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Hawkeye episode 4 recap: Clint and Kate encounter a Marvel movie assassin

The Marvel Cinematic Universe show brings in a familiar face to battle the Hawkeyes.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
6 min read
Kate Bishop in Hawkeye

Kate Bishop takes aim at a dangerous new enemy.

Marvel Studios

After last week's magnificent car chase, episode 4 of Hawkeye hit Disney Plus Wednesday. Clint Barton teams up with newcomer Kate Bishop for this Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure, as he's forced to face the fallout from his rampage through the criminal underworld as the vigilante Ronin in Avengers: Endgame, before he returned to his Hawkeye identity.

It seems that one of his victims was the father of Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), a deaf woman whose incredible observational ability makes her a formidable opponent. She's in charge of the Tracksuit Mafia's silly goons and determined to get revenge on Ronin, but we get hints that she has a shadowy boss.

The fourth episode also introduced a threat movie viewers knew was coming. Let's take aim at some SPOILERS for an episode entitled "Partners, Am I Right?"

Marvel Studios

The Black Widow assassin

Clint and Kate go to Maya's apartment to retrieve a mysterious Rolex, but are attacked by two women. One is Maya, and the other is dressed in a fancy Splinter Cell-style stealth suit. She's ultimately unmasked and revealed to be Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), last encountered in the Black Widow post-credits scene.

Yelena was a member of the same Black Widow assassin program as the late Natasha Romanoff, who sacrificed herself to retrieve the Soul Stone and undo Thanos' genocidal Snap in Avengers: Endgame. Natasha's solo movie revealed how they spent their childhoods living undercover as siblings and formed a familial bond that they rekindled as grownup deadly killers.

Due to the lies of her employer Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (aka Val, who's seemingly putting together a deadly crew for nefarious purposes), Yelena blames Clint for Natasha's death and is out for blood.

Yelena Belova in Hawkeye

Yelena Belova is apparently gunning for Clint Barton.

Marvel Studios

It initially appears that she's teamed up with Maya, suggesting that Maya's unseen boss (Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, maybe?) is working with Val. It's possible they're trying to undermine the Avengers, starting with Clint, so they can replace the heroes with their own people. However, Yelena shocks Maya with her electroshock gauntlet during the fight -- she's a bit too good for it to have been an accident, so it's possible they're operating independently.

Unfortunately, we don't get a sense of Yelena's plan in this episode because she doesn't say a word. When Kate aims an arrow at her, she shakes her head threateningly (as if to say "Try it and you die") before leaping off the roof in an awesome superspy escape. 

A strong entrance and an epic exit Yelena, 10/10.

Florence Pugh also took to social media to post a video reaction to Yelena's entrance, and it's pretty delightful. The actor was blocked from posting about the show on Instagram after someone complained she'd spoiled her own character's appearance, as previously reported by ET Canada.

Tracksuit Mafia CEO

The previous episode ended with Kate's would-be stepfather, Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), holding the ill-gotten Ronin sword to Clint's neck, but that situation deflates immediately after Jack recognizes him as an Avenger. Clint sneakily swipes the sword before he leaves though. Gotcha, Jack.

Clint's wife, Laura (Linda Cardellini), manages to juggle Christmas family time with helping out her absent husband, discovering that Jack is the CEO of the Tracksuit Mafia's front company.

"He's laundering money for the big guy?" Clint wonders aloud, in a probable reference to Kingpin.

Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) also makes an urgent phone call after Clint leaves, likely tipping off Yelena about Clint and Kate's snooping.

Laura Barton in Hawkeye

Why does Laura Barton care so much about this watch?

Marvel Studios

The Rolex

We still don't know what the vintage watch is all about or why the Tracksuit Mafia were so determined to get hold of it, but the fact that Laura brings it up and has access to its transmitter suggests it's linked to her. The watch belongs to someone Clint used to work with, and could blow their cover.

