Hawkeye has landed with a bang. The first two installments of the six-episode season are available on Disney Plus, and watched back-to-back feel almost like a new MCU movie.
The first episode – “Never Meet Your Heroes” – has a killer opening that’s catnip for MCU fans. We open in 2012 to see the childhood of Kate Bishop, and once we realize they’re in a high-rise New York penthouse, we can probably guess what’s coming next. What follows is a civilian’s eye view of The Avengers‘ Battle of New York, showing just how terrifying this was for normal people.
The key event comes when the young Kate sees Hawkeye fighting off Chitauri on a rooftop, saving her life from one of the invaders, and acrobatically leaping down into an apartment building. This is what drives her to become an expert archer and a talented martial artist.
The rest of the episode focuses on Kate’s journey: showing her fractious relationship with her mother, her suspiciously sword-obsessed new stepfather, and a mysterious black-market auction. Wealthy socialites bid for Hawkeye’s Ronin gear (though no one appears to know that Clint was Ronin) and it sells for a hefty price.
Things go pear-shaped when some track-suited thugs straight out of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye blast through the wall on the hunt for a special watch, though as yet, we don’t know its significance. Kate slips into the Ronin costume to hide her identity and battles the villains, though her escape ends up on the nightly news.
Clint Barton doesn’t actually do much in the opening episode. He’s in New York City on a family Christmas trip, unhappily watches the Steve Rogers musical while remembering Natasha, and takes his family out for dinner. He only leaps into action when he sees the Ronin costume on the TV bulletin, and we see him angrily confronting Kate as the episode closes.
Episode one was a great introduction to Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, left a ton of dangling plot threads, and sets up what’s sure to be an interesting partnership between Clint and Kate. Still, after such a long wait, Hawkeye fans may be disappointed to see Kate Bishop occupying the spotlight. But now that they’re together, that’s sure to change.
The first two episodes of Hawkeye are now airing on Disney Plus.