Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the “Black Widow” feature film. Natasha’s adopted sister is established as an equally deadly assassin with just a hint of more humor. Many questioned if she would be taking up her sister’s mantle and what “Black Widow” meant for the future.
In “Hawkeye,” Yelena returns after she is tasked with killing Clint, who she is made to believe is responsible for her sister’s death by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) in the “Black Widow” post-credits scene. In the climactic rooftop fight between Clint, Kate, Yelena, and Echo (Alaqua Cox), it’s not until the final moments of Episode 4 that we see Yelena unmasked. Not only does she have the skills to go hand-to-hand with Clint and Kate, but also the look. We see she has plaited her hair in the single braid. Natasha sported the same French braid in “Avengers: Endgame” as well as “Black Widow.”
Yelena is no stranger to braids herself, sometimes sporting an intricate updo of braids in the film. Her look in “Hawkeye” is much simpler and appears to be a reference to the original Black Widow. “Black Widow” demonstrated the bond between the two women as they were both abused by the same system. It appears she still honors her sister with this French braid hairstyle as a way of remembering her and their brief reunion.