Hawkeye episode 1 recap: an origin story that really hits the mark

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Spoilers for the first episode of Hawkeye Follow. you have been warned.

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Origin stories have always been a difficult task. Superhero status quo is full of clichés, while spending too long on explanations can distract from the story you really want to tell. As an introduction to rookie archer Kate Bishop, almost everything goes well in this first episode of Hawkeye—in fact, within the first 20 minutes you’ll find almost everything you need.

Anyone who has casually flipped through Disney Plus hoping to see Clint Barton: The TV Series will likely be surprised to see that the original focuses more on Bishop than on Hawkeye. If you’ve read our interview with the show’s director and producer, you already know this. Still, as bold as it is, it pays off handsomely.


The pre-credits sequence shows how young Kate loses her father in the Chitauri attack of the first Avengers film – nearly a decade later, the Battle of New York remains a pivotal event in the MCU – and is inspired by Hawkeye’s archery later. Actions on the battlefield. “I need a bow and arrow,” she says at her father’s funeral, vowing to protect her mother from anything that comes her way.

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A wonderfully animated credits sequence – rendered in the trademark purple hue of Bishop’s comic-book look – picks up the story, showing how she became a champion archer, gymnast, and fencer. As well as being a crash course in Superhero Skills 101, it’s an amazingly skilled piece of storytelling. The first time we see Kate in action, it’s also revealing, as she uses her unique talent to shoot – and accidentally breaks down – a vintage belltower as part of a bet. . It’s a good job Her mother has enough money to pay the repair bill…

Barton himself is not forgotten, and the episode skillfully switches between its two protagonists. He’s the last of the original Avengers to receive the title billing, and on paper it’s easy to see why — next to a supersoldier, Norse god, billionaire tech genius, and super-spy, a man who is just Really Good with a bow and arrow is a very helpful player. Still, “Never Meet Your Heroes” quickly shows why she’s the perfect anchor for a TV show.

In short, Hawkeye is the stuff hero. When Thanos Gave the Most Famous Finger Snap in History, Clint Barton Lost everything, So, with his wife and three children turned to dust, he transforms himself into a vigilant ronin, unafraid to push the limits of the PG-13 rating as he embarks on a violent mission to eliminate organized crime. Then, to make matters worse, he has to sacrifice his best friend, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow), in order to retrieve the Soul Stone on Vormir. Even after his family is restored, a backstory like this is sure to leave an impression.

Jeremy Renner is brilliant here, his gruesome, immaculate performance revealing the vulnerable, human side of a hero. Though clearly devoted to her children, an underlying sadness hides behind the eyes, especially as memories flood back when an actor plays Black Widow in a production of the hot new Broadway smash Rogers: The Musical. have been Barton is clearly uncomfortable with his huge figure, the weight of life taking his toll under his ronin’ guise.

And yet despite all that darkness, this episode is a lot of fun — and not just because its “Six Days’ Until Christmas” setting is all the excuse Marvel needs to turn the soundtrack into a festive jukebox.

From hilarious glimpses at The Steve Rogers Show – surely a real-life MCU musical couldn’t be far behind? – As for Kate Bishop’s inventive fight scenes, there’s a real lightness of touch here. Hailee Steinfeld immediately embraces the role, whether it’s in the middle of an altercation with her mother, going undercover, or beating up mobsters with old wine bottles.

But as skillful and inventive as Kate is, it is clear that she is far from the finished article. In fact, as soon as she puts on the ronin suit, it’s inevitable that she’s about to find herself in over her head, and becomes the target of the so-called tracksuit mafia – aka The Bad Boys – whose leader has made it over to the extreme. have made their business for favoritism.

Lucky for her, running around in that outfit is a surefire way to get the attention of Clint Barton, the ideal mentor for someone with his own skill set. “Who the hell are you?” He asks after saving her from the angry mob. It is going to be a blast to find the answer on the evidence of the first episode.

our decision

The latest MCU TV show is underway, and serves as the perfect set-up for the new series. As well as cleverly introducing Kate Bishop and revealing some of Clint Barton’s demons, it poses some intriguing questions that bodes well for the show as it continues.

