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'Hawkeye' finally welcomed a very special guest, along with plenty of huge MCU callbacks
History repeated itself when the next generation busted in on Clint and Kate.
We’d been waiting for this. For the bulk of the first four episodes of Hawkeye, we’ve been longing for the moment when another character — recently introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — might come into this streaming Disney+ show like a wrecking ball. The moment came towards the end of Episode 4.
If you saw Black Widow, you know who we’re talking about. If you didn’t see Black Widow, you should watch Black Widow. It’s streaming on Disney+ right alongside this series. Go for it, it's so cool, it has so many pockets.
Not only did this character show up; she shared a moment with Kate Bishop and history repeated itself. It was a history that Clint had just told Kate about earlier in the episode. Things come back in unexpected ways, not unlike a boomerang arrow.
***WARNING: From this point on, there will be major spoilers for Episode 4 of Hawkeye. If you have not watched yet, then fly far away from here.***
Yelena Belova! Welcome to the show, Florence Pugh. We were counting the minutes ever since Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) visited Natasha’s grave in the post credits scene of Black Widow, and recruited Yelena to take out Clint (Jeremy Renner). This entire episode led up to her entrance in fantastic fashion.
Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) was not in this episode (except in a flashback), but her ghost loomed over everything. Clint and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) get caught by Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) and Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) at the top of the episode, but Kate manages to talk her way out of it. Eleanor doesn’t stop her daughter from working with an Avenger, but she isn’t happy about it. Clint says that Kate is good at what she does, and Eleanor responds, “Natasha Romanoff was pretty damn good at it wasn’t she? Being good isn’t always enough to keep you alive.”
After Kate throws Clint a holiday party/planning session, she asks about the best shot he ever took. Clint says that his best shot was the one he didn’t take: he was hired to take out Natasha Romanoff, and he didn’t go through with it.
“I just had this feeling that she wanted out. Turns out I was right,” he says. He had her in his sights, he could have ended Natasha. He decided not to. After Kate goes to bed, Clint takes out his hearing aid and remembers the events on Vormir from Avengers: Endgame. He sees Natasha about to fall off that cliff once again.
All of this foreshadowing culminated when a masked assassin entered the fray while Clint and Kate already had their hands full with Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox). Kate was fighting Maya inside, so neither one had any idea who randomly started to attack Clint outside. Soon enough, all four of them were going at it on a roof.
Our Yelena-tingle was already going off, but then Maya got hit with a familiar bolt of red energy. The moves of this masked figure seemed familiar too. Kate got tossed off the roof at one point, and Clint ran to the edge only to see Kate saved by a zipline that he’d previously shot. It is far too similar to Vormir for his taste.
He drops Kate safely to the ground and sends her off... but yeah right. Kate arrived back on the roof in time to see Clint remove the assassin’s mask. We see a shock of blonde hair and another bolt of red energy, and then the assassin turns. It is Florence Pugh, currently under arrest for stealing the Black Widow movie with her performance as Yelena Belova.
Kate has an arrow pointed directly at Yelena. She contemplates taking the shot as a snippet of Yelena's theme is heard. Like Clint and Nat before them, Kate doesn’t shoot Yelena. The talented Ms. Belova runs, and Clint realizes that someone has hired a Black Widow assassin to take him out. Not great, Bob.
It’s fantastic to see Pugh back so soon in this role that she absolutely nails, but it was even better to see the beginning of what we hope is a long relationship between her and Kate Bishop. If Yelena and Kate are to be the next iterations of Black Widow and Hawkeye respectively, then that bond just started. It started right there on Disney+, and we really hope it’s only the beginning.
-The Rolex watch from the premiere made a return, and it has the potential to blow the cover of someone close to Clint. We don’t know who he’s talking about yet. Kate recovered the watch from Maya’s apartment so we may find out soon.
-Jack’s company is laundering money for the tracksuits, and it sounds like he’s working for whoever they are working for. Jack turning out to be the mysterious “Uncle” is off the table, so come on in, Wilson Fisk! Please?
-Clint’s wife Laura (Linda Cardellini) knows all about his time as Ronin, and Kate correctly guesses it too. Clint also takes the Ronin sword back from Jack.
-The LARPers return, and they help Clint and Kate recover their arrows. Kate likes these people, and costumes are discussed. Kate’s “rebranding” of Hawkeye will likely culminate with him getting a new costume, and he’ll have the LARPers to thank for that.
-Boomerang arrows are discussed, which is another great reference (among many) to the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye comics.
-Jack sucks at aphorisms: “Life is short, you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Hawkeye streams on Disney+ every Wednesday.