The penultimate episode of Hawkeye’s first season presented new obstacles for the duo Kate Bishop and Clint Barton with the final arrival and return of one of the most vicious villains in the Marvel Comics. In the fifth episode titled “Ronin,” audiences get to dive deeper into the tracksuit mafia, Yelena portrayed by Florence Pugh (Midsommar), as well as Kate’s mother Eleanor Bishop, played by Vera Farmiga (The Departed). Leading into the final moments of the first season, “Ronin” provides a great setup to a gigantic clash that will pay dividends in later MCU installments.
“Ronin” kicks off with yet another flashback similar to some of the other episodes like “Echoes,” yet this time the viewers get to follow Natasha Romanoff’s sister Yelena and her experience pre-blip and her return to the world after Endgame. In a humorous exchange, Yelena breaks into Kate’s apartment and makes some fresh box mac n’ cheese for some nice dinner talk. We are informed that Yelena has been hired to kill Clint and also does not share the fond outlook on the avenger as her sister has.
Meanwhile, within the tracksuit mafia, a faceoff between Clint in the Ronin suit and Maya/Echo takes place in a parking lot where Clint reveals his identity behind the mask while also probing at the idea that they are the same, weapons. Further doubt creeps into Echo’s mind into who was behind the hiring of Clint to kill her father and the pot begins to stir, most likely the big man that runs the group behind the scenes. Kate reunites with Clint as she provides assistance during the fight with Echo and this leads to their reunion as well as the news that Eleanor looked into Jack and had the authorities take him away.
The episode closes out with the biggest reveal of the season when Yelena reports back to Kate that she has located the individual that has hired her to do the job on Clint, Eleanor Bishop, and an associate of hers. Upon revealing this news to Clint paired with a picture of her mother and the unknown individual, Clint identifies this criminal boss as Kingpin, who will be portrayed by the returning Vincent D’Onofrio who last portrayed the villain in Netflix’s Daredevil.
Ahead of this fifth episode, there were a ton of rumors flying around that suggested this latest installment will prove to be the most newsworthy and shocking twists of Hawkeye’s run. While the theories and rumors swirled for the past weeks about Kingpin and D’Onofrio, “Ronin” marks the confirmation of this Marvel crime boss return to the screen. Overall, the episode gives some resolution to the many suspicions that existed throughout the first four. Eleanor’s true motives are partially revealed and her identity as a caring, loving, and overbearing mother comes to a crashing halt. Furthermore, Yelena gets the prospect of further exploration and inclusion within the MCU after her appearance in Black Widow. The series maintains its light overtones that are driven by the personality type of its lead Steinfeld, bolstered by Pugh in this episode particularly, and the accompanied straight man in Renner.