Falcon and the Winter Solider just had its third episode, meaning we are halfway through what is essentially an MCU movie and a sequel airing on Disney Plus, when the total running time is added up.
This week we added a third member to the Falcon and Winter solider duo. A fourth too, in fact. Spoilers for this week’s episode follow.
I have to admit, while I knew that Baron Zemo was going to be a part of this season and that they’d question him for answers, I did not expect them to literally break him out of jail and then have him tagging along as the third member of their super soldier-hunting crew. I really loved Zemo’s dynamic in the group, and even though it seems like he was going to betray them a half dozen times, he never actually did. Not yet, anyway.
We also finally saw the arrival of Sharon Carter, whom we knew was returning, and we haven’t seen her since Civil War. The years have not been kind to her as she’s still a fugitive for that whole saga, despite the fact that everyone else involved seems to have been forgiven.
This was the first week that we learned about the person who appears to be the ultimate Big Bad this season, an unseen figure called the Power Broker, rather than Karli, the flag-smasher/terrorist who stole super soldier formula and gave it to her friends. The show’s angle to make Karli more sympathetic took a turn when she blew up a building full of bound guards for no real reason this week.
Fundamentally, the question remains as to who the Power Broker is and what they want. And there are two ways I can see this going.
The Power Broker is indeed a comic character, and there, he’s literally a businessman who supplies people with superpowers, in addition to giving himself some. So when the Power Broker does appear, it could be a new cast member that we have never met in the MCU before. It’s also important to note that among a long list of plotlines in the comics, one of his relevant contributions is that Power Broker supplied super soldier serum to Battlestar and US Agent, US Agent being our fake Captain America who seems fed up with sucking at his job as a mere mortal. So I would not be surprised to see John Walker and his buddy getting their hands on some super soldier serum themselves in order to “truly” become like Cap and Bucky, but of course, abusing that power and forcing a showdown between them and Sam and Bucky. I can easily see that being the finale.
The other theory is that while the above still may happen, that it might actually be Sharon Carter who is the Power Broker. I mean, she’s literally an influential criminal figure at the moment after five years as a fugitive, and this episode certainly made it seem like she’s hiding some things, telling her associate “they have a problem” as Sam and Bucky’s investigation continues. I suppose that could mean anything, but A) she is acting pretty shady and B) the Power Broker is not assigned a gender, nor glimpsed in a photo, nothing. They’re being kept a full secret, and I feel like you don’t do that unless you are hiding the reveal of someone actively in the cast. So it might be Sharon hunting down Karli and using Bucky and Sam to find her for her own ends, rather than doing this for a pardon like Sam promises her. To me, this seems like a likely path, though it would be a wild divergence from Sharon, the generally good SHIELD agent in the comics. But given what’s happened to her, we are heading down that road anyway.
For now, my theory is that Sharon is the Power Broker rather than some unnamed dude we haven’t seen yet. That may not pan out, but the signs are pointing in that direction, and so is the idea that the fake Cap we hate may get super strength soon enough and become even more of a pain to deal with. Three episodes left, so we’ll see what happens.
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