[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for the Disney+ series Hawkeye, Season 1 episode 2.]
At a pivotal moment in Hawkeye’s second episode, Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) comes crashing through a glass ceiling in hopes of rescuing Clint (Jeremy Renner) from a group of mobsters. She lands right at their feet and is shocked to find them pointing, well, a lot more than a few arrows at her. “I didn’t realize we were supposed to bring guns!” she exclaims.
It’s that kind of self-aware humor that makes the second episode a fun, if not particularly fast-paced, watch. The Christmassy overtones are dialed back a bit here to focus more on the murder mystery, and plenty of the episode’s 49-minute runtime is devoted to developing the friendship between the lead characters; Kate and Clint debate what his “branding problem” is, she tries to get him to teach her about trick arrows (“There are no trick arrows,” Clint responds gruffly), they exchange phone numbers “for emergencies only”… and of course, there are plenty of Marvel-style quips.
In the aftermath of Kate’s (very brief) stunt as Ronin, Clint makes it his mission to get her out of the spotlight and the headlines, lest very bad people begin coming after her in a case of mistaken identity. Of course, the very bad people are already after her—the very bad people burn down her apartment, and they’re forced to flee without getting the Ronin suit. Clint says he’ll go back for it.
Naturally, the suit isn’t there when he does; instead, it’s wound up in the hands of a particularly enthusiastic LARPer who won’t give it back to him—despite recognizing him as Hawkeye—unless he “kills him in a trial by combat.” (In the LARP, of course. Not, like, for real.) All goes off without a hitch, Clint “dies,” he gets his suit back, he opts to pull a “catch and release” by getting himself caught to remove Kate from suspicion and still, as he tells his wife, fully intends to be home for Christmas. And it does almost all go to plan, but before that…
Kate’s still uber-suspicious of her mom, Eleanor’s, (Vera Farmiga) fiancé and the role Jack (Tony Dalton) may have played in Armand’s death, and as we learn this episode, that’s probably for good reason. They all have an awkward dinner together during which Kate challenges him to a fencing duel (she’s the two-time state champ), and while he maintains he’s not letting her win, when she goes for his exposed face, he easily disarms her. This, she cries to her frustrated mother, is evidence that the guy knows how to lie. Eleanor won’t hear it and asks her to apologize; of course, Kate won’t, Jack offers her a butterscotch candy that’s the same as the ones she saw in Armand’s apartment, and so the plot thickens.
On her way back to her “safe house” (her aunt’s empty apartment) from dinner, Kate gives Clint a call and says she has new clues. Clint doesn’t answer, and thanks to her handy-dandy tracking software, she knows he’s being kept in an empty warehouse. And at that empty warehouse, Clint’s trying to talk the “tracksuit mafia” into believing he’s “the guy,” not Kate. And it might’ve worked, except the plucky Kate comes crashing through the ceiling to rescue him. Alas, they both end up captured. And as the episode ends, one of the mobsters goes to tell a mysterious woman—Echo (Alaqua Cox), although she’s not referenced by name—that they “have them, both of them.” If the ominous music means anything here, we might’ve just found our main villain. Unless, of course, Vera Farmiga’s character really is a vampire.
Hawkeye Season 1, Wednesdays, Disney+