TV Recap – The First 2 Episodes of Marvel’s “Hawkeye” Are Wildly Fun and Set Up a Lot From the Comics

After a short break we’re right back into the swing of things with another new Marvel series premiering on Disney+. Hawkeye sees the familiar Avengers meet with his new protege in New York City while he’s just trying to get home in time for Christmas. With the first two episodes dropping at once, a lot has happened already so let’s dive right in.

The first episode opens with a young girl in her New York City home in 2012 as she eavesdrops on her parents arguing. We find out that this is a young Kate Bishop, who has a touching conversation with her father. Later, we see Kate have breakfast with her mother, but when she steps away momentarily, she sees an explosion outside and looks out her window to see the attack on New York from the Chitauri happening.

A wall of their home gets blown out and Kate looks out to see Stark Tower. One of the aliens flies right at her before being blown up by one of Hawkeye’s arrows. She looks to a rooftop across the street to see the Avengers fighting off the invasion. Her mother rushes in and grabs her to take her to safety as Kate calls out for her father.

We then see Kate and her mother at her father’s funeral. By this point, it has been made clear that Kate had a stronger relationship with her father than her mother. Eleanor, Kate’s mother, tells Kate she’ll get her whatever she needs. Kate tells her she needs a bow and arrow.

After the title sequence, we see Kate in present day trying to break into a building. When that doesn’t work, she scales the building and gets to the roof. She calls her friends and explains that she is doing this because of some kind of bet. She shoots a couple of arrows at a bell tower, the second one successfully ringing the bell. However, after a moment, they hear some noise coming from the tower and watch the bell eventually come crashing down. A security guard finds Kate on the roof and it’s clear that she’s in big trouble.

Back in NYC, we see Clint and his children enjoying “Rogers: The Musical,” a Broadway show based on the Avengers fight with the Chitauri. Although, enjoying might not be the right word as they all appear a bit bored. As the show highlights Black Widow, we see that Clint is still clearly troubled by her death. We also see that he is using a hearing aid as his daughter tries to get his attention. After he gives the show a disapproving look, he steps out of the theater for a moment.

In the restroom, he sees that someone has written “thanos was right” which he appears to actually give some thought. A fan walks in and asks him for a selfie, giving us our first look at Barton getting a bit of celebrity treatment. Lila comes outside to find Clint sitting on the curb and explains to him that it’s ok if he doesn’t want to watch the show because he is still bothered by Natasha’s death. They are soon joined by Clint’s sons and they all agree to leave the show early and enjoy Christmas in New York.

Kate calls her mom, who invites her to her home. When she arrives, she finds Eleanor preparing for a fancy charity event. Eleanor scolds Kate a bit for the bell tower incident and informs her that she cancelled her credit cards. She also tells Kate to put on the dress in her room and join her at the party. Kate agrees before showing her mom a new archery medal she’s won. She also notices that there are several swords around the penthouse and Eleanor tells her there have been a few changes. Jack enters with a rose in his mouth and it’s clear that he and Eleanor are in a relationship of some sort.

The Barton family enjoys dinner at a Chinese restaurant and talks about all the fun things they’re going to do for Christmas. They get a call from Laura and tell her they left the show halfway through. As they wrap up the meal, a waiter informs Clint that dinner is on the house because he saved the city. Clint is clearly troubled by the gesture. It appears he is suffering from survivor’s guilt.

At the charity auction, Kate watches her mother and Jack from a distance, dress in a black tuxedo rather than the dress her mother told her to wear. She is mistaken for a waitress by Armand Duquesne, Jack’s uncle. The old man informs her that her mother and Jack are now engaged to be married. He also voices some disapproval for Eleanor, which appears to make Kate a bit suspicious. They’re interrupted by a young boy named Armand, and the elder Armand informs Kate that he is the third and the boy is the seventh.

Kate confronts her mother about the engagement and, after some awkwardness, agrees to be happy for her. She then steps outside to get some air and finds a golden retriever with one eye sitting on the sidewalk. It’s our first glimpse of Lucky the Pizza Dog.

Kate heads back inside to find Elanor arguing with Armand. We can hear him say “I’ve got powerful friends too. The kind you don’t want to mess with.” This not only implies that Armand is connected to some dangerous people, but also that Eleanor is as well. It’s possible there’s more about Eleanor than what we know so far.

