‘Hawkeye’ brings back a familiar face for episode four

by Keane Eacobellis

Hawkeye was on a hot streak in its first three episodes, setting up the master/student relationship between Clint and Kate while exploring the murky NYC underworld. Along the way, we’ve gotten an awesome new MCU character in Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez/Echo and a welcome tease that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is finally back in action.

But, sadly, episode four – ‘Partners, Am I Right?’ – was very anticlimactic. Most of this week’s installment was devoted to low-key domestic chat: a long lovey-dovey scene in the Bishop household, watching Clint and Kate hanging out, and reprising the vaguely amusing LARP jokes from episode two. Even more frustratingly, there wasn’t any follow-up to last week’s Fisk-shaped cliffhanger.

Thankfully it wasn’t a complete wash as the action picked up a bit in the final scene in which Clint and Kate break into Echo’s apartment to retrieve a watch. After tripping the silent alarm she promptly showed up to take on both archers. But there was another masked combatant in the fight – and it wasn’t hard to guess who.

Yup, this was Florence Pugh making her sophomore MCU appearance as Yelena Belova. Dressed in Sam Fisher cosplay she demonstrated her Black Widow skills and tech – though departed the episode without saying a single word.

Clint has no idea Yelena is Natasha’s sister and thinks she’s just a random Black Widow hired to assassinate him. Meanwhile, as shown in the post-credits scene of Black Widow, Yelena believes Clint is responsible for her sister’s death.

The annoying thing is that Clint and Yelena’s conflict is entirely predicated on the pair not talking to one another. It appears to be common knowledge in the MCU that Clint and Natasha were BFFs, so him simply saying “uh, no, someone’s been lying to you, we were partners until the end” would clear things up pretty fast.

There are now just two episodes of Hawkeye left, so here’s hoping this slow-paced episode is just them cooling their heels in advance of a big Kingpin-centered finale.