By Janie Walenda
It’s hard to believe that “Hawkeye” has already hit its halfway point. After all, this is only the second week of the show. While episode three, “Echoes,” was lighter on plot development, it did bring some amazing action and character development.
The best part of the episode was by far its extended action scene. This scene perfectly showcases why Clint is an Avenger. Not only is he a skilled archer, but a creative and level-headed combatant. I was initially worried that Kate would overshadow Clint in his own show, but this scene is a promising sign that they’ll get equal respect. The trick arrows were a lot of fun, especially the Pym particle arrow.
The car chase scene is one of Marvel’s best
Another great aspect was how the episode used both Clint and Echo’s deafness. Echo is introduced in this episode in a flashback detailing her growing up being deaf and having a prosthetic leg. Echo communicates through sign language and is dismissive of Clint’s use of a hearing aid. After she smashes his hearing aid, Clint spends part of the episode with hardly any hearing. The episode does a great job of having funny jokes, mostly about Clint and Kate’s miscommunication, without making fun of Clint’s deafness. A great example of this was how Kate responded to the whole situation. While she does make a joke out of it in her text to him, she’s never mean or frustrated. The scene where Clint’s youngest son Nate calls him and Kate writes down what he’s saying for Clint to hear was surprisingly emotional, and I’m glad they didn’t undercut it with a joke.
Echo, aka Maya Lopez, has a backstory that was also surprisingly impactful, especially considering how quickly the show went over it. It does a great job of setting up her motivations, as well as making her sympathetic. Her backstory also gives us a glimpse at a mysterious new character referred to by the characters as “Uncle.” While nothing’s confirmed yet, it’s pretty clear that it’s Kingpin.
Maya Lopez is an instantly likable character as well as an intimidating villain
One interesting change to her backstory is that Ronin killed her father, instead of Kingpin, like he does in the comics. While it’s possible that it really was Clint in that suit, I suspect that it was someone else acting as Ronin under Kingpin’s orders. In the comics, Ronin is an alias used by many different characters, the first of which was actually Echo herself. As the first episode of “Hawkeye” proved, anyone can wear the Ronin suit, so the possibilities are endless. My running theory is that Kazi wore the suit and killed Maya’s father. It’s admittedly a weak theory, based on how Kazi spoke about Maya’s father, but I just really want him to be a villain.
The main progress made in this episode was Kate and Clint’s relationship. Their dynamic evolved this episode, and they’re quickly becoming one of the best MCU duos. I loved that Kate respected Clint’s experience and trusted him to make the calls during the action scene, and in return, Clint acknowledged Kate’s skill. The true star of the episode was once again Pizza Dog. The dog had absolutely adorable reactions, especially towards Kate.
Pizza Dog, more like Pizza Angel
This episode stepped up when it came to the easter eggs. Clint refers to Kate as “nine and spoiled rotten,” and Kate’s “I was born careful” are lines directly from the comics. The USB arrow is both a comic reference and a “What If” reference, although it’s significantly less useful here. I also appreciated the consistency of Clint never labeling his arrows, something that got him into a lot of trouble in the comics. The biggest easter egg of all was the car chase. The scene is nearly identical to one from the comics, albeit under very different circumstances. However, in the comics, Clint and Kate are in opposite positions as Kate drives while Clint shoots, and they get to drive the ’72 Challenger.
Out of all of the Marvel episodes we’ve gotten this year, this was probably my favorite. It had that perfect balance of humor, action, character development, and emotions. This episode had everything, plus Christmas music and Pizza Dog. My only quibble is that it feels like the plot hasn’t moved. Sure, we learned more about Echo, but that’s about it. I’m a big fan of character-driven plotlines, but since “Hawkeye” only has six episodes, it feels like we’re running out of time to complete the story.
Hawkeye is now available to watch on Disney+
Janie Walenda is a freshman Global Business major and an A&E writer for Cedars. She enjoys watching musicals and movies as well as rereading the same books ten times over.