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This article contains spoilers for Hawkeye episode 6 and wider speculation about the future of the MCU.
Hawkeye has finally wrapped up and it certainly ended its juggling act with a flourish. The series had so much going on that some would argue that too much was on its plate. Not only were there so many subplots weaving through each other, but the show brought in Yelena Belova from Black Widow and the Kingpin from Daredevil as the mystery villain and used them as closure instead of just giving them some cameos and hinting towards their next MCU appearances.
Between Clint Barton finally overcoming his personal demons, Kate Bishop ascending as a superhero, and the payoff to a certain MacGuffin, here’s what went down in the Hawkeye finale.
After a few weeks of viewers going, “Are they really doing this?” we got Vincent D’Onofrio reprising his role as Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin. There’s been a lot of build up about how he is absolutely not someone you should mess with and the climax of this episode shows the work. The Kingpin tries to kill Eleanor Bishop and proceeds to tear the door off of her car. When he fights Kate, he completely shrugs off an arrow to the chest, gets up from being run over by said car, and even walks away from having a bunch of exploding arrows go off underneath him.
This wasn’t even his final form. Neither Bishop embarrassed him in front of Vanessa!
For those not too familiar with Fisk, you might wonder what his powers are. Is he a god? A super soldier? A gamma experiment? Dare, I say: a mutant? No, none of the above. The Kingpin is just really freaking strong.
Despite looking like a giant egg, the Kingpin is mostly muscle with very little fat. Like a prime sumo wrestler or Mark Henry, he’s just a big-ass golem of muscle. In Marvel Comics, this has allowed Kingpin to throw hands with the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America. That’s right, the only radiation that gives Kingpin any powers is when he uses the microwave to reheat his leftover chicken.
It also works parallel to his extensive plot armor. Just to give you an idea of how durable and hard to kill the Kingpin is, there have been various alternate universes where the Punisher decided to get off his ass and take the Kingpin out. In nearly every storyline where Frank Castle has killed Wilson Fisk, it doesn’t tend to end well for Frank and a lot of the time the whole process kills him as well. The only exception is the time he was wearing the Venom symbiote, which, yeah, that’ll do it.
In terms of Fisk being nearly impossible to kill due to being a protein blob, that brings us to his rebelling subordinate…
With an Echo spinoff on the horizon, Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez has a couple moments of defiance as she starts to turn her back on her life of crime. While she hasn’t exactly forgiven Clint Barton for killing her father, she at least understands that Ronin was a force of nature and it was Kingpin (and to a lesser extent Kazi) who put Maya’s father’s death in motion. If she truly wanted revenge, it meant going after her so-called uncle.
While very similar, the version of this betrayal was more black-and-white in the comics. Fisk straight-up had Maya’s father killed by his own hand and later blamed it on Daredevil. At the end of her debut storyline, she found out the truth.
And so, after reluctantly killing Kazi, Maya confronts a hurt and escaping Kingpin. With Maya having him dead to rights, she pulls a gun on him and we hear her pull the trigger. For many, this would spell the end.
As I mentioned, the Kingpin is in a league of his own and doesn’t die so easily. This is a scene taken from the comics as Maya really did shoot him in the head. It didn’t kill him. Instead, it blinded him. A fitting fate, but one that was eventually undone due to surgery.
Don’t expect this to be the end of Wilson Fisk. Maybe we’ll get another season of Daredevil or maybe the family feud between Echo and Kingpin is far from over.
Laura Barton and the Rolex Watch
Clint succeeds in making it home for Christmas, bringing along Kate and her renamed dog Lucky. During this reunion with his family, Clint proceeds to hand over the mysterious Rolex watch that was in the Avengers Compound during the finale of Avengers: Endgame, only to be sold on the black market. A watch that could expose the identity of somebody “out of the game.”
Laura gives a heartful, “Thank you,” before turning the Rolex over to reveal a SHIELD logo and the number 19. Even though Laura Barton has been part of the MCU since 2015, we never did know much about her other than being Clint’s secret wife. Now we know that she was also an agent of SHIELD.
Not only that, but she was apparently Agent 19. This is an interesting twist. In the comics, Agent 19 was Barbara Morse, who later became the Avenger called Mockingbird. She and Hawkeye were an item and were married for a time. The thing is, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD show already had a Bobbi Morse character as played by Adrianne Palicki.
It could just be that Laura Barton was Agent 19 while Bobbi was Mockingbird and no feet are being stepped on. Then again, I’m not sure if Agents of SHIELD even gave Bobbi the nickname Mockingbird at any point. Either way, it seems for now that these two agents can coexist, though don’t be too surprised if the MCU decides not to honor the canon of Agents of SHIELD by this point.
