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Following That Black Widow Reveal, Hawkeye Directors Clarify Timeline Between Scarlett Johansson Movie And Disney+ Show

Warning: SPOILERS for the Hawkeye episode “Partners, Am I Right?” are ahead!

Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff may have died during Avengers: Endgame, but as we learned earlier this year in Black Widow, she wasn’t the only person to carry that moniker. Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova also goes by Black Widow, and in this week’s episode of Disney+’s Hawkeye, she popped up towards the end to attack Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton, Now that “Partners, Am I Right?” is out, the directors of the episode have clarified how much time has passed between when we last saw Yelena in Black Widow to this episode.

For those who need a refresher, the Black Widow end-credits scene saw Yelena Belova visiting Natasha Romanoff’s grave, but she barely had any time to herself there before Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, who we met in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Allegra informed Yelena that her next target would be Clint Barton and blamed him for Natasha’s death.

CinemaBlend’s own Erik Swann recently spoke with directing duo behind “Partners, Am I Right?” Bert & Bertie, and here’s what the latter had to say about the timeline between Black Widow’s end-credits scene and Yelena Belova surfacing in Hawkeye:

The tag at the end of Black Widow was actually very close to the events of Hawkeye. So following [Yelena] on from the Valentina tag at the end of Black Widow, she almost directly goes to New York.

Yelena Belova certainly doesn’t waste any time. For the majority of her appearance in Hawkeye’s fourth episode, Florence Pugh’s character was masked, so for the audience, she was simply a mystery assailant who popped up as Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop were tangling with Alaqua Cox’s Echo. However, during the brawl, Clint was able to pull off Yelena’s mask, and although Kate could have taken a shot at Yelena, she chose not to, resulting in the current Black Widow fleeing the scene.

We’ll have to wait and see how Yelena Belova factors into Hawkeye’s two remaining episodes (unless the show is renewed for another season), but her appearance definitely threw Clint Barton for a loop, as he recognized from the way Yelena fought that she had Black Widow training just like Natasha Romanoff, his late partner/best friend, did. Here’s what Bertie had to say about Yelena’s combat skills:

Yelena has been trained as a Black Widow, and that is the fighting style that is going to dominate. And you see on that rooftop dominating throughout fact that she has the widow’s bite as well. Those acrobatic moves the way that she kind of takes Clint out when he’s kind of watching… These are all kinds of signature Black Widow fighting techniques that you can see that Clint recognizes during that fight.

Fingers crossed that before Hawkeye concludes, Clint Barton and Yelena Belova come to an understanding where the former’s able to explain to the latter how Natasha Romanoff really died, paving the way for them to become allies. Who knows, maybe there’s a future where Yelena and Kate Bishop can fight crime together! For now though, Yelena’s presence was enough to shake Clint up so much that he’s dissolved his partnership with Kate, as he doesn’t want to put her in any more danger.

New episodes of Hawkeye premiere Wednesdays on Disney+, and if you’re curious about what other small screen MCU offerings are on the way, look through our upcoming Marvel TV shows guide. 

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He’s aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.

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