Hawkeye episode 3 — released Wednesday on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar — expanded on the character of Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), the hearing- and physically-challenged upper management of the Tracksuit Mafia who was teased in the last shot of Hawkeye episode 2. It served as an origin story for the character ahead of the spin-off series Echo (Maya’s alter ego in the comics) that Cox will lead. Aside from telling us why she’s driven to find out the Ronin’s identity (the Ronin killed her father), Hawkeye episode 3 gave us a peek at her childhood (as she went to an abled school and took karate lessons). And it was through the last of these bits that Hawkeye teased a larger big bad — and maybe, a connection to Netflix’s erstwhile Marvel universe that fans have been craving.
Early into Hawkeye episode 3, as Maya’s father William Lopez (Zahn McClarnon) drops her off at the karate academy, he tells her that “Uncle will pick you up after class.” A giant of a man — we see very little of him in Hawkeye episode 3 — steps into frame, before chuckling and extending his hand to lovingly play with the cheeks of a young Maya (Darnell Besaw) who smiles at him. In the Marvel comics, Maya is the ward of none other than Kingpin/ Wilson Fisk, who was memorably played by Vincent D’Onofrio in the Netflix-Marvel series Daredevil. The Uncle in Hawkeye episode 3 does seem to have the size of D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, but could it really be him? Is Marvel Studios actually set to canonise the Netflix series in a manner of speaking?
There is more “proof” elsewhere in Hawkeye episode 3. When Maya (Cox) witnesses Ronin taking out her colleagues and her father at their office, there’s a split-second shot of the shop’s name. It’s called Fat Man Auto Repair, which can be read as a reference to Kingpin. In the Marvel comics, Wilson Fisk has been frequently referred as to “Fat Man” by those not aligned with him. Then later in Hawkeye episode 3, when Maya’s second-in-command Kazi (Fra Fee) disagrees with her, he once again brings up “Uncle”, noting that he won’t like the noise they are making. And finally, when Hawkeye/ Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) are discussing Tracksuit Mafia, Clint says you don’t want to mess with the guy above Maya.
Now, to be fair, there isn’t enough here to conclusively say that the Uncle in Hawkeye episode 3 will turn out to be Wilson Fisk. Marvel Studios has a bit of tweaking characters and storylines to suit its purpose — just see what Hawkeye is doing with Jack Duquesnse (Tony Dalton), a good guy and Hawkeye’s mentor in the comics, but now seemingly a bad guy and has no connection to Hawkeye. And there’s no guarantee that even if Fisk is back, it will be D’Onofrio. But it’d be a shame to throw all the goodwill away. Additionally, rumours have been making the round for months now that Charlie Cox, who played Matt Murdock/ Daredevil in Daredevil, has filmed scenes for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Given all that, it would seem that Marvel is finally integrating the Netflix-Marvel series characters with the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have always co-existed, but they have never been acknowledged before in MCU movies or Disney+ series. Hawkeye could be set to change that. But wouldn’t the three seasons of Daredevil be a headache for the MCU? That’s where the Tom Hiddleston-led Loki comes in, as it opened the way for the Marvel multiverse. Now we can have “variants” of existing characters. That allows Marvel to bring back D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (and even Cox as Murdock), but they can alter any arcs or storylines that do not work for them.
What route the MCU takes, and whether how much of this will end up being true, remains to be seen though. Hawkeye episode 4 drops December 8, followed by Hawkeye episode 5 on December 15, Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17, and series finale Hawkeye episode 6 on December 22.
- Release Date 24 November 2021
- Genre Action, Adventure, Drama
- Duration 1h 36min
Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James, Alaqua Cox
- Director Rhys Thomas, Bert & Bertie
- Music Christophe Beck
- Producer Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Trinh Tran, Rhys Thomas, Rhys Thomas, Jonathan Igla, Brad Winderbaum
- Production Marvel Studios
- Certificate U/A
- Users Rating