcomer begins, with Clint and Kate also fighting them both.

The masked assailant manages to toss Kate over the edge of the building, Clint getting a flashback of losing Natasha over the edge of the cliff on Vormir (the addition of the same theme music from that moment playing in the background really made this hurt). But Kate was saved, technically by the masked fighter who had tossed her over, when moments before in the middle of their fight Yelena had snapped a line to Kate’s belt buckle to save her from death, but get her out of her way. Clint cuts Kate down, whose fall is softened by some canopied Christmas lights. Kate heads right back up to the roof, though, sending a flashbang arrow between the three still fighting.

Kate hits Maya in the shoulder, and Maya knows she’s outmatched by Kate and her bow, and takes off, leaving only the other masked enemy with Clint. Clint rips off the mask to reveal none other than Yelena Belova. Kate has a clear shot on Yelena, but doesn’t take it (take note of the timing of this and the conversation between Clint and Kate earlier regarding Natasha), and Yelena takes off.

At this point, Clint tells Kate she’s done. A Black Widow assassin in now on their tails and she has to clear out. This just got very real, very quickly. Despite Kate’s insistence she knows the risk, Clint is not willing to risk her life … or her conscience.

Be sure to keep up with our continuing coverage of Hawkeye including episodic recaps, reviews, deep dives, and more! Episode 5 of the series will premiere exclusively on Disney+ Wednesday, December 15.

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