"They're been out of the game a long time," he tells Kate. "But their identity is still attached to that watch."

We don't know how Laura and Clint met -- it was implied in Avengers: Age of Ultron that they were an item before he joined SHIELD, but it's possible she or someone close to her has a past in espionage (especially since she suddenly speaks German in this episode). Maybe it has a big "LAURA BARTON" engraving somewhere?

Unfortunately, Laura and the kids are already targets by the time Kate finds it in Maya's apartment -- she has notes about Clint's family.

Clint Barton in Hawkeye

Clint Barton has been in this situation before.

Marvel Studios

Hawkeye's trauma

Natasha comes up multiple times in this episode. Eleanor mentions the late Avenger when urging Clint not to work with Kate -- likely to get her daughter away before Yelena struck. Clint later reminisces about being sent to assassinate her, but his instincts told him she wanted to defect (Natasha mentions this to Loki in the first Avengers movie).

This leads him to dream about the moment she fell to her death, which is echoed when Kate hangs off the roof during the battle with Yelena and Maya. A frazzled Clint tells Kate to go home after that, but she's in way too deep now -- her mother's fiance is working with criminals.

Hawkeye 10

The 10th issue of the 2012 Hawkeye series reveals Kazi's comic book origin. 

Marvel Comics

Maya's goon

Clint tracks down Maya's underling Kazi (Fra Fee), who apparently knows all about the big boss' goals and can dissuade Maya from her mission of vengeance.

In the comics, Kazimierz Kazimierczak is a considerably more intense character. After losing his family and friends to armed conflict as a child, he realizes he has a talent for killing. Donning  scary makeup, he becomes the assassin known as Clown. This might sound similar to infamous DC villain Joker, but Clown is considerably icier than Batman's theatrical archnemesis.

He was introduced in Matt Fraction and David Aja's iconic 2012 Hawkeye comics run, murdering one of Clint's buddies in one of that series' major gut punches. We see his origin in the 10th issue, and it's pretty chilling stuff.

Observations and Easter eggs

  • Where is Yelena's amazing, practical green jacket? She gave it to Natasha in Black Widow, and it was part of Natasha's outfit in Avengers: Infinity War. Hopefully it finds its way back to Yelena.
  • "You're Archer." Jack's misremembering Clint's name is almost certainly part of his dopey act.
  • "If I ever met Huey Lewis, I'd be a wreck." This is clearly part of Jack's attempt to give off Hip To Be Square vibes.
  • Unlike in the comics, it appears Jack and Clint don't know each other. Jack is the supervillain Swordsman in comics and trained a young Hawkeye to wield a blade.
  • Kate's Christmas movie marathon includes the 1994 Tim Allen comedy The Santa Clause and the 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic  It's a Wonderful Life. Only the former is on Disney Plus.
  • Clint drinks coffee out of a "Thanos Was Right" mug.
  • The poster for the fictional movie A Chance of Love starring Moira Brandon, which Kate writes all over, is a deep Marvel cut. In the comics, Hawkeye's West Coast Avengers team bought Moira's mansion and turned it into the Avengers Compound in LA.
  • Hawkeye mocks the idea of boomerang arrows in this episode, but uses them in the Fraction comics run.
  • When Clint returns to Grills' apartment after confronting Kazi, they're listening to Bells, Bells, Bells from the festive 1980 Star Wars album Christmas in the Stars. It features actor Anthony Daniels singing in character as C-3PO.
  • Wendy Conrad, the police officer who retrieves Clint's (and Kate's) trick arrows, has "Bombshell" embroidered on her fancy bag. In the comics, Conrad was the mercenary codenamed Bombshell and fought Clint in the 1983 Hawkeye miniseries.
  • I was worried the nice man Kate helps (and weirds out) was going to pull a silenced pistol out of one of his shopping bags.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Dec. 15, when episode 5 of Hawkeye hits Disney Plus.

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