Spoiler warning: this post discusses plot points from the first three episodes of Hawkeye. If you haven’t seen them yet, stop reading. If you’re never going to watch them… read on. I need to pretend that folks read these random musings of mine. Dunno why.
I am now going to randomly brain dump my reactions to Hawk-guy and Hawkeye. ’tis just a flèche wound. I’m only seconds after finishing my first watch of episode three, and there’s a lot for me to unpack still.
Episode 1: Never Meet Your Heroes
- We’re back in 2012, again? After Loki took us there back in March? I didn’t realize 2012 was so important the first time around… I feel like I should have paid more attention. So much fun to see the battle against the Chitauri with the old footage and the new footage intercut. There’s an annoying part of my brain trying to figure out how beyond-rich the Bishops needed to be to afford that much space in New York.
- Speaking of New York real estate, seeing Stark Tower just makes we want to know who Tony sold it to when the moved to the Avengers compound upstate.
- The opening credits of episode 1 are Kate’s whole training montage! How cool is that? They showed each step of her training to be a hero. That has to be a first for any TV show or a movie.
- The bell tower (with a clock) is in Stane building. I didn’t ever want to think about Obadiah Stane again. Why can’t the universe just not let me think about him again? Nope, problem solved. I’m now trying to figure out how on earth ringing a bell causes the whole top section of the tower to collapse. It’s a bell, it is supposed to ring.
- Rogers: the Musical. Well, at least it distracted me from the bell tower/clock tower physics issues. It hurt so bad. Clint could turn off his hearing aid, which reminded me of how Grandpa dealt with Grandma in the last few years. I feel vaguely compelled to apologize for every time that I have ever said “I could do this all day” in the last eight years.
- “Thanos was right” written on the sink. The people of NY have feelings. That seems fair. I might need a mug with that on it.
- Urinal selfies. Hard no. There are no appropriate opening lines at the urinals. None.
- Step-father drama with Jack? I don’t really want that in the plot. Can we avoid it somehow? I have a feeling the answer is no.
- 6 days until Christmas. Gingerbread house. Movie marathon. Ugly sweaters. “We’re going to do it, all together.” Yup, the Barton family Christmas is officially jinxed. I’m also going to point out that the Falcon can’t float a loan when paired with his sister’s income, but Hawkeye gets his dinner comped at the restaurant. Being a superhero buys you more when you’re white. Side note: going out for Chinese food at Christmas is a fairly popular Jewish tradition.
- “I’d appreciate it if you wore something else to the wedding so we won’t be competing.” Thank you, Armand the Third, for re-enforcing pointless gender norms while spoiling secrets. Asshat. Kate’s suit is absolutely fantastic, and The Third is just going to have to up his sartorial game to deal with the competition.
- Kate working her way into the underground evil art auction was perfection. Watching Kate turn on Gary for him not remembering her name and quitting? Why can’t I think on my feet like that?!?!?
- Ronin’s retractable sword. I hate it. Swords are supposed to be made with beautiful Damascus steel, folded by a Japanese master. They are not supposed to retract. A blood groove (fuller) is okay on a blade, but that’s a series of actual holes along the spine and I am sure they would cause the blade to get stuck more often than not. It’d a problematic sword. I still want it. We’re not going to talk about it either way.
- While we’re not talking about the sword, in the comics, Jack Duquesne was a bad guy known as the Swordsman and knew Hawkeye when he was a kid. I’m guessing that we’re not going to have this crossover of their pasts in the MCU. Unless we are. Dunno. He’s got Ronin’s sword, which I figure I am gonna see later.
- Kate in the Ronin suit is super cute. Only I want to point out that armor and clothes built for a masculine form don’t usually fit so well on a feminine one, even if they are slim. I’m done with the logical stuff because she kicked a bottle into a tracksuit mafia guy’s face. His FACE. They also let Kate demonstrate every one of her separate combat specialties, one after another. Thank you.
- Tracksuit mafia. The actual Tracksuit Mafia from the comics. Un-ironically. And they say Bro, all the time. Just like the comics. Could not be happier. Today, we are leaning in hard on stereotypes.
- Pizza dog (aka Lucky) also from the comics? YAASSSSS! I guess Clint’s not rescuing the dog in this version. I can work with that, as long as he’s present.
- Armand the Third is dead with a hole in his chest after a disagreement with his son about a sword. Let’s all not connect the dots. It’s a Christmas flick, and Disney obviously doesn’t want me to have to work too hard for this.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Pass the egg rolls.
Episode 2: Hide and Seek
- Clint: “So what did you do in the suit?” Kate: “I beat some guys up, saved a dog, some light B&E.” And with this, the buddy cop show begins. Clint is appalled. And tired. He starts, emotionally, where Roger Murtaugh is at after a few days of dealing with Martin Riggs. Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and shades of Lethal Weapon are also acceptable in the Christmas action flick marathon.
- Low Rent Avengers. We walk. We take the subway. We buy rubbing alcohol at the convenience store. There is no safe house. Kate’s going to invade her aunt’s place (Moira Brandon) while she’s away in Florida. SUCH a rich kid. In the comics, Moira Brandon was an actress and the owner of the mansion that became the Avengers Compound for the West Coast Avengers.
