“Avengers: Endgame” had plenty of emotional beats, but few hit as hard as Black Widow and Hawkeye traveling to Vormir to obtain the Soul Stone. It required a sacrifice, and both Natasha and Clint fought for the chance to sacrifice themselves so that the other may live. It was a hard-fought battle, but ultimately, Natasha fell to her death, leaving Clint as the one to return to Earth with the Infinity Stone. It was a heartbreaking moment, and in this alternate reality of “What If…?” where Ultron won, Hawkeye has the chance to return the favor.
As Natasha and Clint try to escape from an army of Ultrons, Hawkeye slips, and Black Widow grabs his hand. It’s just like the moment from “Endgame” but reversed. He has no intention of making it out of the compound alive, and he lets go of his old friend’s hand as he descends to the robots below him. No Soul Stone is waiting for him at the bottom, but he plans to take out as many robots as possible, letting one more arrow fly to blow them sky-high.
The parallels are evident, even in the emotions of the scene. It’s obvious how much Black Widow and Hawkeye love each other, not in a romantic way but merely as friends. They would sacrifice themselves at a moment’s notice if it meant the other could walk away. It’s one of the most profound friendships in the MCU, and it’s exciting to think of how that friendship will materialize in the upcoming “Hawkeye” series on Disney+.