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HAWKEYE: Is the most wonderful MCU show of the year


Stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Renner, Alaqua Cox, Fra Fee, Vera Farmiga, Florence Pugh, Vincent D’Onofrio and Tony Dalton

Listen, I’m gonna be in the minor on this likely- but Hawkeye is the best of the first round of MCU shows we received. Sure, it could have done with maybe an episode or two more to truly ground and establish some things such as the return of D’Onofrio as Kingpin. I understand the arguments when it comes to that, but respectfully I disagree that the short tight episodic schedule negatively impacted this series. So i’m not going to waste much more time before jumping in on why this new Christmas based TV show is my favorite out of all of the MCU shows released in the 2021 calendar year.

Rather than a plot point, I assume that you’ve watched the series but I’ll do my best to walk the line between spoilers and just talking about the show

As I said way back in my first review of the series, which was just an intro bit for the first episode- the reason why I loved this story was because of the scale of it. We’ve spent so much time the past few years in the MCU with world ending type of bad guys, where heroes are countlessly tasked with preventing the end of the world. Even it’s tv counterparts have set up much larger scale global issues within their universes, so it was a refreshing change of pace to have the baddies for the majority of this show be a local crime syndicate that wears terrible track suits. Sure things lead to the introduction of the absolutely intimidating Kingpin character played by the stellar D’Onofrio, but even then this story is more about protecting New York and Kate‘s loved ones than it is being yet another world ending terror. Not only this, but the script is so tight and I love it- it hardly ever wavers and gets distracted even when it drops countless big name appearances into the series in its final three episodes. The script introduces subplots such as the Yelena one, and it’s handled so well that it never takes away from our main storyline around Kate Bishop- rather it just complements the entire series as a whole. Yelena’s story for this series atleast is wrapped up so well, and we get a wonderful tribute to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff which felt like such a wonderful homage to her character and the work she did over the years for the franchise, while building up Yelena’s future more. Alaqua Cox’s Echo was forgotten once Yelena was introduced, but the last two episodes definitely gave her an interesting enough subplot that sets up her future series for the franchise as well.

The Christmas vibes were plenty, and we got a healthy blend of holiday hits in the background that complimented the onscreen story. The finale having a massive showdown in the Rockefeller Center was epic, and a massive shoutout to everyone on the Hawkeye staff that got to be a part of effectively turning the iconic Christmas destination into a battle ground of sorts. We also had some really cool shots of Steinfeld and Renner with the bows, and it was an absolute blast having the running gag of the Bishop character’s interest with trick arrows.

The acting is brilliant, we’ve long known that Hailee Steinfeld is an excellent actress, but I don’t think anyone truly knew just how likeable her character was going to be to the MCU. She’s very much a comfort character for so many people, and is once again capable of charming the audience as she has done with other characters of hers such as Emily Dickinson. Her chemistry with the absolute Hollywood star in the making Florence Pugh is phenomenal, and everytime the two actresses were given moments to interact we had them stealing the show. Pugh’s character had some valuable growth this season, and I think everyone is excited to see where Yelena goes next. It’s Jeremy Renner though that we should all be happy for the most, Bert & Bertie, and everyone who worked alongside them should be given a round of applause for the way they rejuvenated the archer amongst the superheroes. Not only were they able to make him more redeemable and cool amongst his peers that have far more interesting powers, but they’ve undeniably increased the emotional connection that the audience will have with Clint Barton. Clint gets a chance to improve his branding off screen, even though he’s reluctant to do so on screen. The Larpers were all excellent, and I’m glad that Grills and his friends all got to be a part of the entire series. While Tony Dalton’s Jack got to show off some comic book accuracy for his character at the end, and I really hope that’s not the last time we see his semi sleezy, and semi charming character.

In the end, Hawkeye was the perfect bow under the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Christmas tree and I think the story that they’re building forward with the new group of characters we’ve gotten was well worth this series. It was also nice to have a fun casual end credit scene, coming off an emotionally heavy No Way Home it was relieving just to have something light hearted as it’s follow up show‘s end credit scene.

MCU Shows for 2021 Ranked

  1. Hawkeye

  2. WandaVision

  3. Loki

  4. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

  5. What If…

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