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Marvel Studios' Echo ending explained

What went down in Marvel’s Echo, and what does it mean for the MCU?

Echo
Image credit: Marvel Studios

The latest chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived. Echo (streaming now on Disney+ and Hulu) follows the story of Maya Lopez, a Native American mob enforcer who becomes a heroine. As a child Maya had to fight harder, learning to adapt to life with an amputated leg. Despite being deaf, Maya is more aware of her surroundings than most people. Using her unique skills, she has forged herself into a warrior unlike any other.

Based on the Marvel Comics character, and building off of her appearance in Hawkeye, Echo follows the next chapter of Maya’s thrilling story. What went down, and what does it all mean for the MCU?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Echo!

How did Echo end?

Echo TV spot
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Throughout Echo, Maya Lopez is torn between two worlds. Will she follow in the footsteps of her criminal mentor Wilson Fisk, or mend fences with her late mother’s family? During this journey, Maya learns that she’s part of a unique bloodline with special powers. Maya’s ancestors have enhanced physical abilities, and the power to heal physical and spiritual wounds. Maya can tap into these powers, allowing her ancestors skills to ‘echo’ through her.

(For more on Maya’s new powers, check out this piece from my Popverse colleague Jim McDermott)

When Maya rejects Kingpin’s offer to rejoin his criminal empire, the mobster is furious. Fisk retaliates by kidnapping Maya’s family. Maya uses her new abilities to save her family and subdue Kingpin. She initially wanted to kill Fisk but chooses to spare his life instead. In a move of compassion, Maya uses her new powers to heal the Kingpin’s childhood trauma. This horrifies Fisk, who flees the scene.

The series ends with Maya reconnecting with her family, finally getting closure from the scars of her childhood.

Did Echo have a credits scene?

Echo still
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Echo has one mid-credits scene featuring Wilson Fisk. Stung by his loss against Maya, Kingpin boards his private plane and heads back to New York. During the flight, he watches a news program where the anchors are debating the New York City mayoral race. The anchors note that no clear frontrunner has stepped forward, and that the people are hungry for a fighter. Inspiration and excitement hits Kingpin’s face.

Unless Marvel is playing with our expectations, it looks like Wilson Fisk is running for mayor. This echoes (no pun intended) a recent storyline from the comics. Kingpin won the New York City mayoral election in Daredevil #28 (2017). This led to the 2022 storyline Devil’s Reign, where Marvel’s heroes joined forces to take Mayor Fisk down.

Did anybody die in Echo?

Still image from Echo trailer
Image credit: Disney+

Echo does not contain any major character deaths. Maya is able to save her family from Kingpin. Faced with an opportunity for revenge, Maya chooses to spare Fisk’s life. However, just because there aren’t any major character deaths, doesn’t mean that this was a tame show. Echo ramped up the violence, making it the first MCU show to earn a TV-MA rating.

Were there any surprise cameos or new characters in Echo?

Echo still
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Echo tells a (mostly) grounded story away from the MCU’s cosmic action. In other words, don’t expect Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange, or Captain Marvel to show up. Daredevil was briefly featured during a flashback in the first episode. Maya briefly fought the vigilante during her stint as Kingpin’s enforcer. I would hesitate to call Kingpin a cameo, since he’s a central character in this series. However, we’re noting his appearance in this section for completion’s sake. Hawkeye is briefly seen (clad in his Ronin gear) during a flashback sequence in the first episode.

Does Echo set up any new Marvel projects?

Echo still
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Wilson Fisk actor Vincent D’Onofrio revealed that Echo would set the stage for the upcoming Disney+ series Daredevil: Born Again. After watching the mid-credits scene, we have a clearer picture on what he meant. Maya and Wilson Fisk have parted ways for now, and the crimelord is returning to New York City to run for mayor. It’s safe to say that Daredevil: Born Again will focus on Fisk’s mayoral campaign. I can’t imagine Matt Murdock being too happy about that.

There is currently no release date for Daredevil: Born Again. Production was paused during the SAG-AFTRA strike, but it’s expected to resume early this year.

