episode 3 is already streaming on Disney Plus, and it’s a fantastic watch. The chemistry between Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is just amazing, whether they’re fighting villains or getting to know each other. The episode also introduces the first major antagonist, Echo (Alaqua Cox), and teases the Marvel big villain that we’ve been dying to see. The fight scenes are something else, and you’ll want to rewatch the daring escape to that bridge moment. But Hawkeye episode 3 has an annoying Avengers-grade plot hole that we can’t just overlook. It’s not just about Hawkeye either, as it’s connected directly to Endgame.
Before we explain, you should know that big Hawkeye spoilers follow below.
The Endgame plot hole
We’ve thoroughly analyzed Endgame over the past few years, and the movie will keep coming up in all these MCU Phase 4 adventures. That’s because most of the new stories will happen in the present time of the primary MCU reality. That means late 2024 for Hawkeye — our handy MCU timeline explains the chronological order of events.
Endgame isn’t perfect, but the story holds up very well. You might identify plot holes in it, to which I’ll point a finger to the sky Doctor Strange-style. That’s the “only way” excuse the Marvel brilliantly included in Infinity War. It’s the way to explain any plot inconsistency you might not like in Endgame. Sure, the Avengers could have done things differently, but there was no other way they would have succeeded in defeating Thanos. Strange examined more than 14 million possible futures, and the Avengers only triumphed in one.
Voila! That’s how you deal with any purported Endgame plot hole. But how does that tie into the events in Hawkeye?
It’s the Pym particles, silly!
One of the annoying Endgame plot “holes” concerns the Pym particles. These particles are in short supply when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) comes up with the time heist idea. They only have enough for one roundtrip each and a few mistakes here and there.
The more you watch Endgame, the more you realize how silly it was for the Avengers not to have sought Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in the 2012 New York reality where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) left with the Tesseract. As a reminder, that’s when Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) go back to the ’70s to grab the missing Infinity Stone and replenish their Pym particle stock.
Meanwhile, the bad Nebula from the 2014 reality hands Thanos a Pym particle, and his scientists can replicate the tech. That’s how 2014-Thanos attacks the Avengers in the main reality.
You probably already know which Hawkeye plot hole we’re about to tackle, but there’s one more thing relating to Pym to consider from Endgame.
When Cap goes on his final mission to return the stones, he only has a pair of Pym particles. Obviously, he had to secure more of them to jump between all those realities and then back to Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Not to mention that old Cap also had to return to the main timeline to give Sam (Anthony Mackie) the new shield. Then again, Hank Pym was alive when Cap left.
Marvel never explained these Pym details, and then it dropped a big Pym Easter egg in Hawkeye episode 3.
The big Hawkeye problem
Episode 3 delivers many of the fight scenes that Marvel showed in trailers and TV promos. We get to see the Tracksuit Mafia car chase after Hawkeye and Bishop as they escape. The fight offers an amazing one-shot car scene and plenty of action, culminating with that brilliant Pym particle Easter egg.
Hawkeye runs out of regular arrows to stop the “bros,” so he tells Kate to aim high for the sky so that her arrow can drop on the car. He then gets ready to fire his arrow, but not before the camera focuses on the Pym branding on it.
He fires, the two arrows meet in the sky, and Kate’s arrow enlarges Ant-Man style. Boom! Amazing plot hole. We’re all dying to see why a retired Avenger has a Pym particle arrow with him (below). Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania might explain that, but it’s serious overkill to allow that technology in the hands of any Avenger.
That’s not the biggest plot problem. It’s something entirely different and it is a recurring “plot hole” in the MCU Phase 4 universe. It’s the Avengers predicament.
I’m growing tired of asking and answering this question as I watch the MCU Phase 4 action unfold. Where were the Avengers when Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) went crazy in WandaVision? Where were they when a giant emerged from the Indian Ocean in Eternals? And where were they when a giant arrow fell from the sky on the Manhattan Bridge?
Where are the Avengers?
Marvel practically told us that Avengers 5 is happening in the Shang-Chi credits scenes. They showed us that the Avengers are operative and pay attention to considerable threats. Similarly, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made it clear that the Avengers still exist. We need similar moments in every MCU property where something big happens.
That’s why Hawkeye episode 3’s arrow is such a big plot hole. Of course, anyone seeing that arrow would have filmed it. And they’d have connected it to Hawkeye, given the recent events on the planet. All we needed from the show was the call of one random Avengers to ask Hawkeye what was going on and offer assistance.
Not to mention that… what happened to the bridge? The arrow clearly got stuck after impacting the truck. It’s a good thing it didn’t penetrate the concrete completely, or else it would have ruined the train escape part of the episode.
Will Marvel address this Hawkeye plot hole soon?
Will the upcoming three episodes of Hawkeye fix it? Given the promo that follows, I’d say that it’s improbable. We see Kate, Hawkeye, and Kate’s mom Eleanor (Vera Farmiga), having a conversation about Avengers in the scene. It’s a scene we’re yet to see in the show, which means it takes place after the arrow plot hole.
Given Eleanor’s job, she must be familiar with the arrow incident and know who Hawkeye is. Therefore, she’d be a lot more likely to believe Kate’s argument in that conversation. Of course, considering how episode 3 ended, we’re probably going to get that coffee-with-mom scene in episode 4.
That said, we’ll just have to wait for the next Hawkeye episodes to see whether any surprise Avengers will show up in any form to acknowledge Clint’s situation in New York.