Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The What If Easter Egg You Probably Missed In Hawkeye Episode 3

Relatively early on in its run, the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the bow-and-arrow wielding Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as one of the founding members of the Avengers, alongside big name characters like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). The Disney+ TV series "Hawkeye" premiered in November of 2021, just over 9 years after Hawkeye's introduction to the MCU, making him — "The Incredible Hulk" weirdness aside — the last original member of the film franchise's Avengers team to lead a movie or TV series.

While such a work was a long time coming, Renner's Hawkeye doesn't fight alone in his new starring vehicle. Inspired by the show's comic book source material, new character Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) becomes Hawkeye's protegee early on in the series, teeing her up to serve a significant role in the MCU's future. In Episode 3, after the two heroes begin working alongside one another, Hawkeye shows Kate a number of trick arrows, capable of more than simply piercing their target when fired. Some viewers may recognize one of the arrows in this scene from animated Marvel TV series "What If...?" unofficially connecting Hawkeye's latest adventure to his noncanonical battle against a superpowered Ultron that aired just months prior.

Hawkeye also wields a USB arrow in What If...?

In "Hawkeye" Episode 3, Kate Bishop and Hawkeye are attacked by a group called the Tracksuit Mafia, who hope to enact vengeance on Hawkeye for violent acts he committed as Ronin, a vigilante persona he adopted for a brief period of time in "Avengers: Endgame." To defend himself from the Tracksuit Mafia, Hawkeye dips into an arsenal of trick arrows, most of which offer some sort of utility in battle. One arrow, however, forgoes a conventional tip for a USB drive. Kate quips that she hopes Hawkeye has a dongle to make the arrow worthwhile, seeming to imply that she thinks USB technology is on its way out.

While Kate may not appreciate the USB arrow, the very same tool recently proved integral to saving the world in the two-episode season finale of the speculative animated Marvel TV series "What If...?" which explores what would happen were Ultron to have won the battle depicted in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." As part of the Avengers' ploy to defeat their superpowered AI adversary, Hawkeye fires a USB arrow containing the digital consciousness of Doctor Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) into a drone controlled by Ultron (Ross Marquand) in an attempt to attack him virtually.

Rather than a mere curiosity, then, it appears Hawkeye's USB arrow can be considered to be a mainstay of his arsenal given its appearances in two of the character's most recent adventures.