Marvel Studios Decanonizes ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ in ‘Hawkeye’ Finale

The finale of ‘Hawkeye’ left no doubt as to the true identity of Laura Barton

The writing was on the wall. Our first clues came in Episode 4 and those clues allowed for a reasonable claim to be made that Laura Barton was, at one time, an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.; And now, following the events of the season finale of Hawkeye, it’s been made very clear: Laura Barton is S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 19, aka Mockingbird.

Since Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans have theorized that Laura might once have been an Agent. The finale of Hawkeye put any doubt to rest by revealing that the watch fans have been speculating about since Episode 1 did, in fact, belong to her. The back watch, which Clint indicated was “tied to her identity”, bore a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo and the number 19. As established in the comics, Agent 19 was the designation of Barbara “Bobbi” Morse, a level 6 agent who also went by the code name Mockingbird. Morse went on to marry Clint, joined the Avengers and founded the West Coast Avengers before “dying” and then playing a key role in the Secret Invasion event. In the 2010 series, Hawkeye and Mockingbird, it was also revealed that, with the help of Nick Fury, Morse faked her death, left S.H.I.E.L.D, had her files classified and went off the grid for 8 years before her past with Barton brought her back into action.

It’s not much of a stretch, given the emphasis placed on the watch and its ties to someone’s identity who Clint says has “been out of the game for a while”, that the MCU’s Laura Barton once went by a different name and similarly relied on the help of Nick Fury, who we know helped set up Clint’s family with a nice farm house. Laura was Agent 19; Agent 19 was Mockingbird; Mockingbird was Bobbi Morse; “Laura” was Bobbi Morse.

Of course, this creates quite the conundrum. Over two seasons of the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bobbi Morse was played by Adrianne Palicki. Her Morse had no ties to Clint Barton and has never appeared in or been referenced in any other MCU projects. The character was supposed to co-lead an AoS spinoff, Marvel’s Most Wanted, but that project was canceled in 2016. Marvel Studios with no hope of being picked up down the road.F

While fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are scrambling to come up ways to explain it (Palicki’s Morse wasn’t called Mockingbird in the show, Laura hasn’t been called Mockingbird either, etc.) It seems incredibly unlikely that Marvel Studios would have both a Bobbi Morse and a separate character who goes by both of Morse’s aliases, Agent 19 and Mockingbird. In almost all cases, the simplest explanation is almost always the best one and, in this case, the simplest explanation is that the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are not canon, at least not within the so-called Sacred Timeline. It is far, far more likely that, like the events of Spider-Man or The Amazing Spider-Man, the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took place in another universe and that in the Sacred Timeline, Laura Barton EXACTLY who Hawkeye told us she was: Agent 19, aka Mockingbird, ask Barbara “Bobbi” Morse.

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