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What Does The End Of Hawkeye Mean For The MCU?

            As we come to the end of 2021, we also come to the end of the first set of tv series and films introducing Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Like the phases that have come before, Phase 4 has shown us new characters (both heroes and villains), possible plot points, and hundreds of easter eggs. Hawkeye, the limited series that shows Clint Barton handing the mantle over to super-fan Kate Bishop, is no exception. Spoilers for Hawkeye and Spider-Man No Way Home are ahead; you have officially been warned.

            By the end of episode 5 (“Ronin”), it was revealed the crime boss known as Kingpin has finally entered the MCU. Hawkeye is the one to tellMaya Lopez that Kingpin, along with Maya’s comrade Kazi, were the ones to set up her father’s murder. After killing Kazi, Maya finds Kingpin and shoots him off-screen. Now, either Disney/Marvel are crazy for killing off a beloved villain without seeing him interact with Daredevil again (thanks to that fun but brief cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home) or Kingpin is not really dead. In the comics, Maya shoots Kingpin in the face, but he only momentarily loses his eyesight before getting back up again. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the same thing happen in Echo.

            The finale also showed Kate taking over the Hawkeye mantle, which hopefully means we’ll get to see her interacting with Yelena Belova again, who takes over the role of Black Widow. After losing her sister, Natasha Romanov, Yelena seeks revenge against Clint, who she believes murdered Natasha. The two reconcile after some cool fight scenes, leaving both with a sense of peace surrounding Natasha’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.

            A character finally getting some much-needed backstory was Laura Barton, Clint’s wife. Throughout the series, she and Clint search for a watch that was stolen from the Avenger’s compound reportedly belonging to someone “no longer in action.” In the final scene, they reveal the watch was actually Laura’s and heavily implies that Laura was once Agent 19, a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. nicknamed Mockingbird.

            Finally, we have to talk about that end credits scene. As all Marvel fans know, waiting until the end of the credits is vital because they always reveal something of what’s to come. However, in Hawkeye, instead of showing us what Kate and Yelena could be up to, or even a preview of Daredevil’s true return, they give us a 5-minute segment of Steve Rodgers: The Musical, most of which was already shown in the first episode. Maybe they chose this to give watchers a moment of levity, but now we are left wondering where our characters are going to appear next. With still no mention of whether Hawkeye will receive a second season, I guess we will all just have to twiddle our thumbs and put on our thinking caps until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters next year.

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