This Hawkeye episode opens back in 2007, where we meet a young Maya Lopez. In class, Maya is surrounded by fellow students, however, no one seems to be aware that she is deaf. She can kind of read lips, but it’s not a perfected art. No one around her signs ASL and she is forced to learn from picking up context clues. Still, she’s a quick study, as we can see.

In another scene, we see her with her father William (played by the amazing Zahn McClarnon) as he tucks her into bed. The two clearly have a close relationship, but William can’t afford for her to go to a deaf school. William tells Maya that she needs to learn to jump between two worlds by watching and observing. In karate class, William imparts wisdom to his daughter that it’s more about speed than size and she is able to take down an opponent who is much larger than her.

Obviously, I can’t go on without mentioning the “Uncle” that William refers to here. Comics Maya Lopez is the adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin, and as we see, William dies in a later scene when Maya is much older. If Maya wasn’t raised by Kingpin, then perhaps she’s been looked after by her Uncle Wilson throughout these years? I’m just trying to push my Vincent D’Onofrio agenda, like last week.

But then we have a time jump and we see an adult Maya (Alaqua Cox) as she returns back to a warehouse where her dad is, and we find out why she has been hunting Ronin. William was involved in some illegal business that made him the target of Ronin. Maya arrives as Ronin is slaughtering the entire warehouse and watches as her father dies in her arms. RIP William Lopez.

Maya Lopez
© Marvel Studios 2021.

Tickets to Imagine Dragons

Back in the present day, the tracksuit bros are dropping quarters in the pony machines that Clint and Kate are strapped to. Despite the attempts to maybe add a bit of sinister to the tracksuits, it’s also pretty easy to laugh at them. One gets dating advice from Kate about what to do with the Imagine Dragons tickets he purchased for his girlfriend (but really for himself). Between this and the struggle to find a warehouse, these guys are as street-level as it gets.

But when Maya arrives, it’s clear that it’s time for business. Noting Clint’s hearing aids immediately she frees his hands so he can sign. But then quickly rebinds him when she finds out he can’t actually sign too much. It seems to be a disappointment to Maya, who says that he relies too much on the technology of a hearing aid, and he might find life is better without it, which Clint learns in this episode is not the case for him.

Kazi (Fra Fee), who we saw in the background of the previous two episodes, steps forward now as a translator for Maya when talking to Clint. Questions about Ronin lead to Clint dodging a direct answer. He tells her that Black Widow killed Ronin, but that’s too convenient of an answer for Maya, who has seen Kate in the suit recently. She threatens Kate and chokes her, believing she’s Ronin, but Kazi interrupts and tries to de-escalate.

As Kazi and Maya argue, Clint frees himself from his bindings and leads the tracksuits to follow him around the warehouse, attacking him. In a confrontation with Maya, she kicks the hearing aid out of his ear and crushes it under her heel, jarring Clint and throwing him off.

Kate and Clint
© Marvel Studios 2021.

Trick or Treat Arrows

He still manages to free Kate, and the two fight their way out of the warehouse. They hotwire a car, with Clint walking past a beautiful red ’72 Challenger because it’s too nice to smash. The scene is funny and the whole episode plays with the fact that Clint can’t hear without his hearing aid and he hasn’t invested enough time into ASL to communicate. I hope we get more about this as the episodes progress and this isn’t the only episode with this look into his hearing loss and Maya’s deafness.

Now caught in a wild car chase, Kate shoots random trick arrows at the tracksuit pursuers, sometimes to great success, and sometimes to disappointment. (Plunge arrows forever, but not in this case.) The chase is exciting, and Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld‘s chemistry bounces off from one another effortlessly. The scenes of Kate and Clint coming to the same conclusion and saying the same things is a delightful way of illustrating that they think alike.

The chase ends on a bridge where Clint pulls out a Pym Particle arrow and enlarges a normal arrow shot by Kate while using a grapple arrow to make their escape. Also, the plunge arrow makes another appearance and it saves their lives! The two end up landing on the subway and get away. Clint compliments Kate, saying that she might be right about being the world’s greatest archer, which immediately brings a smile to Kate’s face. Again, the chemistry between these two. Steinfeld was quite literally made to play this character.

© Marvel Studios 2021.

Back at her aunt’s apartment, Clint is still struggling with his hearing. He gets a call from Nathaniel, but can only communicate with him by way of Kate translating on a pad of paper. Compounding the fact that he can’t hear his son’s voice is the obvious disappointment in Nathaniel’s reaction to Clint promising to come home after another few days. He’s already missed the Christmas movie marathon, and Nathaniel merely says that it’s okay if he can’t make it home in time. They understand. It’s all-around devastating.

Don’t Tell Uncle

Back in the warehouse, the bros have to clear out and go house hunting again now that their cover is blown and Kazi pulls Maya aside for a conversation. (Kate’s right, I’m sensing a kind of energy between these two.) Kazi warns Maya about going after Ronin and stirring up trouble. He hints once again to the ominous Uncle, who they don’t want to find out about what happened here. But Maya bristles at the warning, asking Kazi if he would question her father like this. But the problem is, William would have put the crew first, Maya is putting her revenge first.

