Hawkeye Season 1 Ending Explained: So This Is Christmas?

(As the headline indicates, this article is all about the big spoilery details of the "Hawkeye" finale, so from here on out BEWARE OF SPOILERS!)

Now that the first season of Marvel Studios' "Hawkeye" series has been wrapped up with a neat little bow (and arrow), we can dig into all the significant happenings of the sixth and final episode. In a nod to John Lennon's song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," the season (series?) finale is titled "So This is Christmas?," and it certainly left a few bodies on the floor. But it wasn't an all-out bloodbath; this is Marvel, after all, not Sam Peckinpah. Aside from the rousing end credits button featuring the full cast performance of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's "Save the City" from "Rogers: The Musical" (with Shaiman appearing as conductor), there were several big moments that deserve a decent unpacking.

One Mother of a Christmas Eve

This episode managed to confirm what we suspected all along, namely that Kate Bishop's mommie dearest Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) is up to her eyeballs in mob ties, namely via Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, a role reprised by Vincent D'Onofrio from Marvel's shows on Netflix. The Kingpin has been in a mutually beneficial business arrangement with Eleanor ever since her late husband fell into too much debt with the Hell's Kitchen crime boss. Eleanor confirms that she had Armand Duquesne III whacked and her own fiancé Jack (who turns out to be a stand-up guy and half-decent swordsman/red herring) framed for criminal activity. Even though Kate fights Kingpin in a knockdown, drag-out donnybrook to protect her mother, she ultimately has her mom arrested for Armand's murder, something which certainly irritates Eleanor.

Whistle While You Work

Of course the series needed to resolve the fact that former Black Widow assassin Yelena (Florence Pugh) was contracted to kill Clint Barton by Eleanor, with the added incentive that he was the man responsible for Natasha Romanoff's death. When she finally confronts him on the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, they tango a little bit as he tries to explain that Natasha chose to sacrifice herself to save the world from Thanos. Yelena is not buying it until Barton whistles that tune from her childhood, the same one Yelena whistled at Natasha's grave at the end of "Black Widow." This jars Yelena out of her vengeful state and a truce is formed between the two master assassins. Whether it will lead to an eventual partnership...

A King Dethroned

Speaking of vengeance, Tracksuit Mafia commander Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) finally got to exact a little of her own. After learning from Clint that it was Kingpin who set Ronin up to murder her father, Maya corners a battle damaged Fisk in an alleyway and, despite a final plea, puts a gun to the man's head and pulls the trigger. Since the actual point blank headshot occurs offscreen, we technically don't know if the shot killed Fisk. Vegas odds say he's dead, but there might be more than meets the ... eye. Either way, this sets Maya up to go on her own anti-hero path in a forthcoming "Echo" spin-off series

What we're wondering is what the presence of Kingpin in the proper MCU will mean for characters like Daredevil and Punisher. One of those characters from Marvel's Netflix shows also recently made an appearance in the larger MCU, and they have quite a history, so anything is possible at this point.

Mockingbird Lane

After the Christmas Eve melee is over, Clint and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) arrive back to the Barton family's "undisclosed location" homestead with Pizza Dog in tow. Earlier in the series, Laura Barton's linguistic and tracking skills were shown off, but this finale confirms that she is, in fact, SHIELD Agent 19. The back of the retirement watch that was up for auction had a SHIELD insignia that might have tipped off the wrong people about her whereabouts, which is why Barton was so frantic to get it back. It also confirms how she and Clint met as agents, and there might be bigger things for her in the future of the MCU beyond mothering and assuring her husband that he's a totally worthy Avenger. In the comic books, Agent 19 carried the code-name Mockingbird, and was often paired up with Hawkeye both in action and in private, so this could be a big deal

On Target

The final image of the series shows Clint and Kate walking back into the house from the backyard discussing possible superhero code names for her, and after a few lame suggestions (Lady Hawk!), it's implied via smash cut to series title that Kate will carry on the mantle of Hawkeye, as she does in the comics. That also means that if there is a second season, she could be front-and-center, potentially allowing Clint to step back and finally be a family man, especially now that the Ronin has been laid to rest. 

This final image is especially resonant since it showcases the giant bullseye target that's been a mainstay on the Barton homestead since it was seen in the background of a shot way back in 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." It also made an appearance at the top of "Avengers: Endgame," and has become quite a symbolic prop in the MCU. 

Upon reflection, it seems like the "Hawkeye" series was a perfect passing of the torch story to introduce fans to the gutsy and fun Kate Bishop character, whom Clint acknowledges as a partner and, eventually, an equal. Like the endings of recent franchise films such as "The Dark Knight Rises" or "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," the story puts forth the idea that a name is merely a symbol, and that anyone can carry that moniker, no matter who they are, as long as they embody all the best aspects of it. It helps to have a few trick arrows as well.