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‘Hawkeye’ Episode 5 review: Did the episode live up to the hype?

Yes.

Clint Barton and Kate Bishop walk through New York City.
Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) walk through New York City.
Disney+

Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Hawkeye” Episode 5 — “Ronin.”

I decided to wait a few hours before watching the fifth episode of “Hawkeye.” Normally, I’ll wake up mad early and flip on the show so that I can get out a review relatively early. But this week, I decided to hold off and wait until the initial run of reviews and reactions surfaced online.

Flame emojis. Excited tweets. Hype. That’s all I saw Wednesday morning about the episode. My Twitter timeline was buzzing with excitement over the new episode.

I can confirm — this episode lives up to the hype.

The fifth episode of “Hawkeye” — titled “Ronin” — kicks off with one of the coolest colds opens in Marvel Cinematic Universe history as we learn what happened to Yelena (Florence Pugh) after the events of “Black Widow” and during the Blip, when Thanos erased half of the population. It’s a cool cold open that gives us new insight about a new character to the MCU.

From there, we follow both Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), who are on two separate missions. Kate is trying to figure out more about Yelena, who tried to assassinate Clint last week. And Clint is looking to stop Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) and the Tracksuit Mafia from committing crime, before their boss gets involved with the entire ordeal.

It’s an excellent episode with a lot of fun parts and clever action. We see Yelena and Kate share some screentime together, which is a cool window into the potential future of the MCU. It’s great to see Yelena back as she was the standout star of “Black Widow” and is desperately needed in the MCU. Clint and Maya have another battle against each other, too, which was welcomed. Maya is starting to shine as a new character in Marvel and I can’t wait to see more of her story. We learn more about Yelena’s motivation behind trying to hurt Clint. It’s a really well-done episode that easily ranks among the best in the MCU Disney+ series history.

But ... the episode’s cliffhanger takes the cake. We learn that the “big guy,” the “boss,” the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia is ... Kingpin, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, who took on the role in the Netflix series “Daredevil.”

This is a great turn of events for the show, bringing in a massive comic book villain that was only seen in the non-MCU “Daredevil” series. The hype for the character’s debut was well documented, and now we finally get to see him live and in the same universe as all of our other MCU heroes.

Sometimes there’s a lot of hype around MCU shows and movies. We all fall victim to growing expectations and wait for the big cliffhanger, teaser trailer or debut to arrive. We’ve seen it fall flat before — looking at you, “Iron Man 3” — but we have also seen it succeed. The latest episode of “Hawkeye” is another example where all of the hype and excitement around a single episode is met as we see big reveals, classic fight scenes and all the fresh makings of an MCU classic.

“Hawkeye” only has one episode left — set to debut on Dec. 22. It’s wild to think that the show is winding down with so many threads to tie up. Ultimately, the biggest downfall for “Hawkeye” is that it has a limited amount of episodes since there is so much more to explore But “Hawkeye” has proven that it can meet all expectations. We’ll see if that continues with the finale.