Yelena Belova in ‘Hawkeye’ – Florence Pugh Black Widow Explained

The following story contains spoilers for Hawkeye Episode 4. It does n’t happen often, but there have been some cases through the years where the Marvel Cinematic Universe sets something up—whether through a scenery or moment within a movie itself, or a post-credits stinger—and does n’t follow through. Think Tim Blake Nelson ‘s Dr. Samuel Sterns transforming into The Leader at the end of 2008 ‘s The Incredible Hulk, a moment which was never referenced again. It does n’t happen frequently, but it does happen. fortunately, we know that to definitively not be the casing with Black Widow ‘ south exciting post-credits scene, which found Julia Louis-Dreyfus ‘ mysterious modern character Val setting Florence Pugh ‘s assassin Yelena Belova on a warpath toward one Clint Barton. And in Episode 4 of Hawkeye, we get to see the begin of that scene ‘s ultimate return. While Black Widow follows Natasha Romanoff in the time between the events of Captain America : Civil War and Avengers : Infinity War—and introduces viewers to her “ family, ” played by Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz—the film ‘s post-credits stinger picks up after the events of Avengers : endgame, with Natasha now deceased. In that scene, Val finds Yelena at Natasha ‘s grave, and shows her a photograph of the person she ‘s claiming is responsible for her baby ‘s death : Clint Barton, in full Ronin dress.

Enter Hawkeye Episode 4 ; while communicating with Kate Bishop ( who finds herself fighting Maya/Echo inside her own apartment ), Clint does n’t even realize that a mask, nox vision-goggled attacker taking him on is in fact person from his erstwhile acquaintance Natasha ‘s past. A rumble ensues between all four characters we just mentioned, but by the end of the fight—after Yelena unmasks herself—Clint knows bullshit has precisely gotten real. We do n’t know if he knows precisely who Yelena is, but even if he does n’t, he can tell from her moves and those crimson electricity blasts what her background is ( remember the Budapest deputation that he and Natasha then often referenced ) .
hawkeye yelena suit fight episode 4

Clint does n’t tell Kate a whole lot—but he lets her know precisely by his careen in tone ( and telling her to get lost ) that he does know precisely what ‘s happening. And it ‘s not effective. “ person has hired a Black Widow assassin, ” he says. “ This has gotten identical very, very cursorily. ” We ‘ll see in the coming episodes fair how right he is—but equally usual, he seems to be pretty close to the aim .

Who is Yelena Belova again?

l r black widownatasha romanoff scarlett johansson and yelena florence pugh in marvel studios' black widow, in theaters and on disney with premier access photo courtesy of marvel studios ©marvel studios 2021 all rights reserved

Marvel Studios

As depicted in Black Widow ( which was released in theaters earlier this class and is now ), Yelena Belova was raised as Natasha Romanoff ‘s “ sister, ” though the two are n’t blood related. Along with “ parents ” Alexei Shostakov ( a russian accept on a Captain America-esque Super Soldier ) and Melina Vostokoff ( a Black Widow herself ), the four engage as a sleeper cell meant to steal intel from S.H.I.E.L.D. and return it to their handlers from the Red Room, an evil organization that Natasha finally escaped from. While Natasha finally got away from her “ kin, ” Black Widow brings everyone back in concert for a floor that takes station between the events of Captain America : Civil War and Avengers : endgame. Yelena and Natasha break “ forefather ” Alexei out of jail, and meet up with Melina finally american samoa well. The movie shows that the entire syndicate in truth is that—a family—despite not being related at all. By the end of the film, Yelena is so devastated by Natasha ‘s death, that she ‘s will to listen to Val—a stranger—when she tells her that Clint Barton is creditworthy for Black Widow ‘s death ( which occurred in Avengers : endgame ) .

