The beginning of “Hide and Seek” resumes the story at the end of the premiere, with Clint Barton finally meeting Kate Bishop. Clint explains the enormity of taking the Ronin suit. He also emphasizes that people would be after whoever wore the costume because of his actions post Infinity War during The Blip. Kate doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of her actions. She continues to suspect that her new stepfather is a criminal mastermind out to take her family’s fortune. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Kate is wrong. Clint, however, goes on a mission to retrieve his suit.
He discovers it is not at Kate’s apartment but was stolen and taken to a larping competition. Hawkeye is then forced to fight someone in combat and be “killed” by that same individual to get his costume back. Clint then decides to directly confront the gangs who are now after Kate. This results in him being captured and tortured.
Meanwhile, Kate enters into a sword fight with her mother’s fiancee, Jack, and attempts to prove he is evil but fails. This results in her being distrusted. However, after discovering a piece of candy in the office of Jack’s murdered uncle, Armand, and being offered the same candy by the Jack, Kate deduces that he is part of the criminal activity that’s taking place.
This episode is messy. It may provide a better look into the characters’ dynamics, but fails to present the audience with the level of heart expected for a Marvel property. Both Renner and Steinfeld show considerable acting talent but lacks an emotional core to really sell those character dynamics working in sync.
What’s most bizarre is that we have no idea about the villains’ motives of this story. This show is so focused on Kate and Clint that the villains are completely ignored, and I don’t know why that is. Obviously, the threat of these villains is something far more vast than just taking over a security company. As important as the motivations of the heroes are, learning the villains’ motivations is paramount. Honestly, if both pieces aren’t in place, the puzzle makes no sense. Ironically, that’s what this show feels like a puzzle with missing pieces. The showrunner needs to put things together quickly if audiences are going to stay invested. When the dog is the most interesting character in a superhero property, you know you have a problem.
One last vital detail that I want to point out – Vera Farmiga, yet again, does an excellent job at presenting cold and unemotional maternal figures. She’s so worried about what’s going on with the business that she’s not paying attention to her daughter’s needs. I was stunned that Jack did not try to poison her or take her away from Kate in a different way. It takes a very skilled actress to balance between being cold and unemotional and intelligent and capable.
Hawkeye still has work to do to be a great miniseries but, it’s struggling to find its feet. I sincerely hope that these archers hit their targets sometime soon.