The falcon and the winter soldier explained is our ongoing series that explores Marvel’s great new relationship between Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. In this post we look again at the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and ask: is Sharon Carter a Skrull? Yes, prepare for SPOILER.
Something is wrong with Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). She is a Skrull. She has to be. I need you to be
Whenever I complete a Marvel Cinematic Universe project, my first action is to reorder the movies (and now the shows) via letterboxd as well as the stingers for mid-credits and post-credits as I want. To me, The falcon and the winter soldier ranks somewhere near the bottom-middle or top-bottom, and a big reason for this lies in its gruesome mid-credits stinger, which lands absolutely at the bottom of this list and hovers just above Thanos’ nonsensical explanation in Avengers: Age from Ultron: “I will do it yourself. “
From her first moment in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sharon Carter has been in a bad mood. As she explains to the boys after the events of Captain America: Civil WarSharon went underground. Her country was after her and her friends were leaving. She found a new life on Madripoor, the fictional Southeast Asian island where No-Goodniks flee when they want to wallow in their villainy. The hotspot target is a big comics target and will play a prominent role in future MCU projects.
Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) were killed by their untrustworthy enemy Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl). They had the impression that he could connect them to the diabolical Power Broker. This mysterious criminal puppet master allegedly set up the Flag Smashers with a newborn super soldier serum before they betrayed them for their own revolutionary reasons. Zemo failed to make the meeting happen, and Sam and Bucky miraculously needed their butts saved. Sharon Carter to the rescue.
For the remainder of the season, Sharon sneaks on the sidelines. Through their dubious, unnamed connections, she helps Sam and Bucky determine the whereabouts of the Flag Smashers and the new Captain America villain John Walker (Wyatt Russell). Your candidacy as a potential power broker seemed obvious, a perfect red herring. Surely we thought the Contessa (Julia Louis Dreyfus) or a surprising guest appearance by Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (The Incredible Hulk’s) William Hurt) or Justin Hammer (Iron Man 2’s Sam Rockwell) would fill those wretched shoes.
No! As announced in the season finale, Sharon Carter is the power broker. While the audience learns the truth during an argument between Sharon, Flag-Smasher Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and mercenary Georges Batroc (Georges St-Pierre), Sam and Bucky are never made aware of this. They go about their lives, build boats together and organize wonderful barbecues.
In the middle of the credits, the US government finally apologizes to Sharon Carter for her seemingly helpful role in arresting the Flag Smashers for her illegal actions during Captain America: Civil War. Not only that, but they also offer to reinstate her as a CIA agent. She happily accepts.
When Sharon leaves the courthouse, she is on the phone. Fully in front of dozens of strangers, she instructs the stranger on the other end to “line up our buyers.” She may no longer have access to the Super Soldier serum, but her new old job will give her access to government secrets and prototype weapons. Dun dun dunnnnn!
Unless we already knew she was the power broker. Her evil grin at the camera in the middle of the credit sequence only confirms our disappointment in the twist of her heel. This is not a revelation; This is a no-duh. And it’s a no-duh that gets frustrated and upset.
See, it’s not that I adore Sharon Carter as portrayed in the MCU. Their character is hardly realized. In the comics, Sharon is an essential supporting actor and romantic interest for Steve Rogers. In the movies, she’s a bit of a love interest. Her first and only kiss with Steve was done primarily to serve Sam and Bucky’s story. Her go-get-em-tiger smileys nodded in agreement and united their jealous rivalry for Steve’s affection.
To understand Sharon’s descent to power brokerage, we have to believe that Steve Rogers never checked in with her. That doesn’t match what we know about Steve. He wouldn’t have left them high and dry after Captain America: Civil War. He gathered his crew for Avengers: Infinity Warand she would have been involved in some form. Sharon Carter was supposed to be in this film and sleep in Steve’s bed, but she was an MCU mastermind Kevin Feige apparently put the kybosh on top.
Once the decision was made to climax Avengers: Endgame Feige probably didn’t want to confuse these romantic messages with Steve and Peggy Carter (um, Sharon’s aunt). Mistakes were made; Maybe that kiss should never have happened. But it did. And Steve is a gentleman. Not free from sin, but he would not have ignored Sharon to the point where she would break so spectacularly badly.
From my point of view there are two possibilities, and both lead directly to two different Disney + stories: Arms wars and Secret invasion. Number one, Sharon Carter is a real bad guy now. She is furious at how she was discarded and her years in the wild have sharpened her cynicism. The other person on the phone during The Falcon and The Winter Soldier interim loan is Justin Hammer. With the death of Tony Stark, he is closer than ever to attaining supremacy as an immoral arms dealer. The only person standing in their way is War Machine, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). Just as Sam and Bucky protected Steve Rogers’ legacy, so will Rhodes protect the shaky Stark brand.
Number two, Sharon Carter is not Sharon Carter. Sharon Carter is a Skrull. Secret Invasion is a widespread comic book story that features a global takeover of Skrull. As shapeshifters, the aliens infiltrate critical roles in all major governments and superpowered teams. In the original plot, this secret attack is revealed when the sometimes daring companion Elektra is exposed as Skrull. One after the other, different heroes are exposed as victims of a Skrull swap. Panic sets in and paranoia rages across the Marvel Universe.
The MCU doesn’t have an Elektra (unless they decide to include the Netflix shows as a rumor, but I’m still skeptical on that point). Feige needs to spice up his universe with Skrull suspects before his Secret Invasion series can begin. Acting as a squirrel, Sharon Carter is a red flag, and her revelation as Skrull would be a small shock that could lead to bigger shocks. Hawkeye is a Skrull! Smart Hulk is a Skrull! The risen Gamora is a Skrull!
The person Sharon chats with in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is the one that is already rumored Olivia Colman or Emilia Clarke. They arrange their chessboard and wait to strike so they can control the planet with as little effort as possible. They want the war to be over before it starts.
I can hear some of you, “But wait, aren’t the Skrulls good guys?” Skrulls are not good or bad. They are a people like us poor Terrans. So far in the MCU we’ve met some friendly Skrulls in Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his clan. You are pal-pal with Nick Fury and Carol Danvers, but some of his compatriots are less friendly. Remember, as explained in Captain Marvel, the Skrulls are critically endangered. Aeons of war have decimated their numbers and made them desperate. You need a home, and the earth is sure to look good in some places.
Sharon Carter works as a Skrull. It doesn’t forgive all of the mistakes found in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but it does decipher the logical leaps their character makes. Even better, Sharon Carter as Skrull makes me fine about Steve Rogers. OG Captain America wouldn’t have let Sharon hang in the wind. I refuse to believe
For a franchise that recently took steps to craft its bad guys with recognizable, understandable motivations, a mustache-swirling Sharon Carter lands with a thump. As part of an alien race ready to do anything to stop their species from becoming extinct, Skrull Sharon Carter sits well next to Baron Zemo, Thanos, and Killmonger. They’re bad guys with a point. Let’s make a point, please, to Sharon Carter.