Marvel Studios' Hawkeye is now four episodes into its first season on Disney+, giving the original Avenger the solo story fans have wanted to see for most of the past decade. Thanks to already having six theatrical movies under his belt since 2011, most recently in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, Jeremy Renner's hero has a wealth of history to build on with his Phase 4 future during this solo outing.
The team behind Hawkeye has utilized this history throughout the first four episodes of his Disney+ show in various ways, all of them helping expand on what the hero is currently experiencing. From opening the series on the Battle of New York in 2012's The Avengers to having Hawkeye watch Rogers: The Musical and relive the events of Endgame, Clint Barton's story continues with an impressive level of depth from multiple angles.
One of the most impactful moments in Hawkeye's life from the MCU timeline was losing Natasha Romanoff on Vormir for the Soul Stone, which has haunted him more than anything he's had to deal with in his time as an Avenger. Episode 4 revisited the Black Widow moment for him, with one of the show's directors explaining how this episode's reference impacted Clint's new relationship with Kate Bishop.
Hawkeye Revisits Black Widow's Death in Episode 4
WARNING: The rest of this article contains spoilers from Episode 4 of Hawkeye.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Hawkeye directing duo Bert & Bertie touched on the reference to Black Widow's Avengers: Endgame demise in the show's fourth episode.
During the final battle of Episode 4, Clint Barton caught Kate Bishop on the side of the building, a scenario that looked eerily similar to Clint's attempt to save Natasha Romanoff on Vormir. Luckily for the two archers, Barton slowly lowered Kate to safety despite her plea to be lifted back up, which somewhat mirrored Clint trying to pull Natasha up prior to her insistence on falling.
Bertie explained how deeply attached Jeremy Renner is "to Clint Barton's history," something that really hits home looking back at Black Widow's death on Vormir. Now, with Kate Bishop learning more details about this story, Barton sees this as something he can't let happen again now that he's playing a mentor role in Kate's life:
"Literally everything that was going through your mind, and probably everyone's mind watching that, was what's going through-- It's like history repeating itself. She gets thrown off spectacularly and we just get a sense of the clip that's been attached to her. But you really don't know until she gets held at the bottom there. So I think it for Clint, and for Jeremy performing it -- he's very attached to Clint Barton's history, and I think it really comes back to him all in that moment, that iconic scene in Endgame. I think it's that history repeating itself and how precious life is and that he really can't let another mentee figure come to crops in his hands or under his watch."
Even though he's able to confide in Kate to some degree about his past, that past "keeps coming back to haunt (him)," and the only way he feels he can deal with it after so many Black Widow memories coming back is to push Kate away from him.
"I've been hurt before and also I can't be responsible. That was my past. I got it wrong. I'm trying to get my life right again. But my life keeps coming back to haunt me. So yes, pushing her away is the easiest thing for him to do at that moment. And the most necessary, he feels."
Black Widow's Past and Present Haunting Hawkeye
After teaming up together in three of the MCU's four Avengers movies and Captain America: Civil War, Hawkeye and Black Widow became one of the franchise's most beloved duos. It was clear that Widow's death in Endgame was going to have a profound effect on Hawkeye long after they saved the world in the Infinity Saga's culmination movie, something that Kate Bishop is now seeing first-hand.
Not only is Kate seeing the effects of Widow's death on Hawkeye in regard to looking back at his past, but she's also seeing it in the present day thanks to Yelena Belova's unexpected attack on the two archers. This was the last straw for Clint and the reason he told Kate he was finishing the mission on his own, which was profoundly impactful on both their relationship and his character progression in the series.
How the Yelena situation resolves itself is a mystery, but it's abundantly clear that the memories of Black Widow are something Clint will have to tackle head-on before this season comes to a close.
The first four episodes of Hawkeye are available to stream on Disney+.