Read our previous reviews of Hawkeye here.
The issue that could occur with having a six-episode season is the need for the finale to head to resolve quickly. On the other hand, if it overstays its welcome, stories don’t feel as vital as they should. Hawkeye had its work cut out for it. The fifth episode introduced Kingpin as the main enemy; Yelena sought Clint for revenge. Kate has to confront Eleanor. Also, Maya has to do something with the revelatory information she got about her dad’s murder. It’s a daunting task for an episode with an hour runtime, but “So This Is Christmas?” directed by Rhys Thomas mostly gets the job done. There are many setups for things to come (that’s a prevalent motif in the MCU), but for a show that not many people were looking forward to, it did so many things well.
There are two trains of thought with Kingpin’s inclusion. If you haven’t seen the Daredevil Netflix series, this episode only gives a taste of how dangerous he could be. He’s exceptionally imposing, strong, and has a craving for power, especially when Eleanor walks away from him. Is it an instance of a long-running Marvel problem where a villain gets disposed of and never heard from again? I don’t think so. Kingpin’s character is too tied to many Marvel characters like Daredevil (the MCU has included), Spider-Man, and Echo to die. He’s not like a Quiksilver on WandaVision. The moment where Echo pulls the trigger, and the camera pulls away, is right out of the comic books. Fisk survives, and Echo’s show is going to need a villain. He’s too important in the scheme of things as Marvel builds out its street-level stories.
Writers Jonathan Igla & Elisa Climent keep things fast-paced. We already know the stakes, and there’s one night to wrap them all up. (Clint has a family to get back to!) It’s great that the Larpers had a role in the final battle and daunted their outfits, playing superheroes in their own right. The interactions between Yelena and Kate continued to be a delight, where you want to see them together again as friends. The continuous, side-scrolling one shot was an entertaining way to show their fight as they got to Clint.
We never get a sense of what Eleanor did wrong, other than killing Armand. In working with Kingpin for so long, there had to be a bit of backstory of criminal activity she’s done. Eleanor and Kate’s arc is surrounded by needing to protect and Eleanor not wanting Kate to become a superhero for the entire show. The conclusion is not as touching because Kate repeatedly makes the right choice despite her mother’s wishes. So, the moment they had before Eleanor got taken away didn’t pay off as well. However, the foremost thing Hawkeye was trying to get across was Kate’s journey as a hero. She’s ready for the job, and they did this beautifully. It felt good to see Kate and Clint side-by-side taking on the Tracksuit Mafia. The big partner team-up was not only worth it, but Clint, finally acknowledging Kate as his partner, felt earned.
Using the secret whistle to get Yelena to listen to Clint was pleasant. It would be hard to explain how things went down at Vormir, but describing Natasha’s personality got Yelena to step down. They both are mourning her loss, and Clint is more of a gateway into the sister that Yelena wishes she had more time with. The pain will never leave them both, but this gives them a push to move forward. I never doubted that Clint would reach his family on Christmas Day. The watch belonging to Laura was already implied, as both she and Clint worked together. A lot of what phase four MCU has dealt with is the grief of losing a lot of original characters. No more Natasha, Steve, Tony, or Vision. Clint’s moment with his family and his new partner, Kate, breaks that cycle. Especially, as we have seen stories with timeline breaks, magic, mind control, witches, and terrorism—this is Marvel’s feel-good ending to 2021.
Photo Credit: Marvel/Disney