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The Black Widow Assassin In Hawkeye Episode 4 Explained

Contains spoilers for "Hawkeye" Episode 4

With the advent of its fourth episode, "Hawkeye" is nearing its endgame, and while the other elements of the plot are certainly moving along, the most recent episode introduces a couple of very interesting elements in the mix. One of them is a mysterious watch, which Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Laura Barton (Linda Cardellini) are keen to recover from what turns out to be Echo's (Alaqua Cox) apartment. The other one is a ruthless assassin who attacks Clint during said recovery mission, only to ultimately bail out when Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) has her at arrow-point. 

Clint immediately recognizes the young woman as a Black Widow — a member of the same ruthless organization that trained his dear, departed friend and fellow Avenger, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). However, even though this new Black Widow's face is revealed during the fight, a casual MCU fan might have a hard time figuring out who she is. Here's why the Black Widow assassin in "Hawkeye" Episode 4 is so important. 

Yelena Belova is back, and she's not happy

The Black Widow assassin Clint faces is none other than Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Natasha's surrogate little sister who reconnects with Nat during the events of "Black Widow." Yelena originally has a bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to her heroic "big sister," because Nat managed to leave the Red Room behind and she didn't. However, by the time the movie wraps up, the two are on pretty good terms, and it's clear that they care about each other. 

If you're wondering why such a close member of Nat's "family" is hunting down Clint — who, for all intents and purposes, was Natasha's closest friend in the whole, wide world –  there's a reason for that, as well. In "Black Widow's" post-credits scene, Yelena and the mysterious Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine are seen mourning Nat after her death in "Avengers: Endgame." Val, who clearly has ulterior motives that Yelena is missing, tells Yelena that Natasha's death was Clint's fault, which presumably sets the young Black Widow on a path of revenge that finally escalates to kicking and punching in "Hawkeye" Episode 4. It remains to be seen whether Clint is able to reveal the truth to Yelena, and whether she'll believe him.