Hawkeye episode 3 may have just revealed its primary villain

Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop getting caught in Hawkeye's TV show
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Potentially major spoilers follow for Hawkeye episode 3.

Hawkeye episode 3 has landed on Disney Plus – and it seems that the Marvel Phase 4 TV series may have already revealed its big secret.

The show is now halfway through its six-episode run and, ordinarily, MCU projects don't tend to reveal their major surprises until their second half. A couple of key scenes and lines of dialog in Hawkeye episode 3, though, appear to have given the game away already.

We're about to dive into potentially major spoilers for Hawkeye episode 3. If you're not caught up on the series yet, don't read past the image below.

Clint Barton LARPing in Hawkeye episode 2

(Image credit: Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. © Marvel Studios 2021.)

Hawkeye episode 3's opening scenes follow Maya Lopez, aka Echo, as a child before she becomes the skilled fighter that we see in the show's third entry. During her childhood, Echo learns martial arts to help toughen her up – and it's here that Hawkeye's TV show makes its big play sooner than expected.

William Lopez, Maya's father, has to head off to work and leaves Maya in the capable hands of her 'uncle'. We see someone in an all-black suit appear, before he chuckles and gives Maya a gentle tug on her cheek. You can see the very brief scene in the tweet below. Maya's 'uncle' is also referenced on a couple of other occasions later in the episode, but their identity remains hidden.

Or does it? If you read between the lines, or know your Marvel comic history, you'll know exactly who Maya's 'uncle' is: it's none other than Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin.

Hawkeye episode 3: Wilson Fisk's history with Echo explained

Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in Netflix's Daredevil TV series

(Image credit: Netflix)

Wait, how do we know this? Well, for one, it's a callback to Echo's comic-book roots. In the source material, Echo's father is a secretly a mob enforcer for Kingpin and, after he's killed during a mission, Echo is raised by Fisk to become his most trusted lieutenant. That is, before she turns on him after Daredevil reveals that Kingpin has been lying to her.

As we see in Hawkeye episode 3, Echo's dad is also employed by Kingpin. He's wearing a red tracksuit before he leaves, which is exactly the same one that's worn by the Tracksuit Mafia in Hawkeye's TV show, as well as in Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye comic series run.

Echo's dad's death is altered slightly for this live-action interpretation, though. In the MCU, he's killed by Ronin – Clint Barton's alter-ego, who goes on a killing rampage after his family are snapped out of existence by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame. Echo's father even leaves a blood handprint on Echo's face during this scene as he dies, which is eerily similar to his death in Marvel's comics.

But we digress. Anyway, it seems that Fisk trains Echo to become the expert fighter that she is in the MCU, which is true of her comic book counterpart, too. And it also appears that she becomes his second-in-command in the MCU, given that Clint tells Kate Bishop that Echo reports to someone else later in episode 3.

Kingpin's MCU debut in Hawkeye has been a rumor for some time now, too. As we reported recently, Vincent D'Onofrio (who portrayed Kingpin in Netflix's Daredevil TV series) has seemingly teased his involvement in Hawkeye for a number of months. 

This has only served to increase fans' hype for the fan-favorite character's MCU arrival, which has been heightened by rumors that Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock/Daredevil will appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Kingpin and Daredevil are also said to be involved in Echo's own Disney Plus show, which is currently being developed by Marvel Studios.

Trinh Tran, one of Hawkeye's executive producers, almost confirmed that Fisk may be revealed in Hawkeye episode 4 or 5, too. In a recent interview, Tran appears to mouth the word "four" or "five" before stopping herself from revealing which episode Fisk may appear in:

So long story short? Hawkeye episode 3 has already revealed that Wilson Fisk/Kingpin is part of the show's cast, and that he'll finally make his MCU debut in episode 4 or 5. We suspect that he'll survive the events of Hawkeye as well, and that he'll be the primary antagonist in Echo's own Disney Plus show.

Regardless of whether he turns up next week or the week after, we'll be delighted to see D'Onofrio reprise his role as Kingpin, as will plenty of other MCU fans, judging by this Reddit thread. Roll on the next week's episode of Hawkeye, we say.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.