Review: ‘Hawkeye’ Episode Four – ‘Partners, Am I Right?’

Hawkeye - Episode 4 - Kate and Clint

Episode 3 of Hawkeye hits the brakes for a bit after last week’s action-packed installment and lets the main characters breathe before throwing another curveball at them.


It’s safe to say this series has been the most balanced MCU entry on Disney Plus so far. It might not reach some of the highest highs found in WandaVision or Loki, but it’s moving at a steadier pace than those shows, and effortlessly mixing exciting action with character development and Christmas vibes that feel completely organic.


After a breakneck third episode, Partners, Am I Right? lets everyone reflect on what’s going on and what they want to do moving forward. But that doesn’t mean the plot stalls, as our heroes quickly return to their investigation before facing an unexpected enemy. There’s plenty of Christmas spirit peppered on top, too.


Spoilers ahead…


This episode kicks off right where the last one was cut short. I agree with my colleague Josh that it was an abrupt ending for a chapter that needed at least ten more minutes to let things simmer after spending most of its runtime with (amazing) action sequences. This week, we’re quickly thrown into a scene with Kate and Clint awkwardly explaining (lying) to Jack and Eleanor that they’ve been working together on a secret something, so they needed access to Bishop Security systems. Clint makes it clear that he wants to do this on his own and keep Kate safe, but without uncovering the truth about what’s going on — Eleanor also has a quick little chat with him about this matter after the family reunion. This pushes Clint further down the path of cutting Kate loose, which is, as expected, quite hard. He doesn’t leave the Bishop household empty-handed though, as he sneakily recovers the Ronin sword on the way out.



While it’s becoming clear Jack Duquesne is an all-around shady guy trying his best to look cool and familiar, I believe he’s not the main villain in this story. Kate appears to be too fixated on him and his relationship with her mother, who has moved past his late husband, and I’m pretty sure that’s clouding her judgment and not letting her see that Eleanor is hiding something as well — as Clint leaves, she quickly calls someone to warn them about the situation. The Jack-Eleanor plotline could go several different directions in the two remaining episodes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack turns out to be just a douchey rich guy who’s really bad at parenting. 


It’s also interesting to see how Kate (briefly) feels happy for her mother after a rough start with Jack. She still wants to take him down, but for a moment, it all feels right — Hailee Steinfeld’s acting continues to be spectacular, and she carries most of the weight in this episode in a variety of situations. Of course, she can’t leave Clint’s side just yet, so she plans a Christmas movie night to cheer him up, since he’s missing the “appointment” with his youngest son. It’s a heartwarming sequence that goes on for a while and feels both cheerful and, shortly afterwards, sad. Jeremy Renner has lots to work with here, as he remembers his relationship with Natasha and her demise; he doesn’t want the same to happen to Kate, and that pays off big time during the episode’s finale. On top of all this, we get a nifty demonstration of Clint’s immaculate accuracy without a bow, something the MCU hadn’t explored before. Plus, Lucky remains the goodest boy.



I wasn’t expecting the LARPers to return, but they come back into the main plot to help Clint and Kate recover their fancy arrows (some police officers are part of the LARP group). There’s also a small bit played for laughs with Kate asking them to craft a cool new suit for Hawkeye (an idea he dislikes), but it’s clearly going to pay off later — we still haven’t seen him in the purple suit showcased in the show’s main poster. I think the classic Hawkeye mask might be a bit too much to ask for, but it could still briefly show up and be discarded in another comedy bit. Laura Barton also gets to help Clint (remotely) — I like that her presence in the show, while small, isn’t being limited to “worried mother and wife making phone calls to check on his hero husband.”


Besides, we get a small scene where Clint pays a visit to Kazi, Maya’s lieutenant, and warns him about letting the whole Ronin wild-goose chase go. It’s not entirely clear, but it seems like Clint knows who their boss is, since he mentions how little he probably enjoys this level of attention. This is the option that makes the most sense too, as he trashed their operations as Ronin years ago, and I can’t see Clint going in blind without doing proper research first. It remains to be seen whether Kazi will try to calm Maya down or not, but she shows up as fierce as ever during the final minutes of the episode, so maybe that chat hasn’t happened yet. Regardless, the show keeps setting up Wilson Fisk as the big surprise villain, and hype is through the roof.



The big elephant in the room is Yelena’s appearance, which was spoiled a year ago and later confirmed by Black Widow‘s post-credits scene. This adds yet another player to all the drama going on in the show, plus Yelena is completely disconnected (as far as we know) from the series’ main storyline, so let’s hope she doesn’t feel too ham-fisted in the two remaining episodes. My best guess is that she’ll have one more confrontation with Clint before learning and accepting the truth about Natasha’s death — this could give both her and our main guy the closure they so desperately need.


During an impressive 2v1v1 fight after failing to recover the damned Avengers Compound watch from Maya’s flat, Kate seemingly falls to her death, but it’s quickly revealed that Yelena quite literally left her hanging outside the melee — it’s a key moment that parallels the final moments between Clint and Natasha, only inverted: Kate asks him to pull her up, and he lets her (safely) go. That doesn’t stop her from returning to the rooftop where the fight is taking place. I thought it was really cool to have a personal confrontation between three different parties, plus each character clearly uses unique fighting styles that can be traced back to earlier appearances. Once things get too messy, Maya bows out, and so does Yelena after her identity is exposed.


With only two episodes left before the limited series ends, we’ve reached the conclusion of the second act in Hawkeye‘s six-episode run. By the end of this chapter, Clint has pushed Kate away from him as violence escalates and he’s targeted by someone directly connected to Natasha. He doesn’t want to lose her too, yet he clearly sees something special in the up-and-coming heroine. It’s easy to see where our main characters’ arcs are heading, but much of the plot remains shrouded in mystery, and a larger threat is about to make his grand entrance. I can’t wait for next week after two really strong (and very distinct) episodes.