- Clint got to do spy shit again, futzing about in the fireman suit, trying to find the Ronin suit. Who would have imagined he was that into clothes? NYC Larpers? Oh, that’s gonna be fun, later.
- Clint re-bandaging Kate’s forehead was a perfect blend of coach / irritated dad. He wants this over so bad. I’m hoping there are 12 days of Christmas, not just 6 days. Or 8 crazy nights. Just as long as there is more.
- Clint knows how to use social media? Well, that’s a surprise. Let’s hope the Tracksuit Mafia don’t know this stuff, too. Seriously, who has time to steal a suit, get home from a shift as a fireman, and has time to post videos in your new stolen suit that same night?
- Clint signing with his son as he loads the kids into the car? I need more. This is a perfect visual lesson for the audience.
- Kate in her aunt’s red and black embroidered pantsuit. Wow. Please tell me we get to meet the aunt. Please.
- The hits just keep on coming. Playing Little Drummer Boy and pa-rum-pa-pum-pum-ing over the booming sounds that explain why Clint is deaf? Katniss Everdeen ≠ Hawkeye. Hawkeye has a branding issue? I see we’re going to keep this light and easy, which is probably about right for a Christmas action flick.
- Making Clint join the Live Action Role Play (LARP) brings me joy. He’s been Legolas prancing about the edge of the Avengers for quite some time now, and somehow he’s not comfortable here. Of course not. “I am plumb out of patience.” He lets Grills call him Clint. Our boy made a human connection. Bets on the fireman coming back later in the series?
- Laura Barton. Thank you for not trotting out the tired old trope of the spouse who does not understand your job. Laura gets it. She is a real partner to Clint, and isn’t crying at home. She knows what she signed up for, problematic wardrobe and Tracksuit Mafia and all. Clint engages in more low-rent Avengers shenanigans, stashing the suit in a gym locker before going to play catch-and-release, Natasha-style. Is it too much to hope for ripped black nylons and a set of stylish heels when he’s tied to the chair?
- Kate goads stepdad-to-be into showing he has some real skills with a blade. Please, writers, I beg of you… let this Swordsman stuff be a misdirect. I don’t want him to be the real bad guy. “What are you hiding, Jack?!?!” “What is in a Molotov cocktail, anyways? Are you old enough to drink?” Do NOT twirl that mustache, buddy. Don’t do it.
- The Tracksuit Mafia abduct Clint in a white panel van with baseball bats and a bag over the head. If you’re going to play on a trope, its good to paint it in broad, simple strokes, right? Isn’t it handy that Kate knows the Bishop Security software well enough to track Clint’s phone? No wonder they’re rich!
- Every bad guy in the old Marvel comics had a base in an abandoned warehouse, back in the day. Hell’s Kitchen was a scary place back then. Unfortunately, that section of New York has gentrified enough that wasting a warehouse on Tracksuit Mafia seems to be an exorbitant waste of funds. Maybe they will explain that to me when they tell me who bought Stark Tower.
- I like the one claiming credit for locating Kate when she fell through the skylight at his feet. “Bro, I found her.” Yup, that’s it. Clint’s tied to a pink unicorn, and I just know that somewhere out there, Deadpool is very happy.
- Echo has her hand over the speaker to feel the sound waves. Tracksuit Mafia guy lines his face up to her squarely before speaking slowly and clearly so she can lip read. Fans know that she’s deaf and we’re getting the next piece of the puzzle. Yay!
He’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on him.
Episode 3: Echoes
- More showing and not telling. Maya (Echo) as a child is deaf. Maya lip reads, and misses things when the teacher’s face turns away. Maya’s dad (William Lopez) is a) gorgeous and b) trying to build a future for his daughter with a foot in both the hearing and the deaf worlds. Let’s see how that turns out. She’s missing one foot, but the world isn’t even close to ready to take her on.
- Tracksuit Mafia dude buys ticket to Imagine Dragons? My brain just broke.
- Maya and Clint break open a very real discussion about assumptions around hearing, what it might mean to choose to use technology (or not) and we get it all modelled beautifully for us, including how to use an interpreter respectfully. You look at the person you are communicating with, not the interpreter. Maya and Clint get to fight, and there goes his hearing aid. The lesson is now in motion.
- Backlit fight scene in silhouette? YES, YES, YES. The whole fight scene in the warehouse had me in stitches of laughter. Jackie Chan meets the Daredevil hallway fight.
- Clint tries to save the 72 challenger from a crash (like in the comics), so there must be a car chase scene to Christmas music. The scene from the Matt Fraction comics. Trick arrows? I am losing my mind. Purple slime. Purple smoke. Purple electrical charge. Pym particles, giant arrow of doom.“That was amazing!” Kate, I am shouting right along with you. I shouted. I laughed. I cried. There was pausing and re-winding. So very much of everything. I foresee watching this about a billion times.
- Loving the sound cutting in and out and watching Kate try to assist through a phone call with his son Nathaniel. Dad’s missing the Christmas movie marathon. My heart is breaking, even more so because Nathaniel will understand if Dad can’t make it, because they all know what Dad does.
- Kate explaining things to Clint is a lot like listening to Luis from Ant Man explaining things. There’s a lot of talking, it makes sense, in ways you don’t want it to. But you sort of want them to narrate the rough bits of your life, just so you seem a bit cooler.
It comes at a price, this life you want to live.