Marvel’s Hawkeye: Partners, Am I Right? (Episode 4) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
This week’s episode of Hawkeye, Partners, Am I Right?, begins to divulge into some of its secrets and delivers the highly anticipated return of a new force in the MCU, but the wait for something to happen is starting to become tiresome.
Last week’s episode left off with Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) searching for dirt on Kate’s soon to be stepfather Jack (Tony Dalton) until Clint finds a sword at his throat. Now, if you thought that would mean that we would finally get into the nitty gritty of things, unfortunately a lot of secrets are still being kept hidden. Sure, I guess the fact that we learn that Jack and the company that he’s the CEO for is a front for the Tracksuit Mafia is “new” information. Also, it’s pretty obvious that Kate’s mom Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) is somehow involved based on the cryptic, passive aggressive final words she gives to Clint. However, none of this shocking and this episode barely moves the plot forward or gives us any sort of direction as to where things are going.
There are still these lackluster hints that maybe we’ll see Kingpin in the final two episodes since they keep talking about the “real head of the operation,” but there are still things being added to this plot that don’t come with concrete answers. We still have no idea what this watch Clint needs to retrieve is or who it belongs to as we just get a cryptic description from Clint that states that the watch will blow someone’s cover. Is he talking about Matthew Murdock or maybe some other character we don’t know about? Honestly, who knows. Also, it’s kind of weird that we go from Maya (Alaqua Cox) being a big player to pretty much being absent in this episode aside from Clint telling Kazi (Fra Fee) to whisper in Maya’s ear to stop her path of vengeance and her showing up in the big fight that finishes this episode.
With so many loose ends still hanging about, it’s also kind of the worst time to bring Yelena (Florence Pugh) back into the mix since it only complicates things even more. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve known since Black Widow’s post-credit scene that Yelena was going to return to hunt for Clint and it’s certainly great to see her again. The entire four-way fight sequence between Clint, Kate, Maya, and a Splinter-Cell looking Yelena was awesome to watch and opens a lot of possibilities for these next two episodes. However, there’s already a lot going on at the moment, so it’s tough to say if this new thread will get the depth it deserves considering how highly anticipated Yelena’s return was coming into the series.
Hawkeye has a lot to work on with its story and still has some work to do with its characters. Although I feel like all the Christmas-themed stuff and the “are they partners” talk is just filler nonsense, the family moments still have some nice charm. Even though Jack and Eleanor are suspicious as hell, the way that Kate is warming up to their relationship is great and it’s nice how it inspires her to bring Christmas cheer to Clint – who is adorably icing his wounds with smoothie packets. Personally, the whole debate about them being partners or not is kind of pointless because they pretty much are at this point whether Clint likes it or not. Their Christmas and quarter-throwing shenanigans are definitely fun to watch and it’s kind of nice how they return to the LARPers to get some new outfits. So, let’s just drop the whole “are they partners or not” conversation because it’s just pointless.
What continues to be the best element of Hawkeye is how Clint’s grief is delved into as he starts to open up about his grief about Natasha’s death and becoming Ronin. Clint’s story about almost killing Natasha before finding a likeness to her wanting to escape gives Black Widow a proper eulogy that leads into more discussions about the Blip’s effects on him as well as why he struggles to see himself as a hero. Renner easily gives his best performance as the character with the raw emotion he brings in talking about Clint only seeing himself as a weapon and what losing his family during the Snap felt like. It’s really here that we realize that Clint’s family truly saved him over the years and adds more meaning to him being home for Christmas. Hawkeye has undoubtedly lived up to its promise in exploring its titular character and it’s what’s made Hawkeye have one of the most personal stories to date in the MCU.
What Hawkeye doesn’t provide in satisfying conclusions and more concise narrative direction, it sort of makes up for it in delivering some fun holiday moments between Kate and Clint as well as more emotional openness from Clint about his pain. We’re definitely reaching the point where there’s too much going on and not enough conclusions in Hawkeye, especially with Yelena now entering the fray, but hopefully these last two episodes can start to tie things together.