The following post contains SPOILERS for Hawkeye Episode 5.

All season on Hawkeye long there have been hints and teases that someone big was going to show up by the end of the show. First. there was that vague reference to an “uncle” of Maya Lopez, the character known as Echo. Then Maya turned out to be working for some unseen boss. Clint Barton made mention of some mysterious guy that he was worried about getting involved. Who could it be?

Sometimes the most logical answer is the correct one. It was the Kingpin, played by Vincent D’Onofrio. He previously appeared as Wilson Fisk on three seasons of Daredevil, the flagship of a group of Marvel series on Netflix that predated the launch of Disney+ and the start of Marvel Studios producing their own streaming series.

At the time Daredevil and the rest of the Marvel Netflix series were made, they were supposed to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the events of the series were in part sparked by the aftermath of the Battle of New York from The Avengers.nBut over the course of the show, Daredevil made little to no other mention of the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and after Marvel and Netflix ended their relationships, the characters from DaredevilJessica JonesLuke CageIron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders were basically forgotten. They didn’t even get a cameo in Avengers: Endgame. Fans began to debate whether they were even still considered part of the official MCU canon.

The debate is over, because at the end of Hawkeye Episode 5, Kate Bishop learns that her mother Eleanor hired Yelena Belova to kill Clint Barton — and that she has some kind of connection to the Kingpin. If you’ve been paying close attention this season, D’Onofrio’s appearance was not the most shocking twist. From what little we saw of Maya’s uncle, he had D’Onofrio sized hands and also wore cufflinks, which were a key character trait of the Kingpin from Daredevil. Plus, Maya and the Tracksuit Mafia operated out of a front called Fat Man Auto Sales — an obvious reference to the character. D’Onofrio himself might have given the biggest hint of all when he tweeted about Hawkeye before the show even premiered, saying “This is going to be fun.”

With Kingpin officially in the MCU, that opens the doors for the rest of Netflix’s Marvel characters to return, including Charlie Cox’s Daredevil. (Kevin Feige already said he will be the MCU’s Daredevil if and when the character appears.) So who from the Defenders’ umbrella of shows will show up next? We’ll probably know very soon. The season finale of Hawkeye premieres next Wednesday, December 22 on Disney+.

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