After escaping a new threat, Clint and Kate join forces against an expanding criminal conspiracy.
Although we only have a half-season of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye on Disney+, I can say with certainty that this has been my favorite series of all the Marvel projects that they’ve released so far (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and What If?). Episode 3 “Echoes”, which came out today, has pretty much sealed it for me. This episode has everything you could ask for in a cinematic episode: humor, action, drama, mystery, a great representation of the deaf/hard of hearing and physically disabled community, and even a scene that will make you cry (I know I did).
Similar to how we saw that Kate Bishop is the focus in episode 1, episode 3 is focused on Maya Lopez, aka Echo. This character is played by Alaqua Cox, and I have to mention here that Marvel has done an excellent job with casting her in this role. Both Maya and Alaqua are Native Americans, and they are also deaf (marking Echo as our second character in the MCU to be deaf, behind Makkari in Eternals). However, Cox is also an amputee. This is not the case for Maya in the comics, but Marvel instead embraces this as part of Maya’s character in the show, which I think is a great move. So while we are watching Maya in this show, we are also getting a glimpse of the person, Alaqua Cox, as well.
In the opening of this episode, we see Maya as a child who struggles as a deaf student as well as her strengths. Although she is not able to follow along with her classmates and teacher because she can’t hear what they’re saying or read their lips all the time, her teacher notices that she is extremely intelligent. Later on, we see that Maya is at a martial arts dojo as a student. We also get a glimpse of her power, which is how she can watch someone and mimic their abilities (very much like Taskmaster). She goes up against an opponent, where he looks down and sees that she’s an amputee. It almost suggests that her disability will be a challenge for her but as soon as the fight starts, we see her take her opponent down easily.
I absolutely love what we’re seeing here because this shows a great representation of the struggles for those who are deaf/hard of hearing and physically disabled but at the same time shows that people with these disabilities aren’t “less than” or not capable of doing great things. This is something we need more of to eliminate the stigma that people tend to associate with these disabilities. Even the audio work in the episode did a great job of simulating for the audience how sound is perceived by someone who is deaf or hard of hearing (I am also hard of hearing, and so far, this has been very accurate in my experience). At the same time, I’m very disappointed that Marvel didn’t expand more on Maya’s Native American heritage. This is a key part of her identity (and was even featured in “Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices” last year). They had a missed opportunity when Maya and her father were talking at bedtime and instead of using that as a way to share her heritage with the audience, they instead had her talk about if dragons are real. I hope that Marvel will explore this more in later episodes. But this is probably the most disappointing aspect of this episode which I still consider to be the best.
This episode also gives us more of what we’ve been waiting for: Clint/Kate team-up action. We see that awesome martial arts and archery scenes that is on par with MCU level scenes, a great car chase scene (again, straight out of the Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth run), we see Kate display her awesome archery skills (which later Clint says she may be right about being the world’s greatest archer. That made Kate’s life!), and we get more trick arrows; some were powerful, some were useless but hilariously used, and one unexpected but awesome trick arrow that may make you go crazy. We get more of the bantering that comics fans have come to expect and love (my favorite quote is when Clint says “Look at her, she’s nine”). The writers utilized Clint’s hard of hearing (at this point in the episode, he is missing his hearing aid so he cannot hear well) to make a hilarious dialogue between him and Kate, but at the same time show how much in sync they are with each other that they make naturally good partners. This episode also shares an emotional scene with the two of them and Clint’s son that made me cry as a father, but it also allows Kate to see how much of a sacrifice Clint is making for her that starts to change her perspective on how she needs to help Clint instead of selfishly trying to get him to be her mentor.
Just one more thing about the car chase scene – this was just fantastic! The cinematography was amazing. The 360-action view we get inside the Barton/Bishop car was thrilling, the music selection was perfect, especially with how they sync it with what’s going on in the scene (they’ve been doing this very well in each episode), and the action is just amazing. The banter and humor between Barton and Bishop kept it lively and also helped solidify their teamwork. This is definitely one of the best action scenes we’ve seen in MCU’s history.
After watching this episode, I do have a few things to note and discuss, but be forewarned that there are major spoilers ahead.
You ready for the spoilers bro? Then let’s go.
First, in this episode, it seems like we are starting to get potential clues of Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, coming into the series. We see a mysterious man in a black suit that lovingly caresses Maya’s face at the dojo, although we don’t hear him say anything except a chuckle and we only see his chest and arm (so no face to confirm). When Kazi talks to Maya, he refers to their “Uncle”, who is in charge over them, and Clint also mentions to Kate that there is someone who is above the Tracksuit Mafia. So this all starts to point to Kingpin. But nothing is confirmed yet. We also don’t have confirmation that even if it is Kingpin if it will be Vincent D’Onofrio because the chuckle sounds very different than the voice we have from Netflix’s Daredevil series. So if it is him, it will be a reboot of the character.
But I also have a bad feeling that this mysterious man could be Jack Duquesne, aka The Swordsman and Eleanor Bishop’s fiance. Marvel is known to lead you to believe one thing about a show just to throw you off completely and possibly disappoint you (I call it the “Ralph Bohner alert” from when they teased us with Pietro Maximoff in WandaVision). But we will have to wait until the next episode to see.
In the comics, we know that Clint and the Swordsman have a history, so I’m wondering if we will see this here, especially with how the episode ended. I could also see that they may have teamed up together as Ronin; maybe Clint wasn’t the only Ronin around, and it would make sense how Clint learned to use a sword from him. Again, just a theory; we will have to wait and see.
Overall, this is a fantastic episode. This has me hooked to keep watching every Wednesday, and all MCU fans will enjoy some aspect of this episode.
Hawkeye Episode 3: You gotta watch this, bro
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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