Review: Hawkeye Offers Well Rounded Representation and Captivating Character Studies

Olivia Hernandez

With a well rounded ensemble cast full of charisma and excellent chemistry, Hawkeye has become a great addition to the MCU’s Phase Four. The return of Clint Barton and his past has made this plot even thicker, with the show revisiting his 5-year stint as the ruthless vigilante, Ronin. The fresh-faced entrance of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop into the MCU surely adds a breath of fresh air and light commentary between characters. Her portrayal of Kate Bishop’s friendly yet overprotective nature broadens the young archer’s personality, seeing her life’s purpose has been protecting her loved ones at all costs. Jeremy Renner’s return into the role of Hawkeye has given a slightly larger dimension to Barton, watching him grieve over the death of his former partner and co-Avenger Natasha Romanoff.

Clint’s mission has been to not only find closure in New York after Natasha’s unfortunate demise, but to fix his mistakes during his time as the Ronin. His journey somehow becomes intertwined with the young college student Kate Bishop, who sadly lost her father during the Battle of New York and has been skilled in combative sports such as, you guessed it, archery. Their relationship has undergone its hardships, yet ultimately persevered through surprise attacks, planted bombs, Pym antidotes, and attempted assasinations.

This new fan-favorite duo has been tested over the six-episode series, and certainly has inspired fan-theories surrounding the future of the Hawkeye mantle. The expectation of a hero in comparison to the reality was well executed by Steinfeld and Renner, watching the young apprentice learn from the experienced mentor and realize the grappling truth behind heroism. Although the heroic arc is truly a joy to watch, the villainous reveal at the end of the season is quite controversial. The surprise return of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, however, made no sudden difference in the finale, with his sporadic battle with Bishop offering no relevance to the story’s continuance.

The return of a certain Black Widow presents a wonderful surprise. Yelena Belova’s vengeance for Romanoff’s death fuels her hatred for Barton, as her informant is seemingly Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine but in actuality was Bishop’s mother Eleanor. The show victimized Eleanor after her fiancé’s arrest for the murder of his uncle, Armand Duquesne. Kate’s assertive ways to get her mother out of that situation seem to further Eleanor’s treachery, continuing to commit illegal crimes in order to allegedly “protect” Kate. Her plans fail, seeing Jack s released from murder charges and turned out to be a relatively likable person.

Belova’s mission, however, is side-tracked by the younger Bishop and leads to a “girls night” in Kate’s apartment, where she reveals her true plans regarding Barton. Yelena’s loss of 5 years, 5 years she could’ve spent with her sister, was gone in a matter of seconds. Her Blip story reflected how time drifted quickly for those dusted, but how slow time progressed for those who remained. Her emotional standpoint with Barton, after trying to kill him through hand-to-hand combat, demonstrated those misdirected feelings of grief and vengeance for Romanoff. Barton’s offer of emotional connection through Natasha (the heartbreaking whistle) causes Yelena to come to a standstill and finally come to an understanding that Romanoff chose her fate.

Another antagonist in this series also stems from death: Maya Lopez avenging her father’s death by the hand of Ronin (Barton’s vigilante identity during the Blip). Her relationship with her father and the sweet connection the two of them had made his death heartbreakingly unbearable to watch. The way Lopez’ cards were dealt were rough, yet she didn’t let that stop her and instead used it to her advantage. I feel as though her storyline was a bit muddled because of the short amount of time to properly delve into Maya’s backstory, but I cannot wait for her new spinoff series to debut and give her the amount of time she deserves.

Maya Lopez’s effect on deaf representation in Hawkeye is a major mark the MCU was able to hit. The importance of representation and opening those doors, especially through a returning and well-received character such as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, certainly adds an emotional attachment between the fandom and the fictional superheroes. Lopez and Barton’s connection between their shared hearing loss causes Clint to have sympathy for Maya’s vengeance, understanding what it’s like to lose family and live in a world with constant underestimation.

Hawkeye is an excellent show, with an interesting amount of suspense circling the main plot, but just the right amount of thrill to keep the audience entertained. The favorable characters and their daring adventures keep the viewers engaged and full of suspense. The future surrounding Hawkeye is uncertain, but the yet-to-be-released spin-off Echo is a well-awaited continuation of the series.