What the ‘Hawkeye’ finale leaves open for the MCU’s future

a man and a woman, each with a quiver of arrows, with festively lighted trees behind them
Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) have a lot to take care of before Christmas in the “Hawkeye” finale.
(Marvel Studios)

This story contains spoilers for the season finale of “Hawkeye” on Disney+.

Kingpin, we hardly knew ye.

The brutal crime lord Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who has been looming over the “Hawkeye” series for weeks, finally makes his official debut in the season finale. And the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia gets a chance to show why he’s a villain even Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is worried about.

Picking up where Episode 5 left off, the finale — titled “So This Is Christmas?” — confirms that Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga), Kate’s (Hailee Steinfeld) mom, has been engaging in criminal activity while working for Kingpin. But now she wants out.

If only it were that easy.

Of course, Eleanor isn’t the only one trying to leave Kingpin’s orbit. Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), who has learned from Clint that it was Fisk who wanted her father dead, also has new doubts about her path. It takes just one conversation for Fisk to realize Maya’s turned on him.

Later, after being thwarted by Kate in his attempt to teach Eleanor a lesson, Fisk runs into Maya. But Maya, having failed to convince Kazi (Fra Fee) to leave the Tracksuits with her, is looking for vengeance — so she shoots him.

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So, that’s it? Kingpin’s dead?

Probably not. If there is anything we know about superhero comic books, it’s that nobody is really dead unless they show the body. And even then, death is not always permanent.

This theory is also supported by the way Maya and Fisk’s falling-out unfolded in the comics. Although she initially was led to believe that Daredevil was the one responsible for her father’s death, Maya eventually realizes in a 2001 issue of “Daredevil” that it was Kingpin who killed him. Much like in the show, she confronts him at gunpoint and shoots Kingpin in the face.

The issue concludes by showing that Kingpin survives the encounter but loses his vision. Things become a bit rocky with his criminal empire as a result, but Kingpin eventually has surgery to regain his sight and goes back to his vicious, villainous ways.

Perhaps Fisk’s story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will follow a similar trajectory. Either way, considering the surprise appearance of a certain character in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Kingpin’s popularity, it’s unlikely that viewers have seen the last of him.

A woman standing next to a car on a dark street.
Maya Lopez’s (Alaqua Cox) story will continue in the “Hawkeye” spinoff “Echo.”
(Chuck Zlotnick / Marvel Studios)

What’s the significance of Laura’s Rolex?


As promised, Clint makes it home in time to spend Christmas with his family. Among his souvenirs is the mysterious Rolex that was stolen from the black-market auction during the “Hawkeye” premiere.

Clint hands the watch to Laura (Linda Cardellini) and tells her that she should take better care of her stuff.

What was so special about the watch? The inside of the Rolex, it turns out, is engraved with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo and the number 19. This means that not only did Laura previously work for S.H.I.E.L.D., she was Agent 19.

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In the comics, Agent 19 is the alias used by Bobbi Morse before she leaves S.H.I.E.L.D. to become a superhero. Eventually, Bobbi starts using the codename Mockingbird and joins the Avengers. Like Clint, Bobbi has a pretty long history in the comics, and for years the pair were in a relationship. Mockingbird and Hawkeye even get married — though they later divorce (it’s complicated).

A live-action version of Bobbi (played by Adrianne Palicki) was introduced in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in 2014. Although her codename was never officially used on the show, it was generally assumed that this Bobbi was the MCU’s take on Mockingbird.

The revelation that Laura Barton is the former Agent 19 allows “Hawkeye” to acknowledge comic book history without necessarily clarifying who in the MCU can claim the superhero name Mockingbird.

What’s next for everyone else?

The only character with a confirmed project on the way is Maya, who will be the focus of the upcoming series “Echo.” But with how much “Hawkeye” played up the dynamic between Kate and Yelena (Florence Pugh), it’s likely just a matter of when audiences will see them in action next.