WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Hawkeye, now streaming on Disney+.
Arriving on Disney+ in time for the holidays, Hawkeye is more down-to-earth than the previous Marvel Studios series, which means there's more to laugh about and fewer theories to mull. However, that doesn't mean there are no mysteries to solve.
Think back through the first two episodes, and viewers will realize we don't know much yet about the allegiances or intentions of the characters, save for Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). From coveted objects to secret identities, these are the plot points we're wondering about heading into Episode 3.
Who Is Behind the Black Market Auction?
In the premiere episode, we learn that Kate became a highly skilled combatant and archer after witnessing the Battle of New York from the her family's penthouse. But Hawkeye really kicks into gear once she finally tests those medal-winning skills on something besides a dare. Kate follows family friend Armand Duquesne III (Simon Callow) from her mother's fund-raiser in a hotel ballroom to the wine cellar, where she discovers an auction of illegally acquired artifacts. Armand is there alongside his nephew, and Kate's stepfather-to-be, Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton). The two men get into a bidding war over the retractable sword wielded by Clint Barton in his Ronin identity, and recovered from the wreckage of Avengers Compound. However, before the accompanying Ronin costume can be placed on the auction block, members of the crime syndicate known as the Tracksuit Mafia make their explosive entrance, in search of another item taken from the rubble of the Avengers' Upstate New York headquarters: a watch.
In the chaos, Jack swipes the sword, despite having lost it to his uncle, and Kate dons the costume. Who has what will no doubt factor into Hawkeye's plot moving forward, but the sequence raises some major questions, not the least of which is, who stole the Avengers artifacts in the first place. Jack's willing participation in the black-market auction signals to the audience that this family isn't on the level, and it's probably naive to assume Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) wasn't aware of what was going on during her own fund-raiser, considering many of the VIPs went missing. There are more characters on the wrong side of the law on Hawkeye, and we're just beginning to understand its criminal underworld.
Why Does the Tracksuit Mafia Want the Watch?
When the Tracksuit Mafia members raid the auction, they're given strict instructions to find the watch; everything else, according to their boss, is secondary. But because the other items being illicitly sold are worth anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, that implies the watch is perhaps valuable beyond anything money can measure.
All we know about the watch so far is that it's tagged with the words "Avengers Compound," but it appears like an otherwise-normal gold watch. The timepiece may have belonged to Tony Stark, and was outfitted with Stark tech. It could be imbued with mystical power. It could also be the set-up for a big twist. This thread quickly dropped off in favor of a side quest for the Ronin suit, but viewers should expect to get answers about the watch eventually.
Who Killed Armand Duquesne III?
When Armand Duquesne III recognizes Kate at her mother's gala, we get the sense that theirs is a familiar but uneasy relationship. He's chummy with Kate, he spills the secret of her mother's engagement with wicked glee, and implies he isn't happy about the impending wedding. We know he had a disagreement with Eleanor, and attended the black market auction, before Kate found him dead, at the point of a sword, in his luxury apartment.
While Kate is caught on camera in the Ronin suit fleeing the scene, we know she isn't the culprit. It could have been anyone involved with the Tracksuit Mafia; after all, the bombing of the auction puts them on opposing sides. Jack Duquesne is a more obvious candidate, however. His fascination with swords is highly suspect, considering one was the murder weapon, and judging from their interaction at the auction, they aren't on the best of terms. Those two pieces of information don't prove he killed his uncle, though. Armand and Eleanor's argument preceded his death, and Jack could be the red herring that distracts from Eleanor's guilt.
Who Is Hawkeye's Big Bad?
In the first two episodes, we see how Kate grew up in a lavish world of high-stakes business deals whole life, seemingly without ever really knowing about it. But who is the worst of the bunch? At the end of Episode 2, we meet Maya Lopez, aka Echo, who is presented as the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia. The character is a deaf, American Indian martial artist who will soon get her own Disney+ series. We've only gotten a glimpse of her so far, but that has come too early in the series for Echo to be the true villain. The Tracksuit Mafia is probably a misdirect.
One person that already seems pretty nefarious is Jack Duquesne. Whether the series ever uses his alias, he's actually Swordsman, a Marvel Comics character who mentors a young Clint. Swordsman is too morally gray to become an Avenger, and his relationship with Clint ends up strained. Hawkeye may take Jack in a slightly different direction, but we know from his sword collection, his sparring session with Kate and his interest in Ronin's blade that Swordsman he is. Still, Jack comes off far too smarmy for an evil Swordsman reveal to pay off.
Eleanor is a more interest choice for an ultimate big bad (or at least an accomplice to one). She's definitely keeping secrets from her daughter, and her silly bonding session with a young Kate suggests she has hidden abilities. Yet Vera Farmiga is too respected an actor to play a bland supporting role.
Will Clint Barton Make It Home for Christmas?
Although it's not nearly as serious as the fate of the world, whether Clint will keep his promise and make it home by Christmas is the question around which the whole series revolves. It provides the action with a ticking clock: There are six days until Christmas when the series starts (and six total episodes of Hawkeye), so that places constant pressure on Clint and Kate as they're (at this point) trying to deal with the Tracksuit Mafia.
If Hawkeye maintains its unexpectedly breezy tone despite the heavy action, all signs point to Clint and his family's reunion serving as our just-before-Christmas happy ending. However, there's no guarantee Clint is going to live through the series, which is positioning Kate Bishop to take over the mantle. That said, Renner seems to love playing Clint Barton, and a Disney+ holiday show probably wouldn't skew so dark. But it would be a shock to viewers if the series ends on the bittersweet note of this Hawkeye's exit from the MCU.
KEEP READING: Hawkeye Director Teases 'Something Big' Happening in the Season 1 Finale
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