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Hawkeye episode 3 recap: Clint and Kate get hints of a secret Marvel villain

The Marvel Cinematic Universe show takes us on an incredible car chase across New York City, reveals its villain's origin story and hints at a bigger threat hiding in the shadows.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
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Sean Keane
5 min read
Kate readies an arrow in Hawkeye

Kate Bishop proves her ability as an archer in Hawkeye's third episode.

Marvel Studios

Clint Barton and Kate Bishop's festive New York City adventure continued Wednesday, as episode 3 of Hawkeye hit Disney Plus. The Marvel Cinematic Universe series is the fifth to hit Disney's streaming service this year, and it reveals the condition of New York City's criminal underworld after Clint abandoned his Hawkeye mantle to go on a bloody quest for justice as Ronin in Avengers: Endgame.

Clint (Jeremy Renner) thought he'd left Ronin behind, but his violent deeds caught up with him and engulfed would-be apprentice Kate (Hailee Steinfeld). After a run-in with the goofy but dangerous Tracksuit Mafia, they're been taken captive by mysterious gang boss Maya Lopez, aka Echo (Alaqua Cox).

It's time to cut into SPOILERS and see what this new character is up to, in an episode entitled Echoes.

Getting to know Echo

A chunk of this episode is spent on Maya's origin story and how she overcame the challenges of being deaf as she grew up. It's subtly implied that her incredible physical ability comes from "watching," as her dad advised her to.

It's pretty much the same as the "photographic reflexes" she possesses in the comics -- she can perfectly mimic another person's movements (similar to Taskmaster, seen in Black Widow). In her first appearance back in 1999, she became concert-level pianist by observing someone play and gained amazing martial arts and acrobatics skills by watching recordings of fights. 

She's mixed up with a bad crowd in the MCU, but she's probably going to step away from that life since she's getting her own Disney Plus show sometime in the future. Comics Maya started out as Daredevil villain -- her abilities compensate for a disability, much like Daredevil's -- but later joined the Avengers.

Echo/Maya in Hawkeye

Maya Lopez isn't falling for Clint Barton's story about Ronin being dead.

Marvel Studios

MCU Maya is on a quest for vengeance against Ronin, who killed her father and a bunch of others during his campaign against New York City's criminal underworld. A captive Clint tells her that Black Widow killed Ronin, but she's not convinced. Given her observational ability, it's possible she watched Clint's moves during their fight afterward and linked him to Ronin.

Maya's underling Kazi (Fra Fee) later tries unsuccessfully to convince Maya to forget about Ronin, noting that their unseen boss wants them to keep a low profile. He apparently "wouldn't be happy" with what she's doing. 

Uncle Kingpin?

After episode 1's reference to a "head of organized crime" removed from power by Ronin, we get hints about Maya's shadowy boss. In the flashback to her martial arts class, this "uncle" lovingly pinches her cheek and chuckles softly in a very Vincent D'Onofrio manner.

Maya and Uncle in Hawkeye

Excuse me while I search for photos of Vincent D'Onofrio's hands.

Marvel Studios

D'Onofrio played Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, in three seasons of Netflix's Daredevil. We last saw him being dragged off to prison in that show's finale, but that took place before the Snap and it's likely he's either been released or is rebuilding his empire from behind bars.

The flashback to the moment Ronin kills Maya's dad might also allude to Fisk -- it takes place at "Fat Man Auto Repair." The crime boss has often been called "fat" in comics and shows since his first appearance in 1967, but that's a misnomer. His body is primarily muscle, and he regularly proves it by brutally murdering people.

Comics Fisk adopted Maya after killing her father, who was a mob enforcer, and it's likely events played out similarly in the MCU. It's possible that Fisk manipulated Clint into attacking the auto repair shop.

Maya's uncle is also wearing a black shirt and suit combo in the flashback, much like the one Fisk wore in season 1 of Daredevil. He switched to the character's signature white suit in the third season.

