Hawkeye’s fourth episode is complete with Christmas cheer and mysterious hooded figures.
Episode opens right where we left off: after breaking into Eleanor’s apartment with Kate, Clint is ambushed by Jack Duquesne wielding the Ronin sword. However, Eleanor immediately appears around the corner and demands to know why there’s an Avenger in her apartment. The title rolls, and the four sit down to an awkward conversation where Kate explains that they are partners working on a case together. Clint notices the Ronin sword across the room.
As Eleanor sees him out, she warns Clint that Kate is not a superhero, and asks if he’ll forget the case. Clint responds that he can’t, but promises he will keep Kate safe. Clint leaves in the elevator with the retractable Ronin sword hidden under his jacket. On the way out, he texts Laura and asks her to look up Sloan LTD. The two have a phone conversation and Laura asks if anything else went missing from the Avengers’ compound—specifically a Rolex that was supposedly destroyed years ago. Eleanor makes an urgent, unknown phone call. Kate is stuck in a conversation with her mother and Jack, who are discussing her obsession with Clint. Jack makes an offhand comment about how much nicer it is to be with family for the holidays.
Back in the apartment hideout, Clint wraps frozen juice packets around the bruises he accrued from the previous fight in the Tracksuit hideout. Kate shows up with pizza, drinks, and festive sweaters so that Clint doesn’t have to be alone. A montage begins as the two decorate the apartment, discuss plans for retrieving their arrows, and practice trick shots with quarters. Clint reveals that Jack is the CEO of Sloan LTD.
Towards the end of the night, Kate asks Clint about the “best shot he ever took.” Clint responds that the best one was the one he didn’t take, and finally opens up about Natasha and losing his family in the Blip. Kate guesses he was the Ronin, and tries to reassure Clint and dissuade his guilt. Clint tells Kate that it is probably time for her to get to bed. Kate leaves, and as Clint dozes off, he experiences flashbacks to the Blip, his time at Ronin, and Natasha’s death.
The next morning, Clint instructs Kate to go retrieve the trick arrows from an NYPD facility with the help of their new LARPer friends. They agree to help, as long as she makes it worth their while. Meanwhile, Kazi leaves a warehouse and gets into a car only to find Clint in the back seat. Clint tells Kazi that he wants Maya to stop looking for Ronin, because it will ultimately get her killed. Kazi begrudgingly agrees.
Clint returns to the hideout apartment to find the LARPers hanging out with Kate; Grills has baked cookies, and Kate is trying on Viking-style armor in the living room. Wendy Conrad (Adetinpo Thomas) returns with a duffel bag full of Clint’s trick arrows. Kate negotiates a trade: she will get the LARPers materials for new costumes in exchange for the trick arrows, as long as they make two additional suits for Kate and Clint.
Clint receives a text from Laura confirming that the Rolex has not been destroyed. After receiving coordinates, Kate and Clint stake out the watch’s location from a nearby rooftop. Kate breaks into the apartment by assisting an old man with his groceries; however, as she enters, she sets off a series of silent, strobe-light alarms, which alert Maya to her presence. Kate manages to find the Rolex along with notes on Clint’s family before Maya attacks her.
Meanwhile, Clint is attacked by a masked figure on the rooftop. He rigs up ziplines to assist Kate in her escape, but Kate gets stuck halfway down the line. As she wiggles to safely, Maya pursues her across to the rooftop.
The four begin a chaotic fight; Kate is knocked off the side of the building by the hooded figure, who anchors her rappelling line. Clint rushes to the edge to grab a hold of the line in a scene reminiscent of Natasha’s death on Vormir. Kate yells at Clint to pull her up, but Clint realizes that this could be a chance to take Kate out of the fight and drops her, to be caught by the string lights below.
Stubborn as always, Kate runs back up to the rooftop and disrupts the fight with a sonic arrow. Maya and Kate engage, and Kate shoots Maya with an arrow, causing her to retreat down the stairwell. Clint reengages with the hooded figure and pulls off her mask, revealing her to be Yelena (Florence Pugh) before getting shocked by the Widow’s venom. Kate then gets a clear shot at Yelena; she doesn’t take it. In the moment of hesitation, Yelena anchors herself and escapes off the side of the building.
