On Your Left

Falcon and Winter Soldier theory fixes the show's dumbest twist

Sharon’s turn may make more sense than we think.

Sharon Carter’s heel turn in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has been one of the most hotly-debated aspects of the Disney+ series, ever since the character (played by Emily VanCamp) made her return to the MCU in the show’s third episode.

Many have, justifiably, criticized the abruptness of Sharon’s evolution from dedicated Captain America loyalist into cynical crime lord, and The Falcon and Winter Soldier finale’s mid-credits scene only added further fuel to that debate.

But is Sharon really a villain now? Or is it possible that there’s more going on with her Power Broker alter ego than we think? One compelling new theory argues that there is.

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Anthony Mackie and Emily VanCamp in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.Marvel Studios

The Theory — During their recent discussion of the Falcon and Winter Soldier finale, The Ringer-Verse’s Van Lathan & Charles Holmes, speculated that Sharon Carter may not be the straightforward villain that the series wants us to believe she is.

Instead, the podcast hosts suggest that Sharon could still be working for another notable character in the MCU, one who prefers to keep his plans secret.

We are, of course, talking about “Mister Postman” himself...

...better known as Nick Fury.

As the podcast hosts point out, people generally stay pretty loyal to Fury, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Sharon was secretly still working for the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director. Fury also has no government organization supporting him right now (that we know of), and could very easily be using Sharon’s underworld connections to help him with whatever he’s planning ahead of the Secret Invasion series.

Plus, Sharon spent most of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier protecting and helping out Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), despite harboring apparent grudges against both of them. Maybe she was helping them on Fury’s orders?

Emily VanCamp in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.Marvel Studios

Sharon Carter’s Plan — The last time we saw Nick Fury in the MCU, he was hanging out and enjoying a small post-Endgame vacation for himself in space with the Skrulls at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. And right now all signs seem to indicate that the next time we’ll see Fury in a sizable role will be in Marvel’s Secret Invasion Disney+ series.

Inspired by the comic book storyline of the same name, Secret Invasion will (presumably) focus on the conflict that breaks out between a group of heroes on Earth and a group of shape-shifting Skrulls who wish to take over the planet. The series will feature Jackson’s Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos in the lead roles, along with still-unknown characters played by Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman.

Assuming that Fury has suspicions about a possible Skrull invasion (which would be in keeping with his character), it would be totally logical for Fury to invest in keeping as many heroes alive and organized as possible on Earth, especially following the deaths and retirements of several notable heroes in Avengers: Endgame. Whether or not that’s why Sharon worked so hard to keep Bucky and Sam alive and well in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is something fans will just have to wait to see.

The Inverse Analysis — As of right now, Sharon being as merciless and scheming as her Power Broker alter ego suggests just doesn’t quite sync up with anything else that we know about the character. And that’s largely why fans have had such a hard time buying her role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

This theory at least helps Sharon’s turn make a little more sense — and it certainly doesn’t strain credulity any more than the turn itself did. After all, if there’s one thing Nick Fury knows how to do, it’s how to keep his plans firmly under the radar.

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