Send in the trick arrows

In the epic car chase as Clint and Kate escape Maya's clutches to the tune of A Mad Russian's Christmas by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, they employ a whole bunch of fancy arrows:

  • Putty arrow: Covers the Tracksuits' windshield with purple putty.
  • Exploding arrow: Blows up the Tracksuits' van.
  • Plunger arrow: Sticks to the awesome '72 Dodge Challenger, and later helps Clint and Kate climb onto the train.
  • Octo arrow: Pulls a bunch of Christmas trees onto the Tracksuits' van with ropelines.
  • Acid arrow: Melts through a stoplight.
  • Smoke arrow: Fills the Challenger with purple smoke.
  • Pym arrow: Makes an ordinary arrow grow ridiculously large with Hank Pym's tech (which allows Ant-Man to change size), wrecking the Tracksuits' van.
  • USB arrow: Distracts the Tracksuits so Clint and Kate can escape. This ridiculously specific type of arrow previously appeared in Avengers and What If… ?
  • Grapple arrow: Allows Clint and Kate to swing from the bridge onto the train.

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Swordsman confrontation

After escaping Maya and the Tracksuits, Clint and Kate go to her mom Eleanor Bishop's magnificent penthouse to get more information on their adversaries through Bishop Security's files. Kate gets a brief glance at the file of Kazi and sees that he works for "Sloan Limited," which sure sounds like a front company.

She tries to look up the file on her would-be stepfather, Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton), but gets locked out of the system -- presumably because Jack wanted to stop people from looking into him. 

Wandering around the apartment, Clint suddenly finds the Ronin sword -- which Jack stole after the Tracksuits attacked episode 1's underworld auction -- at his throat.

Jack confronts Clint in Hawkeye

Jack confronts Clint with his ill-gotten Ronin sword.

Marvel Studios

"Don't move," says Jack.

We already know Jack is super-skilled with a blade, and likely murdered his uncle Armand III (maybe he killed Maya's dad?!). It seems like he's been manipulating Eleanor to get into her security company's resources, but it's also possible that she's in on it (given that we heard Armand confronting her about her company being "built on a lie").

In the comics, Jack uses the name Swordsman and trained a young Clint to wield a sword. I guess we'll find out if the same is true in the MCU in next week's episode. 

Comics Swordsman was initially a villain who infiltrated the Avengers under orders from the Mandarin, but gradually realized that he liked being a hero more than living as a criminal. (Hanging out with the heroes was probably a bit less dangerous).

Hawkeye putty arrow comic

Sometimes you just gotta stop a guy with a putty arrow, as seen in issue 3 of the 2012 Hawkeye series. 

Marvel Comics

Comic inspiration, bro

This episode leans heavily on the visuals of the third issue of Matt Fraction and David Aja's iconic 2012 Hawkeye comics run, with the Challenger and the Tracksuits' pursuit. If there was a single story of that 22-issue series I'd advise everyone to read, that's the one. It's a joy.

The whole lot is available on Marvel Unlimited, a $9.99 a month (or $69 for a year) subscription service that gets you access to a massive library of comics and has a one-week free trial. So you can read that third issue for free, just don't be surprised if you end up going on a wonderful Marvel odyssey.

Hawkeye 1983 comic

Clint's retro costume from the comics might stand out a bit too much in the MCU.

Marvel Comics

Observations and Easter eggs

  • "Good thing they call you HawkEYE and not HawkEAR." That's a low blow, Kate. 
  • Maya should ask Shang-Chi about meeting some of them dragons.
  • Maya's dad leaves a bloody handprint on her face as he dies, much like he did in the comics.
  • Black Widow kinda did kill Ronin, by convincing Clint to abandon his murder quest and rejoin the surviving Avengers in Endgame.
  • Maya's prosthetic leg wasn't in the comics, but is a characteristic of the actor that's been worked into the show. She uses it to smash a hockey stick during her fight with Clint.
  • Kate draws Hawkeye's classic comic costume when she's dreaming up a fun outfit for Clint.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Dec. 8, when episode 4 of Hawkeye hits Disney Plus.

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