Warning: Spoilers for Hawkeye Episode 4 follow below.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline has become increasingly complicated ever since that four-year time jump in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” and, frankly, given the multitude of events happening both on the big screen and on Disney+. The latest Disney+ series, “Hawkeye,” seems to be a fairly straightforward series thus far, but the show’s fourth episode brings in a character that may spur many to ask, when does “Hawkeye” take place, exactly?
At the end of “Hawkeye” Episode 4, the long-rumored arrival of Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova occurs. She confronts Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) on a rooftop, after making her MCU debut in summer’s Marvel movie “Black Widow,” opposite Scarlett Johansson, which was a prequel. Confused yet?
First things first – when does “Hawkeye” take place? One of the show’s directors and executive producers, Rhys Thomas, revealed on Twitter that the series is set during the 2024 holiday season.
“It’s 2024,” Thomas said. “For a period of time, we were going to set it two years out – which would make it 2025 – hence me messing with your minds about the timeline. But it’s 1 year out [from “Avengers: Endgame”].”
So “Hawkeye” takes place about a year after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” which means the series takes place about seven years after the events of “Black Widow” which was set between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War” and saw Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff reconnecting with her sister Yelena for the first time since they were children.
And during the credits stinger for “Black Widow” – which was set in the aftermath of “Endgame” after Natasha’s death – we saw Yelena was working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ new MCU character Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, and Contessa explicitly putting Yelena on Clint as the person responsible for her sister’s death.
So when we see Yelena in “Hawkeye,” it’s been about seven years since she and Natasha reconnected and set about saving the Black Widows. And now she’s going after Hawkeye, and by extension Kate Bishop. We’ll surely find out more about how this all connects in the show’s final two episodes, but for now, there’s your context.