Warning: spoilers for the Hawkeye season finale (and Spider-Man: No Way Home) follow. Do not shout at us if you read on, there is an obvious disclaimer here.
The season finale of Hawkeye has finally arrived and we’re relieved to know Clint was able to spend Christmas with his family, despite the many deadly threats that have come his way over the last few weeks.
On the surface, it looks like a conclusive ending – the mid-credits scene doesn’t even tease future Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) projects, instead giving us a full-length rendition of the musical number from the first episode.
But the finale does feature some vague hints about where Marvel’s small screen adventures will go next, managing to answer some of our burning questions from throughout the series.
What’s Next For Echo And Is Kingpin Really Dead?
Before she was even introduced in episode two, we knew Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez would be returning after Hawkeye for her own spin-off series, titled Echo.
Whilst very little is known about the project, which is not expected to premiere until 2023 (as filming will start in spring 2022), this finale did give us a glimpse at where the narrative could potentially go.
Just like in the comics, Maya Lopez was the adopted niece of Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. the villainous Kingpin, and turns against him when she discovers he may have been responsible for her father’s death.
The major difference here is that in the show Maya Lopez originally believed Ronin was responsible for her father’s death – in the comics she thought it was Daredevil. But has this storyline been neatly resolved? Not exactly.
We don’t actually see the death of Kingpin (played by a returning Vincent D’Onoforio), with the show quickly cutting to an exterior shot.
In the comics, Maya follows these events by travelling overseas to do some soul searching, only to return and find out Wilson may not be as dead as he seemed.
Could this be what happens next? And with Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, could he be around for the Echo series?
The character’s a crucial part of her storyline after all, and Kevin Feige has confirmed we will see him within the MCU.
A minor plot detail has had fans speculating for weeks about the real identity of Laura Barton, and this week’s reveal could alter MCU canon forever.
Linda Cardellini’s character has been pestering Clint to retrieve the watch that was stolen from the Avengers compound. This week, we discovered why: it belongs to her, as she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. They don’t confirm by name, but this all but reveals that she is Mockingbird.
A version of this character has already appeared in the series Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D, which has led some fans to assume that show is now confirmed to not be canon within the MCU.
But if this is the case, the MCU films have been dropping hints to Laura’s true identity back to when Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D was still on the air.
As fans have pointed out, in Age Of Ultron, Tony Stark claims that Laura must be “an agent of some kind” when he first meets her, something Clint doesn’t confirm or deny.
And throughout Hawkeye she’s shown some pretty efficient knowledge of spy craft, all while quite literally phoning in from her cosy log cabin, waiting for the family to come home.
As for the watch itself, it could hold secret powers. We know it has a transmitter, as this is how Laura located it in Maya’s apartment earlier this season. Could the Echo series see Cardellini return, as Maya sets off on a quest to get the watch back?
It’s not exactly clear why Maya was so desperate to get her hands on the watch in the first place, so maybe there is more to it than meets the eye.
Kate And Clint
But what’s next for the stars of the show? Clint made it out alive to spend the holidays with his family, and fans are already assuming that after these hectic events (combined with his lingering trauma over what happened to Natasha), he’ll be taking a back seat in the future.
It’s widely rumoured that the MCU is heading towards setting up the Young Avengers, with Kate leading the way. And with no confirmed plans to reunite her with Clint, the real question is when we’ll see her next.
The finale offers no conclusive answers, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see Kate make a grand return in Echo and appear in other upcoming projects too. We bet she will be key to the MCU’s future!
It’s mission not quite accomplished for Yelena. After several attempts at killing Clint throughout the season, she was about to strike a fatal blow but stopped upon him telling her the truth as to what happened to Natasha.
When Florence Pugh’s scene-stealing character will return isn’t for certain, but there’s some unfinished business here.
The Black Widow post-credits scene, where Valentina told Yelena Clint killed her sister, means she’ll be searching for this mysterious baddie now – and as Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ character was last seen in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, that holds the biggest clue as to where we’ll see Yelena pop up next.
Reports have suggested that show’s narrative will instead be continued in a Captain America 4 film, headlined by Anthony Mackie. But a second season has yet to be conclusively ruled out.
As for where Yelena will go from here; we still don’t know if she’ll be a good guy or a baddie, but with the Young Avengers being set up in the background, surely she’s the top candidate for Black Widow 2.0?
While many of the Marvel shows are designed as standalones (hello, WandaVision), the prospect of a season two of Hawkeye isn’t unexpected. Loki will return, and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier may also grace our screens again.
Director Rhys Thomas has said he hasn’t heard about a possible second season, but would love to come back if it were announced. We’ll keep you posted – but we already know we haven’t seen the last of Kate Bishop, whether or not Hawkeye comes back for round two.