In the “Hawkeye” recap, Clint and Kate get caught in a fight while trying to track down something the Tracksuit Mafia stole and a familiar face from the past returns…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s not clear how many chemistry tests Marvel Studios did to make sure the pairing between Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld worked but whoever cast “Hawkeye” should win an award.
These two are straight from Charm City and here’s hoping there are more Hawkeye and Hawkeye (Kate eventually becomes Hawkeye in the comics) adventures to come in the future.
The fourth episode in the ongoing Disney+ series once again put Clint and Kate in the spotlight as the unlikeliest friends and partners as they continued to rely on each other to find out who exactly is behind the Tracksuit Mafia as well as a trinket that was stolen from the Avengers compound that could lead to trouble for someone else.
As the story goes, Kate has idolized Clint Barton since she saw him stave off alien invaders with nothing more than a bow and arrow while saving her from being killed. To date, Kate has never told Clint this actual story but she’s mentioned how he’s her favorite Avenger, which is probably something he’s never actually heard before now.
The latest installment puts Clint and Kate back into the fray together as emotional damage from the past resurfaces as well as the long awaited return of a character who wants Hawkeye dead.
There’s a lot to dig into this week so let’s recap the latest episode of “Hawkeye” titled “Partners, Am I Right?”
Last week’s episode ended with Clint standing at the end of his own Ronin sword that was being held by Jack Duquesne after he and Kate snuck into her mother’s penthouse in order to get information on the Tracksuit Mafia. While a sword at the throat might imply a fight, Jack actually recognizes Clint Barton and he quickly draws back the weapon after his fiancée Eleanor also emerges from the bowels of the massive apartment.
Kate does her best to explain the situation while Jack calls Clint “Archer,” which once again raises the question about the branding issue when it comes to Hawkeye’s appeal with his audience.
While Kate attempts to lie to her mother, Eleanor does run a security company and it doesn’t take her long to figure out that her daughter had used her login to look up some information on her computer. Kate then comes clean that she’s partnered up with Clint to help him with an Avengers level threat that they can only solve together.
Of course, Clint downplays Kate’s involvement much less that they’re actually partners but Kate is running with this narrative because she loves the idea that she’s teamed up with her Avengers’ idol. So begrudgingly, Clint admits that Kate is helping him with something, which is enough to make her smile from ear to ear.
Eleanor then offers to walk Clint to the elevator and she more or less tells him that no harm should come to her daughter — and she even manages to invoke the name Natasha Romanoff as someone who he cherished yet she didn’t make it back alive either. Bringing up Natasha’s name is a real trigger with Clint, for understandable reasons, but he promises that he’ll make sure Kate stays safe.
Little does Eleanor know that Clint is only involved because he’s trying to keep Kate safe.
On the way out of the building, Clint sends his wife a message asking for information on Sloane Limited — the shell company attached to the Tracksuit Mafia that was discovered through Bishop Security files. He also flashes the Ronin sword that he managed to take back before leaving.
Back in the apartment, Kate spends some family time with her mother and Jack and she has to fight back a few laughs as she watches the two of them dote on each other through jokes and even a dance shared in the middle of the room. Kate can’t help but see how happy her mother is with Jack, even if she still doesn’t exactly trust him.
She’ll have even less reason to trust him after Clint gets a call from his wife and she reveals that Sloane Limited is a money laundering operation for the Tracksuit Mafia. The CEO of Sloan Limited is none other than Jack Duquesne.
Laura then asks if perhaps something else went missing from the Avengers compound — like the Rolex watch that the Tracksuit Mafia was hunting at that black market auction where Ronin’s sword and outfit were up for sale. Clint has no idea that’s what they were looking for when first encountering Kate so he asks his wife to ping the tracker to find out its location.
Clint then has to tell his wife that he’s going to need at least another day in New York before he can make it home to his family. He then returns to the apartment belonging to Kate’s aunt where he wraps himself in ice packs in order to heal the wounds from the previous adventure.
