We Need To Talk About Clint's Christmas Sweater In Hawkeye

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"Hawkeye" returned this week with a new episode on Disney+, the fourth overall, bringing us to the three-quarter mark of the show. In many ways, especially compared to the previous episode — which introduced us properly to Maya, AKA Echo — episode 4, titled "Partners, Am I Right?" felt a lot like a calm before the storm. That's not to say it didn't have stuff worth talking about, especially in those last few minutes. But, for my money, I feel we need to talk a lot about Clint's Christmas sweater, for various reasons.

Warning: spoilers ahead for "Hawkeye" episode 4. Proceed with caution.

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

A big element of "Hawkeye" is Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton trying to get this whole situation with Kate and the Tracksuit Mafia settled so he can get home in time to spend Christmas with his family. As reluctant as Clint has been to get close to Kate, this episode sees their relationship grow a bit, with Kate surprising them with a little holiday celebration at her apartment to make up for the fact that Clint is missing movie night with his kids at home. It's a sweet gesture, and one that the hard-nosed Avenger relents to.

But the key to the whole thing is the fact that Kate, who has been bugging Hawkeye about his lack of proper costume, has acquired attire for them for the evening's festivities in the form of some truly amazing Christmas sweaters.

Oh yeah. That's the good stuff right there. No disrespect to Kate's delightful pug sweater, but that seems in character enough for her and isn't all that surprising. Seeing Clint in an absolutely over-the-top holiday cat sweater, however? That's something to behold.

A Very Clint Barton Christmas

First and foremost, we should absolutely talk about the sweater itself. Clint does not seem like a cat person, and yet here he is with a Christmas cat decked across his chest. It's a hell of a thing to see the guy behind Ronin chilling in that sweater. It's one of those funny MCU things that just works, and helps make these shows and movies so consistently enjoyable for the widest possible audience.

However, there is a bit of a magic trick at play here with the sweater that actually helps with the storytelling. For one, it signifies that Clint is loosening up a bit and is warming up to his biggest fan, Kate Bishop. He would have never put up with this two episodes ago. Beyond that, the most serious moment in the episode happens in this very sweater. Kate manages to get Clint to talk about his "best shot," which just so happened to be shot he didn't take against his dearly departed best friend, Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow.

The MCU is not one to often treat death in a serious manner. The fact that we got Clint to talk in a very serious way about that tragedy is not insignificant. The fact that we all let our guards down because of that sweater certainly is something. But, above all else, it's delightful and I am absolutely Googling my way into purchasing a replica for myself. For those interested, Amazon has some available, though they aren't exactly screen-accurate. 

"Hawkeye" returns with new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.