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‘Hawkeye’ Episode 4 explained: Who Clint’s wife, Laura, might really be

A woman on the phone in a chair by a fireplace.
“Hawkeye’s” latest episode hints that there is more to Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini) than meets the eye.
(Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios)
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This story contains spoilers for the fourth episode of “Hawkeye” on Disney+.

Another week, another new adversary with a grudge against Clint Barton making their “Hawkeye” debut.

In Episode 4 of the Disney+ series — titled “Partners, Am I Right?” — Clint (Jeremy Renner) finally starts to warm up to Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), who is as eager as ever to prove herself to her hero. Unfortunately, a mysterious assassin appears to remind Clint that he’s been trying to keep Kate at arm’s length because his life is dangerous.

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“Hawkeye” proudly touts its comic book influences. Use our guide to understand what Kate Bishop, Maya Lopez and more bring to the MCU.

Clint’s masked assailant isn’t just any assassin, though: She’s a trained Black Widow whose face Marvel Cinematic Universe fans should recognize as “Black Widow” breakout Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).

Clint already had his hands full trying to get the deadly Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) and the Tracksuit Mafia to give up their hunt for Ronin. Yelena adds yet another complication. Along with Jack Duquesne’s criminal ties and the mysterious Rolex watch stolen in Episode 1, it seems almost impossible that Clint will be able to wrap up all these loose ends and make it home in time for Christmas.

Who is Yelena Belova?

Two women in front of some wreckage.
“Hawkeye’s” mysterious Black Widow assassin Yelena (Florence Pugh, right) — here with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) — was introduced in “Black Widow.”
(Marvel Studios)

Introduced in this summer’s “Black Widow,” Yelena was brought up through the same program that trained young girls to become assassins as Natasha Romanoff. When they were children, Yelena and Natasha were raised together as sisters, part of the cover for a mission assigned to the spies that played their parents. During the events of “Black Widow,” the sisters rekindled their bond as they took down the organization that turned them into trained killers.

In the “Black Widow” post-credits scene, which takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Yelena is shown mourning her sister at Natasha’s grave. There, she is informed that Clint was responsible for Natasha’s death by Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character, first introduced in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”), who describes him as Yelena’s “next target.”

The true nature of Yelena’s employment situation remains a mystery for now, but it’s clear she has plenty of personal motivation to go after Clint. It’s very likely that viewers have not seen the last of her on “Hawkeye.”

The post-credits scene of Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ seems to set up a forthcoming team of antiheroes. Here’s what it all means.

What’s up with that Rolex?

In the first episode of “Hawkeye,” the Tracksuits crash a black market auction looking for a watch. The only thing viewers knew for certain at that time was that the watch had been recovered from the remnants of the Avengers compound — not whom the watch belonged to or why it’s an item of interest.

A fancy Avenger-related timepiece screams Tony Stark, who has been seen wearing various flashy smart and traditional watches throughout his MCU tenure. Considering that Tony’s watches are hi-tech gadgets linked with his Iron Man suit, it would make sense that something from his collection would be coveted by criminals. It could also be a way to set up the announced “Armor Wars” series, about Stark technology falling into the wrong hands.

But in Episode 4, Clint says the watch belonged to someone he used to work with who has been “out of the game for a long time.” He adds that this mysterious former colleague’s identity is still attached to the watch, so retrieving it is imperative to keeping them safe. This description makes it seem very unlikely that the watch belonged to any of the main Avengers, since their identities are not much of a secret.

It’s also curious that Laura, Clint’s wife, is the one who brings up concerns about the watch being unaccounted for.

A crouching woman looks at a costume.
The Rolex was taken from the same auction as where Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) found the Ronin suit.
(Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios)

Who is Laura Barton?

Although Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini) first makes her MCU appearance in 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” not much is known about her other than that she’s Clint’s wife and a mother of three.

In “Hawkeye” Episode 4, though, Laura turns out to be very adept at gathering intel on short notice, speaks German and can track a transmitter on a device linked to the Avengers compound. This is a skillset not often associated with living on a farm in the Midwest. She has also been very understanding about Clint’s career. Could this be because she used to be in a similar line of work?

As a character who has been around since the ‘60s, Clint has been involved with a number of different women in the comics, including other superheroes. One of Clint’s best-known relationships is with fellow Avenger Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, to whom he was married for a long time — although they eventually divorced.

Bobbi has already been introduced in the MCU on the TV series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (played by Adrianne Palicki), so unless the multiverse is in play, it seems unlikely that Laura will be revealed to be Mockingbird. But could Laura be based on another comic book character with S.H.I.E.L.D. ties?

One Laura in Marvel comics history to consider is Laura Brown, who was introduced in a 1965 issue of “Strange Tales” in a Nick Fury comic book arc that introduced the secret organization S.H.I.E.L.D. This Laura is a Hydra operative and the daughter of the leader of the organization, but she believes her father’s goal for world domination is “mad” and just wants a normal life. When Fury is captured by Hydra, she helps him escape and is eventually offered a job with S.H.I.E.L.D.

Could this comic book Laura have inspired some of MCU Laura’s backstory? Could Laura and the Rolex have Hydra ties? Only time will tell.

What does the 19 on the Rolex mean? Is that villain really dead? We explain what the “Hawkeye” finale means for the MCU.


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