The latest episode of “Hawkeye” showed us what it’s like to live in a world different than our own, and the consequences of having to do that. And it set us up for some major confrontations down the road.
The third episode — titled “Echoes” — might appear like a filler episode on the surface. Anyone let down by the series premiere might not find anything different in this episode. If you’ve enjoyed “Hawkeye” so far, then you’ll enjoy this one as all the hallmarks of a “Hawkeye” episode are here.
More importantly, the episode helps us appreciate how “Echoes” takes us into a new world and builds understanding for different characters and cultures.
“Echoes” begins with a little origin story for Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), who becomes the deaf superhero Echo in the Marvel comics. The opening of the episode shows us Lopez’s origin story, giving us a glimpse into a world without good hearing. We see her trying to learn without hearing words and relying on sign language to speak with people. She excels at all of this and becomes a trained fighter in the meantime.
Glimpses of this idea pop up throughout the episode as Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) struggles with his own hearing. He wears a hearing aid to protect himself after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” In this episode, the hearing aid breaks, so he has to rely on sign language and written words to communicate. It’s a cool twist to the character, but it also underlines what we already see from our time with Lopez.
The show does a fantastic job of putting us in the shoes of Lopez and Barton. We’re forced, as viewers, to adapt to their world. It’s a great twist for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving us a new style of watching because we need to use our lip-reading abilities, listening skills and sign language literacy to grasp everything in this episode.
But the third episode loses some of its vim and vigor when those aspects of the episode fade away. We’re treated to a long car chase scene that was shown at the Disney+ Day event, so there’s a massive chunk of this episode that doesn’t feel new. The ending of the episode is a cliffhanger, but it’s one that will feel better once we can watch all of the episodes at once.
There were a few teasers thrown in throughout the episode that makes me excited for what’s next. So far, “Hawkeye” is an entertaining thrill ride that has such low stakes, and that’s fine. Sometimes you need the low-stakes shows and projects in order to make the massive ones more believable. You can’t just keep destroying cities all the time.
Now, there seems to be added stakes within this world. The stakes of a low-stakes world feel high. A major villain is potentially on the way, and there’s so much more to figure out with Kate Bishop and her family drama. Don’t forget about that “Black Widow” character, too. There are only a few more hours left in this show and there are plenty of threads to tie up. So while this episode might have felt like a filler, get ready because it doesn’t seem like “Hawkeye” will slow down from here.
Final rating: 8/10.