In Review: Hawkeye (S1 – Eps 1 & 2) Never Meet Your Heroes & Hide And Seek

Who would have thought Hawkeye has the best opening credits of any of the MCU/Disney+ series? (Spoilers Ahead)
Hawkeye

Synopsis: Who would have thought Hawkeye has the best opening credits of any of the MCU/Disney+ series? The animated credits include a rundown of events that unfold in the series, with special focus on Kate Bishop  and her student/mentor relationship with Hawkeye Clint Barton. The credits artfully pay homage to the Matt Fraction run of the Hawkeye comics, where Barton trains Bishop to be the new Hawkeye. This review contains spoilers, so if you haven’t seen these episodes yet, go watch them and then come back!

The Story

The first episode is Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye’s origin story. In 2012, she witnesses Avengers battle of New York from her home in Manhattan, which results in the death of her father. Hawkeye, a dashing and heroic figure in her eyes, saves her life while taking down Chitauri invaders. Kate decides she needs to protect herself and her mother, by taking up martial arts and a bow and arrow.

Two years after the events in Avengers: Endgame, Clint Barton is in NYC with his kids on a special pre-Christmas trip, trying to make up for lost time with them. They see Rogers: the Musical, an inane, lavish production following Steve Rogers from being turned into Captain America, to saving the world with the Avengers. “I Can Do This All Day” is a real showstopper, but Barton walks out, haunted by the death of Natasha Romanov and the reality of the losses incurred during their many battles.

Kate Bishop, simultaneously, has her own demons to deal with. She learns her mother, Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga), has agreed to marry smarmy Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) who has a questionable background and a conflicted relationship with his uncle, Armand Duquesne III (Simon Callow). Both are part of a powerful family that, among other things, seeks out black market items including Avengers items, Chitauri tech, and the sword and suit belonging to Ronan, the dark assassin that Barton became after Thanos wiped out half the population, including his family.

During an auction of these items, the Tracksuit Mafia breaks into the building, stealing the coveted items, but Kate Bishop manages to grab Ronan’s suit. Donning the “ninja” outfit, she fights them off, and then saves the life of Lucky the Pizza Dog, who ends up in the middle of busy traffic. Her rescue of the dog makes the evening news, where Clint sees his Ronan get up. Clint seeks out the suit.

In the meantime, Kate finds Armand murdered in his home. She is seen as Ronan, running from the scene, but ends up in a fight with the Tracksuit Mafia. Hawkeye saves her, thinking she’s a man, until he sees her face, and realizes she’s “just a kid.”

In the second episode, Kate’s apartment is set on fire by the Tracksuit Mafia. Much of this episode involves Clint trying to get the Ronan suit, first from her, then from her burning apartment, and in a humorous sequence from a LARPer named Grills (Clayton English), who managed to get a hold of the outfit.

Clint is also going deaf after too many years living through loud, explosive, traumatic experiences. He wears hearing aids. He and his youngest son communicate in American Sign Language, which seems cute and innocent at first, until you realize the motivation behind learning it. He wants to stop being an action hero, and live his life out with his family. He’s in decline, as Kate seeks to be like the Hawkeye she witnessed as a child.

While simultaneously trying to protect Kate, he’s also teaching her how to be another vigilante hero. She suspects Jack Duquesne of having something to do with Armand’s murder. Clint, in the meantime, gets captured by the Tracksuit Mafia. One of them warns not to kill Barton, because “She wants him alive.” The “She” they’re referring to is Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), AKA Echo, who has ties to Kingpin.

Kate comes to Clint’s rescue, but botches the rescue attempt, with both ending up as prisoners.

 

Acting

Both Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld are top-notch in their roles. Ava Russo (daughter of Joe Russo) glows as she reprises her role as a more grown-up Lila Barton. The acting overall is excellent.

 

CGI & Effects

Special effects are decent, especially when reproducing parts of the Battle of New York from the perspective of a little girl. The focus was primarily on world and story building, more than on spectacular effects.

 

Overall

A really strong start for the series and the Musical Score is easily 10 – Outstanding musical score!

9.6
Hawkeye (S1 - Eps 1 & 2) Never Meet Your Heroes & Hide And Seek
  • Story
    9.5
  • Acting
    10
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.0
  • Incidental Music
    10
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