FULL SPOILERS AHEAD
The last episode of Hawkeye ended on a shocking cliffhanger, or at least shocking for people who are bad at predicting plot twists. Now that we’ve reached the final episode, the question becomes: will everything get wrapped up? And the answer is… mostly? I have few complaints. An extra 15 minutes certainly didn’t hurt.
Picking up right where “Ronin” left off, “So This is Christmas?” shows that Yelena had recorded Eleanor Bishop’s meeting with the Kingpin, confirming that she killed Armand III way back in the first episode. Not a real surprise. She quits Fisk’s crime empire, which he doesn’t take very well, immediately turning around and ordering Kazi to kill her. Maya shows up and says her vendetta against Ronin is over and she needs some time to clear her head, but Kingpin figures out pretty quickly that she knows he and Kazi conspired to kill her dad (even though Clint was the murder weapon). Ready for a final showdown, Kate and Clint make some new trick arrows and head to the party Eleanor is supposed to be at with the intent of protecting her. Jack’s out of jail and wants some words with his fiancé, but that gets put on the backburner when Kazi tries to snipe Clint and causes a scene. Tracksuit Mafia goons swarm the area, starting a big action sequence. While Clint is dealing with Kazi and the Russians, Kate tries to delay Yelena from killing Clint. But that doesn’t work out, leading to a confrontation between the two over Natasha’s death. Clint finally convinces the Russian assassin that he was Natasha’s best friend and he couldn’t stop her from sacrificing herself in Avengers: Endgame. Meanwhile, Jack is showing off his swordsman skills against the Tracksuits, Maya confronts and kills Kazi, and Eleanor tries to escape only to run into the Kingpin. Like, literally, she hits him with her car. Kate tries her best to stand up to the mountain of a man, but he’s incredibly tough and strong. She only wins thanks to a powerful trick arrow, and even then Fisk escapes. He’s cornered by Maya who… shoots him? Presumably killing him? Hm. Anyway, Eleanor is arrested, the LARPers survived–which means Grills didn’t get killed by Kazi so I’m real happy about that–Kate joins Clint’s family to celebrate Christmas, and we get confirmation that the watch belonged to Laura, which means she was a SHIELD agent once upon a time. Agent 19, no less, which I’ll touch on in a bit.
The mid-credits scene is a full song from Rogers: The Musical. I no longer believe we live in the absolute worst timeline.
I think that’s all the plotlines? Kate is free to become a hero, Clint is in a position to retire for real, Eleanor is arrested, Jack is just a himbo who may or may not appear in the future, Yelena no longer wants to kill Clint, Kazi’s dead, Kingpin is shot and presumed dead, and Maya is free to have her own show. Armand’s murder is solved, the mystery of the watch is solved, and the Ronin suit is burned. I actually think things got wrapped up pretty well! As a bonus, there’s even the implication that some Tracksuit goons shrunk by a Pym Tech arrow get eaten by an owl! That doesn’t really have anything to do with the plot, but I did cackle.
My only real complaint is Kingpin. First of all, never trust writer or directors about the contents of future episodes, because directors Bert & Bertie told us that this episode would answer whether the Netflix Marvel shows are canon or not. It didn’t. That question becomes even more pressing after Spider-Man: No Way Home, but I won’t spoil that here. But there’s a bigger question on my mind lately: does it really matter?
No, it doesn’t. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
Okay, to be a little less snarky, what’s canon or not doesn’t really matter. The fact that Coulson’s adventures after death in Agents of SHIELD are never referenced in the movies doesn’t take away that they happened. Maybe not in the MCU proper, but they’re just as real as any of the X-Men movies or what have you. If you liked the show or movie, then you liked it and no one–especially not a multibillion dollar megacorporation–can take those feelings away from you.
But it does take away a feeling of connectiveness; as far as the movies are concerned, Coulson died in The Avengers and then they brought him back for flashbacks because the company obviously liked Mr. Clark Gregg. The X-Men don’t exist, the Fantastic Four don’t exist, and don’t expect Finn Jones to return as Iron Fist. Then again… the rebuttal involves spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home, but the gist is “what’s canon” and “what’s not canon” is becoming more and more nebulous with the introduction of the multiverse.
To sum it up, on one hand you have the James Bond franchise where the previous movies are more of an inspiration than anything to expect direct references to. And on the other hand you have Star Wars which threw just about every novel that came out since the original trilogy into a hole and pretended they didn’t exist. Good luck with the cognitive dissonance, fans of both franchises!
Okay, tangent over. Back to Hawkeye, I have issues with the way that Kingpin gets shot. First of all, the camera pans away from the moment so we didn’t actually see the bullet. Second, he can’t be dead, right? He’s a big character played by an actor that Marvel liked enough to not recast, and he gets shot? No way. I think this is going to tie into the Echo show that’s supposed to come out… sometime. There’s no release date. Actually, no upcoming MCU Disney+ show has a release date (as of writing), so I don’t fully know what comes after this. Presumably something before May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but I guess we shall see.
So Agent 19. If you couldn’t tell from me being weird about it, that’s a comic book reference. Laura Barton may have been an original character created for Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Hawkeye’s wife in the comics is a different person… possibly. He was married to Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird, who first appeared in Astonishing Tales #6 (1971) and wasn’t named until several issues later. She was a SHIELD agent sometimes called Agent 19 who worked with Ka-Zar in her introduction. Who’s Ka-Zar? Well he’s… um… let’s leave it at “he’s Marvel’s Tarzan.” Anyway, she teamed up with Clint in the Hawkeye limited series (1983), which was also the first appearance of Bombshell, who I mentioned in episode 4. Clint and Bobbi met in issue #1 and got married in #4, so it’s no surprise that their marriage was rocky. They separated after she was kidnapped and drugged with a love potion by the Wild West precursor of Ghost Rider–comics are dumb. She died fighting Mephisto in West Coast Avengers #100 (1993)… sort of? Look, we’ll deal with Skrulls impersonating heroes when Secret Invasion comes out, but that wasn’t the real Bobbi, who came back to Earth in Secret Invasion #8 (2008). Just ignore that we saw her in the afterlife a couple times before that reveal. At the moment, she’s still Clint’s ex, but they still hook up from time to time when she’s not dating Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man.
But is any of that actually important? Maybe! Giving Laura the designation Agent 19 would suggest she was the MCU’s version of Bobbi Morse. Some people believe that “Laura” is a fake name given to her after retiring from SHIELD, but I haven’t seen any direct confirmation of that. But it would be grimly amusing, since the Hawkeye series brought back an actor from the Netflix shows while ignoring Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse in ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. Again, canon is a tricky thing and not all pre-Disney+ MCU shows are made equal, obviously.
Another series down! We have a potential Avenger/Young Avenger in Kate Bishop, plot seeds for the Echo spinoff, and the promise that Yelena will pop up somewhere again at some point. Oh, right, and today is the 25th. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!
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