‘Hawkeye’ Review: The Christmas Buddy Superhero Series

Hawkeye Review

The Hawkeye miniseries, created by Jonathan Igla, is a Christmas extravaganza that acts as a New York superhero origin story for Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). It also tells the story about healing for grieving Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). The miniseries has a ticking clock because Clint aims to protect Kate from deaf Tracksuit Mafia commander Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), convince Maya that his assassin persona Ronin is dead, and return to his family in time for Christmas.

Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner have amazing on-screen “friends” chemistry that allows the organic growth of their partnership as Kate shifts from annoying hardcore fangirl in Clint’s eye to somebody he cares about.

And overall, the Disney+ miniseries perfectly balances being a lighthearted comedic Christmas tale, a superhero origin story, and dealing with the severe emotional pain that several characters are in.

Hawkeye Review

Eye Contact Lenses

Steinfeld’s eye contact lenses sometimes took me out of the story. Steinfeld’s eyes are naturally brown. Unfortunately, brown eyes don’t match the Marvel comic book character Kate Bishop’s eye color. So she wears blue contact lenses to fit more into the role.

The coloring of blue contacts lenses looks completely unnatural, making the color uncanny. Steinfeld’s complexion doesn’t quite work with blue eyes, even with her dyed Black hair. So even if the contact lenses looked more natural, they still would not work. I wish they had not used contact lenses, but thankfully Steinfeld’s acting makes up for the odd blue eyes.

Strength of Partnership

In many ways, the two main characters are opposites. However, Kate and Clint work as partners because they share the same values.

Clint is a fierce, stoic archer who acts on instinct and is a team player. In “Partners, Am I right?” Hawkeye tells Kate that he doesn’t make plans for missions. He is not a leader but follows orders to the letter. Clint bravely fights aliens and all sorts of high-powered villains even though his only weapon is a bow and arrow. He doesn’t talk about or show his emotions unless confining to his best friend Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), a.k.a. Black Widow, or his wife, Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini).

Kate is a confident, intelligent, competitive, and high-energy twenty-two-year-old woman. She can keep up with Clinton on the “battlefield” because she idolizes him. Kate fostered the skills she would need to be a superhero from early childhood. Kate competes in high-level archery, martial arts, fencing, and gymnastics.

Unlike Clint, Kate is a tactician who can help plan out missions. Early in the series, she stealthy spies on her mother’s fiancé Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) during an auction. She readily shares her feelings and thoughts with Clinton and her mother, Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga). Kate rambles on about everything under the sun.

Both superheroes believe that you don’t need powers or high-tech weapons to protect people,” it’s for anyone brave enough to do what’s right, no matter the cost.”

Clint’s Grieving Process

All MCU television shows deal with grief in one form or another, including Hawkeye. Clint suffers from P.T.S.D.. And because he watched Natasha die for the whole world, he is dealing with extreme grief and guilt. He watched her sacrifice herself for the soul stone by jumping off Vormir (a mountain).

Clint and Kate’s bonding journey maps out his grieving process. During “Never Meet Your Heroes,” Clint flashes back to Natasha’s death while watching Rogers: The Musical with his children on Broadway. Unfortunately, he can’t even watch the whole performance. A sweet moment with his daughter Lila Barton (Ava Russo) reveals that while Clint’s family supports him, he can’t open up.

During the first half of Hawkeye, Clint refuses to call Kate his partner or teach her anything about being a superhero. He sees the young woman as somebody blocking him from being home. Clint feels responsible for protecting Kate because he caused this mess by becoming Ronin, an assassin during the Snap. He is not ready to replace Natasha or deal with the possibility of losing another partner.

Hawkeye slowly warms to Kate as she proves her talent as a marksman and to be a compassionate person. She helps Clint when he loses his hearing aid during hand-to-hand combat. Clint teaches Kate fighting techniques. They joke around and work together as a team.

Clint grows parental feelings toward Kate, leading to an emotional setback. The pair fight Black Widow assassin Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) on a rooftop. Eleanor hired her to kill Clint. Yelena attaches a wire to Kate and pushes her off a roof to get her out of the way. Clint doesn’t realize Kate is attached to a wire. Seeing his new partner falling from great heights like Natasha did when she died triggers Hawkeye. He can’t take a chance with Kate’s life again. Clint temporarily pushes her away.

During their brief “break up,” Clint visits the monument to the Avengers to speak with Natasha. Interestingly, many attributes he assigns to Natasha fit Kate’s personality. They are both loyal, brave, and stubborn. He openly cries for the first time. Clint misses Natasha and apologizes for his plan to murder Maya to protect his family.

Kate saves Clint’s life and stops him from murdering Maya. However, Kate knows that he is distancing himself from her and refuses to let him.

When she tells Clint that the assassin trying to kill him is Natasha’s sister Yelena, he is not shocked. He also feels like he is guilty of murdering Natasha.

The Final Episode

In the finale, “So This is Christmas?” Clint stops fighting his bond with Kate. He calls her his partner and refuses to abandon her when she learns her mother is working with Kingpin (Vincent D’Onoforio). Kate even spends Christmas with Clint’s family at the Barton farm in a magical ending.

Clint fully processes his grief during his final fight with Yelena. They both let go of their pain. Yelena finally properly cries for Natasha after letting go of her anger toward Clint. She realizes that Clint loved Natasha as much as she does, that they trusted each other, and her sister died protecting her. Clint commiserates with Yelena, who understands his pain and moves on, knowing that Natasha is still with him.

Your Thoughts on Hawkeye?

Hawkeye is one of my favorite MCU TV shows, which in my eyes, is only topped by Wandavision. Let us know your thoughts on Hawkeye and our Hawkeye review in the comments below. 

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