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Hawkeye: Partners, Am I Right?

"Being good isn't always enough to keep you alive."

Kate and Clint connect more deeply, and their investigation takes a couple of tight turns when Kate’s instincts and Maya's thirst for revenge explode.

I enjoyed watching Jeremy Renner with Hailee Steinfeld. I felt this episode gave Renner more of an opportunity to show emotional range than he usually gets in Avengers productions. Between his family, his enemies, and Kate, and the sense of a fight against overwhelming odds, we see an actor who can be both the deadpan straight man and a passionate, traumatized individual dealing with loss who sees himself in Kate. When I can see a battle within as well as without a character, I know I'm going to have fun.

A lot happens in this episode. The cliffhanger we ended on with "Echoes" turned out to be a bit of a red herring. I was expecting Jack, who is being dangled for us as some kind of villain, would wind up doing a full reveal into the New Baddie. Instead it turns into a parent interrogation over tea, and we're still somewhat on the fence about Jack. So is Kate: Eleanor and Jack have a very convincing connection.

I honestly think Kate is cute as all get out. It's clear that she's both daring and caring. I love that she wants to do a holiday celebration with Clint, and I couldn't love the cheesy sweaters and accessories more. The odd thing is how these two seem to be a different kind of family almost than Clint is with his own kids, but still very much a family. When Clint tries to open up, however, all that comes out is pain and trauma, and a lot of it is around Natasha. Their lives had been inextricably linked from the time Clint stopped his arrow to the time she sacrificed herself so he could bear the Infinity Stone. Losing her must have been like losing a sister.

Clint and Laura have this really tight couple energy too. She's basically operating as his Felicity/Alfred, looking up information and following up for him behind the scenes and trying not to let information slip to the kids. She can also speak fluent German. Laura finds out Jack is running the company laundering money for the Tracksuit Mafia – and that there's something special missing from the Avengers compound, a mysterious watch we'll talk about later.

Then the LARPers return! It was awesome seeing this side joke become sidekick as the roleplayers from a few episodes ago turn out to conveniently be police officers and willing to do some shady stuff in exchange for superhero cachet. It's convenient that they get those weapons in time, because they need to go after the watch. Which turns out to be in an apartment with weird flashing lights. Which turn out to be sound alert lights, like I have for pretty much everything in my home. And next thing you know they're getting ambushed by Maya Lopez... and a woman who turns out to be a Black Widow.

Deaf Supervillain, Deaf Superhero

I think this is the first time I've seen a Deaf vs. deaf matchup in a Marvel series or any series, for that matter. Granted, Clint calls himself hard of hearing – I sort of consider that a part of the Deaf community. Technically, he might be called late-deafened. Maya's a full signer who wanted to go to a Deaf school growing up, whose family wanted her to move between two worlds. (Note that while US citizens going to US schools for the Deaf don't have to pay for instruction, schools always have fees, especially for technology; also, the cost being referred to might be travel.) Cox is a newcomer who turns out to be a good actor – I was impressed with her debut in this series. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming Echo project.

Are The Parent/Step Pair Evil?

Honestly, I keep thinking of the parents from Runaways – they all looked perfectly normal, for the most part, and yet they were cheerfully sacrificing youth and summoning demons. Good or evil, angels or devils? The evidence seems to be slanted towards evil, especially after finding out Jack owns the Tracksuit Mafia.

I loved the interrogation and the energy between Clint and Kate. Kate is so clearly to all of us – even her mother, even Clint – a superhero about to burst the shell and fly. She has the innocent, guilt-free glow that the Avengers had way back before they started losing people and planets. She makes a stark contrast to Clint. When Eleanor sees Clint out, she basically asks him "Do you want her to become, well, you? Or Natasha?" It was harsh. You can see it hit home in Clint. There was a bit of an evil look on Eleanor. I don't see why Eleanor bothers though – it's pretty clear at this point in the series that nobody can control Kate. And it's certainly possible for Jack to run a company and someone under him be the one doing the money laundering. Also... supervillains don't carelessly leave super swords lying around to be taken, do they? My magic 8 ball says "outlook unclear."

The Rolex: My Theory

Who owns the Rolex? The internet is abuzz with this discussion. All we know is that it's someone who's been "out of the game" for a while, maybe who doesn't want to be found.

The discussion online has speculated. Is it Laura Barton's? Tony Stark's? I think those don't make any sense as suggestions. I think it's actually going to turn out to be Bruce Banner, who we haven't seen since Avengers: Endgame. Thor has been busy, Cap has been dating in another century, Natasha is gone, Clint is the one trying to get to the watch... this would also make sense as to why the watch is connected to the person. If Bruce Banner had worn the watch, it would probably have absorbed the gamma radiation that the Hulk is famous for, and this could be used to find Bruce. Bruce is also sort of the only Avenger who changes form; I know his giant green form is easily recognizable; I suspect he could disappear as a human.

The new Black Widow

Florence Pugh might be recognizable if you saw the recent Black Widow film; here, she's reprising the role of the character Yelena, who grew up with Natasha. Does Clint know who she is? I can't imagine Natasha not telling him.


"Definitely not chill."

"Are you sure that's dry erase?"

"Els-bath of Deepdale."

"My wife gave me the bag. It's embroidered. It says 'Bombshell'."


I was dancing with glee most of this episode. Five out of five copies of Santa Clause.


  1. The rumor I saw, and liked, is that the watch belongs to Nick Fury. It would make sense since the whole world thinks he's dead.

  2. My thought was Coulson, but I always want Agents of Shield to get folded back into MCU canon even though I gave up on it a couple seasons ago. Nick Fury makes the most sense I have to say.

    Not a huge Renner fan but I liked the situation he found himself in. Work well with his new partner or sacrifice their budding friendship to keep her safe. He's a dad so it's hardly surprising he pushes the undergrad away. He's seen what this life does to people and doesn't want to inflict it on another person.

    I feel like Jack being the head of the TSM is too easy. I think Eleanor is setting him up.


  3. Great review, as usual.
    I really enjoyed this episode. Best one so far.
    Especially liked the music call-back to the Vormir/Natasha's death theme which plays at the moment Clint tries to catch Kate as she goes off the edge of the building.
    Lovely stuff.


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