Biggest Unanswered Questions In Hawkeye
Well, "Hawkeye" sure gets a whole heck of a lot done in only six episodes.
As of its final installment, hitting Disney+ on December 22, "Hawkeye" introduces Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) — the second superhero archer to operate under the alias "Hawkeye" — to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It also cranks out a pile of additional new characters, including the Swordsman (Tony Dalton), Echo (Alaqua Cox), and the Tracksuit Mafia. Naturally, the award for the most headline-generating element of "Hawkeye" goes to Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), who jumps from the abandoned Netflix section of the MCU over to its present-day deluge of interconnected content.
Consistency issues prevent "Hawkeye" — which isn't really based on, but certainly influenced by the outstanding 2012 to 2015 run of Hawkeye comics – from outshining the top tier of Marvel's Disney+ programs, namely "WandaVision" and "Loki." But the most effective segments of "Hawkeye" — the car chase from Episode 3, Clint's inability to hear his son preemptively forgive him for missing another Christmas, and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) extolling the virtues of macaroni and cheese — easily overshadow the show's shakier elements. Episode 6 makes some peculiar choices, and everything related to the LARPers is questionable, but we've already mostly forgotten the stuff we didn't like.
As of the conclusion "Hawkeye," Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate have settled their business with the Tracksuits and Kingpin, but we've still got some burning inquiries regarding this show, Echo, and other upcoming MCU endeavors.
Is Kate Bishop going to have to get a job now, or what?
Oddly enough, in a program that includes several unrepentant criminals and killers, Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) might be the most raging sociopath of them all. Kate's impressively manipulative mother reacts to her arrest for first-degree murder as if it was a particularly mean-spirited personal attack. It seems she's hardly overflowing with remorse for the slaying of Armand Duquesne, plus who can guess how many other crimes were committed on Kingpin's behalf.
Now that Kate's partly responsible for her mom presumably serving a lengthy prison sentence, she may no longer have access to the Bishop family cash. However, if she gets a side gig waiting tables, how will this facilitate her inevitable first meetings with Miss America, Wiccan, Hulkling, and the rest of the Young Avengers? That's where this is all heading, right? Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is putting together a Thunderbolts team composed of copycat Avengers, which includes U.S. Agent and Yelena Belova as the new Black Widow. And they'll take on a Young Avengers led by Kate, joined by Wiccan, Speed, Miss America, and maybe some others we haven't seen yet, right?
Well, that's just a guess. What we know for sure is "Hawkeye" ends with Kate enjoying Christmas with the Bartons in Iowa. Will she chill at the farm for a while? Head back to New York? Blast into space for an adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy? The possibilities are limitless.
What's Yelena Belova's next thing?
Yelena Belova doesn't appear until the closing minutes of Episode 4, but Florence Pugh nevertheless walks away with this whole series. Oddly enough, she does not walk away with "Black Widow," the 2021 feature-length in which she premieres as Natasha Romanoff's (Scarlett Johansson) adopted sister. It could be that the lighter tone and premise of "Hawkeye" lends itself to a funnier Yelena than the more serious "Black Widow" could get away with.
As "Hawkeye" comes to a close, Yelena's mission to execute Clint Barton is a total wash, but she gets some degree of emotional closure for the death of her sister. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be more stuff for Yelena to do except possibly seek out and mentally liberate any remaining brainwashed Black Widows and await instructions from Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Pugh and Hailee Steinfeld also demonstrate impressive onscreen chemistry within relatively short periods of time, so while it's well and good to root for a "Hawkeye and Black Widow" show starring the two somewhere down the line, let's remember they can be bitter enemies and still banter.
Will Clint Barton ever get his comeuppance?
Starting with "Avengers: Age of Ultron" from all the way back in 2015, the MCU hammers on the idea that its version of Clint Barton would much rather be out on his farm with his wife and kids than doing superhero stuff. Being an avenger is essentially a very dangerous chore for this man.
"Hawkeye" triples down on Clint's frustration with his apparent inability to ever stay in dad mode for as long as he'd like — he frequently voices his desire to wrap up this ordeal so he can get back to the Barton farm for Christmas. Indeed, the show tells us family is the most important thing in the world to Hawkeye. Despite that, he casually destroyed Maya Lopez's family at one point and evidently did this because Wilson Fisk — a known crime lord — wanted him to.
It's one thing if Echo loses interest in Clint as a target and, upon learning that her father's death was pretty much Kingpin's idea, refocuses her wrath elsewhere. It's another thing if the MCU keeps hand-waving away Clint's post-snap, pre-blip years as the blood-thirsty slaughter machine, Ronin. After all, Frank Castle's tra-la-la attitude about taking the lives of other human beings frequently puts him at odds with his fellow superheroes. Why does everyone seem so eager to let Hawkeye off the hook?
