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'Hawkeye' Episode 5 Review: 'Ronin'

Television

‘Hawkeye’ Episode 5 Review: ‘Ronin’

For the second straight week, Hawkeye leaves us with a bombshell of a reveal.

It’s hard to believe we’re in the final stretch for Hawkeye. This week marks the penultimate episode which shakes things up with major reveals and begins wrapping up plotlines. Here we get to see more Yelana, the return of Ronin, and a shocking final reveal. This episode packs on quite bit and it’s definitely entertaining, but unfortunately some of my worries for the series also come to fruition here.

The episode starts off by spending a lot of time establishing Yelena within it’s world. We find out what happened to her during the “Blip” and catch up to her current quest for revenge. The entire opening sequence functions mainly as a coda to Black Widow and really seems out of place once we get back into the main story. We then pivot back to seeing Kate deal with splitting up with Clint.

This leads to an extended sequence with Yelena trying to persuade Kate to her side. One gets the feeling that they’re trying to give us a taste of what the new Black Widow and Hawkeye dynamic could be moving forward, but for me it never really quite clicked. Despite the episode devoting a large chunk of it’s runtime to this sequence, nothing really meaningful comes of it and for me it detracted further from the main story.

Clint’s side of the episode sees him reach a breaking point as he must confront his past as Ronin and don the hood once again. There’s a lot of weight behind him taking up this blood-soaked mantle and the decision clearly weighs on him. In a more moving scene, he visits an Avengers monument to ask for Natasha’s forgiveness for what he has to do. It’s a moment that organically flows from his character arc and shows the weight behind his decision. This leads to the rather quick wrap up of his and Maya’s part of the story.

hawkeye 5.2

Marvel Studios

As Ronin, Clint sets up a meeting with Maya in which the two get a rematch. The action beats here while engaging, ends very quickly and anticlimactically. Clint quickly gets the upper hand, reveals that Maya’s boss may have had more to do with her father’s death before running away thanks to a well timed distraction from Kate. For this being one of the central arcs of the show, I would have liked there to be a more satisfying conclusion than what goes down here.

And then there’s the big reveal at the end of the episode of Hawkeye. “The big guy” has been a hushed name and a foreboding presence looming in the background of the entire show, and now he’s revealed to be none other than Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. It’s a game changing revelation both for viewers and our protagonists.

For Kate, the discovery of her own mother being tangled up with the villain shakes her to the core. For viewers it’s exciting to see the introduction of such a key figure in the Marvel canon, and leaves open all kinds of theories as to how much his previous appearance will be related. It’s a solid cliffhanger to leave us on that only ramps up the tension for next week’s climactic finale.

As we move into the final episode I’m less excited than I should be. For me, this episode felt very much like a hard turn for the series from being about Kate and Clint, to being Black Widow 1.5. Yelena’s presence was inevitable in this series but throwing her in right at the end and then shifting the bulk of the story to revolve around her when we have previously established plotlines is disappointing. There’s still a lot to be paid off in the finale and only next week will tell if Hawkeye can pull it all off in the end.

hawkeye 5.2
'Hawkeye' E 5 Review: 'Ronin'
As we move into the final episode I'm less excited than I should be. For me, this episode felt very much like a hard turn for the series from being about Kate and Clint, to being Black Widow 1.5. Yelena's presence was inevitable in this series but throwing her in right at the end and then shifting the bulk of the story to revolve around her when we have previously established plotlines is disappointing. There's still a lot to be paid off in the finale and only next week will tell if the show can pull it all off in the end.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Clint's struggle with the Ronin mantle.
Wraps up Maya and Ronin's arc too quickly.
Harsh pivot for the series' plotlines to all of the sudden revolve around Yelena.
6.5
Good

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