After Armand storms off, Kate confronts her mother about the interaction. Eleanor plays dumb and shrugs it off but Kate follows Armand to some kind of secret auction in the basement. We see that Jack has also made his way to this auction. Kate poses as a waitress to get into the auction and is eventually confronted by a waiter. She plays it off by saying Gary sent her and he leaves. Gary comes back moments later and Kate has to employ her acting skills before walking away. She hides from Gary and overhears someone speaking Russian in a side room.

Meanwhile, the auction continues and the auctioneer reveals that the next item is the Ronin sword, recovered from the Avengers compound. Armand and Jack get into a bidding war over the sword and Jack tells Armand that he’ll inherit the money one day in both a playful and threatening way. Armand eventually wins the sword and the next item, the Ronin suit, is introduced before an explosion rocks the auction.

In the scramble, Jack picks up the sword, retracts it and leaves. We see the Russian men enter and a leader of some sort says they’re looking for some kind of watch. The Ronin suit falls right in front of Kate and she puts it on as the mystery men search for the watch. Armand, Jack and others are stopped by a gunman before Kate, now dressed as Ronin, takes him out and tells everyone to get out.

Kate fights the gang of masked men in the basement. Jack, who appeared to recognize Kate in the Ronin suit, makes it out to find Eleanor and tells her he doesn’t know where Kate is. The fight continues inside and Kate eventually gets the better of the thugs. Meanwhile, outside, one of them finds the watch they were looking for. It is tagged “Avengers Compound” but it’s unclear what its significance is. The man is attacked by the dog Kate saw earlier and she arrives to knock the man out before he can fight back against the dog. The dog then runs off and Kate chases after him, narrowly saving him from getting hit by a truck. The thugs follow her and watch her run off with the dog.

The Barton’s get back to their hotel and turn on the news to see that someone dressed as Ronin was seen running from an explosion, which obviously troubles Clint. He has flashbacks of his time as Ronin and it becomes clear he needs to do something about this.

Kate gets back to her apartment with the dog and talks through everything that just happened. More importantly, she feeds him some pizza, bringing him closer to his comic identity of Lucky the Pizza Dog, so let’s just call him Lucky from now on. She then track Armand on her phone and takes off to find him.

Kate breaks into Armand’s home where she finds monogrammed butterscotch candies in a dish before she finds the old man’s body on the floor. He appears to have been stabbed in the back with a sword. A woman enters the home and Kate flees the scene before she finds Armand’s body and screams.

Kate runs out into the street before being surrounded by the thugs from earlier. She fights them off as best she can but there are too many of them and she tries to hide in a nearby car. They attack the car and nearly get in to grab her before they start getting picked off one by one by a mystery person. Kate is then grabbed and dragged to an alley by the man, who we learn is Clint. He takes her mask off and is surprised to see that she is so young. Kate is starstruck by the Avenger but Clint simply asks who she is before the first episode comes to a close.

The second episode picks up right from there, with Kate and Clint in the alley. Kate introduces herself and Clint questions how she got the suit. Together, they make their way to Kate’s apartment and he begins pressing her for information while she gives him the suit. She eventually asks him to sign her bow and he continues to question her instead. He tells her the gang she was fighting is called the Tracksuit Mafia, a slight change from their comic name, the Tracksuit Draculas.

Kate asks if Clint thinks they killed Armand, which of course he has no answer to. He explains to her that the person who wore the Ronin suit made a lot of enemies, including the tracksuits. She tells him she dropped the dog off after the auction and they hear the tracksuits outside her window. Molotov cocktails come crashing through the window and the apartment catches fire. They get Lucky and leave the suit behind as they make their escape.

They pick up some medical supplies in a drug store before heading to a safe location. Kate takes Clint to her aunt’s apartment, which she breaks into while she is away. Clint immediately leaves Kate behind and heads back to get the suit.

When he arrives at the apartment, Clint crosses the caution tape and poses as a fireman to get inside. However, he finds that the suit is no longer in the apartment. On his way out, he returns to the fireman’s gear to the truck from which he took it and finds a sticker for “NYC Larpers,” giving him a lead on the suit.

Clint gets back to their new safehouse to find Kate on the phone with Eleanor. Clint goes to work on cleaning his wounds as Kate ices her head with a frozen pizza, which she says is “Pizza Dog’s breakfast.” Clint sees that Kate patched up her wound incorrectly and he helps her do it right. He tells her he didn’t get the suit but she can tell he has a lead.

