When last we saw Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and Kate Bishop, they were in trouble for trying to research Jack Duquesne and his possible ties to the Track Suit Mafia. Instead of getting the info, Clint was held at sword point by Duquesne, until Eleanor Bishop asks “Why is there an Avenger in my dining room?” Duquesne, who becomes almost fanboyish, backs off when he realizes Clint is “Archer.” Eleanor expresses concern for the safety of her daughter as she galavants around NYC with Clint. Odds are, she is equally, if not more concerned about being found out as one of the main organized crime power players.
Clint leaves the apartment, gets the info on Duquesne from his main Scooby, Laura Barton, and retreats to Kate’s apartment to ice all his injuries. Rest eludes him, though, bas Kate shows up with a Christmas tree and movies, ugly Christmas sweaters, and a pizza, ready to plan their next moves.
They bond over his story about not killing Natasha/Black Widow in Budapest. He teaches her to turn off the TV by flipping a coin across the room. She figures out he’s Ronan, but accepts that he did it as a consequence of losing his family in the blip. Because his stolen Rolex watch could lead Maya or others to find and hurt his family, Clint wants to find it. He also needs to retrieve all his trick arrows, because he has no replacements.
Kate and Clint enlist the help of the LARPers he had met to help retrieve the arrows. Kate also makes a deal with them to make two costumes for the Hawkeyes. Clint tracks down the address where the watch is being kept. Kate goes there to retrieve it, but discovers too late that she is in Maya Lopez’s apartment, as Maya attacks her.
Clint, who is watching from a neighboring roof, is also attacked by who he thinks is Maya, but soon discerns that the assailant is a Black Widow assassin. It’s not clear if he knows she’s Yelena Belova/Romanov (Florence Pugh), but he will certainly learn she’s Natasha’s sister before the end of the series. Yelena throws Kate from the roof, bringing out Clint’s PTSD over Natasha’s death, but this time, he cuts the rope tethered to her, causing her to fall on strings of Christmas lights that break her fall.
Another episode of fine performances all around. Jeremy Renner is excellent as the haunted Clint, riddled with guilt, physically falling apart, and distressed that he has to recover all evidence of Ronan to keep his enemies from harming his family, while also trying to keep Kate out of harms way. Hailee Steinfeld doesn’t miss a beat as the exuberant bull in the china shop who intentionally puts herself in dangerous situations. Tony Dalton and are Vera Farmiga excellent as a couple trying to appear normal, as viewers try to discern who is playing who in the relationship.
Another strong episode weaving numerous complications into the overall story, including organized crime and Christmas, youthful heroism and an aging hero grappling with PTSD, Black Widow assassins and vengeful daughters, swords, LARPers, and ugly sweaters.
- CGI & Stunts9.5