Power Broken

Falcon and Winter Soldier interview solves a major Sharon Carter mystery

Sharon and Karli have more of a history than you think.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale included some huge reveals, from Sam Wilson’s new Captain America debut to the huge reveal that the Power Broker hinted at all season was none other than Sharon Carter herself.

The Sharon reveal came during her clash with Flag-Smasher leader Karli Morgenthau, where they seemed to share more than just a distaste for the US government. It’s hinted at they could have quite the history — and a recent interview reveals so much more to that story.

The Power-Smasher — In an interview with Marvel.com, actors Emily VanCamp and Erin Kellyman opened up about their villainous characters and their motivations for plotting world domination.

For Sharon, the reason was very personal, stemming from the negligence of the government after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For Karli, the reason is the displacement she faced after the Blip.

But Sharon and Karli have more in common than meets the eye. We see that in play when they finally come face to face in the finale. Sharon hints at their past, saying, “Come and work for me again,” and Karli dismisses her request as Sharon “just wanting her muscle back.”

Sharon and Karli in a standoff. Marvel Entertainment

In this interview, however, Erin Kellyman reveals the true history between Karli and Sharon: “Sharon recruited Karli at a younger age and trained her. She was going to create this little army of super-soldiers.”

Kellyman continues:

“[Sharon] wanted to control the world while I wanted to change it. That’s why Karli left and created the group, the Flag Smashers. Sharon trained Karli for everything—she’s the reason Karli knows everything she knows, fighting-wise.”

Wait, rewind... Sharon Carter trained Karli Morgenthau?

The super soldier serum doesn’t instantly make you able to do backflips — that needs to be taught.Marvel Entertainment

This is a huge reveal, but also it makes sense. The super-soldier serum is incredibly powerful, but it doesn’t make, say, a scrawny WWII private into a shield-flinging machine. Supersoldier skills are only as good as your combat training, so Karli would have to train up with someone. Of course, that person would be Sharon, the person who allowed her access to the serum in the first place.

The idea of Sharon wanting to create “an army of super-soldiers” also makes the reveal that she’s the Power Broker make a bit more sense. Of course the person looking to create an army of super-soldiers would be the one with a long history and knowledge of the serum, and would know how it impacts people.

The Inverse Analysis: While Sharon as the Power Broker might never feel completely believable, this history and backstory clarifies the division between Sharon and Karli, making it clear that they knew each other deeply before the events of the series. It’s a shame we never saw more of that dynamic before Sharon killed Karli; it certainly would have made that death all the more impactful, in addition to making sense of the Power Broker twist in the first place.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now streaming on Disney+.