Clint Barton's past is really coming back to haunt him (and kick his ass) in Hawkeye episode 4. The final scene features an all-out brawl between Clint (Jeremy Renner), Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and two extremely capable fighters. One of them is Maya Lopez, aka Echo (Alaqua Cox), whom we met last week.
The other antagonist is masked until the very end, when Clint removes their face covering to reveal ... well, I'll get to that in a moment. Obviously, major spoilers ahead!
Continue reading to get a breakdown of the latest Hawkeye adventure on Disney Plus.
Hawkeye episode 4 recap: Family matters
Let's start with the identity of the masked figure who attacks Clint during the climactic rooftop ruckus: It's Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), who was first introduced in Black Widow.
If you've seen the movie, you know that Yelena was trained in the same assassin program as Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and grew up as her adoptive sister. Like Natasha, she's got some serious fighting skills.
In Black Widow's end-credits scene, Yelena vows to get revenge on the person who she believes killed her sister — Clint Barton.
When Clint and Kate go to Maya's apartment to retrieve a Rolex watch in Episode 4, he sets up on the opposite building's rooftop while she breaks in. Their mission goes awry when Maya attacks Kate and a mysterious masked person attacks Clint.
Their dueling duels converge when Kate rides a zipline to the rooftop (which is interrupted for a moment when she becomes hilariously stuck). Then, Clint and Kate team up to fend off both foes, who seem to be working together — until the masked figure disables Maya with an electroshock gadget. Eventually, Kate shoots an arrow into Maya, who flees.
When Clint manages to pull off Yelena's mask, she promptly shocks him. But she doesn't take the presence of someone else into account. Kate aims at Yelena, then hesitates. It's a callback to how Clint told her that the best shot he'd ever made was one he didn't take — the one that would have killed Natasha.
Kate lowers her bow and allows Yelena to escape. Now knowing they are facing a very dangerous, highly-trained assassin, Clint dissolves his nascent partnership with Kate.
That partnership is a fragile one, with Clint refusing to acknowledge it as such. Last week's episode ended with Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton) holding the Ronin sword to Clint's neck. After Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga) recognizes Clint, Clint and Kate are forced to do some smooth talking about what they're doing — and why Kate used her mother's security credentials.
Clint leaves, but not before Eleanor expresses her concern over Kate's safety. Then, he calls wife Laura (Linda Cardellini), asking her to look up Sloan LTD and track a Rolex watch that's gone missing from the Avengers complex.
Turns out Jack is the CEO of a front company for the Tracksuit Mafia. "He's laundering money for the big guy?" Clint wonders.
Clint's question is another piece of evidence in favor of the Hawkeye fan theory that the corpulent Wilson Fisk, aka Daredevil villain Kingpin, is Maya's "uncle."
Clint goes off on a side mission to talk to Maya's second-in-command Kazi (Fra Fee) and persuade him to convince Maya to drop her Ronin obsession. This seems like a non-starter, but perhaps Kazi has an agenda of his own.
Meanwhile, Kate has her own task, which is to reclaim the trick arrows used in last week's chase. They're located at an NYPD facility, so she approaches the LARPers since one of them is a cop. They are happy to help in exchange for material to make new outfits.
Laura sends Clint the address where the watch is located. Apparently, the watch belongs to someone Clint used to work with, but who is no longer in the game. Before they retrieve it, Kate throws him a little Christmas celebration, knowing that he's missing movie night with his family. It's a cute sequence filled with banter and fruity shakes. Plus, Clint teaches Kate how to snap a coin so hard that it can turn off the television (or knock someone out).
But the holiday cheer soon comes to an abrupt and painful end. Clint is forced to relive the moment Natasha fell to her death when Kate drops off the roof. Terrified, he looks over to see her hanging on a line. It's too similar to what happened on Vormir in Avengers: Endgame.
So Clint keeps his promise to Kate's mom and sends her home to safety.
Hawkeye episode 4 review: Setting the table
A lot goes down in "Partners, Am I Right?" A big new (to the series) character is introduced, a new object is given importance and new information is imparted. It feels like table-setting for the final two episodes.
The best part of Hawkeye remains the relationship between Clint and Kate. Their crackling mentor/mentee chemistry continues to delight. The impromptu Christmas party for two allows them to have fun. The little coin snap lesson made me smile, though I have to think it comes into play somewhere down the road. Call it Chekhov's coin snap.
The scene also builds a deeper understanding between them Kate has figured out that Clint is Ronin, but brushes it off. Of course, Clint is her longtime hero, so she's more likely to be forgiving than someone like Maya.
As for the fight scene, I was somewhat disappointed. In episode 3, the car chase took place in bright daylight. The skirmish in this episode, once again, takes place at night, making it hard to see everything that's going on.
Of course, the point of the scene is to bring in Yelena and dredge up the trauma of Clint's past. In that, it succeeded. Not only do we get a callback to Natasha's death but the set-up of a potential relationship similar to the one Natasha had with Clint.
A new Hawkeye and Black Widow, avenging once again? I'm here for it.
Hawkeye episode 4 dangles a lot of threads that will be interesting to follow in the final two episdoes. The fact that Jack heads a company that is a front for the Tracksuit Mafia is not a surprise. However, he's beginning to seem like a red herring. Eleanor is becoming more and more suspicious. Like, who does she call when Clint leaves? My money is on Maya.
Then, there's the MacGuffin that is the Rolex watch. It seems to be important, mostly for who it used to belong to. My money is on Laura. She is clearly more involved with Clint's work than previously thought. And if the watch does tie her to S.H.I.E.L.D. or some other organization, the Barton family may be even more danger.
Then there was the mention of the "big guy" laundering money through Jack's company. That could bolster the Hawkeye episode 5 rumor that a major villain is arriving. If it is indeed Kingpin, then next week should be epic.