[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Hawkeye, Season 1, Episode 4, “Partners, Am I Right?”]
Hawkeye continues to ramp up the action as it races towards its fifth episode, but some mysteries still remain, particularly when it comes to the Tracksuit Mafia (currently headed by Maya Lopez [Alaqua Cox]) and its motivations.
Maya’s close confidant Kazi (Fra Fee) is following orders to pursue uncovering the mystery behind Ronin’s identity, unaware that it was Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) who once donned the suit and wielded the sword that ultimately killed her father. In the latest installment, Clint attempted to squash Maya’s pursuit of Ronin during a conversation with Kazi from the backseat of a car.
Whether or not his message for Maya was sent through, Kazi’s concern for his pal isn’t made any easier when a new face enters the frazzled scene with Florence Pugh‘s Yelena Belova. Below, Fee opens up about Kazi’s role in the TSM versus his bond with Maya, thoughts on the TSM’s big boss, and how Yelena’s arrival is about to shake things up even more.
Where does Kazi rank when it comes to the Tracksuit Mafia versus his friendship with Maya?
Fra Fee: The Tracksuit Mafia is all Kazi has ever known. It’s absolutely the foundation of his life. They act as a surrogate family for which he would pretty much do anything. There’s a deep sense of loyalty towards them. I suspect that Kazi would’ve imagined himself higher up in the echelons of that organization than he is, certainly higher than Maya, and I would suppose that that is something that is very frustrating for someone that has such drive and ambition.
At the exact same time, we’ve got something of a relationship between Kazi and Maya based on their history together. Kazi was there in that little karate class, learning at the same time as her, so they’ve known each other [for a long time]. They’re like brother and sister almost.
So, there’s a loyalty there. Those feelings run deep, so he’s got this real dichotomy going on and that makes his decisions a bit more complicated. I certainly think we’ll see a bit more of that dilemma moving forward.
Clint confronts Kazi in the car and tries convincing him to speak with Maya about stopping the hunt for Ronin. Why do you think he chooses to sit and listen, rather than fight back, even without weapons?
I think there’s a real respect for Clint. Kazi is someone that has had to figure out life for himself and fend for himself, and whilst he has the support of this organization, there’s a real individuality about him. I think he respects that in Clint, as someone that is not super but has just figured it out.
Before this whole Ronin thing, Kazi doesn’t have any beef with Clint necessarily. It’s such a happenstance situation. I think that’s what makes it such a cool story, because it’s an accident; it was never really meant to happen that all of these worlds collided. While it’s extremely important for Kazi to find out who [Ronin] is because he wants to support Maya, the moment that Clint suggests she might be in danger, those words ring very true.
The big guy at the top of the chain has been alluded to, and some fans have theories about who is really is (Daredevil‘s Kingpin played by Vincent D’Onofrio, anyone?), but what can you say about the chances that we’ll see the Tracksuit Mafia’s boss before the season is through?
[Silence]… Only joking [Laughs]. I reckon we might have a sense of who he is or who she is moving forward. We’ll just have to see.
Yelena Belova has joined the fray. How is her presence going to raise the stakes for everyone involved in this conflict?
It is a lot. Isn’t it? I feel really bad for my poor mom who has no sense of this world at all, and she’s already deeply confused but is just watching it because I’m in it. I think what’s great is the reality of Yelena popping up, and the real level of threat that she poses. She’s a hired assassin. Her job is to kill, and I think that ups the ante in a very massive way, and continues the story of Natasha’s death and Yelena’s quest for revenge and justice, as she probably sees it. That’s going to be an emotional journey to go on. There’s a lot of impact there.
Directors Bert & Bertie were singing your praises about how quickly you picked up ASL for the series. What was that experience like?
I was nervous at the beginning when I saw that it was such a huge requirement for the role, but I honestly just adored it and took to it like a duck to water. I really found I loved immersing myself in the language, and working so closely with the amazing ASL team that we had over there, getting to know Alaqua, communicating with her, and creating a friendship that we were able then to translate on set, and feel comfortable around each other. It was genuinely one of the greater privileges that I’ve had. And I’m very grateful for it.
Hawkeye, New Episodes, Wednesdays, Disney+