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Hawkeye is the latest Disney+ Marvel show to have a flawed finale

  • "When you add up the individual episode lengths, the Disney+ Marvel shows have each been roughly three times as long as an MCU movie," says Alan Sepinwall. "In theory, that allows each series to spend more time with the characters — many of them third-stringers who barely got anything to do in the films, some of them wholly new to the franchise — and to weave together more story threads than the non-Russo-directed movies have been comfortable handling. In practice, only half of that has been successful. The character work has for the most part been strong throughout this quartet of 2021 debuts, but the plot inevitably slips away from the grasp of the respective creative teams, resulting in finales that feel rushed or disappointing in various ways. WandaVision abandoned most of what had been interesting in favor of generic action, and abruptly forgave Wanda for her many sins. Loki was dealing with so many ideas that it had to devote most of its final hour to a brand-new character (albeit one smashingly played by Jonathan Majors) sitting at a desk and explaining it all to our heroes. And The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale pretty much got everything wrong. The penultimate episode of Hawkeye left a whole lot for this finale to resolve — too much, it turns out. The core parts of the show — Kate becoming a superhero, Kate and Clint’s partnership, and the action of seeing two master archers ply their craft — were all effective here and often very fun. But most of the material involving supporting characters not named Yelena Belova — well, her plus the ensemble from 'Rogers: The Musical' — was deeply underwhelming and at times head-scratching."


    • Hawkeye really tied everything up in the finale: "Watching the finale of Hawkeye, I couldn’t help but think 'Now this is a Hawkeye show,'" says German Lussier. "Lots of action, lots of arrows, Clint and Kate teaming up properly for the first time, and all the payoffs the show has been teasing. Most of those payoffs were fairly predictable, so it wasn’t a Marvel finale big on shocking spoilers, but in terms of good old fashioned satisfying character development and storytelling, Hawkeye ended on a high note. Plus, we realized that while this show called Hawkeye may have featured Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), it was actually more about someone else."
    • Jeremy Renner didn't work in the Hawkeye TV series: "Social media entrepreneur Jeremy Renner has always been a limited actor, and the movies really double down on the 'badass bow-and-arrow operative' shtick that originated in Mark Millar’s extremely gritty and underwhelming 'Ultimates' series," says Corbin Smith. "This Clint Barton is a straitlaced bow-and-arrow black ops fella who wants to get home to his family because he’s tired of New York. Lame. In the main comics, Clint isn’t a grim killer. He was an orphan raised in the circus with his dirtbag brother Barney and taught the ways of combat by an eccentric swordsman. Eventually, he graduates from the circus to being a bow-and-arrow superhero who takes too much Advil and is perpetually weaving a basket of disappointment for the women in his life."
    • Six episodes in, Hawkeye has emerged as a show with very specific strengths and weaknesses: "It’s good at character and comedy," says Caroline Siede. "It’s bad at plot and coherent morality. That makes this action-packed finale a real mix of highs and lows, as Hawkeye ties together its many dangling threads to wildly varying degrees of success. While much of 'So This Is Christmas?' is fun to watch in the moment, it doesn’t retroactively elevate the season’s weaker throughlines in the way I was hoping it would. On the other hand, it does deliver a four-minute post-credits musical number as a holiday treat from Marvel Studios, so I can’t be entirely mad at it either."
    • Kate Bishop is finally a superhero character who dresses like a normal person -- cozy yet practical: "You need to be comfy for a lot of work, a small though not inconsequential lesson of 2020 and beyond — including the hard work of saving the world," says Alison Stine. "But action stories, among them the Marvel ones, have usually featured superheroes clothed in bustiers and breastplates, tiny tanks and skin-tight leather, including — or especially — women. Over the years, many women on the big and small screens have fought crime bare-legged in hot pants, which seems like it would increase the likelihood of injury. When so much skin is exposed, some of it is going to get bruised or bloody, or be a target. Those costumes look like a liability in a fight, not to mention a bit chilly on the streets of New York or Asgard, Wheaton or Washington, D.C." Stine adds: "There are a lot of hoodies in Hawkeye. There are also a lot of sweatsuits, a cozy outfit Kate both sleeps in, and in an act of self-care, changes into after a hard fight. She looks ready to work from home. She looks like us. Kate Bishop is the first aspiring superhero whose clothes I've actively coveted. Along with the sweats — I'm particularly fond of a bright purple number — she wears a signature oversized plaid coat, her long hair frequently in a messy ponytail as she traipses about New York, scarf flapping. You know her shoes are sensible and there are tissues and a snack in her bag. Kate wears jeans sometimes, but they're worn and ripped, with black tights beneath for warmth."
    • Hailee Steinfeld on working with Florence Pugh: "The minute I knew that she was gonna be a part of the show, I was very excited. I am a huge fan of Florence and her work," says Steinfeld. "At that point, it had been me and Jeremy the whole time, so I was ready for some Florence Pugh. That scene in particular was so fun. There's a lot of layers. It's always exciting to dig into a scene like that. When you first read it, you laugh, there are points that you love and connect to. But when you really get into it you understand that there's a deeper meaning to this very fun scene that has a lot of great banter between these two really awesome characters."
    • Steinfeld on "heartbreaking" Hawkeye finale revelation: “Is it heartbreaking? Absolutely. The one person that Kate has been trying to protect this whole time is now not to be trusted and possibly not to be protected?” she says. “So I felt more scared for her than I felt sorry for her in that moment. We learn this piece of information, and though a lot of weight comes with that, we don’t know much more. So before feeling sorry, I think I was more curious to find out more information, while being terrified for her and what her mom, at that point, is capable of.”
    • Hawkeye directors Bert and Bertie (Amber Templemore-Finlayson and Katie Ellwood) relished the creative decisions that emerged on set
    • Examining "Rogers: The Musical"

    TOPICS: Hawkeye, Disney+, Florence Pugh, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Renner, Marvel