Ever since the Black Widow movie came out this summer and we saw the post-credit scene of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) sending Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) after Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), it was obvious the newest Black Widow in the MCU was going to show up in the Hawkeye Disney+ series… but the question was, when.
Turns out that Katie Ellwood of the directing duo Bert & Bertie wanted to wait as long as possible, telling Buzzfeed: “Obviously, it was like, how long can we delay the reveal of Yelena? That was very important to us. You know this is a Widow, but the big reveal that it’s Yelena is so satisfying. We loved having such an amazing woman kick Jeremy’s — I mean, Clint’s — ass. So that was really fun because they are each dangerous in their own way. Yelena and Maya [Lopez/Echo] match his ability, so it was fun to see that four-way fight.”
They got to wait until the last few minutes of the fourth episode before having Yelena show up, and then she practically steals the fifth episode between the heart-wrenching opening where we see the snap from her point-of-view, to a great dinner/discussion with Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to her making the biggest reveal of the series. I think the use of this character has been absolutely masterful.