Hawkeye: 5 Biggest Takeaways From The Marvel Series Finale

Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for the finale of Hawkeye. If you have not yet seen the episode, proceed at your own risk!

Boy, did those five weeks fly by fast – but time flies when you’re having fun, right? As 2021 is drawing to a close, so has the fifth original Marvel series on Disney+, and it came to a close with a big bang. Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton successfully made it home for Christmas; Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop became partners with her favorite Avenger; Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova got closure after her sister’s death; Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez has come to terms with the facts surrounding the death of her father; and Vera Farmiga’s Eleanor Bishop is likely off to prison for a litany of crimes. To say the least, Hawkeye packed a whole lot into its final hour, but it is intensely satisfying.

With all six chapters of the series now streaming on Disney+, now feels like a proper time to do a full analysis of the show and assess our big takeaways from the first adventure centering on Hawkeye. There’s a lot to it, but let’s start with a macro assessment of the show in its entirety, starting with a subjective declaration:

Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Hawkeye Is Marvel’s Best Disney+ Series Yet

The launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows on Disney+ has obviously been a massive step for the franchise, and it has worked out spectacularly well in year one. WandaVision delivered a captivating week-to-week mystery, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier gave great depth to Sam Wilson’s acceptance of the Captain America title, Loki successfully blew our minds with each of its episodes, and What If provided a fascinating tour through the multiverse. Marvel Studios was smart to save Hawkeye for last, however – not only because of its holiday season setting, but because that’s what you traditionally do with something that is “the best.”

The bread and butter of the MCU is show stopping, large-scale spectacle, but Hawkeye is one of the most grounded chapters in the expansive canon, and it’s spectacular because of that. It doesn’t so much revolve around plot and action as it does its characters, and the duo of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop is endlessly wonderful (though anyone who has read the comic series by Matt Fraction and David Aja definitely saw that coming). As the credits rolled, I kept hoping that there would be some kind of tease promising a Season 2, and while that tease didn’t happen, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Young Avengers Needs To Happen If Not Just For More Of Kate And Yelena

Of course, phenomenal as it is to see the two Hawkeyes together, they aren’t the only brilliant duo that the Marvel series introduced to us. Perhaps it’s just the fact that Hailee Steinfeld is all kinds of amazing, but just as great as Kate’s bond with Clint is her budding relationship with Yelena Belova. In the grand scheme of things, the two characters don’t really have that much screen time together, but what we did get to see on the show is dynamite.

Needless to say, I have not even come close to getting my fill of seeing the two heroes banter on screen, and hopefully it isn’t long before Marvel puts them back together. Personally, I’d say the smart money is on seeing them reunited for either a Young Avengers movie or series, which is a development that the different shows have seemingly been teasing all year with the introduction of key characters (including not only the new Hawkeye, but the Maximoff twins, Billy and Tommy, on WandaVision, and Eli Bradley on The Falcon And The Winter Soldier). Admittedly Yelena is not part of that team’s roster in the comics, but she is a natural fit after everything that’s been happening in the MCU, and it would be the perfect opportunity to see more of Kate and Yelena together.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine in The Falcon And the Winter Soldier

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

How Does Valentina Allegra de Fontaine Fit Into All Of This?

Considering how many plotlines were in play throughout Hawkeye, I’m amazed at how well the finale managed to satisfy story-wise – but there is one important detail that I can’t help but notice that the show breezed past. In the last two episodes we learn that Eleanor Bishop was the one who hired Yelena Belova to kill Clint Barton, fearing that he was helping Kate get too close to the truth about her relationship with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin, but one important figure in the mix who is never mentioned or referenced is Julia Louis Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

Fans will remember that Valentina appeared in the end credits of Black Widow this past summer to deliver the Clint Barton assignment to Yelena, and it was her that told the young assassin that Clint was responsible for the death of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. But what’s her relationship with everything else going on? Machinations involving Wyatt Rogers’ John Walker a.k.a. U.S. Agent in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier suggested that she has some big plans in the works, but how did she end up being Yelena’s handler? Is she specifically connected with Wilson Fisk, or are the two characters more like colleagues in the criminal underworld. Sadly, Hawkeye doesn’t provide us with any answers on that front.

Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) in his closet in Daredevil

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kingpin Can’t Really Be Dead… Right?

At this point, it doesn’t need to be said how exciting it is to have Vincent D’Onofrio back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wilson Fisk. His portrayal of the character on Daredevil is unquestionably one of the great highlights of the Netflix series, and after years of constant questions regarding his status in the canon, it’s been amazing to see him resurface in Hawkeye. All that being said… he can’t really be dead, right?

The character’s final scene in the finale most certainly keeps things crazy ambiguous. First he is shown to have survived his confrontation with Kate Bishop, which involved him getting shot in the chest with an arrow and then stand feet away from a significant explosion, but then he has his showdown with Maya Lopez. As the camera pans away, there is definitely the suggestion that she shoots and kills him as revenge for the death of her father, but we can’t say for sure that’s actually what happens. It could be that we don’t see Wilson get shot because it’s material that is too violent for Disney+, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that’s not the case. Taking the Kingpin out of the game after only just bringing him back would be a huge mistake.

Alaqua Cox as Echo in Hawkeye

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

I Have No Idea What To Expect From The Echo Series, But I’m Excited For It

As mentioned, we don’t presently know what the future holds for Hawkeye in regards to the possibility of getting another season, but one thing fans can certainly get amped for is the developing spin-off series that will put Maya Lopez in the spotlight. The project was announced last month prior to the launch of the Disney+ series, and after seeing the character in action we’re most definitely excited to see more – though exactly what the show will be about is unclear.

Echo gets a full arc in Hawkeye, starting with her quest for revenge against Ronin and eventually setting her sights on the man actually responsible for her painful loss, but where the character goes from this point forward isn’t totally clear. If Wilson Fisk isn’t actually dead, it seems fair to assume that the spin-off show will further explore that poisonous relationship, but if she really did take out her “Uncle” that means that the world is wide open for her, and she can pretty much do anything. We likely won’t know anything until the upcoming series moves further into development, but either way it will be exciting to see more of the character.

Now the wait begins for the next Marvel Disney+ show, though the specific title hasn’t been announced. Stay tuned for all of our coverage here on CinemaBlend, and to keep track of everything that is on the horizon from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the coming years, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV Shows guides.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.