Then we have the conflict between Yelena and Clint. Eleanor Bishop seemingly hired Yelena to kill Clint Barton, but the audience already knows that Yelena was assigned to kill Clint Barton by Val Contessa (as seen in the post-credits scene of Black Widow). So does this mean that Val runs a mercenary group? This is an important question to answer, since the audience has been given two competing answers as to who hired Yelena.
Thus lies my frustration with Hawkeye. I love so many of the fun moments that we get with Clint, Kate, Yelena, and Maya, but everything is tied together by a complicated ball of yarn that the writers never bother to unravel.
IS HAWKEYE’S KINGPIN THE SAME CHARACTER FROM THE NETFLIX SHOWS?
Okay, lets talk about the most frustrating question of the whole show. From the second fans heard that Kingpin would be popping up in Hawkeye, the question on everyone’s minds was: is this the same Wilson Fisk from the Netflix Daredevil show?
Well…judging from this episode (as well as another Netflix character cameo in Spider-Man: Far From Home), the answer is…maybe?? On one hand, he is wearing the exact same black shirt and white suit that he often wore in Daredevil. But on the other hand, he uses a cane, which is new. There is also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detail when Kate rips off his cufflink to coin-flip it at the arrows. These are the same cufflinks that Fisk wore in Daredevil; specifically, the ones that he took from his father after he killed him. So if the showrunners went through that much detail to give Kingpin the same cufflinks, that has to mean that this is the same version of Kingpin, right?
Well, if so…then how the hell did he get out of prison? The last time we saw Kingpin in Daredevil, he was getting arrested for A SECOND TIME. It is a massive stretch of the imagination to think that he would find a way to get out of jail yet again, and the show doesn’t bother to address that question whatsoever. And even if he did manage to find a way out, why is he operating with such impunity in this episode?
After Eleanor tells him that she wants out of the crime game, Kingpin decides to kill her. But instead of doing this when she’s…you know…standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM…he decides that he wants to send a sniper to shoot her in the middle of a Christmas party in Rockefeller Center, and then show up personally just to make sure he looks as guilty as possible. Keep in mind, this is literally minutes after he lectures Maya saying, “Haven’t I always taught you to keep a low profile?”
It would all be laughable if it wasn’t so dang frustrating…
This brings us to the incredibly frustrating moment when Maya shoots him point blank in the face. And in case you were wondering…no he’s not dead. There is a very similar moment in the comics where Maya tracks down Kingpin after he murdered her father and shoots him in the face. It doesn’t kill him, but instead blinds him in both eyes, thematically connecting him to his blind adversary Daredevil. But within the context of this show, this moment is absolutely groan-inducing.
To introduce Kingpin in this show only to fake-kill him minutes later is beyond frustrating. Not only does it neuter the character before we even get a chance to celebrate his return, but it is such an unnecessary and obvious fakeout.
The Illuminerdi will have an upcoming article about the future of Kingpin in the MCU, so stay tuned!
THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER FINALE
I did really enjoy a lot of the fights in this Hawkeye episode. I thought that staging the finale at Rockefeller Center was an inspired choice, given the Christmas theme, which lead to homages of Yakatomi Plaza in Die Hard. The composers even weave the Nutcracker music into the score, which is a nice little touch.
I loved all the fun comic-booky trick arrows in the ice-rink fight, and I especially love all of the interactions between Kate and Yelena. Their elevator scene and the fight through the tower is absolutely hilarious and I can’t wait till we see these characters interact again! I think Hawkeye has done a great job with the stunts and fight choreography, specifically with Yelena’s character.
But unfortunately, if you think about the logic of the Hawkeye finale even a little bit, it all falls apart. What exactly was Clint and Kate’s plan when infiltrating this Christmas party? To confront Eleanor about working for Fisk? If that’s the case, why did they need a bunch of larpers to disguise themselves as waiters? And since Clint knows that he is being hunted by a Black Widow assassin, why take the fight into a crowded party to put as many civilians as possible in the line of fire? I’m sincerely not trying to pick Hawkeye apart…I’m just trying to figure out why any of the characters do what they do.
And ughhh…the larpers. I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no idea what they’re doing in this show. The first couple times they interact with Clint in the beginning of the series was funny, but they stick out like a sore thumb. The same can be said for Jack Duquesne, who really had no purpose in this show except to act like Zorro for a few scenes (Not to mention the fact that he was literally just arrested, and shows up at this party like nothing happened).
But keep in mind, most of these larpers are policeman and firefighters who, in the middle of a shootout, take the time to go into a broom closet somewhere and change into their outfits. And if were on the subject of police…where are all the police? I almost laughed out loud when a single police officer shows up to arrest Eleanor, while in the meantime, Rockefeller Center is filled with explosions, gunfire, screaming civilians, snipers, arrows, Russian assassins, crime bosses, and two dozen Tracksuit Mafia.
I did, however, really like the interaction between Yelena and Clint. Even this didn’t always make sense (she’s standing behind him with a gun but decides to tackle him to the ice instead), but I thought it was a very effective way to wrap up their arc. Clint’s use of Nat and Yelena’s secret whistle was the perfect way for him to prove himself to Yelena, and was a great callback to the Black Widow film. Yelena was easily my favorite part of this whole show, and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.
THE VERDICT ON HAWKEYE
Unfortunately, Marvel’s Disney+ shows seem to really have a hard time sticking the landing (outside of Loki). I liked so many of the characters that we get to spend time with in Hawkeye, but nothing about the plot makes any sense.
Kate Bishop is amazing and I’m excited to see her journey through the MCU, but Kingpin’s introduction was handled so poorly that I honestly think the show would have been better off without him. If Eleanor was the main villain, I think we would have gotten a much cleaner story that made a lot more narrative sense. If you’re going to use Kingpin, at least explain which version he is, how he got here, and why he makes the bizarre choices that he does. (Oh, and don’t pretend to kill him off).
I hate writing negative reviews, but I honestly have to give this episode of Hawkeye a 1.5 out of 5. Overall, I thought the series was fun (even if it made no sense) and it was saved by the performances of Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh.
Hawkeye Episode 6 Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
Hawkeye Overall Series Rating: 3 out of 5.
Hawkeye is available to watch on Disney+ now! What were your thoughts on this episode? Let us know in the comments below or over on our social media!