Hawkeye 1×06, “So This Is Christmas?” manages to pull off an epic finale to a surprisingly self-contained Disney+ series. That rarity shouldn’t be overlooked in the MCU, and Hawkeye‘s creative team should be proud of the story they weaved into the most impressive bow over the last six weeks. Rest assured, Hawkeye sticks its superhero landing with this one.
It’s impressive, and Hawkeye‘s success could speak volumes for the history of this franchise.
This episode is similar to other Disney+ shows finales in that there is a lot of action, but that action never supersedes the character work for any of the principal or supporting cast. This season finale hits every single emotional beat the last five episodes have been leading up to and leaves the door open for so many more storytelling opportunities.
A Eulogy Fit for a Hero
One of Hawkeye‘s most impressive elements is how it eulogizes Natasha Romanoff in a way that the movies never did. Her heroic sacrifice gets lots in the shadow of Tony Stark’s in Avengers: Endgame, and Hawkeye turns the spotlight back on Natasha’s last act of heroism.
It’s an intentional narrative choice that poignantly works in scenes between Clint Barton and Yelena Belova. Their final scene together in “So This Is Christmas?” is excellent because it fills in all the blanks the movies left behind. It reveals the lengths to which Natasha and Clint discussed their respective families.
Clint answering Yelena’s whistle is one of the best beats for an emotional payoff, mainly because it never got responded to in the Black Widow end credits scene. It’s the signal they both needed to know it’s okay to grieve with each other. Florence Pugh is especially remarkable in this scene because it feels like this moment is the first time since The Blip that Yelena allows herself to feel that loss.
It’s beautiful and bittersweet how the two people who loved Natasha the most found each other in this way and on this show.
It’s easy to imagine a world in which Natasha introduces them had she lived. But, since that can’t happen, she’d like that they found solace in each other. She’d like that there’s hope for them to run into each other again and keep her memory alive.
A Match Made In Heaven
Florence Pugh is such a scene-stealer in “So This Is Christmas?” Her work with Hailee Steinfeld gets better with every second. It makes us eager to know when the new Black Widow and Hawkeye will team up in the MCU. Until then, though, Hawkeye gives us plenty of details to enjoy. But, seriously, Disney+, please announce the second season of this show.
That elevator scene is pure bottled joy. Every element of it is riveting to watch because Pugh and Steinfeld bounce off of each other so well. After she slaps Yelena, the look of fear in Kate’s eyes is priceless. The way that the fight sequence escalates is fantastic. Equally amazing is how both young women take the time to compliment each other’s techniques. Does it get better than that?
Hawkeye‘s end-credits scene is delightful, but it would have been even more wonderful had there been two. Then, we could have seen Kate and Yelena grab that drink. We would’ve seen the beginnings of their friendship without the threat of Yelena killing Clint hanging above them. Then again, Marvel Studios may be holding off on that scene for a reason.
Hawkeye struck gold with Pugh and Steinfeld, and it would be foolish to let that dynamic fall to the wayside. The characterization of both Kate and Yelena is perfect, and these two actresses embody their characters with such ease and power. The future has to be bright for them in the MCU; it just has to be.
A Story for Another Show
It’s a bit mysterious to see Maya Lopez take a step back in this season finale, but it feels as though Hawkeye‘s job is to set that character up for Echo. “So This Is Christmas?” does quite the job at that. There is still plenty to discover about Maya’s past, skillset, and future. That cliffhanger is ominous, but it comes with the territory when Wilson Fisk joins a fight.
It’d be a vast understatement to say it’s thrilling to watch Vincent D’Onofrio step back into Kingpin’s shoes. Despite Daredevil ending in 2018, D’Onofrio doesn’t miss a single beat. It’s as if no time has passed. That’s a testament to his chilling, domineering performance. Likewise, it’s riveting to watch emotions flicker in Fisk’s eyes when he’s around Maya.
There is a high chance some genuine feelings are wrapped up in that father/daughter dynamic, but Fisk’s ulterior motives will always undercut that. Those motives are why it’s easy to assume Fisk didn’t meet his demise at the end of Maya’s gun. His shadow doesn’t fall on the building behind them. Also, Fisk would never go down that easily.
There is more to this story, and we will likely have to wait until Echo to find out where it goes next.
The Hawkeye finale does deliver a few excellent punches with Fisk. It’s stirring that he brushes off Eleanor hitting him with a car, but that’s right in line with his character. Furthermore, Kate Bishop takes on Kingpin and doesn’t back down — neither does Maya Lopez. They’re legends, and it would be nice to see them meet up down the line somewhere.
Clint and Kate Are Partners
After six episodes of denying the inevitable, Clint admits Kate is his partner. It’s a special admission because it comes at the start of the episode when the tables swiftly turn from how they were in the first episode. Kate tells Clint to let her fight this on her own, and just like she did for him, Clint assures her she doesn’t have to go into this fight alone.
If that’s not growth, what is? It’s such a tremendous full-circle moment.
Clint has come a far way from when we last saw him in Avengers: Endgame and much of that has to do with Kate’s unwavering belief in him. She doesn’t question his actions as much as someone like Yelena would, but Kate’s trust in him makes Clint want to be better. Clint does the same for Kate and has since childhood.
It’s rewarding to watch Clint’s walls come down for Kate (and Yelena). It would have been unfathomable at the start of this series to think Clint would take Kate home to the farmhouse to celebrate Christmas. However, despite Clint and Kate’s cuts and bruises, it’s a wholesome way to show how these two characters are a part of each other’s lives now.
Eleanor may be in jail (Yay, Kate, for making that decision), and Jack may become a LARPer (!!!), but Kate Bishop will be okay in the end. She has a new family she can lean on, and sometimes found families are even stronger than ones forged by blood. Hawkeye is a beautiful reminder of that sentiment and how anyone can be a hero.
That’s the right kind of optimism to leave its viewers with just in time for the holidays.
Other Moments That Don’t Miss:
- Laura Barton was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent! Glad we found that out later rather than never.
- Fisk’s Hawaiian shirt is ripped right from the comics.
- Yelena’s braid!
- Why don’t I buy that Kazi is dead?
- Kate labeling all of the trick arrows
- Every single second that Tony Dalton is on screen is perfect!
- Clint getting stuck in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
- The LARPers being a part of the big plan
- “I don’t know. I have to ask Scott about that one.”
- Clint split an arrow!
- The full version of Rogers: The Musical‘s “I Can Do This All Day”
What did you think of the Hawkeye 1×06, “So This Is Christmas?” Let us know in the comments below!
All episodes of Hawkeye are streaming now on Disney+!