The Death of Ronin
The final moments show Clint and Kate burning the Ronin costume. Clint Barton has wanted to retire since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He felt the need to help his friends make a stand in Captain America: Civil War and though apprehended, he seemed to really love the punishment of house arrest. Then Thanos happened and his family ceased to be. Clint lost himself to the Ronin identity and it took Natasha Romanoff to bring him back from the brink. He brought back his beloved family, but at the cost of his best friend.
The Hawkeye show has been about Clint moving on so he can finally be at peace. He’s made peace with his survivor’s guilt. He’s made some sort of peace with one of those hurt by his actions as Ronin. Most importantly, he’s finally accepted the one thing he’s been reluctant to for years: that he’s a hero and to some, a role model. He doesn’t just accept Kate as his partner, but as someone who can look up to him and see the good that he’s worth.
Maybe we’ll see Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton for a cameo down the line. Maybe he’ll even show up in a more supporting role if there’s another season. But much like his Phase 1 comrades, the book of Clint Barton seems to have closed and his story is over.
Kate Bishop is Hawkeye
In the comics, Clint was dead for a while after dying during a Kree invasion. He came back later on, but in-between all of that, Kate made her first appearance and joined the Young Avengers. Initially, she considered calling herself “Hawkingbird,” but settled on just being Hawkeye. I mean, if the previous Hawkeye was dead then the mantle was hers for the taking, right? That just made it complicated when Clint came back to life and grew tired of the Ronin identity.
At the end of the show, Kate tries to come up with various spinoff names, all of which are shot down by her mentor. As he suggests one himself, it cuts to the title, telling us that Clint was probably telling Kate to just call herself “Hawkeye.” He wasn’t going to be using it anymore and she’s proven herself worthy of the mantle.
As many knew from the beginning, this show wasn’t just meant to be a showcase for Renner’s underused Avenger. It was also a passing of the torch arrow.
Which brings us to Kate’s counterpart…
The Uncertain Future of Yelena Belova
The Black Widow movie acted like the Hawkeye series in that the original got one last run while introducing their successor. The post-credits scene gave Yelena a direction in a world without Natasha by having Valentina Allegra de Fontaine tell her that Clint Barton was behind Natasha’s death and that he’s Yelena’s next target.
Yelena has her final battle with Clint and while she doesn’t quite know the details of the whole trip to Vormir, she does reluctantly come to accept that Clint truly did love Natasha and Natasha’s death was a sacrifice of her own choice. Like Clint, Yelena has to try to accept the reality in front of her and understands that misplaced vengeance will do nobody any good.
Well, except for Eleanor Bishop, who hired her in the first place.
Much like Clint facing Natasha for the first time, this is the shot that Yelena did not take. It’s fitting, as the last two episodes have made it apparent that the new Black Widow and the new Hawkeye are destined to be good friends. The only thing keeping them from that in the beginning was Yelena’s insistence on killing Clint.
Sadly, even now, the two are star-crossed. While nothing is official, the stage is being set. On one side, the MCU is building up a crew of youthful Avenger replacements. On the other side, we have Valentina’s Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers. The details of that team are still a mystery, but considering this is the kind of operation that works with someone like Wilson Fisk, they definitely aren’t a pocket full of sunshine.
We probably haven’t seen the last battle between Hawkeye and Black Widow.
Eleanor Bishop and Jack Duquesne
Kate’s origin story on this show has been something of a “halfway Batman.” She’s like a version of Bruce Wayne who only lost one parent…and her version of Zorro is an actual person. Unfortunately for Kate, this whole adventure has been about the other shoe dropping. Eleanor is not the upstanding parent she thought she was all along.
As it turns out, Eleanor had dealt with the Kingpin as far back as 2012 as a way of working out of her family’s debt. Especially after her husband died, she stayed affiliated with Fisk so that she and Kate could continue to live their lavish lifestyle. Even though her working and attempting not to work with the Kingpin are for Kate’s sake, that doesn’t really excuse her roles in murder and attempted murder. Hence, not only is she arrested in the end, but she’s basically dead to Kate.
As for Jack? After all this talk of mystery and making him out to be a red herring, it turns out Jack Duquesne is just a rich dork with sword skills and nothing more. He’s just a weird dude who looks like Paul F. Tompkins and may start hanging out with LARPers. Go figure.
Will There Be a Hawkeye Season 2?
I’d say the door is open, but I’m not sure if we’ll see it. Clint Barton appears to be done and much like the first Hawkeye, Kate is likely to pop up as a supporting hero. They could easily throw together something with Madam Masque, but we’ll see if Disney+ really thinks Kate needs another solo run.
The most likely follow-up would be a Hawkeye and Black Widow series, picking up on Kate and Yelena’s relationship. That’s the strongest thread remaining and could possibly even get a movie instead.
For now, I think the two are going to be more pawns towards whatever the future of the Avengers truly is.
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