Who's Playing Maya's Uncle In Hawkeye? Here's One Possibility

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first three episodes of "Hawkeye."

The hardcore Marvel fans among us may or may not have let out a yelp five minutes into the latest episode of "Hawkeye." But in our defense, screaming (just a little) is the only reasonable response to the potential character appearance that this episode hints at with the introduction of Echo's "uncle." Last week, the Disney+ series hit the ground running with its two-episode premiere, jam-packed with Easter eggs and intriguing foreshadowing. And while the story occasionally slows down for some necessary dog walks or relaxing subway rides, the twists and turns seem never-ending. Thrilling as this may be for the audience, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is quickly approaching his limit.

In the third episode of "Hawkeye," appropriately titled "Echoes," Clint's quest to bury his past as Ronin hits a serious complication: Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) is digging. The mysterious character we caught a glimpse of at the end of episode 2 is finally revealed, backstory and all, as the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, determined to track down the mysterious Ronin. It turns out that the masked boogeyman murdered her father (Zahn McClarnon), and if we know anything about comic book heroes and villains, it's how dangerous the murdered parent baggage can become.

On the bright side, Maya has more than one parental figure to turn to. In flashbacks to her childhood, we hear mention of an uncle, who makes a barely visible appearance, pinching her cheeks as she looks up affectionately. He's almost entirely offscreen, sans a brief glimpse at his suit, so how could we possibly identify the mystery man? It's as simple as a chuckle — and his laugh happens to be startlingly familiar. So, let the theorizing begin.

Who Is The Mysterious Uncle?

I'd recognize that evil laugh anywhere! Though we never see his face, the tall man wears a crisp black suit and chuckles an awful lot like a villainous Vincent D'Onofrio. I hate to jinx it, but could "Hawkeye" mark the MCU return of D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk? The Kingpin must jump streaming platforms to make his grand return, having first appeared in Netflix's "Daredevil," but it's not an impossible gambit. Rumors have been circling for quite a while that Charlie Cox might reprise the role of Matt Murdock in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." What's to stop Fisk from following suit?

These are only rumors of course, and Fisk himself has yet to be confirmed, but the "Hawkeye" episode provides lots of wink-wink nudge-nudge action. Beyond the signature suit and distinct chuckle, Maya's uncle gets other references throughout the episode. After Clint and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) escape the Tracksuit Mafia, Maya is questioned by her second-in-command Kazi (Fra Free), a character whose appearance comes with its own set of implications. He makes the point that chasing after Ronin and engaging with Clint, a known Avenger, makes it difficult for the gang to keep a low profile. "I just hope Uncle won't find out," he tells her. "He won't be happy."

Elsewhere, Clint and Kate take a stroll with Lucky the Pizza Dog and talk through the details of the dangerous gang. Doubling down on what's implied by Kazi, Clint confirms that Maya may be the boss on the ground level, but there's someone more dangerous above her: "Someone you don't want to mess with." Speaking as someone who knows what Wilson Fisk can do with a car door, it's safe to say he's the kind of evil that a novice like Kate (and even a veteran hero like Clint), may want to avoid. But duty calls.

Overall, Fisk feels like a pretty solid candidate for the guy behind the scenes of a large mafia organization given that he's introduced in "Daredevil" with the exact same job description. He's known as the Kingpin of Crime because he tends to be wrapped up in all kinds of nefarious action like, say, black market auctions. Last week, one eagle-eyed fan noticed that the site of the underground auction crashed by the Tracksuits has appeared in a Marvel series before. Can you guess which one? Ding ding ding — "Daredevil!" In season 3, the same hotel was the home of Wilson Fisk. It could be a reused set, sure, and maybe last week we would've dismissed it as such, but the clues are starting to add up. When Maya arrives to find her father being murdered by Ronin, the auto shop run by the Tracksuit Mafia is called "Fat Man Auto Repair," which could well be a reference to the Kingpin's formidable frame. Put it all together, and the return of Wilson Fisk now feels like a real possibility.

Wilson Fisk Is Up To His Old Tricks

Bolstering this possibility is the fact that Wilson Fisk and Maya Lopez have history. In the comics, Maya is best known as her alter ego, Echo — a name we expect she'll take on in the "Hawkeye" series given her impending spin-off of the same name. She first arrived in 1999, in the pages of "Daredevil" #9, created by David Mack and Joe Quesada. A member of the Cheyenne Tribe, Maya is born deaf and raised by a single father, just as the Disney+ series depicts. In this iteration, her father works as an enforcer for Fisk until he's killed on the Kingpin's orders. Ever crafty, Fisk blames the murder on his archnemesis, Daredevil, and takes Maya in as his adopted daughter. Fueled by rage and a need for revenge, she takes on the name Echo (in reference to her ability to replicate any skill she sees performed) and goes after the masked superhero. Eventually, Fisk's lies come to light and Echo learns to use her powers for good.

Given the comic book connection and his role as her adoptive father, Fisk as Maya's uncle isn't too far a stretch. Plus, their comic history hints at an even bigger possibility: could Fisk be behind her father's death in this version too? Back in his "Daredevil" days, Fisk has a solid business relationship with some very powerful ninjas, amongst many other assassins. Ordering one of said lackeys to disguise themselves as Ronin and murder Maya's father wouldn't exactly be out of character for this villainous crime lord. Though we don't know the details of his business relationship with the elder Lopez, Kazi mentions that the former Tracksuit Mafia leader was known to put his crew first. Caring for henchmen isn't really on brand for Fisk, so why wouldn't he get rid of the leader who took extra care to keep the gang safe? And given how easy it was for Kate to don the costume and convince the world she was Ronin returned, it's easy to imagine someone else doing the same of Fisk's orders.

We won't actually know the truth of this mystery man until he finally shows his face (or screams "Vanessa" in a loud, gravelly voice), but maybe all this wishful thinking will pay off! That would make this a pretty cheeky tweet on D'Onofrio's part — but more importantly, it means we'll have to think twice about those Charlie Cox rumors and the possibility of "Daredevil: being folded into the larger MCU.

"Hawkeye" returns with new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.