Even though he's dead, can Kingpin replace Thanos?
After the defeat of Thanos at the conclusion of 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," the MCU has lacked a looming threat with the final boss energy of Josh Brolin's purple space fascist. Could Kingpin become the MCU's new final boss? Okay, sure, Echo appears to put a bullet in his chest at the end of "Hawkeye." But frankly, unless we see a corpse, we've got to assume Wilson Fisk still lives and shall resume his menacing the denizens of New York City sooner or later.
As Vincent D'Onofrio was almost subtlety telling us would happen for months, Wilson Fisk reemerged into live-action Marvel at the conclusion of Episode 5 in the role of secret evil mastermind — basically, this series' answer to Agatha Harkness — alongside the shocking revelation that Eleanor Bishop was involved in his schemes. As far as the Kingpin goes, there's lots of stuff "Hawkeye" doesn't tell us. How did Fisk get out of prison, where he absolutely appeared to be headed for an indefinite duration at the conclusion of "Daredevil" Season 3? Why does he apparently wear a Hawaiian shirt and a safari hat now? Where's Vanessa? Does he have a long-term plan to fix his city by destroying it and building back up, or is he simply hoarding as much wealth and power as possible? Is Bullseye (Wilson Bethel) still lurking somewhere out on the fringes? What's the deal?!
What did Laura Barton do for S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Clint spends a decent amount of "Hawkeye" chasing down a MacGuffin in the form of a Rolex watch recovered from Avengers Tower that could be used to reveal the identity of a retired former coworker. Some folks figured this ex-colleague of Hawkeye's might be Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), which would make sense, as he factors heavily into the upcoming "Secret Invasion" series. A few of us also wondered if the Rolex might connect to Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), seeing as how the MCU's been tossing its fair share of old toys back in the sandbox as of late. But the most prescient among us correctly guessed that the Rolex contained the identity and location of Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini), which explains why Clint was especially concerned about it falling into the wrong hands.
But if Laura Barton used to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, what did she do? We don't know, but since she appears knowledgeable and indifferent (maybe even encouraging?) towards Clint's highly homicidal activities as Ronin, we can safely guess her job got a little gnarlier than transcribing emails and fetching coffee. Our guess is Laura Barton has personally seen to the violent deaths of many human beings.
Why is Clint okay with drinking out of a 'Thanos was right' mug?
When Clint takes a bathroom break from "Rogers: The Musical" during Episode 1, he notices some ruffian has scribbled "Thanos Was Right" in Sharpie marker on a sink. In rapid succession, Clint is confronted with one side of the culture that turns the horrors he experienced during the Battle of New York into sugary pop entertainment; the other side consists of clueless edge lords who performatively idolize the cosmic demon that temporarily killed Clint's family and permanently killed a few of his teammates. It's a poignant moment that's totally undermined by the coffee mug a few episodes later.
Let's set the whole genocidal snap aside for a moment for the sake of making a point. If a creature was directly responsible for a situation that caused your best friend to fall off a cliff to her death and one of your better acquaintances to explode to death, how comfortable would you be drinking hot cocoa out of that creature's merchandise? Is it possible Kate's aunt happens to find the "Thanos Was Right" slogan darkly amusing and is sensible enough to understand that nobody actually needs to own more than one coffee mug? Yes. In Episode 5, we learn Kate only keeps one fork in her entire kitchen, and these occurrences are doubtlessly connected.
Will Daredevil play a part in Echo?
Spoilers aheadfor "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
While certainly not the most essential part of "No Way Home," the return of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) to the MCU after an absence following the cancellation of his Netflix series in 2019 was a welcome surprise. And the fact that "No Way Home" hit theaters right around the same time Wilson Fisk — longtime archnemesis of Murdock's alter-ego, Daredevil — also made his grand reentrance hardly seems coincidental. Some theorists speculated that Daredevil would swoop into the "Hawkeye" finale, but this was not to be.
In theory, Matt's appearance in "No Way Home" could be a one-off cameo. However, let us consider that Maya "Echo" Lopez first appears in Daredevil comics, factors prominently into "Hawkeye," and just-so-happens to be on deck for a Disney+ series of her own in 2023. It would be pretty wild if ol' Hornhead has nothing at all to do with the MCU's upcoming Echo-related plans, wouldn't it? Especially if it turns out Kingpin isn't as dead as we're meant to think he is.
Who knows how much, if any, Daredevil we'll see down the line. But considering the number of new heroes announced as on the way and the number of MCU regulars who've departed the franchise since "Avengers: Endgame," this shared universe could use an extra vigilante who's been around (and above) the block a few times.
What is the deal with LARPers on this show?
Why does "Hawkeye" think LARPing is so funny?