How did Eleanor Bishop’s fortunes change in the decade following the Battle of New York? What did he do that made Armand Duquesne III so upset? Why is Jack, his new fiancée, so obsessed with Ronin’s retractable sword? Why is the watch recovered from the Avengers compound so important? And where can we get tickets for Rogers: The Musical? The answer is expected to appear in the remaining five episodes of Hawkeye, rather than in a follow-up MCU movie or TV show down the line.

Marvel just gave us a wonderful start to Christmas — fingers crossed we haven’t opened the best gift before.

amazing facts

  • Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, Clint Barton/Hockey first appeared in 1964’s Tales of Suspense #57. Barton has inherited the shape-shifting techniques of Goliath (Hunk ‘Ant-Man’ Pym), the Golden Archer, and of course, Ronin.
  • Clint Barton’s Deafness is inspired by the story of the 1983 Marvel miniseries.
  • Kate Bishop made her first appearance in Alan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s Young Avengers #1 in 2005. He later inherited the Hawkeye moniker from Barton.
  • In the comics, Bishop was a member of the Young Avengers, along with three other MCU TV show characters – Speed ​​and the Wiccan children of Wanda and Vision in WandaVision, and Kid Loki appeared in Loki.
  • Hawkeye plays with Kate’s family history a bit. In the comics, Kate was raised by her father, Derek, after her mother was presumed dead. Eleanor later went on to work with one of Kate’s enemies, Madame Musk. Kate also has an older sister, Susan, although she is not present in the MCU.
  • There is also a comic-book history of shady businessman Armand Duquesne, where he was a government official in the fictional Asian country of Sin-Kang. His son, Jacques, becomes a swordsman inspired by the stories of World War I criminal-hero Crimson Cavalier (aka René Duquesne).
  • Eleanor Bishop’s new fiancée Jack Duquesne’s obsession with Ronin’s retractable sword may provide some clues to the character’s path throughout the rest of the series.
  • It’s been the busiest year in MCU history – by the end of 2021, we’ll have four movies (Black Widow, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternal and Spider-Man: No Way Home). and five TV shows (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, What If…?, Loki and Hawkeye).
  • According to Bloomberg, Disney originally planned to make a Hawkeye movie. When Disney Plus became a reality, however, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige moved the project to TV.
  • Director Rhys Thomas recently told GamesRadar+ that Hawkeye is set two years after the events of Avengers: Endgame. This places it in the MCU timeline after both The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Eternal.
  • Hawkeye isn’t the MCU’s first Christmas-themed adventure. In the tradition of most director Shane Black’s films, Iron Man 3 also takes place during the festive season.
  • The “Thanos was right” mural in the men’s bathroom continues the themes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier about widespread discontent in the post-blip world.
  • The Lunt-Fontaine Theater that hosted Rogers: The Musical is a real-life Broadway auditorium. There are also real-life Broadway stars in the cast.
  • Rogers: The Musical isn’t Marvel’s first iteration of Broadway. Spider-Man: Turn of the Dark was one of the most expensive theater productions in history, and featured music from U2’s Bono and the Age.
  • The ‘display-only’ skull up for auction appears to belong to a Chitauri dragon (or Leviathan), which was used in the Battle of New York.
  • Jeremy Renner’s breakout role came in the 2008 Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker. He is familiar with the world of action and espionage, having appeared in a few Mission: Impossible movies and The Bourne Legacy.
  • Rainer is a native of Modesto, California, the hometown of George Lucas.
  • Since her own breakout role in the Coen brothers’ True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld (Kate Bishop) has starred in Ender’s Game, Bumblebee, and a few Pitch Perfect movies. She also stars in the Apple TV Plus series Dickinson, and most recently voiced V in Netflix’s League of Legends show, aka Arcane.
  • Vera Farmiga (Eleanor Bishop) plays ghost hunter Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring Series, and Norma Bates in Bates Motel.
  • A veteran star of the British stage and screen, Simon Callow (Armond Duquesne III) most famously appeared as Gareth in Four Weddings and One Funeral – the unfortunate subject of the eponymous funeral.
  • Although this is Hawkeye’s first outing as the title star, he has previously appeared in Thor, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. Jeremy Renner also voiced the character in several episodes of Marvel’s What If…?
  • Steinfeld also has Marvel history – he voiced Gwen…

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