[Movie] Hawkeye season 1, episode 3 recap – “Echoes”

This recap of Hawkeye season 1, episode 3, “Echoes”, contains spoilers.

I was mixed on the first two episodes of Disney+’s Hawkeye, which ended with Clint Barton and Kate Bishop having found themselves in a spot of bother as “guests” of the Tracksuit Mafia, a thickly-accented gang of sportswear enthusiasts. But I was totally sold on “Echoes”, the third episode, which really kicks the action and comedy into a higher gear, finding just the right balance between excitement, emotion, and tantalizing nudges and winks in the direction of the wider Marvel continuity that’ll have long-time in-the-know fans absolutely salivating. Not that they’re ever not salivating, obviously.

[Movie] Hawkeye

[Movie] Hawkeye

Hawkeye season 1, episode 3 recap

The key to this is Maya Lopez, the deaf, one-legged woman whom the Tracksuit Mafia answer to. “Echoes” spends its earliest scenes introducing her, emphasizing how she idolizes her father, William, so that when she catches Ronin hacking him and his men to pieces, it stings even more. Nobody refers to her as such, but in comics continuity, Maya Lopez is known primarily as Echo, the adopted daughter of the Kingpin. And in one of the flashback sequences, we’re introduced to her “Uncle”, whose pudgy thumb looks very much like it belongs to Vincent D’Onofrio, and whose chuckle will be recognizable to fans of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil. Will Wilson Fisk himself be making an appearance in the next few episodes? We can only hope.

Either way, Maya has never quite forgiven Ronin for butchering her family and friends, so she’s curious to find out what Clint and Kate know about him. Of course, nobody at this point, including Kate, knows that Clint himself was Ronin, so he hopes his claims that Black Widow killed the vigilante in his presence will get them off the hook. But not quite. Maya, who speaks in ASL translated through her associate, Kazi, isn’t buying it. Eventually, Clint has to escape, and “Echoes” devotes almost half an episode to his efforts.

To be fair, though, Clint fighting his way through an abandoned toy store and then racing his way through the streets of New York City is a well-shot set-piece that’s also full of the neat character touches and back-and-forth patter that Marvel is always so good at injecting into their action. In a brief showdown with Maya, Clint’s hearing aid gets destroyed, meaning he can’t hear Kate. The episode finds a perfect avenue for this miscommunication when Kate is forced to defend their speeding escape vehicle with Clint’s quiver of trick arrows, not knowing what each of them does, and not being able to ask for clarification. There’s an arrow that releases purple goo which she calls “The Play-Doh arrow”, one that has a plunger on the end of it, an explosive arrow, an arrow that spits out multiple tentacular ropes, an acid arrow, a smoke arrow, an embiggening arrow that presumably contains Pym tech, and, mysteriously, a USB dongle arrow. It’s a wonderfully entertaining sequence.

But “Echoes” uses Hawkeye’s hearing for more than just jokes. When he starts echoing – get it? – Kate’s suggestions without realizing she has made them in the first place, she takes that as them bonding. When, the next morning, Clint’s son Nathaniel calls him, Kate writes him notes to help him navigate the conversation without giving too much away. It’s not exactly an industry secret that Hailee Steinfeld is the next “big thing”, but she’s a delight here, her face communicating a thousand words as Clint assures his youngest son that he’ll be home for Christmas, even though he knows he might not be.

The two archers continue to bond – after Clint’s hearing aid gets fixed – when Kate tries to design him a new suit to help with his branding. She’s thinking a purple number with little wings and the letter H on his head (an iconic and widely hated early getup of the character in the comics), and he’s thinking no such thing. The conversation turns to being a hero, and the price one must pay to live that life. Clint thinks Kate has no idea of the kind of sacrifices she’ll need to make, which he’s probably right about, but he also thinks he isn’t and has never been a role model, which he’s obviously wrong about. Kate has looked up to him since she was a child. She has modeled herself on him, in many ways. Now she’s firing his putty arrows at speeding gangsters. Despite the danger, you can’t help but get the sense that Kate is enjoying herself.

And it’s Kate who has an idea about what to do next. To find out more information on Maya, Kazi, and the Tracksuit Mafia, not to mention Jack, she proposes they break into her mother’s penthouse and access Bishop Security’s archives. They do and learn that Kazi works for a company called Sloan Limited. But just as they discover that titbit, Clint, snooping in another room, is reunited with his old Ronin sword – Jack is holding it to his throat.

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