Recap: First three episodes of Hawkeye are on point

(L-R): Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner)

WARNING!!! This article contains major spoilers for the first three episodes of the new Marvel series Hawkeye on Disney+!

We are currently deep into the MCU’s phase 4 and it has not been disappointing fans! WandaVision showed us how the Scarlet Witch processed her grief, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gave us a new Captain America and a bromance, Loki caused multiversal mischief, and What If? officially introduced us to the multiverse, all on Disney+.

Meanwhile in theaters, Black Widow took on the Red Room (and Disney+), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings blew all our minds in theaters and Eternals also dipped their toes into the MCU.

Hawkeye is the latest series to continue the 4th phase of the MCU and we’re here to fill you in on the first 3 episodes so you can be caught up before Wednesday’s next episode! 

Jeremy Renner grabs his bow and arrow to reprise his role as Clint Barton in the series. Hawkeye also stars Hailee Steinfeld as Barton’s protege, Kate Bishop. Vera Farmiga is playing Steinfeld’s mom, Eleanor Bishop. Rounding out the cast are Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, and Alaqua Cox.

Never Meet Your Heroes

The series begins back in 2012 before the planet was invaded by the Chitauri and Loki and the Avengers were assembled to stop Loki and expel the Chitauri. A young Kate Bishop overhears her parents arguing, seemingly about money and after her father assures her that the family will not be moving from their swanky NY penthouse, the alien invasion begins.

The young Kate Bishop gets separated from her parents as her building gets damaged in the invasion and witnesses Clint Barton (Renner), aka Hawkeye decimate an alien aircraft with a single arrow before he valiantly continues to fight as he falls from a skyscraper, just as her mother pulls her back and insists that they evacuate.

It is then revealed that Kate’s father perished in the conflict and she is determined to become like Hawkeye and asks her mom for a bow and arrow. The opening credits then begin to roll as an animated montage explains that Kate Bishop learns archery and earns medals and trophies for her prowess. It also shows her learning martial arts, fencing, and gymnastics, essentially self-training to be like an Avenger.

After the opening credits, we meet an “all grown up” Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) scaling a building to perform the “prank” of ringing a historic bell with her arrows on her college campus. Of course, somehow, remarkably, the ringing of the bell inexplicably causes the complete destruction of the bell tower.

Back in New York, Clint Barton is enjoying a night out on the town with his kids as they watch the broadway show Rogers The Musical while his wife holds down the fort in their secret lair. Neither Clint nor his kids seem to be enjoying the show and we are shown Clint’s point of view with no sound as he has turned off his hearing aid in order to avoid the ridiculousness of the musical. Clint also seems to be visibly upset by seeing an actress play his recently deceased best friend, Natasha (aka Black Widow) dancing around and singing. When his daughter Lila (Ava Russo) calls him out for turning off his hearing aid, he says, “I know what happens. I was there. You know who wasn’t there? That guy. Ant-man.”

Screengrab via Disney+

During intermission, as Clint uses a urinal, he notices that it was vandalized to say “Thanos was right” just before some random man sides up to him to also use the neighboring urinal and asks for a selfie with Hawkeye. The musical and the selfie request overwhelm Clint and he steps outside to get a breath of fresh air and his daughter finds him and tells him that they don’t have to watch the show. His sons join the two outside and all agree to leave the theater and miss the second half. 

Kate Bishop is also back in NY after the bell tower debacle and she is seen speaking to her mom on the phone, as her mom asks Kate to return directly home. She finds her mom (Vera Farmiga) dressing for a charity function and hands her yet another medal she earned from the US open martial art championship. Kate’s mom asks her to join her at the charity auction and Kate notices an abundance of swords in the home. 

Screengrab via Disney+

Clint continues his pre-Christmas trip with his children and they enjoy some Chinese food before they agree to take a look at the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. They decide to do some typical NYC Christmas activities just before a member of the staff comes to tell Clint that his complete meal is on the house and the gentleman thanks Clint for saving the city. It’s obvious that Clint is uncomfortable with the recognition and free meal, but he graciously accepts and the family thanks the gentleman. 

Screengrab via Disney+

Kate refuses to wear the dress her mother set out for her and instead wears a black on black fitted suit, which perfectly matches the wait staff at the Charity fundraiser. Kate’s mom is with her “new” beau, Jack (Tony Dalton), whom Kate visibly distrusts and dislikes. She is approached by an older gentleman who recognizes her as “that little Bishop girl”. He introduces himself as Armand Duquosne III (Simon Callow), who happens to be the uncle of the man Kate’s mom is dating. Armand spills the beans that Kate’s mom, Eleanor is marrying his nephew Jack before her mom had the chance to tell her.