Once Grills the LARPer (Clayton English) — one of Hawkeye's neighbors in the 2012 comic — lifts Clint's old Ronin uniform from the smoldering ashes of Kate's apartment, Clint tracks him down at an outdoor Live Action Role Playing (that's what "LARP" stands for) event. Afterward, Grills' LARPing organization inexplicably remains involved in various goings-on throughout the rest of "Hawkeye."
The show appears to assume we will all find the notion of adults engaged in sword and sorcery-themed fantasy combat scenarios insanely quirky and charming. It's as if the "Hawkeye" writers discovered LARPing exists at some point around or during 2020, the concept blew their minds, and they felt they absolutely had to cram as much LARPing into "Hawkeye" as possible.
As far as the rest of us go, LARPing-related references and humor felt fresh in 2009 — during the zenith of Chris Hardwick's relevancy, when lifestyle sections of newspapers published articles that winkingly declare "nerds" are counter-intuitively "cool" here in the eerily soothing early phase of Obama's America. LARPing probably still goes on, but it hasn't been the subject of frequent media attention for some time. The LARPing stuff in "Hawkeye" just feels awkward, dated, and a little like the show is poking fun at geeks with unusual hobbies, which is an awfully strange decision for a Marvel show.
Does anybody give a flip about the Swordsman?
A better version of "Hawkeye" might've been seven, eight, or maybe even 10 episodes. Between Clint's quest to reunite with his family for Christmas, Kate's issues with her mother and stepfather, Echo's mission of revenge, Yelena's mission of also revenge, Kingpin's re-debut, the whole deal with the Rolex, plus LARPers, plus Tracksuits, "Hawkeye" sometimes falters in its effort to keep way too many plates spinning at once.
Inevitably, some characters feel underserved, and that's especially the case for Jack Duquesne — aka the "Swordsman" — until Episode 6. His running gag is he keeps getting old sayings and aphorisms jumbled up — "Absence makes the heart grow older," "Life is short, you never know what you're going to get," etc. — and it isn't especially funny. At the beginning of "Hawkeye," Jack seems poised as the series' central Big Bad; by the end of Episode 5, he's the fifth-tier threat underneath Kingpin, Echo, Eleanor Bishop, and Yelena Belova. By Episode 6, he doesn't seem like much of a villain at all.
Hopefully, there's life after "Hawkeye" for the Swordsman. Tony Dalton's blend of cavalier swashbuckler and oblivious comedy relief certainly has potential as a foil for other second-string Avengers (or maybe baddies disguised as Avengers?) on a different series.
Where was Lucky The Pizza Dog?
When Disney+ announced a Hawkeye show that would feature Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, some fans of Matt Fraction and David Aja's indispensable 2012 series envisioned a live-action version of this standard-setting sequential art saga.
We always knew the show couldn't be a direct adaption of the comic. The MCU's Clint is a stoic family man, whereas the Clint of Marvel Comics at the time is a cynical, damaged bachelor; only some of Fraction's "Hawkeye" takes place during Christmas, as opposed to the whole story; Iron Man appears in the comic, but Tony Stark is obviously unavailable to do anything in the MCU at this juncture. To its credit, the Disney+ "Hawkeye" manages to combine street-level combat with espionage and intrigue that have global implications and definitely stays true to some aspects of Fraction's "Hawkeye." Sadly, one element that should've been easy to transfer to Disney+ is one of the show's bigger letdowns.
With all due respect to talented canine actor Jolt, Lucky the Pizza Dog has nothing to do on TV's "Hawkeye." He shows up in the first episode, Kate rescues him, and then he spends the rest of the series waiting around for someone to take him for a walk. Lucky is a crucial component in the comics, but this show essentially reduces him to living iconography.
Seriously, Disney has eons of practice with stories about animals who save the day. How did they drop the ball on this one?
Do Kate and Lucky go to LA in Season 2?
We realize a television program's relative resemblance to a comic book from 10 years ago isn't really a meaningful criterion of quality. Most viewers don't care that Clint, not Kate, is supposed to rescue Lucky from the Tracksuits or that Clint is supposed to explain the effectiveness of boomerang arrows to Kate — not the other way around.
But if Disney+ wants to make it up to the many, many comics nerds it has disappointed by deviating from the source material it never actually promised it would follow, then it should send Kate Bishop and Lucky to Los Angeles for the presently assumed Season 2 and follow the events collected in Vol. 3 of the "Hawkeye" trade paperbacks, "L.A. Woman." Kate gets tired of Clint's B.S. and moves to L.A., where the events of "Hawkeye" #16 lead her to help an obvious Brian Wilson proxy out of a terminal funk.
Disney+ can adapt this story — attracting and merging their demographics of MCU diehards and boomer pop obsessives – and the rest of us can only prepare to watch in breathless awe as subscriber numbers bounce out of the gutter and soar into a sky full of fluffy clouds and sunshine made of money.