While Kate’s mother wants her to stick around and play boardgames, she decides to go hang out with her new “partner” to help lift his Christmas spirits.
After Kate leaves, Eleanor makes a mysterious phone call to an unknown person as she looks for help.
Kate then arrives at the apartment with pizza, her new dog Lucky, some ugly Christmas sweaters and a pile of movies so the two of them can enjoy a little holiday celebration together. Clint can’t help but appreciate the effort Kate is making to ease the pain that he’s away from his family right now.
Drinking margaritas and decorating a Christmas tree gives both of them some much needed levity from the ordeal they’ve been facing over the past few days. Clint even manages to teach Kate a new trick where she learns how to throw a quarter at someone with such precision that it could knock them out.
But the joy soon turns to tears after Kate asks Clint to tell her about his favorite shot that he’s ever taken during his career and he mentions that it’s one that he didn’t actually take.
Clint then reveals how he was sent on a mission to kill Natasha Romanoff, who was part of the Black Widow training program, but after tracking her down he was unable to actually to actually take the shot that would have killed her. Instead, Clint recognized that Natasha really wanted out and so he saved her rather than attempting to kill her.
Kate also realizes that the pain behind Clint’s eyes when they talk about the Blip and the loss of his family for five years was enough to send him over the edge — and that’s when he transformed into the deadly Ronin. Until now, Kate thought that Clint was just protecting the Ronin but now she realizes that her favorite hero turned into a vengeful vigilante, who took out criminals as judge, jury and executioner.
The next morning, Clint tells Kate that his tracker arrow has stopped moving, which means that all of his trick arrows have been gathered up and they’re currently being held at a New York Police Department compound. In order to retrieve them, Clint sends Kate to meet with his LARP’er friends, who also happen to mostly be first responders, in hopes that they can get those arrows back to him.
While she’s doing that, Clint pays a visit to Kazi — the Tracksuit Mafia soldier, who seems to be closest to Maya Lopez.
Clint does his best to explain to Kazi that he needs to tell Maya to let go of her thirst for vengeance because she’s chasing a ghost. Ronin is gone and he’s not coming back but Kazi clearly can’t tell Maya to do anything.
That’s when Clint suggests that he tries harder because Maya’s thirst for vengeance is bringing the Tracksuit Mafia a lot of unwanted attention and he knows “the big guy” wouldn’t want that.
Now the “big guy” — the true leader behind the criminal enterprise — is almost certainly Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin. It’s been teased almost since the beginning that there was a much bigger bad behind the Tracksuit Mafia who Maya Lopez refers to as her “uncle.”
There have been plenty of rumors swirling that Vincent D’Onofrio will be returning to play Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin after he previously portrayed the character in “Daredevil” on Netflix. We now know for certain that Charlie Cox is coming back to play Daredevil again so it stands to reason that Fisk will eventually be revealed as the man behind the Tracksuit Mafia and perhaps the person who actually killed Armand Duquesne as well?
When Clint returns to the apartment, he finds Kate and half of the LARP’ing group, who are just hanging out and having a great time as sidekicks to an Avenger. Kate even suggests that the woman who makes their costumes make two more for Hawkeye and his new partner.
Finally one of the cops returns with the bag full of trick arrows, which is what Clint needs to actually do his job.
While he’s not all that happy that Kate has managed to get even more people involved, Clint’s got bigger issues to deal with after Laura messages him that the Rolex watch wasn’t destroyed and its current location is pinging from an apartment as she passes him along the address. So once again, Clint needs to go on the hunt and he brings Kate along as his backup.
After staking out the apartment, Clint gives Kate a few more tips about how it’s better to find a quick exit rather than an easy entrance when looking for ways in or out of a place. As he’s explaining all of this along with his plans to get into the apartment in just over three minutes, Kate has already made her way down to the street as she plans to take the lead to break into the place.
Kate tells Clint that if something goes sideways, it’s better if he’s her backup because he’s less likely to get distracted — it’s a valid point.