Armand tells Kate that he needs to have a chat with her mom and before that chat could occur, Kate confronts her mom about the engagement. Eleanor asks Kate to be happy for her and Kate runs out to “get some air”. While outside she meets a dog briefly who then runs off. When she returns inside, she overhears Armand low-key threatening her mom. Kate asks Eleanor about the threat and she acts like she has no idea what Armand was talking about.

Kate then decides to follow Armand through the kitchen and down to the wine cellar when a super-secret underground black market auction is being held beneath the real charity auction. Kate blends in with the server staff and is virtually invisible to the auction attendees. She witnesses the auction of a dinosaur head as she was accosted by a waiter who asks her why she’s there because he was told he was the only server on this part of the party. She quickly gets caught in her lie and uses her quick wit to evade her would-be boss and quickly hides deeper into the cellar.

After the dinosaur head, the next item was Ronin’s sword. If you forgot who Ronin was, it was Clint during the blip. Clint was so consumed with grief after his entire family was snapped away by Thanos, that he became Ronin and hunted down all the leaders of all the organized crime “families” he could find until Natasha found him and brought him back to the Avengers in order to use the Pym particles to go back in time and defeat Thanos. 

Armand and Jack get into a bidding war over the sword and Armond mentions that Jack doesn’t have enough money. Jack menacingly claims that he will, once he inherits it. Armand wins the bid and the auctioneer brings out the next item, which is Ronin’s suit in a beautifully hand carved wooden box. Before the bidding can begin, an explosion rocks the building and the Tracksuit Mafia busts in looking for Tony Stark’s watch, which we could assume was one of the items available for bidding during this auction.

Jack takes ownership of Ronin’s sword during the pandemonium and Kate takes Ronin’s suit to hide her appearance. She then, wearing the Ronin hood and mask, uses her skills to free the auction attendees and battle the Tracksuit Mafia. One of the thugs recognizes the suit and assumes SHE is the real Ronin.

She then escapes, but finds the same dog attacking one of the thugs who just realized he actually has Tony’s watch. The dog runs off, she follows, and then saves the dog from being hit by a car, all of which was caught on film and now the world assumes Ronin is back.

Hawkeye is shocked to see Ronin on the news and we see a flashback from Endgame when he was Ronin. 

Screengrab via Disney+

Kate takes the dog back to her apartment, still wearing the Ronin suit and mask. She leaves the dog at her place and then sneaks into Armand’s house, looking for answers as to why he was threatening her mom, only to find him recently deceased, seemingly stabbed by a sword, perhaps even Ronin’s sword. Before Armand’s housekeeper finds his body, Kate skulks back out through the window and runs home. 

Before she can make it back to her apartment, the Tracksuit Mafia catches up with her and she battles the crew by herself. As she tries to evade the moronic gang, her childhood hero, Hawkeye comes out of nowhere and overtakes the thugs and pulls Kate out of the minivan where she had retreated to during the battle. He takes her to an alley and rips off the hood, exposing her face and he says, “come on!” with shock and disgust.

She is shocked to see her childhood hero and exclaims, “you’re…you’re Hawkeye”, to which he responds, “and who the hell are you?”

Hide and Seek

Episode 2 picks up exactly where the first one left off. Clint and Kate are in an alley and he is shocked to discover the Ronin imposter is what he considers a “kid”. He asks her how she got the suit but before she can catch her breath and answer, he says they have to get out of there and they go back to her apartment. As they walk back they chat briefly about her martial arts prowess and she brags that she has been referred to as “the world’s greatest archer.”

Clint demands that she return the suit and she is star-struck over the fact that THE Hawkeye is in her home. She tells him where she got the suit and she asks him to sign her bow. Clint explains to her that Ronin made a lot of enemies and asks her if anyone saw her face or if anyone knows SHE was the one wearing the suit. Just as he surmises that they are not safe, the Tracksuit Mafia show up at her apartment and throw molotov cocktails through her windows. The mentally challenged Tracksuit Mafia assume that Kate Bishop is and always has been Ronin.

As her apartment burns, she, Hawkeye, and the dog evacuate the building and leave the suit. They gather “supplies”, which Kate is disappointed to discover to be first aid supplies and not Avenger supplies and go to her aunt’s apartment, whom she knows is out of town. Clint leaves Kate to go retrieve the Ronin suit. 

