The following story contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Episode 6.
The finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier provided a lot of closure—we learned Sharon Carter’s identity as The Power Broker, mercifully finally saw the Karli Morgenthau/Flag-Smashers storyline come to an end, and saw Sam Wilson finally both become Captain America and do right by Isaiah Bradley. But with that closure comes even more open ends: now that Sam is Captain America, what comes next? John Walker is officially U.S. Agent and working for Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). What does that mean? And, uh, if Sharon Carter is the Power Broker, what happens now that she’s been pardoned and got her old job back?
The finale’s credits scene—only one this time after the WandaVision finale gave us two—gives a hint at the answer to the last question regarding Sharon Carter. She’s back with her old job with the government, and, like Bucky Barnes, has received a full government pardon. But that doesn’t mean she’s giving up her Power Broker ways any time soon.
“Start lining up our buyers,” she tells someone on the phone at the scene’s end. “Super soldiers might be off the menu, but we’re about to have full access to government secrets, prototype weapons, you name it. Should be something for everyone.” Menacing! Foreboding! We have no idea who she’s talking to—presumably some of those Madripoor contacts—but none of it sounds particularly good. In fact, it sounds like something our pal Sam Wilson may have to deal with in the near future.
Does The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s credits scene make Sharon Carter an MCU villain?
It certainly seems to be taking things in an interesting direction and diverting from decades of comics canon; since her debut in March 1966’s Tales of Suspense #75, Sharon Carter has never been anything other than a hero aligned with S.H.I.E.L.D. (and that’s the good S.H.I.E.L.D., not the HYDRA-infested version from the movies). She breaks bad kind of in Ed Brubaker’s Captain America #25, where she (SPOILER!) kills Steve Rogers, but that’s only after being brainwashed by a psychiatrist who is in league with Red Skull and Doctor Doom. Now, it seems like the show could be setting her up to be a bona fide villain.
Sharon being the Power Broker certainly has her operating outside the confines of the law, but we haven’t quite seen her do anything particularly villainous—yet. However, she was quite threatening to Karli before she caught up to them, and then in the finale seemed to want to team up. So yeah, Sharon…probably an evil villain now. But with the MCU you never really know.
And in a way that makes sense, considering what we’ve seen happen to the world surrounding her in the MCU so far. In her first appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier she was one of the few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on the side of good when Steve Rogers revealed that the agency she was so loyal to had been long-infiltrated by HYDRA. When we saw her next, she was still working for the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the government. Mourning her great aunt Peggy Carter, she helped Steve, Bucky, and Sam escape, stealing Steve’s repossessed shield in the process to give it back to him (and snagging a smooch in the meantime). Sharon at this point became an enemy of the state, leading her to establish the Madripoor ‘Power Broker’ identity that we caught up with in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Which is to say: it’s easy to see why Peggy would become disenfranchised with the whole system and doing good. She put everything she had into doing the right thing, and the system treated her with nothing but contempt. Can you really blame her for wanting to exploit the whole thing? After all, she even expressed this sentiment in this series’ episode three, telling Sam and Bucky that, essentially, she was done being fooled by all the hero stuff. And now, well, she sure has been set up at least potentially as a future MCU villain.
Sam, now pulling some extra weight as the new Captain America, got Sharon the pardon he promised, and her old job back—whatever that might be in the aftermath of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s existence. But this scene’s tease certainly tells us that Sharon’s allegiances, whatever they may be, will be a major factor in the future, whether it’s another season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (which would likely be called Captain America and the Winter Soldier) or a future MCU film. And we’re eager to see how these uncharted grounds are mapped out.
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