As she’s breaking into the apartment, Clint tells Kate that she’s looking for a vintage Rolex that is attached to somebody from his past, who could be identified by this watch. Once again, Clint is being rather deceptive about revealing too much information but considering the information about the watch came from his wife and it seemed so important to him, it seems likely that perhaps it’s Laura’s identity that he’s protecting.
Remember, Laura Barton has a connection to Clint beyond their marriage and she certainly seems to know how to track information and help her husband on his missions. It’s entirely possible that Laura was once an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she eventually left the organization to start a family, which would serve as the perfect reason to protect her identity at all costs.
Inside the apartment, Kate has to use her arrows to take out an alarm system that’s flashing with strobe lights before she eventually finds the watch. She then spots a note that has delicate information about Clint and his family including the name of his wife and children.
Clint then tells Kate that she needs to leave right now because she didn’t just break into a random apartment — the flashing strobe lights are a silent alarm for a deaf person — because she’s standing in Maya Lopez’s home.
A second later, Maya attacks Kate but Clint isn’t able to offer her assistance because he’s being attacked on the rooftop across the street by a masked assailant. The fight continues until Clint fires an arrow across the street to help Kate to escape but she’s soon joined by Maya on the rooftop as the battle continues.
What’s made abundantly clear is that the assassin going after Clint isn’t working for the Tracksuit Mafia because they attack Maya as well in the middle of the fight. The assassin eventually subdues Maya with an electric pulse weapon and then knocks Kate over the side of the building just as Clint watches someone else he cares about potentially plunge to their untimely death.
Thankfully, Kate is attached to a grappling line but Clint can’t help but envision the last moment he spent with Natasha on Vormir as she fell to her death in order to retrieve the soul stone to build the Infinity Gauntlet over again to undo Thanos’ snap.
Instead of pulling her up again, Clint cuts her loose so she can fall into a bunch of Christmas lights below but Kate is undeterred as she quickly runs back up to the roof again. She then uses one of the trick arrows to create a blast that knocks everybody off their feet.
Kate then shoots Maya in the shoulder with an arrow, which forces her to give up the fight and retreat.
As for the assassin, they are finally unmasked just before hitting Clint with another electric charge that knocks him down. The assassin then turns to face Kate and her identity is finally revealed.
It’s Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) — Natasha Romanoff’s surrogate sister, a Black widow assassin and the woman who wants Clint Barton dead.
The last time we saw Yelena was in a post credits scene in the “Black Widow” movie as she mourned over Natasha’s grave in Ohio and that’s when she was reunited with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus), who handed over a photo of Clint Barton and said that he was responsible for her sister’s death.
Valentina is a powerful yet shadowy figure that is still very much a mystery but we know she’s building some sort of team of her own after previously recruiting John Walker aka the U.S. Agent after his brief stint as Captain America on “Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
Valentina has employed Yelena as part of her team and she assigns Clint as her next mission, which obviously also has personal ties due to his past relationship with Natasha.
Now nothing is confirmed but it seems likely that Eleanor Bishop called on Valentina for help after Clint Barton showed up in her living room. Perhaps Eleanor’s company Bishop Security is part of the same organization being run by Valentina, which would explain how Yelena showed up so quickly to go after Clint on that rooftop.
After Yelena is unmasked, she escapes off the rooftop and that’s when Clint realizes that his problems have just gotten much bigger than the Tracksuit Mafia.
When Kate asks him to tell her what’s going on, Clint quickly shuts down her fantasy of becoming an Avenger by saying that they were never partners and from here on out, he’s handling this problem alone. As if Maya Lopez wasn’t enough, Clint now knows that a Black Widow assassin is on his trail and that means anybody near him could get killed.
So Clint emphatically tells Kate to go home because her days playing hero beside her are over.
Now that Yelena is back, this creates a whole other problem for Clint not to mention the watch that he still hasn’t retrieved that may or may not tie back to his wife. Plus somebody not only knows Clint’s identity but they are keeping tabs on his family, which dramatically raises the stakes.
What will happen next? Find out when “Hawkeye” returns for a new episode next Wednesday on Disney+.