In the “Hawkeye” recap, Clint is forced to revisit his past in order to save his family, Kate Bishop comes face to face with Natasha Romanoff’s sister and the mastermind behind it all is finally revealed…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s all been leading to this.
There have been rumors swirling ever since “Hawkeye” began about how this show would eventually tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe but a pair of revelations starting with last week’s episode and then culminating in the closing seconds of the penultimate episode just raised the stakes.
Last week saw Clint hunting down a watch taken from Avengers tower that linked back to someone very near and dear to him — that also appeared to hint at perhaps his wife being a former Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is why he was so protective that her identity was never revealed — but instead of getting back that property and closing the loop on his time as the deadly Ronin, he instead ran into a whole new kind of opposition.
That’s when Yelena Belova made her return as she sought to exact revenge on Clint Barton as the man she blames for killing her sister, Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow.
In the “Black Widow” movie, Yelena mourned for her sister following her death during the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and she was then approached by a powerful woman named Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who informed her that Clint Barton was the one responsible for Natasha’s demise.
Yelena finally showed up in New York looking to kill the man who she believed killed her sister but there was a lot more happening than just a simple revenge plot.
As it turns out, Yelena was actually hired to do that job and her employer along with the person pulling the strings behind the scenes sets up an even bigger finale for next week.
Her employer? Eleanor Bishop
The person pulling the strings? None other than Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin.
First things first, let’s find out how we got to that major reveal with our recap for the latest episode of “Hawkeye” titled “Ronin”…
The Big Guy
The episode starts in 2018 — the year when Thanos first got his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet — as Yelena Belova was continuing to travel the globe to free other Black Widows from their brainwashed captivity as a promise she made to her sister Natasha.
Yelena and another Black Widow arrive at a residence to free another assassin supposedly under the same brain control that warped them for so long but it turns out the woman was already acting on her own accord. The former Black Widow named Ana was now just a paid assassin, who lived a rather lavish lifestyle thanks to her work as a contract killer.
It was all a little shocking to Yelena, who went to the bathroom to splash some water on her face only to turn into a cloud of dust a second later.
Yes, Yelena was eliminated as part of the Blip when Thanos wiped out half of life in the universe.
But then what felt like a few seconds to her, Yelena reappeared in that same bathroom five years later except now Ana was living with her husband and children. Needless to say, Ana was rather shocked to see Yelena alive and well but also rather confused after losing five years of her life.
The first thing Yelena wants to do is track down her sister and that’s when she learns the inevitable news that Natasha was killed while trying to save the world from Thanos.
Fast forward to the present day and Kate Bishop is returning home to her mother’s penthouse after she was sent packing by Clint when he realized that it was just too dangerous to allow her to be involved with his life any further. The revelation that a Black Widow assassin had been hired to kill him was enough for Clint to know that Kate probably wouldn’t survive if she stayed near him so he told her to go away for good.
Returning home, Eleanor Bishop was shocked to see her daughter beat up and bruised but Kate assured her that Clint did nothing but try to protect her.
After bandaging her up, Eleanor and Kate have a heart-to-heart about her desire to become a hero and learning through painful experience that perhaps she wasn’t actually destined to become an Avenger one day. Eleanor promises that Kate will figure out her future soon enough but for now she just wants her to go retrieve her belongings from the now fire-bombed apartment and return home again.
Before leaving, Kate tells her mother about the information she discovered about Jack Duquesne — that he was actually the CEO of a company called Sloan Limited that served as a front for a criminal enterprise that included the Tracksuit Mafia. Kate tells her mother just to do her research and look into Jack’s business dealings before doing any more wedding planning.
Kate then leaves to go back to her apartment to pick up the rest of her belongings and that’s when she’s greeted by Yelena Belova and a pot full of macaroni and cheese.
It seems Yelena has done her research — she tracked down Kate in order to have a conversation with her about the relationship she’s been forging with Clint Barton.
As a master assassin, Yelena is actually rather charming — she was by far the best part about the “Black Widow” movie and a welcome addition to the MCU — and she chats with Kate on a personal level while also subtly letting her know that she’s done plenty of research into Clint’s new sidekick.
Yelena then tells Kate that she’s traveled to New York for one purpose — to kill Clint Barton.
She explains to Kate that there’s a trail of dead bodies that have been piled up behind Clint Barton for all the work he’s done over the years and now it’s time for him to pay. Of course, Yelena is there to also exact revenge on Clint because she believes that he’s responsible for killing her sister.
That’s when Yelena finally lets it slip that Natasha Romanoff was her sister, which certainly surprises Kate but she’s still not ready to betray Clint and just allow him to die.
She tells Yelena that she has no idea where Clint is right now, which is actually the truth, and that’s the end of their shared dinner together. Before leaving, Yelena warns Kate to stay out of her way where Clint Barton is concerned because she’s gunning for him and nobody is going to stop her.
Meanwhile, Clint ends up at Grills’ apartment — his new firefighter/LARPing friend — because he’s been caring for Lucky the pizza dog after they all got together in order to retrieve his trick arrows. Grills tells Clint that his friend Missy finished making the new costumes for both him and Kate but he’ll wait until another day to see them.
For now, Clint just wants a good night’s rest because the next day is going to be hell for him.
