With episode two of Hawkeye ending on a note confusing for those who aren’t in the know about everything Marvel, episode three brings everyone up to speed while providing the best moments of the series so far.
While episode three, “Echoes,” similarly struggles to have an impactful ending, the rest is an action-packed, exceptionally well-written and massively entertaining forty minutes of superhero TV.
“Echoes” fully introduces us to Maya (AKA Echo), the deaf leader of the tracksuit mafia introduced in episode two, showing us her backstory and making her motivations clear and understandable. When it gets back to Kate and Clint, we’re thrust right into the action.
As you can probably tell from that exceedingly brief synopsis, this episode of Hawkeye is incredibly simple and easy to follow. There’s not a lot going on with subplots and the characters are together for the entire runtime, so complexity is off the table.
Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic though. The first half of the episode is two long action scenes. One takes place in a warehouse where Clint is the star of the show and the other is an impressive car chase where Kate takes the lead.
The action here is presented, shot and edited together better than in the first two episodes. While the action in those was solid, it really felt held back by a TV show’s budget; the action here felt like it was on par with some of the MCU’s films. It’s not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s entertaining and very fun to watch, so job well done.
Another job done well was that of the performance from Alaqua Cox as Maya, who’s fantastic, especially since it’s her first credited role. Portraying emotion properly and believably when being unable to speak is incredibly impressive. Cox also handles herself well in action scenes, better than even Jeremy Renner, and he has about a decade of MCU experience on her.
Speaking of Jeremy Renner, he’s given a lot to do in this episode, both emotionally and physically. His action scene is a standout of the episodes, but my favorite scene is where he’s on the phone with his youngest son and can’t hear him because his hearing aid was broken in a fight earlier on.
Renner and Steinfeld are both fantastic in that scene, with her essentially translating what his son is saying to him in writing; it’s powerful and heartbreaking.
There are several scenes in the episode edited to put you in the perspective of either Maya or a deafened Clint, all of which are handled extremely well. The aforementioned scene with Clint on the phone is one of them. While it’s nowhere as good as the sound editing in something like Sound of Metal, a film told mainly from the perspective of a man going deaf, Hawkeye still handles the subject well enough to get its point across and be emotionally effective.
“Echoes” is the best episode of Hawkeye we’ve gotten so far, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better the further it goes along. The chemistry between Renner and Steinfeld is fantastic, Alaqua Cox is great in the role of Echo (which is good because she’ll have her own Disney+ show in the near future), the action is the best the series has had to date and the emotional beats are all hit with the precision of an arrow.
The only real issue is that of its ending, which comes out of nowhere and didn’t have me looking forward to next week. I said the same about the ending of episode two though and this episode was fantastic, so we’ll see what happens with that.