Wednesday, December 8, 2021

REVIEW: 'Hawkeye' - Clint Realizes He's In More Danger From More Threats Than It Initially Seemed in 'Partners, Am I Right?'

Disney+'s Hawkeye - Episode 1.04 "Partners, Am I Right?"

Secrets are revealed and hard truths emerge, culminating in a battle against two opposing forces.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Disney+'s Hawkeye.

"Partners, Am I Right?" was written by Heather Quinn & Erin Cancino and directed by Bert & Bertie

After years of Marvel television being in service to the films, it's still strange and remarkable to see the fluidity of this franchise going back and forth between the mediums. That has come into stronger focus in the past year with the release of the shows on Disney+. Problems still exist. The same critiques can be found. Sometimes it's not always beneficial for the stories to always being playing out towards the grander universe. But it can still be rewarding for fans of the whole thing once those developments happen in a particular project. The ending of Black Widow set up a pending conflict between Clint and Yelena. It's shocking to see her crash into the proceedings here with no warning whatsoever. Sure, it adds to the overall chaos that is consuming the narrative. The show has a lot of narrative it is trying to cram into a condensed timeframe. The mystery is already complicated enough when Kate is trying to draw out the conspiracy on a poster in her aunt's apartment. And then, Yelena enters the proceedings. That puts everything into striking and stark context. Clint knows that he is fighting a Black Widow. He doesn't know who Yelena is or her connection to Natasha. He simply views it as him now being targeted by yet another criminal organization. As such, it's better for him to let Kate go instead of trying to encourage this partnership some more. That's devastating especially after the episode that preceded that climatic fight. Kate was presented with a choice. She could spend the holidays with her family. It was suddenly effortless for Kate, Eleanor and Jack as they enjoyed each other's company and laughed. They make each other happy. It may have all been fleeting because of the previous concerning teases after Jack's true nefarious nature. But it could be a peaceful vision of family for all of them. Kate doesn't pursue that interest though. Instead, she follows the Avenger she's been obsessed with for years. Eleanor notices that. She needs this partnership to end. Clint promises to keep Kate safe. He too has doubts about this partnership. He works fine by himself. He doesn't need someone calling out what he's missing as a hero. But he's also delighted upon seeing her throw herself into the skills he has conquered. He is eager to teach her. Of course, he has lived a harsh life. She is such a fan. But he has the wisdom to know that life isn't all about the cool shots he can take. It's one with profound sacrifices. Natasha wanted him to let her go. He refused. He still carries that personal burden. He has been reunited with his family. They are apart during their first Christmas following the Blip. Instead, he feels tied to the darkness that consumed him as the Ronin. His family can't escape that either. He has to settle it now. Otherwise, it risks destroying everything he loves. He can still celebrate the Christmas traditions his family wanted him to do with them. Kate reaches out with that empathy. She understands. She offers such compassion. She is still new to this job. She takes so many risks. She is put in danger countless times. Clint fears that he might lose her. That's what the epic fight with Maya and Yelena reveals. They all live to fight another day. But it shows Clint's limitations in trying to protect someone who idolizes him and this life without fully being aware of the consequences. Sure, this criminal conspiracy is consuming her world as well. They are bonded no matter what. It's unlikely that they can escape each other. That just proves that he can't promise her safety no matter how hard others plead with him to do so. This is the path Kate has chosen to walk. It's dangerous and perilous. Clint understands that all too well. He has made sacrifices. He has the resources and willingness to protect those he cares about. And yet, the threats are mounting and quickly getting out of control. It's no longer as simple as convincing one person to forego a personal vendetta that has fueled them for years. Collecting a few items stolen from the Avengers compound doesn't eliminate those threats or appease the burden that weighs Clint down either despite his attempts at finding peace.