As for Kate, she returns home to find Jack being placed under arrest after her mother did some research on him and discovered that he was the person behind Sloan Limited. The police take Jack away in handcuffs while he promises that he’s just being set up and tells Eleanor that he’ll be home in time for their Christmas party.
Now this was clearly far too easy for Jack to be discovered as the mastermind behind the Tracksuit Mafia, which means he might just be the fall guy for the real person in charge. Stay tuned for that a little later.
The next day, Clint visits the memorial in New York that pays homage to the first assembly of the Avengers in 2012 when they stopped the alien invasion led by Loki. He wishes he could talk to Natasha to get her advice on what he should do because he already has an idea of what’s going to be necessary but it’s not a place he really wants to go any longer.
From there, Clint surprises the Tracksuit Mafia with a message telling them to have Maya meet him later that night at the place where she first encountered Ronin.
Maya is still seething with anger after she was unable to get to Ronin — the man responsible for killing her father — and even her friend Kazi is trying desperately to talk her down from the ledge. Still, Maya refuses to stop until she kills Ronin and makes him pay for taking her father away from her.
Before he meets with Maya that night, Clint calls his wife and gives her an update on everything happening.
He reveals that the problems he’s been facing just keep getting worse and worse, especially after discovering that Maya had the watch from Avengers tower. Maya also managed to track down information about Clint’s entire family including Laura’s name along with their children.
Clint is afraid that this information along with Maya’s vendetta will eventually make its way up to “the big guy,” who is the one he really fears. Before he can allow that to happen, Clint decides to remove Maya from the equation once and for all so he can then focus on the Black Widow assassin that’s also been hired to kill him.
Later that night, Maya stands ready at Fat Man Auto Sales — the same location where her father William was killed by Ronin several years earlier. While Maya stands outside waiting for Ronin to appear, the rest of her crew including Kazi are disarmed and taken out by Clint before he finally reveals himself to her.
Clint — now dressed as Ronin — engages in a fight with Maya and while she holds her own, he eventually gets the upper hand before putting a sword to her throat. Clint then pulls down the mask to reveal his identity to Maya while telling her that any further actions against him or his family will result in dire consequences.
Clint then explains to Maya that ultimately they’re both very much alike — weapons that have been used to win wars. In his case, he was sent after William Lopez by an informant, which he believes was her boss. “The big guy” is the person actually responsible for her father’s death because that’s how Clint ended up there in that car dealership to stop the criminals running an organization.
Of course, Maya doesn’t believe him and she finally manages to kick out his leg, drop Clint down to the ground and pick up the sword that she then raises up in order to kill him. Before she can swing the blade, an arrow comes screaming out of the sky, knocking the weapon out of her hand.
Perched on a rooftop across the street is Kate Bishop, who refused to give up on Clint no matter how much it seemed like he gave up on her. Kate realized that she really is meant to be a hero and she was going to save Clint just like he managed to save her so many times over the past week together.
Maya is forced to flee the scene before reuniting with Kazi, who apologizes after Clint got the drop on him. She then questions her friend about why he wasn’t at the car dealership for the meeting that night when her father got killed.
Kazi explains that he never got the call for that particular meeting and he wonders why she’s asking him about that night all these years later. Obviously, Clint telling Maya that her father was set up to take the fall finally has her wondering if she’s been pointing her rage and thirst for vengeance at the wrong person.
As for Clint and Kate — they manage to make a harrowing escape in a Lyft that takes them back to Grills’ apartment. Along the way, Kate tells Clint that she met the masked woman who tried to kill him the previous night and she revealed her identity as Natasha Romanoff’s sister.
Clint immediately recognizes that must be Yelena and that’s a whole other bag of problems.
Remember, the events in “Black Widow” took place just after “Captain America: Civil War” so Natasha had returned to the Avengers and reunited with Clint long after she found her “family” again. It’s likely that Natasha told Clint all about Yelena, especially after she disappeared along with half of the people on Earth during the Blip.
The next morning, Clint and Kate are enjoying some breakfast at Grills’ apartment while Eleanor Bishop is headed for a meeting but little does she know that she’s being tracked by Yelena Belova.
Eleanor enters a building as Yelena turns the corner to see where she’s going and it’s obvious that she’s getting more of the answers required for this mission that she’s been hired to carry out.
While sitting at breakfast, Kate gets a text message from Yelena that tells her the identity of the person who hired her to kill Clint Barton — it’s none other than Eleanor Bishop. Yelena says she’s sorry but it’s something that Kate deserved to know.
Yelena then sends Kate a video that shows Eleanor meeting with the person actually pulling the strings behind everything that’s been happening. Kate doesn’t recognize the man so she turns the phone around and asks Clint who is standing next to her mother.
“Well that’s the guy I’ve been worried about this whole time — Kingpin”
Yes, Wilson Fisk — as played by the great Vincent D’Onofrio — is back as Kingpin after stealing scene after scene through three seasons on “Daredevil.”
Clint isn’t completely surprised because this is what he’s been fearing this entire time — the big guy he’s been mentioning throughout the series has been Kingpin. Now Clint realizes just how deep this conspiracy goes because if Kingpin is the one trying to have him killed than this is going to probably end badly for just about everybody involved.
This sets up what should be a spectacular season finale for “Hawkeye” next week as Clint will undoubtedly be forced to confront Kingpin while Kate figures out why her mother has been in business with one of the biggest criminal masterminds in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Hawkeye” will return for one final episode next Wednesday on Disney+