I don’t like to write negative reviews. It makes me feel like the Grinch, which makes a lot of sense within the context of Hawkeye. So before I dive into the finale, I want to say that there are a lot of things that I’ve liked about this show.
Marvel nailed the bullseye with the introduction of Kate Bishop into the MCU, played by the fantastic Hailee Steinfeld. Her chemistry with Jeremy Renner is great, and I really dug getting to see Clint Barton in the spotlight for the first time since his introduction back in 2011. I also enjoyed the introduction of Alaqua Cox as Echo, and I loveddddd every single second that Florence Pugh is on screen as Yelena Belova. To sum all of this up, I think that Marvel has once again NAILED bringing these fun, larger-than-life characters to the screen in interesting ways.
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However, if you’ve been reading my last few episode Hawkeye reviews, then you know I’ve often been scratching my head about the plot of this show from day one. I’ve felt that each character was sort of pulling the show in their own direction, and that there were A LOT (and I mean A LOTTT) of odd writing choices and logic leaps that don’t make sense, upon even the barest amount of scrutiny. Unfortunately, this remains the case for Episode 6, titled, “So This Is Christmas?”
This Hawkeye episode begins where the last one left off…with the return of Vincent D’onofrio as Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin. We learn that Kate’s mother Eleanor Bishop has been working with the Kingpin to pay off the debt of her late husband. We also learn that it was Eleanor who killed Armand back in episode 1 (at the behest of Kingpin), and that she framed her finance Jack Duquesne to take the fall. This villainous turn comes as no surprise to the viewers, who probably saw this coming from a mile away, but it does create a few questions. Like, for instance…why?
For something that was the inciting incident of the entire Hawkeye show, we know surprisingly little about Armand and Eleanor/Kingpin’s motivation for killing him. I suppose we can assume it was because Armand was going to expose some of their criminal activities, but this is never explicitly stated. And what does any of it have to do with the underground auction that Kate followed Armand into in the first episode? For the last few Hawkeye reviews I have been saying that this inciting incident has always been the weakest part of the show, and the finale does nothing to clarify any of it. The entire series seems to be built on odd coincidences and strange, often contradictory writing choices.
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For example, why did the Tracksuit Mafia (under the orders of either Fisk or Maya) want to steal the Rolex watch from the auction in the first place? We learn at the end of this episode that Clint’s wife Laura Barton once worked as an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.. The watch is revealed to have a S.H.I.E.L.D logo and the number 19, which is an allusion to Agent 19, otherwise known as Mockingbird from the comics. But what does that have to do with Fisk?
Of all the leftover scraps from the Avengers compound, why would Fisk be interested in this watch? Does Kingpin have some secret history with Laura Barton, or was he trying to find information on her to get to her husband, Hawkeye? Keep in mind that the Ronin suit also being sold in the auction seemed to be a total coincidence. You might assume that the tracksuit bros were ordered by Maya to infiltrate the auction to get the Ronin suit, and thus learn more about the ninja that killed her father. But no…the first episode makes it very clear that they were there only for the watch.
In addition, it doesn’t seem like anybody knows that Clint was the Ronin…meaning that none of them would be aware of the connection between the Ronin suit and the watch.
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To top it all off, none of this has anything to do with the fact that Clint and Kingpin apparently worked together in the past (when he killed Maya’s father). And of course, none of this has anything to do with Armand’s murder. In other words, the entire inciting incident of this show is never explained and entirely coincidental.
This leads us to another question: why did Kingpin want Maya’s dad dead? We are told that Kingpin informed the Ronin where the man was so he could kill him…but why? Maya’s dad worked for Kingpin, so why would Kingpin want to kill him? And why not just do it himself? After all, he’s the boss! Why hire a vigilante ninja to do it for you? On top of all this, we have to remember that Clint’s entire motivation to suit up as the Ronin was to take down criminal organizations, so why would he work with Fisk, the leader of New York’s largest crime organization?
[Click on Page 2 below for more of the Hawkeye finale review.]