Disney+ continued the rollout of its newest Marvel Studios’ series Hawkeye with its third installment entitled “Echoes.” This third episode produced some more valuable information for the viewers concerning the structure of the Tracksuit Mafia and some psychological insight on how Clint Barton views himself in the larger scope of the superhero world. The audience also gets the first chance to engage in the learning of the mysterious Maya Lopez or Echo, a leader within the Tracksuit Mafia portrayed by the newcomer Alaqua Cox.
“Echoes” starts its runtime off with a combination of flashbacks of a young Maya Lopez and her father, portrayed by Zahn McClarnon (Westworld), as well as her time learning to utilize her deafness to her advantage in education and combat sports. The flashback also depicts the loving relationship that existed between Maya and her father before it was abruptly ended by Barton while acting under the Ronin persona during the Blip. The episode demonstrates a new immersion for Barton into his previous persona while still protecting the truth that he carried this mantle a few years prior. Echo showcases the leadership attribute while also communicating emotion through her interrogations of Kate and Barton that is driving her actions for justice.
“Echoes” also displayed a great action sequence, one of the first between Barton and Bishop, with a high-speed pursuit through New York City accompanied by random assortments of Hawkeye’s special arrows. For one, this combat scene between Barton, Bishop, and the Tracksuit Mafia has reintroduced Barton and provided him with that necessary flash in his fight style that has been lacking in past Avengers installments of the character. This scene provided the kickstart to the overarching story of the show as a lot has been left up to mystery, particularly with Kate’s potential new step-father in Jack Duquesne. The ball finally begins to get rolling in this third installment with lines being drawn and character dynamics are beginning to be fully revealed. The highlight of the episode would be that of Barton allowing Bishop to help him communicate to his youngest son about his return amidst the repair of his hearing aid. This scene further humanizes Barton and demonstrates what he values as important, but can seemingly not escape his past life and his past responsibilities either.
Hawkeye’s format through the first three episodes has been lying much on exposition and the hinting and concealing of what lies beyond these face value issues. The episode closes with Jack Duquesne placing Barton at the point of the Ronin sword after the duo begins to investigate Bishop Securities. Another cliffhanger closes out the third episode, but it ultimately gives notice to this second act of the six episodes has reached its new plot point where Jack is officially deemed as a concrete antagonist within the show.
Overall, the action sequence and emotional struggle when communicating with Barton’s family steal the episode away, not to mention the inclusion of ASL and a wonderful first on-screen performance by Cox as Echo. While further hints within the series suggest a merging of past Marvel villains such as Wilson Fisk from Daredevil, there is not much room to identify where the series might go from here which benefits this six-episode run due to the heightened awareness audiences must have to piece together any sleights that may occur. Hawkeye has kept its viewers on their toes and the fourth episode looks to blow that door wide open to explore the story world that they have constructed.