Kate and Clint fight; Kate demands to know who Yelena is, and stresses that they cannot be partners if he doesn’t keep her informed. Clint responds that they were never partners, and tells her that someone has hired a Black Widow assassin. Things have gotten very real, very fast, and Clint tells Kate that he wants to do it alone.
Finally, the Yelena reveal we’ve been waiting for! I’m so excited that we finally got to see her in action, but at a run time of just thierty-eight minutes, this episode definitely left me wanting more.
Although the rooftop fight was fun and well-choreographed, it didn’t provide too many answers. Yelena’s motivation is still unclear; if she wanted to kill Clint or Kate, she could have done so easily. She clearly chose to keep Kate alive by anchoring her to the roof, and stunned Clint when she finally got a clear shot. It seems like even if she’s working with Valentina, Yelena is smart enough to not blindly follow her orders. My bet is that she just wants to talk to Clint, and was surprised to see a) Kate and b) someone else (Maya) trying to kill him there on the roof.
I’m a little surprised that Clint isn’t more confused about the appearance of a Widow. He doesn’t seem to know who exactly Yelena is, but recognizes the fighting styl. It could mean two things: either Clint doesn’t know that the Red Room was destroyed (again), or the Widows are still operating as assassins-for-hire on their own terms. Granted, Clint was under house arrest at the time of Black Widow and Natasha was later on the run, but the two had quite a bit of time together in Avengers: Endgame while planning the time heist to discuss Nat’s family reunion. I would be surprised if she hadn’t told him about the events of Black Widow, especially because Clint was instrumental in helping her take down Dreykov the first time.
This episode felt a lot like the setup for the final two of the series. Although most of the action was reserved for the final rooftop fight, I still enjoyed many of the quieter, more intimate scenes through this episode. The on-screen chemistry between Steinfeld and Renner continues to shine through in every scene the two share together; the Christmas movie marathon, tree-decorating, and tipsy trick shot practice were a joy to watch. I also really enjoy that Kate was able to figure out that Clint was Ronin, and that there wasn’t some big, overblown betrayal over the news. She understands that heroes are flawed, and actually tries to pull him out of his guilt.
We didn’t get too much of Maya in this episode beyond her apartment and the final fight scene. I actually think Kazi will be the one who ultimately manages to talk her down from her quest for revenge on Clint.
I also absolutely adore how honest and open Laura and Clint are with each other. There’s a reason those two are together, and in this episode we finally get to see Laura do something—even if it’s just being “the guy in the chair” for Clint. However, I do think their exchanges in this episode point to something more. It is clear that Laura is concerned about the Rolex, and can apparently speak German—is she perhaps some sort of ex-agent? Is it her cover at risk?
My main complaint about this episode is that it was short, and parts of it felt like filler. I’m not quite sure we really needed the serenade scene between Jack and Eleanor just to have Kate run off to rejoin Clint in their hideout. While I enjoy the involvement of the NYC LARPers and think it brings some lighthearted whimsy to the show, I don’t know if we needed to have an entire arrow-retrieval subplot when there are so many unanswered questions remaining. Will we finally see Kingpin? How are Jack and Eleanor connected to all of this? What is Yelena’s real mission? Does Clint make it home for Christmas?
Overall, I’m still having a ton of fun with this series, and I’m excited to see how all of these threads are resolved. I hope that the final two episodes manage to stick the landing.
- Eleanor’s comments about Natasha to Clint were cold, and I feel like she knew that it would hurt him.
- Love the discussion on boomerang arrows. They come back to you in the end.
- I do think it’s really cute that the LARPers will be creating the new Hawkeye suits.
- The “Thanos Was Right” mug.
- The scene in the elevator was such an authentic depiction of Kate Bishop’s character, and I really enjoyed a lot of the humor in this episode.
- Really looking forward to a potential Kate Bishop and Yelena team-up in the future!
- The music in this episode was incredible. There were subtle nods to scores from Black Widow during Yelena’s unmasking and the Endgame Vormir motif played as Kate dangled off the side of the building.
Annika Rollock is a forever student and sometimes-writer working on her PhD in aerospace engineering. She enjoys comics, cycling, cephalopods, and coffee. Stop by her Twitter for space content and the occasional meme!