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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has one final holiday gift to give, and it comes in the form of the Hawkeye finale. We’re all still buzzing over Spider-Man: No Way Home, but there’s one treat left. Save some room, this treat is not wafer thin.
After an entire year of non-stop Marvel, from WandaVision onward, the finale of Hawkeye felt like the most perfect dessert… especially after the insane dish that Spidey just served up. Sure, webs are everywhere and Doctor Strange is about to go multiverse mad, but Clint and Kate still have some parting shots.
***WARNING: From this point onward, there will be major spoilers for the finale of Hawkeye. If you haven’t seen it yet, shoot a grapple and swing away.***
Fresh off of last week’s big reveal, Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) presides over much of this episode like an inverted Santa Claus. Instead of a red suit with white accents, Fisk (for most of the episode) wears a white suit with red accents. The red comes courtesy of a Hawaiian shirt (?) and a red band that lines a big rimmed fedora. He’s got his trademark cane, too.
We quickly find out that Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) got involved with him because her late husband owed him a lot of money. That has now been paid back, and she wants out because Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) is back in the picture. Fisk isn’t gonna let that happen; we know from Daredevil that he never lets go of anyone once they are in his giant pocket.
Eleanor reminds Fisk (and lets us know for the first time) that she killed Armand (Simon Callow) and is letting Jack (Tony Dalton) take the fall for the Sloan business. Kate sees video of their entire conversation thanks to Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) isn’t pushing her away anymore. “Kate, you’re my partner. Your mess is my mess,” he says. No more protection, no more “I’m doing this to save you blah blah,” Clint has accepted Kate in his life. They bond in the best possible way: they make a ton of trick arrows together. Kate makes sure that they are all properly labeled.
Eleanor’s Christmas party is still a go, and every storyline on the series converges there. Jack is out of prison, Yelena shows up to try and kill Clint, Grills (Clayton English) and the LARPers are intermingled with the caterers, and even Gary (the catering manager from the premiere) is back. There are tons of tracksuits too, because Fisk has told Kazi (Fra Fee) that “the people need to be reminded that the city belongs to me.”
Kazi has a big falling out with Maya (Alaqua Cox), but soothes himself by taking a sniper position at the party. The party of intermixed plot lines (and everything that then spills out onto the streets) is nothing short of a joyous holiday romp of the highest order. For one thing, Kate and Yelena continue their merry dance. Kate tries her best to fight off Yelena, and Yelena is very impressed with Kate’s new costume. It's dramatic reveal prompts Yelena to ask if it was planned.
Kate suggests that instead of killing Clint, Yelena might consider getting holiday drinks with her. Yelena is completely in when it comes to drinks, she just has to kill Clint first. With every scene they have, these two continue their journey to becoming best friends. Kate tells her to “stop making me like you” but it’s way too late.
The tracksuits disrupt the party in a big way, but the LARPers help diffuse them... as does a swashbuckling Jack. Clint fights off Kazi and ends up jumping into the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, where he briefly befriends an owl. Kate gets him out of it by shooting the entire tree down with a trick arrow. She says “timber” before doing it. Clint winds up on the ice skating rink and Kate slides in to help. They use all kinds of trick arrows to take out a sea of tracksuits in perfect tandem. When they're finished, Kate goes after her mother. Clint has to deal with Yelena.
He tries to tell her the truth of what happened on Vormir, but Yelena doesn’t listen... until Clint whistles. The moment made us cheer out loud. It’s the secret sisterly whistle that Natasha and Yelena shared, and we’ve been waiting for Yelena to get a response since the end of Black Widow. The response came before the year was out, and it came from Clint.
“Nothing was gonna stop her Yelena,” he says. “You know Natasha. She made her choice. We’re gonna have to find a way to live with that.” Yelena finally relents, holsters her gun, and offers Clint her hand. She walks away, and we simply cannot wait to see her again.
Fisk hits the scene and greets Eleanor by ripping the door off of her car. Naughty or nice, that's how they do things over on Netflix, Eleanor! Kate proceeds to fight him in a toy store, and she doesn’t do too badly. He’s still Fisk, though, so he gets annoyed and breaks her entire quiver of arrows in half like they're a couple of pencils. She pulls her coin trick with a cufflink in a final shot, and the cufflink hits a trick arrow which triggers the most dangerous trick arrow. Fisk goes down (temporarily) after the resulting explosion.
Eleanor has the gall to give Kate the business, and Kate responds that she has no idea what she can and cannot handle. She’s appalled by her mother’s actions, and Detective Caudle arrives just in time to put Eleanor under arrest. "Is this what heroes do? Arrest their mothers on Christmas?” Eleanor asks. We guess it is, enjoy jail. She may still be a vampire, we don't know yet.
Maya has returned at this point and has killed Kazi. She then goes to face a limping Fisk, drawing a gun on him. “Maya, you and I, we’re family,” he says. “Sometimes family doesn’t see eye to eye.” The camera cuts away, and we hear gunshots. If that’s the last we ever see of Fisk we’ll eat his hat. Come on, there’s no way (no way) they’d bring the big man back only to kill him off screen. This is just a taste of what’s to come with him, bet on it. Bet on it, bet on it!
The day is saved, and Clint tells Kate, “It doesn’t happen too often, but every once in a while, you come across somebody that just makes you better in every way.” He also says that they have to go walk their dog.
On Christmas Day, Clint pulls up to his family farm. He’s got a van full of presents, and he’s also got Kate with him. She is welcomed to the house by Laura (Linda Cardellini) and family, as is the dog… who has officially been named Lucky.
-To get the escaping party guests under control, the LARPer’s don their costumes. Clint’s response: “We’re all gonna die.”
-Clint’s new costume looks great, and Kate is surprised that he actually wore it.
-Jack may start LARPing himself sometime soon. Do we love him now? He was slicing it up at every turn in this episode.
-He also got nasty with Armand VII, a child: “You remember when you peed in your pants in the Hamptons? I do. Everybody does.”
-The 'Watch of Mystery' is returned to Laura by Clint. More on that in another article.
-Kate shrinks a truck full of bros with a trick arrow that uses Pym particles. She doesn’t know what to do with the tiny bro truck, and Clint says he’ll have to ask Scott. The owl that Clint met in the tree then flies down, grabs the truck of mini-bros, and flies away. Those bros are going off on a grand adventure.
-Another bro thanks Kate for the advice she gave him about his partner and Imagine Dragons a few episodes ago. They went to see Maroon 5 instead.
-Clint uses come clearly marked Stark tech when making the trick arrows. It’s nice that the legacy lives on.
-There is a mid-credits scene, which is probably the biggest gift of all. After we see the words “Happy Holidays from Marvel Studios,” the full musical number from Rogers: The Musical plays uninterrupted.
-Is this our favorite of the MCU’s streaming shows? It might be, and we didn’t see that coming. Maybe we should have.
-Our favorite exchange in the episode was between Clint and Kate, and it was the perfect way to end this Marvel-tastic year. Clint tells her, “It’s always inconvenient. It’s lonely.” She recalls being scared during the Battle of New York, but that was before she saw Clint “fighting aliens with a stick and a string.” She keeps going: “If he could do that, I didn’t have to be scared. You showed me that being a hero isn’t just for people who can fly or shoot lasers out of their hands, it’s for anyone who’s brave enough to do what’s right, no matter the cost.”
Thank you for laying out the perfect holiday message for 2021, Kate Bishop.
All episodes of Hawkeye are now available to stream on Disney+.