After making his small screen debut in Netflix’s Daredevil, fan-favorite Wilson Fisk has finally made his way back to Marvel television audiences in Disney+’s Hawkeye. And although the show has been focused on the relationship between Clint and Kate for the majority of its run, there is no denying that it is Kingpin who stole the show in the last episode.
Whether it is the character’s chillingly fragile composure or his dangerously volatile temper, there is something about D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Kingpin that audiences keep coming back to for more. And although his future in the MCU is somewhat up in the air, his presence in Hawkeye is one of the series’s standout features, and his best quotes show exactly why.
The Terrifying Foe
“What are you going to do with that?”
Delivered as less of a genuine question and more of a condescending insult, this line shows how little respect Kingpin has for the ‘heroes’ who try and disturb his plans. Upon seeing Kate for the first time, Fisk shows her absolutely no respect and immediately destroys the arrows that she shoots at him.
By appearing completely immune to the weapon that Kate has spent so long learning and mastering, Fisk instantly presents himself as a real, dangerous threat that is way beyond anything she has dealt with before. At this moment, the stakes are raised higher than the show has ever gone before.
Underestimating The Opponent
“You’re in over your head!”
One of Kingpin’s biggest weaknesses is the lack of respect that he shows to his enemies, often causing him to pay no attention to their strengths and aptitudes. When it comes to Kate, her age and her appearance immediately cause Kingpin to write her off as a harmless child, and that is what inevitably leads to his defeat.
What makes Kate such a relatable and engaging protagonist is that she absolutely is in over her head, but that does not matter to her. The series got plenty of things right about Kate Bishop, and it shows her determination to succeed. Being underestimated only makes her more dangerous, and it is Kingpin’s innate arrogance that allows for that.
“Don’t leave, Eleanor… come here, let’s talk.”
Even when everything is going wrong, Fisk still believes that he can manipulate and bend the people around him to get what he wants. That is exactly what viewers see as he attempts to draw Eleanor back into his disturbed world and uphold the tight grasp that he has on her life.
Where many villains would resort to anger or violence, Kingpin instead relies on his words and natural charm to bully his acquaintances into cooperation, which can sometimes be somehow even more frightening.
Complicated Familial Bond
“I’ve seen you at the end of some tough matches, but this…”
Spoken towards the enigmatic anti-hero Maya, this quote immediately establishes their relationship and makes it clear that the two have a complicated and layered history together. When one has a history with the Kingpin, that can never be a good thing.
The relationship dynamic between Kingpin and Maya is extremely important in understanding the events of Hawkeye‘s finale, and Fisk’s quote aptly sums up what the duo represents – the complicated and damaging relationships that are forged in the criminal world.
Temper Flares Up
“You’re really starting to annoy me.”
Anybody who has seen Daredevil will know that Fisk is a man of two personalities. On the one hand, his extremely calm composure and logical reasoning often allow him to think things through and create developed strategies that place him one step ahead of his opponents. On the other hand, he can easily descend into fits of blind anger that obstruct his logical vision.
In his fight with Kate Bishop, he quickly adapts that second personality. As he finds himself unable to defeat the woman he had initially written off as a harmless child, his ego gets the better of him, and he loses control of his temper, leading him to make crucial mistakes in battle.
Grievance With The Interloper
“An Avenger has taken an outsized interest in our operations.”
Seeing an iconic villain like Kingpin come into contact with a beloved character like Hawkeye was a mind-blowing experience for long-time fans of the franchise, but it is the natural tension between the two that makes their conflict click. Their motives are completely different, and Kingpin easily misconstrues some of Clint’s most questionable decisions as a personal attack.
Few comic book villains could declare war on the Avengers so eloquently and lengthily, but that is a testament to the way Fisk’s mind works – everything is strategic to him, and another player on his battlefield is the worst imaginable position for someone who thinks countless moves ahead.
Attempting To Manipulate
“You and I are family. Sometimes, family doesn’t see eye to eye…”
Even in potentially his last moments, Kingpin is still trying to use his words to bargain for his life. It is one of his strongest features as a businessman, but here it becomes his undoing. As he tries to persuade Maya to spare him, we see the first real hint of fear that Hawkeye has given us of the character so far.
It plays into the theme of family that runs so deep throughout the show, whether it is through Clint and Laura’s relationship, Maya and Kingpin’s, or even the mentor relationship between Clint and Kate. Family is so important to the roots of the show, and by using it as a tool against Maya, Kingpin proves once and for all that he will stoop to any lengths to get his way.
Harsh Reality In Fisk’s View
“There are no lines in this business.”
Referring to the business of being a criminal, Fisk shows his complete lack of a moral compass when it comes to gaining power and control. He sees that Eleanor is struggling and that her daughter is getting too close, but that means nothing to his overall plan – and subsequently, to him.
This line sets the tone for the rest of this episode and truly highlights just how far Kingpin is willing to go in the face of adversity. This is a great way of immediately demonstrating his power, especially considering this is his first appearance in years.
“In the spirit of the holidays, I’m going to give you a minute to think about what you’re starting right now.”
Kingpin instantly asserts his dominance and raises the stakes of the show tenfold with his terrifying words. It becomes very clear that Fisk is a dangerous person, even to those who may not be familiar with his character from Daredevil.
His solemn warning is layered with a much more sinister undertone, and D’Onofrio’s dark performance perfectly captures this side of the character. He knows what he wants, and he makes it very clear that he will go to great lengths to get it – and suddenly, Eleanor’s fate is truly uncertain.
Preparing To Display Power
“The people need to be reminded… that the city belongs to me.”
Kingpin is one of the most powerful characters in Hawkeye, and the threat that Clint poses to his network of control is one of the worst things that could happen to him, so it is only natural that he feels the need to reclaim the streets that he has worked so hard to develop power over.
This moment also shows just how obsessed with status Fisk is. Everything he does, he does to earn the fear and esteem of the people around him. His endgame is nothing more than endless and uninhibited respect, and that makes him very dangerous.
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