Clint disguises himself as a fireman in order to gain access to the burned-out apartment, only to discover that the suit is missing. As he is returning his disguise to a fire truck, he notices a miraculous coincidence in a “NYC Larpers” sticker on the very same fire truck. Clint returns to Kate’s aunt’s apartment and redoes all of her first aid treatment she did on herself. 

Clint Googles the larper group and quickly finds the very larper who took the costume, bragging about it on his instagram feed. The next morning Clint puts all three of his kids into a car to take them to the airport so they can return to the safety of their home. His daughter is disappointed by the possibility that he won’t be home for Christmas and he assures his children that he will be home.

Clint returns to Kate as she is watching the news and apparently “Ronin” was also seen leaving the site of Armand’s murder. Kate tells Clint that she needs to leave and Clint asks her to stay while he goes to find the suit. He knows she won’t listen to him.

Through a very brief montage, Clint’s hearing loss is explained after he tells Kate he can only hear her from one side. They exchange phone numbers as he leaves her at her mother’s place of business and tells her that if all goes well, they won’t see each other again.

When Kate enters her mom’s office, she finds Jack in the office with her mom. Kate’s mom informs Kate that Jack is making dinner that evening and asks Kate to join them. She accepts.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye tries to get his suit back, but is stopped by a literal gatekeeper who tells him that he can’t talk to “the ninja” until after midnight when the larp is over.  He then decides to join the larp in order to get closer to the dude who stole the suit from Kate’s apartment.

After “suiting up”, he makes his way across the “battlefield”, until he finds the man in the Ronin suit, who immediately recognizes Clint as Hawkeye. Clint tells him that he needs the suit. The dude asks Clint to let him “kill” him and he will give him the suit. 

Meanwhile, the police call Kate about the fire in her apartment and she agrees to go to the station the following day. 

Back at the larp, Clint and the suit thief engage in “ritualistic combat”, surrounded by all of the participating larpers. Clint is absolutely miserable but the suit thief enthusiastically returns the suit to Clint. He calls his wife and tells her that he’s going to need another day as he hides the suit in a locker. He tells his wife that he promised Lila (his daughter) that he would be home for Christmas and Laura tells him (and the audience) that he has 5 days to keep the promise.

Back at Eleanor’s, dinner seems to be going well until Kate basically challenges Jack to a duel. She knows he’s lying about something and is intent to show her mom that he can’t be trusted. The two also suit up in full fencing attire and engage in a duel with fencing foils. She knows he is pulling his punches and tries to instigate him into really fighting her back. Eleanor, of course, takes the side of her fiance, even after Jack admitted to downplaying his abilities and lying, and she demands that Kate apologize to Jack. 

Clint stands around and waits for the Tracksuit Mafia idiots to come and find him. They take him to their lair as Kate takes a cab to her aunt’s apartment. After calling his phone repeatedly, someone else answers, presumably one of the Tracksuit guys, and tells her that Clint’s unavailable. She uses tracking software to track Clint’s phone and takes it upon herself to “rescue” him. 

While tied up, Hawkeye goes back and forth with a dizzying line of questioning and manages to untie himself. Just when he was denying he knew Kate Bishop, she comes crashing in through the skylight. The two are then tied up, side by side, as a menacing female is told that they have both Barton and Bishop. 

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Episode 3 begins in 2007 with a deaf Native American girl in regular public school. The next scene is the same girl with her father (Zahn McClarnon) and apparent caregiver as they make shadow puppets and talk about dragons. She asks her father why she is in school with hearing kids and he tells her it’s better because she can straddle two worlds.

She is then shown to learn and excel in martial arts and she ages up to be revealed as the menacing character we saw at the end of episode 2, whom we will soon learn is Maya/Echo, played by deaf Native American actress Alaqua Cox. 

As her past is still being shown, Maya/Echo witnesses Ronin killing everyone who works with her father, as well as her father. During her father’s death scene, the man reaches out and touches Maya/Echo’s face, leaving a bloody handprint, reminiscent of the handprint she donned in the comics. 

Now that we’re all caught up, we return to the present as the Tracksuit morons sit around supervising Kate and Clint. Clint informed Kate that he was just about to clear her name from the suit until she crashed through the skylight.

