The fourth episode of Hawkeye finally pulls together some of the threads that the early installments laid out. The Tracksuit Mafia is shown to be much more than just a few bros throwing Molotov cocktails into apartments. Mystery continues to surround the Rolex from the black market auction in episode one. And most importantly, Hawkeye continues the most consistent tradition of MCU Phase 4: Awkward family dinners.
We left off episode three with Clint Barton staring down the blade of Ronin’s sword at his throat. Jack Duquesne holds the hilt, demanding to know what Barton is doing in his home. When Kate and Eleanor arrive, the whole incident is laughed off as a misunderstanding, and Barton is invited to stay for dinner. Kate insists to her mother that she and Clint are working a case as partners in an attempt to justify using Bishop Security to snoop around. As Eleanor escorts Clint from the home, she warns him to leave Kate out of his investigation, and he promises she will be safe.
Clint learns that Kazi, Echo’s lieutenant, is an employee of Sloan Ltd, a company of which Jack Duquesne is CEO and which launders money for the Tracksuit Mafia. The Rolex from the black market auction is also still missing. Kate skips a family Christmas celebration to lift Clint’s spirits with some holiday cheer including a movie marathon, boozy slushies, Pizza Dog, and learning to use any weapon as a projectile.
The heroes pay a quick visit to the first responder LARPers for help recovering Barton’s trick arrows in exchange for promises to provide material for new costumes. Clint hears back from his wife that she has located the Rolex in an apartment, and the pair decide to recover it. Kate impulsively infiltrates the apartment and recovers the watch, only to be attacked by Echo. Their fight moves to the roof where another masked assailant soon joins. Clint removes the mask and discovers Yelena Belova, Natasha Romanoff’s sister. As the fight ends he identifies Yelena only as a “Black Widow” and insists that the stakes have raised too high to let Kate continue to help.
The puzzle pieces are finally starting to fit together. Kate Bishop’s soon-to-be stepfather, Jack, is clearly up to no good. He’s the CEO of a company involved in laundering money for the Tracksuits, whose leader has an uncle that is probably the Kingpin. We still don’t know exactly who killed Armand or why – the show seems to want us to believe that it is Jack, but all the evidence pointing to him makes me think it might not be. There’s plenty to resolve there and a lot to unpack about Echo and Yelena as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the last two episodes have their work cut out for them.
Kate got the “reveal” in this episode that Clint was Ronin. I use quotation marks because the emotional resonance of the scene felt like it… missed? She sort of hand waved it away because he lost his family, which seems like a huge leap to make considering how many people lost someone and didn’t become serial killers. It felt like another opportunity for the show to go deeper that it didn’t take. The best parts continue to be the lighthearted forced-partnership between Kate and Clint. Oh, and of course Pizza Dog.