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Hawkeye Episode 3 and 4 – Review

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Marvel Studios

Episodes three and four of Hawkeye from Marvel are here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the next chapter in the MCU story. Here’s our Hawkeye review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

While the supposed focus of this show is its titular character. It seems from the first two episodes that this is more a vehicle to introduce Hawkeye’s clear successor, Kate Bishop to the MCU. She appears to have equal billing and screen time which more than suggests she is the latest addition to the next generation of The Avengers.

It’s fair to say I was underwhelmed by the opening third of this series. But I retained hope that Hawkeye would awake from its initial malaise and my fears about it would be misplaced.

But it appears to have fallen into some of the traps that both Wandavision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier descended into. Particularly in terms of pacing. A fair part of episode three was spent investigating the back story of Maya (aka Echo), one of our deaf antagonists. It’s obviously terrific that her deafness is being placed front and centre of her origin story. Without it defining her character at all. Hopefully, it will inspire more people to learn sign language. I’m ashamed to say that my children know more signing than I do. But that is a testament to it being taught – even at a basic level – at their school. Sadly, that wasn’t the case when I was their age.

Tracksuits

Hawkeye and Kate have been captured by Echo and The Tracksuit Mafia, who are desperate to discover the whereabouts of The Ronin. When Clint tells them The Ronin is dead, despite the sudden reappearance of The Ronin’s suit, they attempt to escape as Echo is intent on killing them. A beautifully choreographed car chase/archery battle occurs, giving us the highlight of the series so far.

Kate is convinced there is a conspiracy afoot. One involving her mother’s company and goes to her parental home to break into the company computer network. They are discovered by her mother’s fiancé Jack, the spare Steven Toast. Still no sign of Ray Purchase by the way.

Suspicious mother

After the misunderstanding is sorted out. Kate’s mother warns Clint about her daughter’s innocence and naïvety, to his complete agreement. They then set about trying to find the real mastermind behind the attempt to find The Ronin.

Clint uses his contacts to identify that Jack is the head of a shadowy organisation (is there any other kind?) that controls the Tracksuit Mafia. They then attempt to recover a watch from a flat, where they are ambushed by Echo and the adopted sister of Natasha Romanoff. She was tasked by Valentina with killing Hawkeye in the post-credit scene at the end of Black Widow.

That I’ve managed to surmise two episodes in comparatively few words might explain my enormous disappointment with this series so far. There simply isn’t a strong enough narrative. Are Marvel TV series are now going to be little more than introductions to new characters as we transition to a new phase of the MCU? If so then they’re not going to hold a viewer’s attention for very long.

Predictable

What little plot there is here is mind-blowingly predictable. The slow pacing would alarm even the most procrastinatory tortoise. There is no prospect of a genuinely exhilarating or overwhelming climax to this series because it would need a complete handbrake turn in everything we’ve seen in the opening four episodes. It feels that this series has been rushed out. Rushed purely to fulfil a questionable need to get a series with a tenuous link to Christmas on screen in the run-up to the day.

The series is not without positives as the two leads are putting in strong performances. Hailee Steinfeld is eminently watchable as Kate, and I’ve always been a big fan of Jeremy Renner. Yet, in this, he appears he doesn’t really want to be there. But that may just be down to Clint desperately wanting to be at home in the series. And Renner being able to show that magnificently through his acting.

Aside from them, the supporting characters are pretty weak and the reliance on some ‘Odd Couple’-Esque comedic chemistry between Kate and Clint doesn’t ally with the premise of the series.

The Marvel series has been hit and miss this year. I applaud their further foray into the world of television. But series to come in 2022 including Moon Knight and She-Hulk will need to be much stronger to ensure that Marvel doesn’t blow its capital with its fans.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 5/10


Thank you for reading our review of Hawkeye Episodes three and four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Hawkeye HERE.

