No time is wasted in revealing who the ‘mystery’ character was in last week’s cliffhanger, though she’s not immediately referred to by her more comic book style moniker (the clue is, of course, in the episode name – which has multiple meanings here). Instead, we’re introduced to Maya Lopez via a flashback to her childhood – and we get to see what has brought her to her current position and why she’s so interested in unmasking Ronin. It doesn’t cast Hawkeye – Clint Barton – in the best light; there’s a feeling that Kate Bishop is perhaps on course to replace a guilt-ridden Barton at some stage and that passing the torch is going to end up being the crux of this series. That’s speculation, of course, but it’s definitely the impression that I get from this episode.
There’s a few issues with the episode as a whole. The opening flashback is well handled (and provides us with a few of those aforementioned multiple meanings for the episode title), but it kills the momentum of the main story dead in favour of introducing the next big Marvel character. Also, some ropey greenscreen and CGI mars an otherwise excellent extended car chase sequence, which opens with a superbly executed single shot segment.
The episode doesn’t really go very far, plot-wise. Considering that we’re now halfway through the series, that’s a bit of a concern – the material is already feeling a bit thin and aimless; also, though the more emotional, character-led scenes are brilliantly handled, the more fantastical, traditionally superheroic elements sit awkwardly alongside the street level, more grounded story. There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it piece of foreshadowing during Maya’s flashback that’s intriguing, but not much else in a fairly uneventful episode – action scenes aside. Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner continue to have great chemistry and there’s a great scene where Clint has to rely on Kate to communicate on the phone with one of his kids, but it feels largely uneventful for our main characters.
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