“What the hell did I just watch!?” I asked myself in my head, mouth agape as the credits rolled on. The final episode is titled “So This Is Christmas?” which is the initial lyric from John Lennon’s holiday classic “Happy Xmas.” An answer to that question is: you bet! Christmas is everywhere in this episode, as it jumps from a holiday party to the big final fight in Rockefeller Center. The traditional Christmas tree looms especially large and bright in all its multicolored glory. Disney knew exactly what it was doing when planning the release for Hawkeye. The Christmas element has helped raise the stakes and ambience, giving it a different feel than a typical New York City winter. It’s almost as if the holiday itself were a character.
When Clint and Kate learn the truth about who hired Yelena to kill Clint, the pair is blindsided by the reveal. Vincent D’Onofrio returns as Kingpin/Wilson Fisk from the Netflix Marvel series Daredevil. The big guy is who Hawkeye has been worried about this entire season, going to great lengths to try to avoid Kingpin’s personal intervention. From within the POP team and across social media, Kingpin’s presence was rumored to be true and he is finally here. Will Daredevil fans be happy to see a favorite villain brought back by the grace of Kevin Feige, or will they be let down by a Disney version of him? Make sure to leave your opinions on that in the comments below.
Every scene flows right into the next, giving the episode a great pace. There’s constant action throughout, and it is practically non-stop right up to the end. The visual effects are much improved for earlier episodes as well. The best upgrade in the series is the peak of Clint and Kate’s relationship as mentor/mentee. Within the span of a handful of days, the pair have become very close in learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This lays a strong foundation for the mutual respect Clint extends to his protégé, which is a much needed boost to Kate’s confidence. We get to see her be a Hawkeye and it’s absolutely fantastic. I really hope for a Season 2 just to watch Clint and Kate continue with her training. What I would also love to see in Season 2 is more Yelena! Florence Pugh is awesome as a former Black Widow, with a humor and wit that rivals her fighting prowess. There doesn’t seem to be a place for Yelena just yet in the MCU outside of Hawkeye, but I’m sure there’s already a film in the works with her name all over it.
On a second watch, I can’t help but notice all of the unanswered questions and unfinished storylines. Even though Hawkeye has been a lot of fun to watch, the story has felt a bit sloppy at times. Aside from the finale, all of the other episodes ranged from 40-50 minutes in length, which seemed to be not enough despite some scenes now feeling like nothing more than filler. We should have seen Budapest! That alone would have raised the value of Hawkeye to that of Loki and Wandavision. There was just so much potential, but it feels like half of the series was just about fighting the Tracksuit Mafia, bro. It was exhausting. Regardless, I’m not upset with the Hawkeye we were given, just semi-disappointed. This will still make it into my annual MCU rewatch. For now, I’ll turn to Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye comic to dive into the story that should have been.
Hawkeye is a 6-part series that can be streamed now in its entirety on Disney+.
Ruth Kotsalos spent her Saturday mornings as a kid fully invested in Batman: The Animated Series. Since then, she has been a fan of all DC animated cartoons and movies. Ruth currently works in the nonprofit sector, has a masters degree from The New School, and lives in New Jersey with her husband John, and their German Shepherd puppy, Athena.