It’s the holiday season, and Marvel just came down the chimney with two of the best gifts they could give. The first one, Spider-Man: No Way Home, smashed box office records to have one of the most successful opening weekends of all time. The other was the season finale to Hawkeye that dropped on the 22nd. Not only did it tie the numerous threads of the show into a neat bow, but it also delivered on its promise of an exciting, superhero adventure for the holidays. 

Also, if No Way Home and Hawkeye don’t make it clear, the Netflix shows are MCU Canon. 

Hawkeye-The Girls of Hawkeye
Source-Disney+, Marvel, Tumblr

Deck The Halls for Holiday Fighting

After last week dropped the bombshell that Kate’s Mom’s working with the Kingpin, we learn more about their relationship. It turns out, Kate’s Dad owed Kingpin money, and Fisk has held it over his widow ever since to force her to work for him. Now Mrs. Bishop wants out for Kate’s sake, and Kingpin’s not having it, planning to kill Eleanor at her Christmas party. 

Understandably, Kate is devastated with the revelation that her Mom’s a criminal who ordered the hit on Barton. It almost breaks her spirit. However, this is when Hawkeye finally cements Kate’s status as his partner, openly calling her such and vowing to help her. It’s a very touching moment that brings their mentor/student relationship full circle. Just as Kate’s optimistic outlook on superheroes helped Barton when he was at its lowest, Barton now helps Kate when she’s at her lowest.

Plus, it means more incredibly dangerous trick arrows.

Kate Comes Into Her Own

Hawkeye Episode 6-Yelena and Kate
Source-Tumblr, Marvel Studios, Disney+

Following the setup from the various players, the rest of the finale turns Eleanor’s Christmas Party into a suitably epic battlefield. The Tracksuits throw every bro they got at the heroes, who proceed to fight through them all, as well as Yelena, who’s still out for Barton’s blood. Besides the moment where the two fight back-to-back at the Rockefeller skating rink, Bishop and Barton each get time to shine on their own. Notably, Kate faces off against Yelena and manages to do a much better job; though it may be because the two girls like each other.

Kate’s real test, though, comes at the episode’s climax, where she faces off against the Kingpin himself. Despite being outclassed in every sense of the word, Kate still manages to best him through old-fashioned cunning. If besting the Kingpin, a man who can go toe-to-toe with Daredevil and Spider-Man, doesn’t make one good enough to be a superhero, then nothing will. 

Further cementing her path as a hero, Kate doesn’t let her Mom slide for her crimes. While she still loves her Mom, she knows it’s no excuse for what she did. Thus, she has the police come and arrest her for the murder of Armand Duquesne and framing Jack for it.

Jack’s fine, by the way. He helps get the civilians to safety alongside the LARPers, who are the heroes’ backup. 

Hawkeye and Yelena Make Peace

Hawkeye Episode 6-Yelena and Hawkeye Make Peace
Source-Twitter, Marvel Studios, Disney+

Besides Kate starting her path to becoming a hero, the other emotional heart of the episode is Hawkeye making peace with his past. In this case, he comes to terms with Natasha’s death and gets through to Yelena about it.

Both in and out of universe, people were devastated by Natasha’s sacrifice and wish she was still alive. Barton and Yelena loved her more than anything, and they hated how neither of them could stop her from doing what she did. Together, the two manage to come to terms with the fact that nothing could have been done to stop Natasha from making the ultimate sacrifice. Yet without her, half of the universe would still be dead and Clint would still be Ronin. It’s a touching moment of forgiveness on both character’s part.

Echo Strikes

As for Echo, she continues her own arc in the finale as she turns her fangs on the man she now knows is responsible for her father’s death, the Kingpin. Despite knowing that her friend, Kazi, likely ratted on her father, Maya actually doesn’t try to kill him for it, even suggesting that they leave everything behind. Tragically, Kazi refuses, and the fight ends in his death, leaving Maya to confront the fleeing crimelord.

While it’s never shown onscreen, it’s unlikely that Kingpin’s dead. Marvel won’t waste a character like him so easily. We will likely have to wait until the Echo series to learn his fate, though. The Kingpin won’t go down that easily.

Merry Christmas, Clint Barton

With the fight over and Barton having made peace with his past demons, all that’s left is for the heroes to celebrate Christmas. Symbolizing her newfound role as his student, Hawkeye invites Kate (and Lucky the Pizza Dog) to his house for Christmas. That, and to burn the Ronin outfit and erase all evidence of it. 

It’s a touching moment out of several emotional moments in the series. Just like how Hawkeye inadvertently saved her life in 2012, Kate returned the favor by helping him when he was at his lowest. And while her mom might be in jail, the young archer finds a new, surrogate family with the Barton’s. As for Hawkeye? He found another reason to keep on living…and a worthy successor to his mantle. And the MCU gets another future member of the Young Avengers.

Not all of the MCU miniseries in 2021 have gone out on a high note, yet Hawkeye managed to do just that with this last episode. The entire series has been a fun ride for the holidays from start to finish, and serves as a perfect high-note for the MCU to end the year on. COVID-19 may have derailed things for everyone in 2020, but the MCU came back in full force in 2021. Hawkeye was just the bow to a year-long present, courtesy of Marvel.

I Give “So This is Christmas” a 4.8/5

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year, True Believers! EXCELSIOR!

Stray Observations

  • The fact that Ant-Man is in Rogers: The Musical makes more sense when you remember this.
  • There’s a post-credits scene, but you’re either going to love it or hate it: they did the entire song from Rogers: The Musical just for us. And it makes a few funny jabs at things like the 80s
  • That owl in the Rockefeller Tree in the episode? That actually happened last year.
  • Is anyone else concerned for those Tracksuit Mafia guys that got shrunken and carried off by that owl?