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Is Sharon Carter The Power Broker In Falcon And The Winter Soldier?

We’re three episodes into Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and that means it’s time for theories. The show is much more sprawling than WandaVision, taking place around the world rather than in a single town, and has more central characters with more enemies, more conflict, and more arcs. Yet, it feels like a less complex show. There’s no big mystery. There are things we don’t know yet, sure, but there’s no Big Question like in WandaVision. We pretty much understand everything that has happened so far, that’s why the questions surrounding the show are much smaller. Questions like who is the Power Broker?

I’m putting my cards on the table and guessing that it’s not Sharon Carter. My reasoning? It so clearly seems like it is Sharon Carter, and that means it probably won’t be her. Carter, like the Power Broker, lives in Madripoor (yes, the X-Men Madripoor), and she seems just as highly connected. She claims this is through illegal art dealings, and while this stands up to some scrutiny, it also seems like it could easily be a front for being the Power Broker. But this all seems a bit easy for a locale so layered in comic book history, and while it’s kind of a twist (Carter is a good guy, despite being forced into illegal activity while on the run), it’s a twist that’s diluted heavily if the show plans to keep winking at it only to eventually reveal it.

I’ve been bitten by my belief that the MCU can tell layered stories without giving the game away before – it took me longer than most to buy that Agnes, the nosy neighbour positioned front and centre of WandaVision, was actually Agatha Harkness. The show also sold me down the river when it talked about a male aerospace engineer and hinting at theories on space particles, only for this engineer to not be Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, but instead Some Lady. Just Some Lady with limited lines, zero impact on the story besides providing some aerospace mumbo jumbo, and one who disappeared as fast as she arrived.

There’s evidence for and against Carter being the Power Broker. Zemo calls him a “he”, but then admits he’s never actually met the Power Broker, so he may just be guessing that it’s a man. We also see that the price on Falcon, Bucky, and Zemo’s head does not appear to be lifted once Sharon has them herself, when surely as the Power Broker she could call the whole thing off. Of course, we also see Sharon protect the men from their assailants, so it may be that she allows the price to ride to avoid making them suspicious, and feels confident that she could protect them – confidence that ends up being very well placed, with Sharon able to take most of the men out single-handedly, and even after it appears that Zemo saves the day, it turned out her car and some of her staff were lingering nearby. But then, their close proximity to the battle may be less to do with this being a carefully orchestrated plan by Carter and more because it’s much cooler to have her jump in her car and deliver a cryptic line than it is to have her stood there waiting for her Uber while the rest of them drive off.

There’s also the question of how she knew Nagel’s whereabouts at all. She gets the information rather conveniently within a few minutes of Sam asking for help. Since the Power Broker knew where Nagel was all along, if Carter is indeed the Power Broker, that’s an easy explanation as to why she was able to get the information so quickly – she already had it. But again, how boring would it be to have 15 minutes of her twiddling her thumbs while waiting for her taxi, her getting the info so rapidly might just have been a way to keep the action moving, while underlining how connected she is in Madripoor, and how vital an asset she can be to the gang moving forwards.

I’m still – for now – on team ‘Sharon Carter is not the Power Broker’, and I think it would be cheap in a show so clearly aping the complex conspiracies of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to hint at this twist so heavily and then play it straight. The only people who don’t think Carter is the Power Broker are people like me who are convinced that there must be more to it, and if the answer to that is “nope, it’s exactly what most people suspect!” then I don’t mind being wrong. I’d rather have faith that there’s something more subtle at play than have it turn out that the character everyone expects to be a bad guy actually is a bad guy. I’m not sure who the Power Broker is – if it’s not Carter, we probably haven’t met them yet, and maybe they’re more effective as an unseen enemy with mysterious power rather than just some dude Bucky can punch in the face anyway. The MCU has already fooled me twice with WandaVision, and getting fooled three times is so unheard of there’s not even an expression for it. If it turns out Sharon Carter is the Power Broker, I suppose I’ll have to make one up.

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Stacey Henley is an editor for TheGamer, and can often be found journeying to the edge of the Earth, but only in video games. Find her on Twitter @FiveTacey

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