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The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Star Speaks Out On Fan Backlash

Minor spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3 ahead!

After the success of the first Avengers movie, Marvel Studios pushed full steam ahead on bringing new stories to the small screen, as well. This culminated with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which eventually led to the likes of Agent CarterDaredevil, and The Runaways. The only problem many fans seemed to have with these shows is that they barely connected with what was happening with the movies, outside of the occasional reference. That's changed in a big way with Marvel's new slate on Disney+, particularly The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which — in addition to its two title characters — has seen Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) come into the party sporting his signature purple mask from the comics, as well as the return of former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), as well. 

The last time Sharon was seen in the MCU was when she became an enemy of the state by giving Cap (Chris Evans), Sam (Anthony Mackie), and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) their gear back in Civil War, but not before giving Steve Rogers a big smooch to remember her by. It was an ... interesting creative choice, considering Cap also had a romantic subplot with Sharon's great-aunt, Peggy (Hayley Atwell), back in World War II. Apparently, he likes to keep things in the family. Still, fans had some pretty strong opinions about the quick kiss, and now, VanCamp is responding to them.

Emily VanCamp takes the kiss backlash in stride

To be fair, when the Civil War kiss happens, it's not like Steve knew Peggy all that well. He was with her for a short amount of time in the 1940s, met her for a little while during the events of The Winter Soldier, and then attended her funeral. That's not a ton of time to get to know somebody, so when he meets Sharon, it's understandable he wouldn't think too hard about her romantically. It's also worth noting that since her last name is "Carter," she comes from Peggy's side of the family, meaning there's no blood relation, so technically, it all kind of pans out. 

Regardless, their relationship is a bit too close to comfort for Marvel fans, who haven't been shy about letting their opinions known across various comment threads on Reddit. Now that she's back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, VanCamp is letting it known that she's not allowing the haters to get her down. In an interview with Variety, the subject of that infamous kiss comes up, and the actress doesn't seem to dwell on it too much: "I mean, look, you have to laugh. Some of these storylines play and some of them don't. But, you know, I thought that was an amazing film. It's just one of those things." 

She goes on to discuss an important aspect of that scene that often goes overlooked: "I think one of the best things that came out of that scene, to be honest, with this amazing dynamic between Sam and Bucky. You really do get this glimpse into the Falcon and Winter Soldier buddy dynamic. You want to see more of that, and we get to see it, which is fantastic." It's a good attitude and a good lesson for fans to learn from — something can be weird without deserving a bunch of vitriol.

Things could've gotten a whole lot weirder between Steve and Sharon

Look, a kiss is one thing, and it's odd — especially in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, when Cap goes back in time to spend a quieter life with Peggy — but at least it didn't go any further than a kiss. After the events of Civil War, Steve Rogers isn't seen again until Avengers: Infinity War where it's clear he's been on the run for the last few years, so it's not like he had a full-blown relationship with his grand-niece from another timeline ... although he almost did. 

In the aftermath of Infinity War, the films screenwriters — Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely — sat down with Collider to discuss undertaking such a massive project, and one of the questions that comes up relates to where Sharon Carter is during the events of the film. Ultimately, the sequel was just too big to have every MCU character in there, but there was a draft where she was present. As Markus describes, "Sharon Carter was a victim of what we came to realize as we were writing it, which is that if you're writing scenes that set up people before the story has gotten to them, such as Steve and Sharon trying to make it work in an apartment, they're gonna go because the movie does not have time to catch up 'previously on the life of Steve Rogers.'" 

Ultimately, it's probably for the best that the storyline was abandoned. It would be strange for Cap to have his own apartment when he's on the run from the law, and after his Endgame ending, it definitely would've raised a few eyebrows.