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Cobra Kai Season 4 – Review

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Cobra Kai Season Four image
Netflix

Cobra Kai season four is out now on Netflix and the All Valley is back and better than ever. Here’s our review.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

It’s January, and new shows are popping up everywhere. This brings us to the show that I and my friends have been holding our breaths for: the fourth season of the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai! After three seasons, I wondered if there was anything left to mine from the Karate Kid lore or the Johnny/Daniel dynamic. I am happy to report that this might be my favourite season yet! It manages to not only expand upon the universe it has created, but to bring in a new villain, who is so bad that he threatens to outdo even John Kreese!

Alliance

Season four sets us off where the third left off, with Johnny and Daniel having joined forces to fight Cobra Kai. Their friendship arc is the glue that holds this season together. The story focuses largely on whether they will be able to pull it together and make their partnership work. As in previous seasons, their relationship has its ups and downs. The stakes are heightened, however, as the season leads up to the All-Valley Tournament. A bet between the three senseis – Kreese, Daniel, and Johnny – means that losing the All Valley is losing the title of sensei.

This season explores the ways that both Johnny and Daniel work with the kids. It also examines the kids’ struggles as they prepare for the All Valley while dealing with conflict within the ever-changing network of friends and enemies in the dojos. Robbie has left juvenile hall and decided to join up with Cobra Kai as a means of inflicting revenge on both his dad and Daniel. Tori and Sam continue their rivalry. And John Reese’s old friend Terry Silver (of Karate Kid 3 fame) shows up to kick Cobra Kai into high gear.

Daniel’s son, Anthony, who has largely been absent until now, faces his own dilemma when his friends begin bullying Kenny, the new kid in town. This soft-spoken middle school character brings us into the world of the younger kids, setting up yet another storyline. Kenny becomes the victim of a gang of kids (including Anthony), enduring round after round of bullying before Robbie takes him under his wing. After his induction into Cobra Kai, the formerly shy middle-schooler becomes a bully himself.

Shades of grey

This brings me to one of my favourite things about the show. The constant back and forth dynamic between characters makes us feel that anything is possible. There is no black and white in the world of Cobra Kai. Where the Karate Kid told us that Daniel was good, and Johnny was bad, this show gives us a very different point of view. It’s a world where we’re never sure who to root for. In this season, we even see Hawk make a return to the “good guys” side after giving up his spot at Cobra Kai.

With Eagle Fang (Johnny’s new dojo) and Miyagi-Do teaming up, the kids – and the adults – have to learn to work together. Of course, complications ensue. Johnny becomes jealous of what he perceives as Miguel’s preference for Daniel over him. Sam wants to learn both her dad’s karate style and Johnny’s, despite her father’s discouragement. Meanwhile, at Cobra Kai, Kreese is losing his grip on the dojo. His former war buddy, Terry Silver, puts off a rather benign appearance in episode one, growing more and more evil with each episode.

This season is lacking in many of the big fight scenes of the previous seasons, instead choosing to focus their energy on the characters. The All Valley Tournament features several great karate matches and offers a satisfying conclusion to Johnny and Daniel’s arc. In the end, Cobra Kai takes the tournament win, but Johnny and Daniel have reached an understanding.

New champions

Tori defeats Sam to take the women’s All Valley trophy but later overhears her sensei paying off one of the referees. It’s clear that Cobra Kai has pulled yet another fast one. But the season ends on an even more ominous – and unexpected – note. Terry Silver assaults the over-aged former Cobra Kai member, Stingray, sending him to the hospital. He then makes a deal with Stingray to blame the crime on Kreese. We end the season with Kreese in handcuffs, Terry Silver set to take over Cobra Kai, and the future of Eagle Fang and Miyagi-Do uncertain. In a last shocking twist, Miguel leaves town in search of his biological father.

Although some may miss the school hallway throw downs, I found this one satisfying in a different way. It just goes to show that the ever-expanding Cobra Kai universe can keep bringing surprises season after season.


CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 9/10


Thank you for reading our review of Cobra Kai season four. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.


Check out our Hawkeye episode one and two review HERE.

Read IMDB information about Spider-Man: No Way Home HERE.

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