Yelena Belova has been through a lot. After reuniting with her family in Black Widow, she later lost her sister and sought to find the man responsible for her demise. However, there was a big gap between these events, at least for half the population. After Thanos eliminated half the Earth’s people, they weren’t brought back until the events of Avengers: Endgame five years later.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe saw this gap as a dark age, with the Avengers forced into mourning and depression because of their failure. But for the billions of people who were Blipped, the five years flew by instantly. Hawkeye Episode 5 finally showed us a new perspective of what the Blip looked like, and it’s far cooler than you thought.
Before Hawkeye, the only perspectives of the Blip we’ve seen were everyone initially disintegrating, a school report recounting the aftermath, and Monica Rambeau getting shocked by the loss of her mother after returning to the hospital where she disappeared. We’ve seen the moments before and after, but we’ve never seen what being Blipped looks like for the person involved (the Blippee?) until now.
When Yelena visits Ana, a Black Widow turned murderer for hire in New York, she takes a bathroom break and watches as her entire environment turns to dust and morphs before her eyes. When she leaves, it’s five years later: Ana is now married and has a kid, and Yelena’s only thought is to find her sister.
This moment shows the Blip not as a big tragedy, but as a freak glitch in the Matrix that occurred over the course of just a few seconds. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showed that, to survivors, the Blip was a traumatic moment that caused displacement and infrastructure failure. But for its victims, it was as mundane as a strike of lightning.
Because of this, there’s sure to be some future conflict between those who were Blipped and those who weren’t. Yelena was obviously able to adjust easily, but Avengers and civilians alike are sure to have misunderstandings that the MCU will have to address going forward.
Yelena’s Blip moment proves just how revolutionary the Avengers’ efforts in Endgame really were. For them and everyone left on Earth, the years without the Blipped population were an unspeakable loss, but those who were Blipped were saved before they even realized they were lost in the first place.
Unfortunately for Yelena, this was only possible through the sacrifice of her sister. Hopefully in the Hawkeye finale, she’ll come to realize just how monumental that action really was. It didn’t just save her life, but the lives of billions all over Earth.
Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.