Secrets are revealed about a key suspect in the mystery, while hard truths emerge about Hawkeye and his past. But as Clint and Kate’s partnership finally takes off, their efforts to uncover more of the story result in a stunning and confusing battle against not one, but two opposing forces.
Spoiler Level: Mild-Moderate
I have been sharing from the beginning that Hawkeye has been one of my favorite Marvel series to date, and in my review of last week’s episode “Echoes”, I shared how that was my favorite episode of any Marvel TV project to date. Episode 4, “Partners, Am I Right?” overall was a good episode, but I noticed more writing/plot issues and I felt not as enthusiastic as I did with the previous three episodes.
The episode did keep most of its awesome vibes and momentum forward that made it exciting to watch. We are still seeing more of the story develop around some of the mysterious questions, such as learning more about the mysterious boss/”Uncle” that runs the Tracksuit Mafia (yet to be revealed), the significance of the Rolex that was stolen at the black auction in episode 1 (again, not yet revealed who it belongs to), and so on. We still see great relationship building and camaraderie between Clint and Kate in a budding partnership that has started as one-sided is now being embraced by Barton. We still see more of the emotional and physical trauma that Clint has suffered through his life as a spy/superhero with callouts to his grief from losing Natasha and his family in the Blip (also, pay close attention to the music when we see Clint talks/thinks about Natasha… it’ll be a familiar score to you). We see a breakthrough between Kate and Jack when she realizes how he genuinely makes her mother happy and that he does have a kinder side to him. We also get a couple of scenes that will make all of the Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth fans happy because of the many pieces that the show pulls in that they will recognize instantaneously (like boomerang arrows and coin flicking). The show does it in a way that gives us a lot of recognizable elements from the run that also makes sense and is a natural part of the story at the same time.
While the episode had a lot of great moments, it also has some odd, somewhat problematic elements as well. For starters, Kate is still somewhat immature here. The first three episodes it was funny, charming even because it was part of her character. But I honestly thought she had a change of view after she saw what Clint was suffering through for her that she would put things in better perspective and be more mature about her relationship with Clint, but that didn’t seem to happen in this episode and I’m wondering how charming it’ll still be by the end of the season. There are also a lot of writing issues I noticed that by themselves are very small and probably minuscule, but because there were so many, it became something that you couldn’t ignore or gloss over. Some of these issues include how Eleanor and Jack didn’t hear Clint and Kate come into the penthouse earlier, how Clint was able to retrieve an item from the Bishops without anyone noticing, how the texting scenes in all of the episodes of the series are so bad (I mean, seriously – they can edit Pizza Dog’s eye but they can’t do a better job of this?), how a cop seemed to believe on Kate’s word that she’s a friend of Hawkeye without any proof and is willing to break the law based on that alone, and how Kate can pick a lock one-handed (maybe this is possible, who knows; but it still caused me to raise my eyebrows). By themselves, okay – we can look over that. But because there were so many in a single, 40-minute episode, it stuck out more so than usual.
I could nitpick more about this show and other possible issues I had, such as how when we finally get to see Kate and Jack and Eleanor get to somewhat resembling a family, it gets shut down pretty quickly. But in all honesty, this is probably more about the fact that they are packing in a lot of material in a 6 episode series that they had to leave some things on the cutting room floor. I do wish that there were more episodes or at least make these episodes longer because I could not believe that 40 minutes was over by the time I got to the end scene. So if anything, I think that this episode was a result of having to cut out so much for the sake of time that hopefully, this serves as the weakest link of the season. And if that’s the case, it’s still a pretty strong chain.
However, this episode, although not as great as the previous three, is still worth watching for all of the reasons I stated earlier but also because we finally get a big reveal of a character we’ve been speculating for a while that would show up in the series. The reveal may not come as a shock to anyone who dives into rumors and theories or even just stays up to date with the MCU and browses through social media. But it was still nice to see and actually leaves us still somewhat shocked with the events that led to her reveal and the aftermath.
One last thing: This series seems to follow a certain pattern. In episodes 1 and 3, it starts off with sharing a backstory of a main character of the series (Kate and Maya, respectively). Episodes 2 and 4 pick up from where the previous episode left off. So next week, we may see a backstory of a character in the series, although it remains to be seen who this is (or whether that will happen).
Overall, this was a good episode. Not one of Hawkeye's best episodes, but it still captures the heart and essence of the show and you won't regret watching it; you may just not come out thinking about it all day with the exception of the new details with the big mysteries of the show.
Hawkeye Episode 4: This Hit The Target (But Not Close To The Bullseye)
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Acting - 10/1010/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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