Marvel’s Hawkeye: So This is Christmas? (Season Finale) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
Hawkeye’s finale unleashes pretty much everything that its teased and talked about to give fans an action-packed present right in time for the holidays.
First of all, I’m so happy that I was wrong about Kingpin possibly just being a cameo as this finale instantly brings Vincent D’Onofrio out as the fan-favorite Marvel villain. It’s a power move that you have to respect and is so fitting for New York City’s most powerful crime boss. D’Onofrio makes it feel like no time has past since Daredevil evoking the gigantic presence of Kingpin and instilling fear with just a few words. Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) is clearly in some deep trouble as her plea to walk away from everything to protect Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) only creates a rapturous anger within Kingpin, something that’s always ill-advised. It’s great that D’Onofrio is back as Kingpin and it’s such a great way to kick things off.
Essentially, Hawkeye’s finale is one elongated fight sequence with some talking in the middle, but the lead up to it is all the hype you could need. Clint (Jeremy Renner) finally acknowledges Kate as his partner, there are plenty of trick arrows built and teased, and the Die Hard vibes finally come to fruition with Clint and Kate’s final bout taking place at the ritzy Bishop holiday party. From Clint dodging sniper shots in a swanky tux to Kate and Yelena (Florence Pugh) fighting through an office, this series finally delivers on some holiday action fun akin to Die Hard. There’s honestly a lot of fun to be had in this finale fight as there are plenty of great trick arrows that come out to play, including pepper spray smoke arrows and tranquilizer arrows, and we get to see Clint and Kate’s new suits. Pretty much everyone jumps in at some point and there are plenty of places to start with some of the story threads that come to an end.
Yelena makes an expected return and while the hokey jokey dialogue between her and Kate is a little bland, the moment of her confronting Clint is awesome. Although this is a Hawkeye series, Black Widow’s memory continues to be respected in great ways, especially in this final confrontation. Yelena’s really kicking the crap out of Clint and not believing what he’s saying about Natasha sacrificing herself, but he’s able to convince her with a real heart to heart about how much she meant to Natasha. It’s a great moment for both characters, but it’s a little too rushed. To be honest, the whole thing with Yelena and Clint ends on a bit of an open note as she just disappears after helping him up and it’s a little disappointing for such a highly anticipated storyline to end without much payoff. Honestly, I thought it was pretty rude that Clint didn’t even invite Yelena over for Christmas.
As for Kate, her journey in this episode is very emotional and touching with how she becomes a true hero. Steinfeld nails the emotion in Kate talking about how Hawkeye inspires the average everyday person like her to be something more and that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero. It’s a touching moment for her arc in the series and is a great way to respect non-superpowered heroes. Kate really becomes her own hero in this finale with how she not only goes toe-to-toe with Kingpin, but also makes the tough decision to turn her mother into the police. This series finale really feels like the endcap to Kate’s story of becoming a hero and learning what’s gained and lost in being a hero and the fact that Clint brought her back to his family for Christmas means that their partnership won’t end here. Personally though, I do wish there were better pay off moments from Clint returning home as the reveal of the watch being Laura’s (Linda Cardellini) was severely underwhelming and the whole name debate between Kate and Clint at the end was really dumb. Also, just to mention, the whole thing with Jack (Tony Dalton) not being an antagonist was a total waste of time and a lame red herring.
As for Maya (Alaqua Cox), she plays an unsurprisingly small role here that basically sets up her series. After Kazi’s (Fra Fee) big slip-up last week, Maya is clearly untrusting of him and her uncle Kingpin and is now looking to walk away like Eleanor. She’s much more successful but doesn’t leave without some emotional scars that unfortunately come from her killing Kazi and also seemingly killing Kingpin. Now, given how resilient and strong Kingpin looked in his fight with Kate, I can’t possibly imagine that Maya really killed him with a mere bullet. There’s no way Marvel Studios would just bring D’Onofrio back as Kingpin just to go out like this and I think we can expect to see him again in the upcoming Echo series.
Hawkeye ends with everyone coming together for an action-packed finale fight around the holidays that weaves some meaningful story wrap-up in to feel like a heartwarming treat for MCU fans. It might miss some opportunities and have some lackluster conclusions, but Hawkeye’s finale is the perfect kind of bow on top of the MCU’s gift for fans this holiday season.