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The Black Widow Easter Egg You Missed In Hawkeye Episode 5

It really is a ridiculously good time to be a Marvel fan. Besides finally being able to park ourselves down in a movie theatre to see "Spider-Man: No Way Home" on December 17, this week also gave us the penultimate episode of "Hawkeye." Last week's installment saw Yelena Belova's (Florence Pugh) debut on the series, which was famously teased in a post-credits scene in "Black Widow." Now, she has arrived in New York to cause a stir as she seeks revenge against Clint (Jeremy Renner), who she presumes is responsible for Natasha's (Scarlett Johansson) death.

Returning this week via a flashback in the episode's cold open, we caught up with Yelena carrying on the work her late "sister" started after escaping the Red Room. Along with another lethal assassin, Yelena was tailing a Widow who had yet to be deactivated and deprogrammed. While her mission was successful to a point, the Snap halted Yelena's plans. But only temporarily. We see her return five years later to her former target's home. While the slipping in and out of time was a jaw-dropping moment, it's Yelena's target herself that may have some fascinating history of her own.

Before Yelena turns from dust and back again, the young spy realizes the target she's after isn't actually in need of any help. The woman in question is revealed to go by the name of Ana (Annie Hamilton), which, while a seemingly simple name, could be a link to the original Black Widow from the comics.

Yelena's target could have a link to Marvel comic history

Among the many civilians that knew the Black Widow from the comics, one was a neighbor of the spy called Ana, who lived next door during her time in New York's Little Ukraine neighborhood. Debuting in "Black Widow" Vol 5 #2 in January 2014 (via Fandom), Natasha took pity on her neighbor when she saw that her aggressive husband was abusing her. She advised Ana to leave to avoid any more pain but she was unable to do so. Eventually, the Widow took the matter into her own hands, beating Ana's husband and warning him never to hurt his wife ever again.

The MCU's Ana looks to be living in a far better situation, even though it's not initially thought to be. After breaking into her target's home, Yelena succeeds in applying that brain-altering red spray, only to discover Ana wasn't brainwashed in the first place. 

"What, you thought I was some rich pervert's prisoner?" Ana says, to which Yelena replies, "Well yeah, kind of." It turns out this universe's Ana has a far better life than her comics counterpart. At least you tried, Yelena. For now, we can see what other dangers Yelena finds herself in when she returns next week in the final episode of "Hawkeye."