Let’s Talk about Hawkeye Episode 1-1
Every superhero comes with an origin story, an explanation that shows why the person chose the life they lead.
After more than 13 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is old enough that one of its most iconic movies works well as an origin story.
Let’s talk about Hawkeye episode 1-1, the one where Kate Bishop met her hero…and he almost slugged her.
“I Need a Bow and Arrow”
Marvel movies have never received enough credit for the things they do well. For example, young Kate Bishop’s parents are fighting.
Without ever spelling out the reason why, the show established that Kate is a daddy’s girl.
This aspect will prove vital to the rest of the series, as she’ll eventually interact with Clint Barton, the world’s proudest #GirlDad.
Before that happens, Hawkeye as a series must remind us that it’s airing on Disney+. And what happens in many classic Disney stories?
Yes, a parent dies. Kate’s father plots his family’s financial future in his study just as aliens invade New York.
In a matter of moments, Kate veers from worried about possibly having to move to knowing that invaders have killed her father.
Like Wanda Maximoff, Kate now has reason to despise Thanos. She’s not quite the same threat as the Scarlet Witch, though.
Don’t get me wrong. The little girl demonstrates that she’s bright and motivated in the face of a crisis.
She watches with curiosity and awe as she watches an Avenger blow up one alien and then kick another into the abyss. Then, he grapples off the side of a building.
At this moment, Kate Bishop settles on her hero and role model. It’s Clint Barton, the Hawkeye.
At her father’s funeral, Kate’s mother, who we can’t rule out as having killed her husband, offers to get anything the demoralized girl wants.
Most kids would ask for an expensive toy, something impractical. Kate Bishop chooses a bow and arrow, thereby casting the die on her fate.
As far as origin stories go, this one’s both plausible and moving. It also establishes that the MCU isn’t beholden to Marvel comics.
Kate Bishop is a lost child of the Battle of New York.
I Could Do This All Daaaaaaaaaaaaay
We fast forward in time to when Kate has turned 22 years old. Given that the MCU sets the Battle of New York in 2012, we can calculate the timeline.
The producers of Hawkeye have indicated that it occurs two years after Avengers: Endgame.
On the Disney+ Marvel tile, it’s also the one with the latest chronological setting. So, it’s apparently the holidays of 2024.
At this point, humanity has returned to normal after The Snap. To wit, Clint Barton, multi-time savior of the world, has turned into a patron of the arts.
No, I’m kidding. Broadway is cruelly punishing him for his heroism by making him watch Rogers: The Musical.
Yes, that’s about Steve Rogers and the rest of the Avengers. Barton must watch a play about one of his worst nightmares.
The Avenger has suffered severe hearing loss, which works in his favor during this monstrosity:
This clip underscores Barton’s second trauma. To stop Thanos, Natasha Romanoff sacrificed her life, leaving Clint without his best friend.
Seeing an actress playing Black Widow in a musical triggers his pain. Still, the news isn’t all bad. His family is un-dusted, including his beloved daughter.
Barton and his kids are spending time in New York before returning home for the holidays. Their plane is leaving the next day, but you know that’s a swerve.
Circumstances won’t allow him to leave with his kids. Of course, we know that from the trailers, but the pilot episode telegraphs it, too.
Hawkeye did wrong during the aftermath of The Snap. Now, karma has come calling in the form of…
As Barton determines never to visit Broadway again, Bishop suffers in a different way.
The directionless young woman pulls a prank because of a dare. She tries to make a clock tower bell ring.
In the promise, she knocks down the clock…and the tower. Fortunately, her mother has solved whatever financial problems her father had faced before his death.
Now, the two of them live in their elegant estate when Kate’s not at college. She’s not in a hurry to graduate because her mother runs a security company.
Her mother’s five-year plan calls for Kate to work at the security company and learn the ropes. She’d rather win karate and archery trophies instead.
Meanwhile, Eleanor Bishop has further inconvenienced her daughter by falling in love and quickly agreeing to marry Jack Duquesne.
So, just when Kate’s aimless life seemed to hit, her mother replaced her father with a new dude.
Interestingly, the new guy’s uncle proves too loose-lipped during what proves to be an engagement party. He reveals that he dislikes Eleanor.
This slip of the tongue (or intentional antagonistic act?) leads Kate into an Eyes Wide Shut series of misadventures.
Kate follows the older man, Armand III, down to a wine cellar.
There, she watches suspiciously as Armand and his nephew, Jack, snipe at one another during an auction of expensive antiquities.
Eventually, someone notices she’s not supposed to be there. But, before she can get in trouble, a FREAKING WALL EXPLODES, stunning everyone.
Criminals invade the auction. These tracksuit-wearing individuals are searching for something at the auction.
Oh yeah, we can guess how Kate and Clint’s lives will entwine.
Poor Armond III won’t live to see it, though. He’s got a sword slash to the stomach coming in a few minutes.
Who Was That Masked (Wo)Man?
For admittedly implausible reasons, Kate stumbles into Clint’s Ronin suit.
Then, she starts kicking the asses of various hoods, demonstrating her karate training and impeccable instincts.
Honestly, I buy this part more than the Ronin outfit falling at her feet. It’s very Cobra Kai in that she uses moves and throws that a black belt would know.
From the perspective of the dudes in tracksuits, Ronin has returned to reclaim what’s his.
Let’s take a brief moment to refresh your memory of Ronin. Here, watch this:
Oddly, since the release of Endgame, Ronin’s battle scene has evolved into the Don’t Give Me Hope meme.
Let’s not forget that Barton tracked down and murdered countless mobbed-up folks in multiple countries…and in New York.
Yeah, Kate’s living in New York. That’s not the place where you want to deck out in Ronin gear.
Fortunately, Kate somehow escapes her first encounter with mob dudes. The worst of them is kicking a one-eyed dog who has the watch the tracksuit guys want.
Kate nobly defends the dog and then saves it from traffic. My mother has a one-eyed cat who is her best friend in life.
So, I was rooting for Kate to go full-Ronin on that dude. Alas, he survives, albeit after getting kicked hard in the face.
Of course, an explosion, mob thugs getting beaten on the streets, and the return of Ronin cause breaking news.
Clint Barton returns to his hotel room, only to discover he’s a Jimmy Buffet lyric. He heard he was in town.
As the individual responsible for all of Ronin’s atrocities, Barton has no choice but to leave his kids at the hotel to search for this imitator.
That’s when Clint Barton first meets and almost slugs Kate Bishop.