Yelena’s backstory expands in Hawkeye Episode 5.

hawkeye yelena episode 5

Episode 5 of Hawkeye picks up right where Black Widow ( kind of ) leaves off—with Yelena working to un-brainwash the numerous Black Widows out there in the world, looking to undo the shape of the Red Room. She ‘s found a former Black Widow who—as she soon learns—was not brainwashed, but has been working as a abridge assassin. Yelena goes to the toilet to throw some body of water in her font, and we suddenly see her dust, an effect of Thanos ‘ snapshot. We ‘ve besides seen that happen shockingly to Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne, and Janet Van Dyne, and in turn back with Monica Rambeau ; it ‘s never not shocking ! Yelena comes correctly back where she picked astir, but five years belated, and is shocked. It ‘s here, probably, that she learned of Natasha ‘s demise ( it helps to remember that at this point basically everyone in the Avengers and Avengers-adjacent are celebrated ; their news is the newsworthiness ). And it ‘s from here that she likely found Natasha ‘s grave, and, therefore, Val .

Will Yelena and Kate Bishop get along?

Episode besides finds Florence Pugh putting her charm on 100 % during a sequence where she meets and has a little dinner conversation with Hailee Steinfeld ‘s Kate Bishop. The two go back and forth, and Kate at least plants the theme in Yelena ‘s head that while Clint might not be perfect, he ‘s still a beneficial guy, and that whoever hired her to take Clint out is the real bad guy. The picture tried to tell us at the end of the sequence that the person who hired Yelena to take Clint out was, in fact, Eleanor Bishop, Kate ‘s mother. Is this true ? We saw Yelena and Val talking in the Black Widow credits view, but it ‘s potential something else happened that we did n’t see. It ‘s besides potential that Yelena is just messing with Kate, and that Eleanor is up to something else that ‘s individually nefarious ( she ‘s hanging out with the Kingpin —she ‘s decidedly a regretful guy ).

What does Yelena want from Clint Barton?

hawkeye yelena suit fight episode 4

well, to put it plainly, she wants to kill him ! Yelena was a foreground of Black Widow and surely would be on whatever side Natasha was on ; but she does n’t know what very happened here. And as we ‘ve already seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with John Walker, Val gets her clutches in people and starts getting in their heads and giving them compelling narratives. She ‘s credibly given Yelena a solid floor about how Clint needs to die and she ‘s the matchless who needs to do it. We do n’t know so far where the unharmed ‘Val recruiting people ‘ narrative is going, but this is surely the begin and sequel of it. besides keep in mind that Yelena is n’t good strictly brainwashed into evil, and she ‘s besides, uh, very convinced. Did you see Kate Bishop bespeak her bow and arrow at her, and Yelena scared her off just by shaking her forefront ? Sheesh, world. credit to Florence Pugh for owning that single, dialogue-less moment ( but anyone who ‘s seen her in Midsommar or fiddling Women prior to her MCU turn already knows just how good she is ). One thing ‘s for sure—we still have n’t seen the last of Yelena Belova .

Where could this all be leading?

The final episode of Hawkeye figures to be super agitate and action-packed. We ‘d been eagerly awaiting to see how Kingpin would be folded into the fib, and now we know that Clint is going to have to deal with Yelena—the address side effect of losing Natasha—as well. It ‘s interesting to see that possibly Yelena and Kingpin may fall directly into the same storyline as we wrap Hawkeye up .scarlett johansson as natasha romanoff, david harbour as alexei, florence pugh as yelena, black widow

Marvel Studios

What ‘s likely to happen, though, is that Clint and Yelena will need to come to some classify of sympathy. Yelena historically is not a villain, and in the comics finally takes over the Black Widow mantel from Natasha. possibly he can talk her out of whatever Val has been whispering into her ear. We already see, besides, that Kate and Yelena are starting to build some classify of relationship. If Kate becomes the newfangled Hawkeye, and Yelena becomes the modern Black Widow, this would be following the heart of the finale kinship between the former people to hold those titles, Natasha and Clint. Could Clint be a casualty as the floor gets there ? That much we do n’t know. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to build toward its following major era and storyline, these are a few ways that things could wind up going .

Evan Romano
Evan is the acculturation editor program for Men ’ s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE .
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