The first two episodes of the eight-episode limited series “Hawkeye” drop on Disney+ this Wednesday. (Or late Tuesday night, depending on your time zone) Each of the MCU limited series has had a unique flavor and “Hawkeye” continues this tradition but goes in a direction many might not expect. And although the first two episodes focus heavily on Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), the story is ultimately about Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) trying to make it home to his family for Christmas. In many ways, it’s a family-friendly, archery-themed, reimagining of “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles.”
Kate has had a habit of eavesdropping and being nosey since a young age. This insatiable curiosity and natural distrust of others tend to land her in dangerous situations. Early in episode 2, she finds herself hiding in the shadows of a black market auction that is then the subject of a robbery. One of the items in this auction is Hawkeye’s former Ronin costume, a mantle he gave up during “Endgame.” Without any hesitation, Kate snags the costume, puts it on, and begins to awkwardly battle the bad guys. This fight scene, although entertaining, is quite slow and clunky. It’s hard to tell at this point if it’s an intentional decision to highlight her lack of experience or if the showrunners decided to put less effort into the action than they have on the other MCU Series. Her dabbling in vigilantism catches the eye of not only Hawkeye but other organized crime groups, such as the Jumpsuit Mafia.
This first episode is mostly exposition and leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the main characters are introduced, a murder mystery is initiated, and the wheels of chaos are set in motion. Jeremy Renner is good as always but looks a little bored. It’s not until episode two where things begin picking up steam. The writing gets more clever and fun, with some fun banter between Kate and Hawkeye. There’s even a great meta segment when she breaks down how Hawkeye has no brand and no message. (i.e. he’s the most boring Avenger) The light-hearted humor also finds its footing culminating in a segment where Hawkeye must battle his way through a LARP in the park to reclaim what is his.
“Hawkeye” is the most family-friendly MCU series yet, and is obviously designed to be watched as a family through the holiday season as it starts right before Thanksgiving and concludes a few days before Christmas. Will Hawkeye make it home to his family in time? Will Kate become the next World’s Greatest Archer? Will we care once it’s over? Only time will tell!
- Episode 1
- Episode 2