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The Potential Yelena Plot Hole In Hawkeye Episode 5

Contains spoilers for "Hawkeye" Episode 5

So, "Hawkeye" keeps upping its game episode after episode. The latest Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe show is no stranger to introducing fans to cool, new characters week after week, but the latest episode takes things even further by bringing some old favorites in the fold. The big whammy obviously comes at the end of the episode, when viewers find out that Kate Bishop's (Hailee Steinfeld) mom, Eleanor (Vera Farmiga), has been hanging out with none other than Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk — and, specifically, what seems to be the Netflix version of the character, played by the great Vincent D'Onofrio. 

However, the returning character who'll arguably have a greater impact in the MCU at large already made her "Hawkeye" debut in Episode 4. The Black Widow Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) gets plenty more air time this week, and over a dog rescue-and-hot sauce-themed discussion, takes an immediate liking to Kate. However, she's still out to kill Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) for perceived slights against her dead sister Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) ... but her reasons for doing so create a potential plot hole. Let's see what's up. 

What's the deal with Val?

Near the end of the episode, Yelena continues her apparent mission to be Kate's BFF — whether Kate likes it or not — by texting her and revealing that she was hired to kill Clint by none other than Eleanor Bishop. Having a Black Widow-level assassin on retainer speaks volumes of Eleanor's connections and hidden villainy, but the apparent fact that Yelena is only after Clint because Eleanor contracted her to do so is somewhat contradictory to the events of "Black Widow." 

The post-credits scene in "Black Widow" shows Yelena learning from mysterious operator Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) that Clint is responsible for Natasha's death. This, of course, is as false as information can possibly be, seeing as Clint specifically did his level best to sacrifice himself in her stead on Vormir. Still, that's the information Yelena is operating with, and she even shares some of it with Kate. So ... why exactly did she sit around waiting for some random rich lady to hire her before going after Clint? 

The sudden revelation that Eleanor set Yelena loose against Clint seems to run counter to the "Black Widow" stinger's implication that Val already did that very same thing. It remains to be seen whether the "Hawkeye" finale intends to address this in some way, but right now, the whole thing seems like a bit like a potential plot hole.