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Hawkeye: Ronin

“Kate Bishop. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”

Welcome to the Yelena Belova show. This was not the penultimate episode I was expecting but damn if it didn’t love almost every minute.

I will say I’m beginning to get a little confused with continuity. If you are too, it goes like this:

Main Action of Black Widow
Yelena finds and deprograms black widows
Main Action of Avengers: Infinity War
Yelena turns to dust
5 Years
Main Action of Avengers: Endgame
Yelena comes back
Yelena begins working for Valentina, is hired to kill Clint Barton
Main Action of Hawkeye

At first it was cool that Marvel tied its projects together like this but I hope I’m not alone in saying it’s getting tiresome. Keeping up with the MCU is beginning to feel like a chore. Okay, negativity aside. Yelena! How cute was Yelena?

The scene where she and Kate had dinner was the best of the episode, if not the series. Yelena comes across as impressively straightforward for an assassin and she doesn’t feel the need to hide her enthusiasm for life behind deadpan snark like Natasha. She loves American Christmases with the super-powered reindeer. Have you ever eaten reindeer?

Despite being an only child, Kate has big little sister energy and the two connect enough that Yelena actually looks into who hired her, as Kate suggests. It was... pause for dramatic effect... Kate’s mom!? Yelena got her assignment to kill Clint from Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Valentina in the after credits scene of Black Widow, so either Yelena was lying to Kate (which doesn’t seem like her) or Eleanor Bishop and Wilson Fisk are involved with Valentina. Is she working for them or are they working for her? Who set up Jack (if he was indeed set up, as I’m assuming)? I find the higher echelons of New York organized crime infinitely more interesting than the street-level stuff we’ve been dealing with. Apologies to the Tracksuit Mafia, you were fun for an episode or two. Kazi is so obviously slimy and Maya just sings her same old vengeance song. Find a new tune. I know the Marvel higher-ups have plans for Maya, it’d be nice to get there and not just see her brood about wanting Ronin dead.

That leads me neatly to the action centerpiece of the episode, Clint donning the Ronin costume once more to convince Maya to stop coming after him. That made very little sense. “Ah yes, the person you’ve sworn vengeance on? It’s me. I’ll tell you that someone tipped me off and that’s why I slaughtered your father and hope that’s enough cachet to avoid you coming after me again. Also, although I took the only family you had from you, please don’t come after my family, whose identities I know you know.”

I have a question. How many people know what happened to Nat? Obviously she died and Clint had to tell some kind of story but to whom did he tell the truth? Why does Valentina think Clint killed her? That is not what happened. He may feel like that’s what happened but letting someone sacrifice themselves (to save the universe, btw) is not the same as murdering them in cold blood.

The series is almost over and Clint still doesn’t know he saved Kate’s life during the Battle of New York. She’s had so many opportunities to tell him. It’s getting really annoying. That moment better come with some big emotional payoff.

Three and a half out of four Yelenas



  1. I'd love for an entire series that is just Kate and Yelena having girls night together. No action, no arc stuff, no MCU connections, just two besties and their dogs hanging out together.

  2. I loved this episode, but does this mean I have to finally finish watching Black Widow?

  3. I think they are doing a pretty good job with the continuity with a lot of visual clues and hints. This episode starting in 2018 immediately told you it was during Infinity War, Yelena's been busy with the mission freeing others like her that started in Black Widow just after Civil War which was 2016 (even though the BW film came after) and then she obviously blipped and then snapped back. I thought it was a cool way to show the continuity with minimal exposition.

    Yelena is one of my favorite new MCU characters, period. Love how quirky and weird she is while being badass and ferocious. Her laugh is also the cutest thing ever. Her and Kates dynamic is already off the charts so im hoping they lose the friction between her and Clint soon so that Yelena and Kate can become the new Black Widow and Hawkeye moving forward, Possibly in a new season of this show, but they are definitely appearing together at some point down the line.

    Ronin scene was indeed cool but made no sense. But its Marvels unwillingness to go all the way. Ronin was a punisher like vigilante that killed without mercy but they are simultaneously trying to keep Clint as Hawkeye 'the good guy'. As much as Clint has changed and does not want to be a killer again the threat to his family would make him take Maya and the whole gang out but he is playing with kids gloves and i cant help thinking that's a brand decision rather than a plot/character one.

    Remember the Avengers are not really a team at the moment. Three of the Ogs and De facto leaders are dead. The rest are in space or in the wind. There is a power vacuum all over the world considering the hints we got in Wandavision and FATWS. Valentina is one of those high end Government bureaucrat types trying to amass power. She probably is connected with Kingpin and Eleanor (My theory is she is the mystery aunt). We saw her recruit John Walker, so she has 'Evil Cap' and Yelena has been working for her for awhile before now. Also the possibility that powerbroker Sharon is on her side too. Alot of set up happening in these shows right now.

    1. I thought Clint pulling his punches as Ronin made sense. He's was being honest last episode when he said he didn't want anyone else to die. Him revealing himself to Echo felt like him being direct with her that he would kill her next time. While also redirecting her anger at the person that directed him at her uncle. They're both weapons. Using people like them has been Kingpins MO for awhile. If Netflix canon stands then he did that with the Punisher and Bullseye. Clint waking Echo up to the hand that welded them both, is one of the few ways I could actually see him rechannelling her anger.

      And I'm pretty sure that Valentina is just Yelena's handler/fixer. The middleman between the client and the assassin. Val might not directly work for Kingpin..she just took one of his jobs and that it would fit Yelena when she got it.


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