In Chinatown, Kate finds a doctor to fix Clint’s hearing aid, and the two talk about the events so far. She talks profusely about how she’s dreamed about this and how her dad’s entire life was about helping people and she feels like she was meant to do this. Note, we actually don’t know how Kate’s dad died, and I wonder if we’ll get a twisty reveal about that in the later episodes.

Kate’s excitement about saving people only reminds Clint about the price that comes with being a superhero. He says, “It comes with a price. This life you wanna live. To really help people. I mean, try to help people, anyway. Comes with a lot of sacrifices. And somethings you’ll lose… forever.” Obviously, he’s referring to Nat on the very surface level, but he’s lost a lot beyond Nat after living this life. He’s lost other friends, nearly all of his hearing, precious time with his family, his anonymity, it hasn’t been all good.

But, this doesn’t carry the same weight for Kate, and she brushes it off, instead of focusing on Clint’s branding. In a nod to Hawkeye’s more traditional costume, she sketches out a little doodle of what he could look like, but Clint immediately rejects it. He tells her he isn’t looking to become anyone’s role model and he wouldn’t be a good one.

© Marvel Studios 2021.

Hawkeye Comic Version

Kate points out that he stayed in the city with a stranger to help and solve this problem. It also reveals her guilt in having him stay behind, separated from his family, because of her shenanigans. It’s obviously been made starker in watching Clint struggle to speak to Nathaniel while he doesn’t have his hearing aids in.

Hawkeye and Hawkear on the Prowl

Linked together because of the connection to Ronin, Clint gives Kate a bit of a download on the tracksuit mafia. He reveals that someone at the top of the organization above Maya wants to grow the operation. Ronin hit the supplier and the tracksuit upper management (assumedly William was in that group). Now learning about the auction they hit, he wonders if the tracksuits were after anything else from the complex.

Still convinced Jack is somehow involved, Kate proposes that they sneak into her mom’s penthouse and hack the criminal database that Eleanor has for info on the tracksuits and Jack. They arrive at the palatial penthouse, where the Bishops clearly come from generational wealth, and she assures Clint no one is home.

Searching Kazi brings up a business called Sloan Limited, which sounds familiar to Clint. But when Kate tries to look up Jack, there’s an extra layer of security, and she ends up locked out of the system. Clint, hearing a door creak, follows the sound and meets Jack, holding the Ronin sword to his throat. Uh oh.

© Marvel Studios 2021.

Stray Arrows

This episode, “Echoes”, is directed by Bert and Bertie, who are a British directing duo best known for the comedy-drama Troop Zero. It is written by writing duo Katrina Mathewson and Tanner Bean, both wrote Christmas Ever After and were staff writers for Pitch. I deeply loved Pitch and I am still sad that we won’t get more episodes.

I’m a huge fan of Zahn McClarnon, and I definitely cried during his death, especially when he called Maya his little dragon. That entire scene comparing Maya to a dragon, who is strengthened by its ability to travel to a different world, it’s all perfect emotional fodder to get me choked up. I hope this isn’t the last we see of McClarnon.

When I first realized that Fra Fee’s character was Kazi aka Clown, I had to assume they’re going in a different direction from his comics version, who dons white face paint and came from a circus background (like Clint). I’m still very sad that we don’t have circus Clint, but after seeing Fee’s scenes with Cox, I think I’m okay with the change for Kazi. Also how does Kate just know how to spell his name?

Fra Fee
© Marvel Studios 2021.

I wonder if Kazi knows who Kate’s parents are and that’s why he wanted Maya to stop attacking her. In the comics, Kate’s mom is also a criminal who has ties to Kingpin, and with comic Maya being Kingpin’s adopted daughter, maybe there’s a connection?

2012 Hawkeye readers will immediately recognize that ’72 Challenger as a nod to the comics run where we see Clint purchase a 1970 Dodge Challenger from a woman named Cherry in Hawkeye #3 — the car gets severely damaged in a kerfuffle with the tracksuit mafia. In the kerfuffle, Kate is driving (MCU Kate not being able to drive as a life-long New Yorker makes 100% sense) while Clint is shooting trick arrows. It’s obviously a huge inspiration for this episode.

© Marvel Studios 2021.

Who the hell is giving Clint access to Pym Particles?! Also, who’s job is it to clean up that giant arrow?

Speaking of arrows, ahh, USB Arrow, we’ve missed you, you useless MacGuffin. Somewhere, Ultron is frowning.

Is the Sloan Limited a reference to Fred Sloan? He appeared briefly in Incredible Hulk #235 and is connected to Trish Starr and Hank Pym. Perhaps there’s a connection between Fred and the Pym Particle arrow? It feels like a long shot, but maybe one that Hawkeye can hit.

Hawkeye streams Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+.