Hawkeye episode 6 marks the finale of the Disney Plus series, bringing the titular character’s ongoing conflict with the Tracksuits, Yelena, and the newly reintroduced Kingpin to its conclusion. It’s a lot to wrap up in one episode, with it stretching to an hour to accommodate its various plot threads. But while it may provide a comforting conclusion to Clint Barton and Kate Bishop’s story, it’s a messy final chapter that doesn’t do justice to anyone outside of its central figures.
Hawkeye Episode 6 Finale Review: Did it stick the landing?
Kingpin has been the threat looming over Hawkeye, finally revealed in last week’s episode and with Vincent D’Onofrio once again filling the shoes of the crime boss. Netflix’s casting of D’Onofrio in this role was a masterstroke — he imbues “the big guy” with a quiet intensity and sinister unhingedness that’s unparalleled in the MCU’s gallery of villains — so Marvel Studios clearly didn’t feel the need to look elsewhere.
Unfortunately, while D’Onofrio slips back into that white suit with ease, Kingpin’s late introduction to the story among a bunch of other character arcs leaves his reappearance feeling rushed. He’s shown to be powerful — at one point, his endurance reaches superhuman-level capacity — but he’s not given enough time to show exactly why viewers of the Netflix show have been desperate to see him return to the role. In Daredevil he was certainly physically intimidating, but his ability to be one step ahead of the heroes at every turn was what made him so compelling. In Hawkeye, he leads a gang of intentionally comical thugs and is undone at almost every turn.
Considering what a threat he was throughout Daredevil, Kingpin’s presence in Hawkeye feels akin to Evan Peters’ Quicksilver showing up in WandaVision; he’s kind of the same character, and he definitely has the same actor, but it’s still not the same. Presumably, he will reappear in the upcoming Disney Plus show Echo as the foil to his adoptive daughter, known by her real name Maya throughout Hawkeye. However, his appearance in Hawkeye was another example of the MCU’s Disney Plus series rushing their big reveals in their closing chapters, reducing their shows to launching pads for other projects.
Thankfully, Hawkeye does a better job of wrapping up Clint and Kate’s central story. I’m still not sold on Clint seeing Kate as a true “partner” — his concerns over her safety throughout the show take a backseat here in favor of planting her firmly in the action — but she’s certainly a good counter to his surly ways. But Kate’s real chemistry is with Florence Pugh’s Yelena, who once again steals the show as part of a great unwitting double act with the young hero. Their back-and-forth while Yelena hunts for Clint is both an enjoyable mix of action and comedy, and while her eventual epiphany is predictable, it’s still made abundantly clear that she isn’t someone to mess with or who can be easily convinced away from her goal.
But while our heroes get their time in the spotlight, everything else is unsatisfyingly wrapped up with boring answers to series-long mysteries. Jacques Duquesne, who has been played with a marvelously sleazy and shit-eating grin by Tony Dalton, is hurried along into the background thanks to the last episode’s revelation that he’s probably not to blame for all the criminal stuff encircling the Bishops. Eleanor’s involvement is predictable and takes away her agency over her actions, making it all about her late husband’s indiscretions. And considering Hawkeye was supposed to be the series that got us all invested in Echo/Maya, the lack of emotional connection with the character makes it hard to care about where she goes next. Initially being positioned as the greatest threat to Hawkeye and Kate, her arc has been the biggest victim of Hawkeye simply having too much to get through to surprise fans with Kingpin.
Hawkeye Episode 6 Finale Review: The final verdict
Hawkeye’s finale is fun but completely forgettable, continuing in the trend of Marvel’s Disney Plus shows keeping their hands close to their chest until the final moments, then struggling with the landing. Loki was used to bring in Kang the Conquerer, WandaVision was used to bring in Agatha/the Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye has been used to bring in Kingpin. However, as was the case with all of these series, their unwillingness to show their true goal until their closing moments means that viewers aren’t given enough time to care.
Hawkeye was weeks of speculation that Kingpin would be introduced to the MCU, him being swiftly ushered in, and then dealt with until his eventual appearance in another Marvel property. This might create a lot of fan excitement at the time, but it’s leading to a bunch of shows that feel like elongated teases for other projects. Hawkeye is perhaps more guilty of this than any other Marvel Disney Plus series before it, and despite some decent episodes across its six-week run, its finale undermines it all.