This article contains spoilers for Hawkeye episodes one, two and three.
After a brief tease in episode two, today’s instalment in Marvel’s newest show Hawkeye introduces us to Maya Lopez, a.k.a. Echo.
Portrayed by newcomer Alaqua Cox, Echo is set to be a key player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) going forward, with her own spin-off show already in development.
Although we therefore have much to learn about the character within the MCU, episode three of Hawkeye served as a neat introduction to Echo, giving us a glimpse at her backstory.
The beginning of the episode takes us back to Echo’s childhood, being raised by single dad William (Zahn McClarnon) who teaches his daughter that being deaf isn’t a disadvantage. We see Echo take this advice on becoming a strong fighter, showing a fellow child exactly what she is capable of at a martial arts class.
Notably her father William is a member of the Tracksuit Mafia, a mob who Echo seems to be leading in the Hawkeye series, therefore explaining her connection to the group.
We also learn why she is determined to track down Ronin, as a flashback shows us that during Clint Barton’s time as the violent vigilante he killed Echo’s father.
Most importantly though we get several mentions of Echo’s uncle, a yet to be revealed character whose presence leers over the episode.
We get a brief glimpse at him during the flashback to her childhood karate class, with William telling Echo that her “uncle will take [her] home after class”. The mysterious uncle clearly played a role in Echo’s childhood then, and it’s likely this increased following the death of her dad.
The mysterious character is also mentioned later on in the present day, when Echo and Kazi (Fra Fee) are discussing the Tracksuit Mafia, confirming that they are working for the uncle.
So, who is this uncle?
Who Is The Uncle?
All clues point to one character, Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin, with the show teasing the return of Vincent D’Onofrio as the fan-favourite villain.
As we saw in the episode during the very brief glimpse at the uncle, he’s a giant-sized man who wears a black suit, a description that neatly fits Kingpin. There isn’t another Marvel character with his stature or style, which makes us pretty certain it’s him!
That speculation can be backed up by the comics though, as there Echo is taken in by Kingpin following the death of her father – something which appears to have happened in Hawkeye too.
The show seems to have put a twist on this storyline though. In the comics it was revealed that Kingpin murdered Echo’s dad, whereas in the series we appear to see Clint Barton as Ronin slaughter him. It will be interesting to see then if there’s a twist down the line.
Talking of comics, the show is partly adapting Matt Fraction and David Aja’s comic run of the same name, which saw a certain Kingpin put out a bounty on Hawkeye. It seems his appearance is inevitable then.
But why does this mean D’Onofrio will be reprising the role from Netflix’s Daredevil series, a show that has never before been explicitly tied to the MCU?
Well, there’s the fact his iconic performance is beloved by fans, so there would be outrage if he was recast. We also heard the uncle chuckle in today’s episode, which sounded like D’Onofrio.
The actor also recently teased his appearance on Twitter, liking several tweets which referred to his potential appearance, for example: “The King returns in Hawkeye.”
D’Onofrio also shared a trailer for the show on his timeline, tweeting: “This is going to be fun. I love these Marvel series.”
We reckon you should keep your eyes peeled for more hints via his social media in the next few days.
What Does This Mean For The MCU?
Firstly, if the uncle is indeed D’Onofrio as Kingpin, expect him to show his face in the upcoming episodes of Hawkeye, either playing a larger role in this series or teasing his MCU future.
Crucially though if it is him, that makes D’Onofrio’s Kingpin the first character from Netflix’s Marvel shows to debut in the MCU, opening up the possibility for more to enter the scene.
There was of course a rumour that Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock (a.k.a. Daredevil) would pop up in the upcoming film Spider-Man: No Way Home… something that is now increasingly likely.
Maybe Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones will return too? We can but hope!
Hawkeye airs every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+.