Clint looks into NYC Larpers and sees that someone has posted a video showing off the Ronin costume, which he apparently plans to use for Larping. Lucky approaches Clint and it is clear the two of them are starting to form a bit of an attachment.

The next morning, Clint prepares his kids to head to the airport for their flight home. Before getting in the car, Nate signs to Clint that he loves him. Clint losing his hearing is an arc in the comics and it’s clear we’re seeing it in this series as well. Lila is visibly upset by the fact that Clint isn’t coming with them and makes him promise that he’ll be home for Christmas.

Back at the safehouse, Kate sees herself on the news in the Ronin suit. She argues with Kate about going to work rather than staying in and keeping her head down. Eventually Clint gives in and lets her go to work. As they make their way through Times Square they have a conversation about branding and why Hawkeye isn’t exactly a recognizable superhero. When they get to the office, Clint tells her that if all goes right, they won’t see each other again. Kate is upset that he hasn’t taught her more and he gives her his number for emergencies.

In the office, Kate meets with her mother who we now know owns a security company. She is surprised to find Jack in her office and she offers condolences for the loss of his uncle. Eleanor questions her about the fire in her apartment, which she deflects back to Jack, who brings up that he has been reading a book about being a stepdad. Eleanor invites her to a dinner that night and Kate agrees.

Clint arrives at the Larping event and is forced to participate in order to speak with the guy who has the suit. He gets his gear for the event and heads in for his medieval adventure. Clint makes his way through the Laprers, taking them out one by one. He eventually finds the man he was looking for and orders him to give him the suit. The man agrees as long as Clint lets him kill him, in the event of course. Clint is reluctant but agrees.

Kate texts Clint and thinks she is getting a call form him but it turns out to be the police instead. A detective asks her to come to the station to answer some questions. She agrees to do so but tells him she’s at work. They set up an appointment for the following morning.

Clint and the man have a trial by combat in front of the whole group. The man in the suit tries to get Clint to sell their fight as real before he finally lands the killstrike. After the fight, Clint gets the suit from the man, who reveals himself to be Grills. If this character’s fate is anything like the Grills from the comics, things won’t end well for him.

Clint calls Laura to let her know he’s not going to make his flight. She is very understanding and lets him know he has five days to keep his promise. She asks him what his play is and when he says “catch and release,” she refers to it as one of Nat’s old moves.

Kate joins Eleanor and Jack for dinner and strikes up a conversation about fencing. She eventually convinces him to grab his gear so they can spar a bit. Kate gets the better of him a couple of times and accuses him of letting her win. She he removes his mask and looks away, she goes for his face but he parrys without looking and disarms her. She accuses him of hiding something and points to his parry as proof. She tries to convince her mother that he is lying and thinks he killed his uncle. Jack enters and Eleanor forces Kate to apologize, which she does. Jack then offers her one of the monogrammed butterscotches she found in Armand’s home and Kate rushes out.

Clint lets the Tracksuits catch him and bring him in for interrogation. Kate tries calling him but when the phone is answered by someone else, she tracks him. In a scene much like the one from The Avengers in which Natasha is interrogated, we see Clint tied to a chair. He mocks the Tracksuits before demanding to speak to their boss. As he tires to tell them he doesn’t know Kate Bishop, she comes crashing through the ceiling and they all point their guns at her.

They tape Clint and Kate to some old carnival rides and they begin to hear music in the distance. One of the Tracksuits tells them there in trouble and we see a woman in another room where the loud music is playing. She puts her hand to the speaker to feel the bass and is eventually revealed to be Maya Lopez, played by Alaqua Cox. This character is also known as the superhero Echo, who will be getting her own series soon. It’s interesting that she appears to be taking on the role of a villain here as that is not the case in the comics. Echo dismisses one of the tracksuits and the episode comes to a close.

These first two episodes of Hawkeye are wildly fun. It’s nice to see Clint Barton again but the real star of this new series is Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. Marvel fans are sure to fall in love with this new hero as Steinfeld steals every scene. There are also a lot of angles set up here with lots of different comic connections, so the remaining four episodes of this series should be very exciting.

You can watch the first two episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye on Disney+ now with new episodes coming ever Wednesday.

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