How much was Daredevil in Echo?

Daredevil
Image credit: Marvel/Netflix

Charlie Cox appears as Daredevil in the first episode of Echo. The vigilante appears in a flashback set during Maya’s time as Kingpin’s enforcer. Daredevil shows up during a gangland territorial dispute, taking on Maya and the other mobsters. Daredevil is wearing the red suit from the Netflix series, rather than the yellow suit introduced in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Maya and Daredevil have an intense fight, each holding their own against the other. The battle ends with no clear winner after Daredevil disappears. Don’t worry Daredevil fans, he’ll be back in Daredevil: Born Again.

Does Echo reference the Daredevil Netflix series?

Daredevil season 3 poster featuring daredevil in black suit with red suit being burned off (stylistically) in flames
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Netflix

It would be an understatement to say that there have been mixed messages about the canon status of Daredevil’s Netflix series. In 2023 DK Publishing released Marvel Studios – The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline. The book, which was published under the direction of Marvel Studios, omitted Daredevil and other Marvel Television shows from its narrative. The guide also featured an introduction from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, which implied that the television shows took place on other branches of the Sacred Timeline.

However, Echo makes many references to the 2015 Netflix series. During a conversation with Maya, Kingpin shares the story of how he killed his father. He even pulls out the hammer he used as a murder weapon. This is a direct reference to an event seen in Daredevil season 1. However, it’s worth noting that the hammer is shaped differently than the one from the Netflix series.

Is this a minor prop error, or an intentional choice to let viewers know we’re on another branch of the timeline?

During her final fight with Kingpin, Maya enters his memories, and we hear the voices of Fisk’s parents. According to the credits, Bill Fisk was voiced by Richie Palmer Sr and Marlene Fisk was voiced by Ml Gemmill. Both characters have been recast from the Netflix series, where they were played by Domenick Lombardozzi and Phyliss Somerville. However, I wouldn’t read too much into that recasting. Neither character was seen, and there could have been legal issues with using archived recordings of their voices.

However, those hypothetical legal issues didn’t stop Marvel Studios from using Daredevil footage in one of their promos. On January 4, Marvel Studios released a trailer for Echo that recapped Wilson Fisk’s story. The trailer contained scenes from Daredevil, including Fisk’s childhood flashbacks from season 1.

In an interview with ScreenRant, Echo producer Brad Winderbaum said that he personally saw the Netflix series as canon. If we needed more evidence, after the release of Echo, Disney+ updated their Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline playlist, which now includes Daredevil and the other Netflix series. (Sorry Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you’re still not there)

What does this all mean? Perhaps the Netflix series is set on another branch of the timeline, but similar events occurred in the Sacred Timeline. Or maybe Marvel Studios changed their minds sometime during the publication of the Official Timeline book. Or maybe Echo and the Official Timeline book were done under separate teams, each operating under their own instructions and assumptions (corporate bureaucracy doesn’t always lead to good communication).

Or maybe we’re just reading too much into it. For now, I think the evidence has shifted and Daredevil is canon….at least until Feige says otherwise.

If Daredevil is canon, there are some unanswered questions on how Wilson Fisk is out of jail, and the whereabouts of Vanessa. During the Echo season finale, Fisk mentions having lost someone he loves. Is Vanessa dead? Perhaps these questions will be answered in Daredevil: Born Again.

Will there be a Echo season 2?

Echo
Image credit: Marvel Studios

As of this writing, Marvel Studios has not announced plans for Echo season 2. Like Hawkeye and WandaVision, Echo was meant to be a mini-series. Both of the aforementioned shows were released in 2021, and as of 2024 no second seasons have been put into production. Plus, Marvel Studios recently indicated that they would be scaling back their television projects. So, we shouldn’t be surprised if Echo doesn’t get a second season.Whatever the future holds, if a second season of Echo is announced, Popverse will be here to cover it. In the meantime, check outour calendar of upcoming superhero movies and television shows.

An advanced screener copy of Echo was provided ahead of release by Marvel Studios.


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