Hawkeye Episode 1 & 2: It's The Most Wonderful Marvel Show of the Year

Hawkeye episodes one and two are an absolutely awesome blend of the Matt Fraction/David Aja series and Christmas. Fans of Clint Barton are finally getting the character they've been waiting for in live-action, and Kate Bishop is about to become everyone's new favorite Marvel hero. The Marvel television shows have been all over the place so far. WandaVision was more or less a slam dunk, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki both started off strong and eventually weren't able to stick the landing, and What If…? was a mess [don't @ me]. Hawkeye is the final show of 2021, and while this could once again be a show that starts off strong but isn't able to stick the landing, this might be the best start to a series so far.

Marvel Studios Needs to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Binge Model
(L-R): Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The opening scene is the kind of scene that we've been waiting for when it comes to these shows and exactly how Marvel should go about introducing new characters to a universe that has existed for so long. The nods to previous things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are very much there, but fans of the Marvel Netflix shows are going to find a lot to love here. Earlier this month, Eternals dealt with the concept of God and creation itself. Meanwhile, in Hawkeye, Clint and Kate are trying to takedown the tracksuit mafia. It's a nice reminder that while the world might be ending in the movies, there are smaller things going on in this world that need to be addressed.

One of the many things that made the Fraction/Aja run of Hawkeye so amazing was that Clint is a human disaster. He's a giant mess of a human being who is just trying so hard and failing so often to do some good. In the series, he's trying to protect an apartment building from the tracksuit mafia. This time, he's trying to protect Kate, who has managed to get herself involved with said tracksuit mafia. Clint and Kate are in a competition to see who is going to be the biggest disaster out of the two of them. Clint is carrying that slightly grumpy dad energy where he just doesn't have the energy or the will to humor anyone, anymore. On the other hand, Kate is out here trying her very best and not realizing the consequences of her own actions. Lucky the Pizza dog is here to be the embodiment of perfection as he should be [one of the goodest boys in Marvel].

hawkeye
(L-R): Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Mary Cybulski. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

It is likely going to take some people by surprise that Hawkeye is much more about Kate than it is about Clint. We are witnessing her origin story with Clint on hand as the mentor. He's bringing some big dad energy to the proceedings, which just adds to the humor of the entire thing. Hawkeye is funny in a way that doesn't feel forced. The dynamic between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld is just naturally very funny. Their back and forth is very believable, and you want them to be friends just as much as you want Clint to make it back to his family for Christmas. The various situations that the two of them get into are also ripe for comedy, including a scene in episode two that is going to make some serious nerds laugh for days.

Hawkeye will be a shorter series than the others, so these first two episodes don't spend a lot of time not doing anything. The plot gets going almost right away, and by the end of episode two, the stakes are very clear, along with what has to happen to fix said stakes. Or at least, the stakes that we are currently aware of, there are probably more waiting around the corner. However, there are only four more episodes to go, so there isn't time for filler in these first two episodes, and there is a good chance that there won't be the time in the other episodes as well. That is one of the benefits of a shorter series like this; you need to tell your story well and within a strict time frame.

The supporting cast is also putting in some serious work though we haven't spent much time with several of them. One of those people we haven't seen much of yet is Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. However, in the brief moment, she does appear on screen, she has some serious screen presence. There is a reason that Marvel took one look at her and offered her a spinoff show. Vera Farmiga continues to be amazing in literally everything that she is in, and seeing her as Eleanor Bishop is a joy. She is a great example of a mom who is willing to support her daughter's endeavors, but she also isn't a pushover as well. Tony Dalton as Jack Duquesne makes an immediate impression, and you know from the moment he appears on screen, that something is off about this guy. Kate seems to know it too, but it's interesting to watch her instinct come up against her own personal issues when it comes to Jack.

Hawkeye Episode 1 & 2: It's The Most Wonderful Marvel Show of the Year
Vera Farmiga as Eleanor Bishop and Tony Dalton as Jack Duquesne in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

If Hawkeye is able to keep up the same energy it has in these first two episodes in the final four, we might be looking at the best Marvel series to date. It's funny, heartwarming, and it is so amazing to see Marvel once again embrace some achingly human characters who have lots of faults and failures under their belt. If you've been wondering why comic fans have been trying to convince you that Clint Barton is an awesome character and Kate Bishop is an actual angel, this series is going to explain all of that to you. As for established fans of both of these characters, like yours truly, it's truly lovely to see them both so lovingly adapted to the big screen.

Hawkeye Episodes 1 and 2

Marvel Studios Needs to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Binge Model
Review by Kaitlyn Booth

9.5/10
The first two episodes of Disney+ & Marvel Studios' Hawkeye are an absolutely awesome blend of the Matt Fraction/David Aja series and Christmas. Fans of Clint Barton are finally getting the character they've been waiting for in live-action and Kate Bishop is about to become everyone's new favorite Marvel hero. 

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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