Finally, Maya/Echo joins the party and notices Clint’s hearing aid and assumes he’s also deaf. She tries to sign with him, but he claims to only know basic signs. She is not entertained by his inability to communicate. She tells him that he relies too much on technology and tells him he’d be better off without it. Clint tells Maya/Echo that Kate is not Ronin, but Maya/Echo is not 100% buying it because Kate was able to best a nice chunk of her men and she came to Clint’s aid once he was taken into their custody. Clint then goes on to tell Maya/Echo that Ronin is dead and that Black Widow killed him. Maya/Echo doesn’t believe him and calls him a liar.

Maya/Echo then moves on to Kate with her interpreter (Fra Fee). They ask Kate why she put on the suit and Kate explains that she was trying to get out of the underground black market auction without anyone knowing she was there. Maya/Echo puts Kate in a chokehold and her interpreter stops her from killing Kate.

Hawkeye tells Kate to be brave as he breaks free from his binding and leads the Tracksuit morons on a chase through Maya/ lair. Maya/Echo is the one who catches up to him and she kicks him in the head, dislodging his hearing aid before crushing it under her foot.

Maya/Echo and Clint spar until he manages to pin her to the wall with two arrows long enough to free Kate with another arrow. Then the two fight against the Tracksuit Mafia, Maya/Echo, and her interpreter until they are able to escape. At this point, Clint is completely deaf and can’t hear anything Kate says to him.

Marvel then exhibits their massive budget with an unbelievable car chase and Kate is delighted to use some of Clint’s trick arrows. Maya/Echo and her cronies continue to chase Clint and Kate as Kate goes through Clint’s trick arrow stash until she ultimately gets to work with Clint as he fires a Pym particle arrow at her regular arrow which makes it grow to epic proportions and takes out Maya/Echo’s henchmen’s truck.

Screengrab via Disney+

Here is a rundown of Clint’s arrows:

  • Putty Arrow: releases a goo-like purple putty
  • Plunger Arrow: literally has a plunger on the end of it
  • Explosion Arrow: creates a small explosion at the location of impact
  • Octo Arrow: shoots out multiple rope lines, bringing all objects back to a central location
  • Acid Arrow: contains acid!
  • Smoke Bomb Arrow: releases purple smoke
  • Pym Arrow: using Pym tech, enlarges an object
  • USB Arrow: more useful than you think

The duo make their escape onto a train where we are treated to a little comic relief as the two say similar things to each other even though Clint can’t hear anything Kate has to say, only after Clint agrees that she is one of the greatest archers in the world. 

Screengrab via Disney+

Back at Kate’s aunt’s house, Kate helps Clint keep his hearing loss from his son who called him because he was bored. Clint again assures his kid that he will be home for Christmas. 

As Maya/Echo’s crew moves out of their lair, Maya/Echo and her interpreter, who is obviously more than her interpreter, have a chat and he tells her that it’s dangerous to keep hunting Ronin. She reminds him who’s in charge and tells him to look into Barton. 

Kate and Clint go to a woman who can fix his crushed hearing aid. Of course, that doesn’t stop Clint from turning it off when he grows tired of listening to Kate. When he turns his hearing aid back on, she tells him that working with him is a lifelong dream of hers and she believes her dad was a hero and she wants to emulate him and help people. Clint tells her that it’s a tough place in the spotlight. 

Kate figures out that Clint is protecting Ronin because he’s someone close to him and it’s his job to keep his secret. Clint neither confirms nor denies this. He goes on to tell Kate that he’s not a role model and Kate tells him that he is and that most people wouldn’t leave their family at Christmas to protect a total stranger.

Clint tells Kate that she needs to name the dog as they walk him through the city and discuss the Tracksuit Mafia. He informs Kate that the interpreter’s name is Kazi and that there is a boss above Maya/Echo.

Screengrab via Disney+

Clint also wonders what the Tracksuit Mafia actually wanted at the auction and he is disheartened to think that there are items from Stark Tower floating around in the wrong hands. Kate wants to keep focusing on Jack and convince Hawkeye to break into Eleanor’s penthouse under the guise that she might have files on the Tracksuit Mafia. 

While searching her mother’s files on her laptop, Kate found herself locked out of the network and as Clint noses around the home, he is met with Ronin’s (his) blade to his throat, held by Jack and the episode ends. 

Next Week

In the super-fast trailer for episode 4 of Hawkeye we are teased with the possibility Yelena (Florence Pugh) will be joining the story as the masked character reminiscent of the comic book iteration of Yelena in her Adaptoid costume.

Marvel’s Hawkeye airs Wednesdays, exclusively on Disney+


Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.