Hawkeye’s Watch Mystery Ultimately Didn’t Matter

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Hawkeye Episode 6, “So This Is Christmas?”, now streaming on Disney+.

Hawkeye‘s Easter eggs were part of the fun of the series, but one of its biggest mysteries surrounding the stolen Rolex watch seems underwhelming in the grand scheme of things. The final episode, “So This Is Christmas?” that the watch belongs to Laura Barton, and the engravement on the back reveals a surprising backstory for the character.

The watch was introduced in Episode 1 of Hawkeye as part of an illegal auction featuring Avengers Compound artifacts recovered after the battle against Thanos and his army in Avengers: Endgame. Another artifact being sold was the Ronin suit, which fans might’ve thought the Tracksuit Mafia was after considering their rough history, but it was actually the watch. The watch didn’t return until Episode 4 when Kate Bishop found it in Maya Lopez’s apartment and Clint emphasized its importance, saying that it belonged to a retired friend who would be in danger if their identity was revealed.


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After everything is settled with Yelena Belova and Kingpin’s mafia in Episode 6, Clint returns home to give the watch as a Christmas present to Laura, asking her to take better care of her things. She looks at the watch endearingly and turns it around to reveal a SHIELD symbol along with the number “19” engraved on the back. This discovery implies that Laura Barton was once Agent 19 at SHIELD, better known as Mockingbird in the comics. While this may seem like a fun surprise to reveal a minor character’s backstory, Hawkeye Did make it out to seem like the watch was extremely significant to the overall story, which made the revealing disappointing.


The lack of connection to the story may have been partly because there were so many other storylines and revelations to be made in Hawkeye. Kingpin’s arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Episode 5 overshadowed the watch’s mystery by a landslide, considering many fans cracked the code that Kingpin was Maya’s uncle in her backstory’s introduction. There was also the inclusion of Yelena, whose frenemies relationship with Kate is quickly becoming beloved by fans of both characters. In addition, Kate discovering her mother’s involvement with Kingpin changed the entire narrative of the series. Needless to say, the watch wasn’t at the forefront of fans’, and clearly the writers’, minds when approaching the rest of the series, but the reveal still could’ve been much more satisfying.


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An obvious way to do this would’ve been to involve Laura more as Mockingbird. She may be retired and has other priorities while Clint is cleaning up his mess in New York, but she still could’ve acted as what Ned Leeds would call, “the guy in the chair.” Laura is more than capable, as she even tracks the watch to Maya’s apartment building and switches to fluent German in a heartbeat. Another way could’ve been to connect the watch to Laura’s identity directly, making it easier to understand how Maya got access to the names of Clint’s wife and children. Even a post-credits scene of the watch’s reveal would’ve sufficed, replacing the full performance of “Save the City” from Rogers: The Musical.


Even if the watch’s insignificance fell short of Hawkeye‘s other twists, some Agents of SHIELD fans may be more disappointed that Laura’s backstory may have confirmed Agents of SHIELD‘s erasure from MCU canon. In the ABC spin-off show, Bobbi Morse holds the title of Mockingbird, but some can still hold out hope that Laura passed down the title after her retirement. But by the end of the show, it’s clear that it doesn’t matter who is the true Mockingbird, as the watch only served as the MacGuffin to advance the conflict between Clint and Maya.

To uncover the mystery of the Rolex watch, watch Hawkeye Episode 6, now streaming on Disney+.


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