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Why Sharon Carter In Falcon And Winter Soldier's Latest Episode Has Fans Scratching Their Heads

There's only one episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier left, and we still don't know what the deal is with Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). What is the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent up to? Is she the Power Broker? Has she done a total heel turn? 

Since going on the run after being branded an enemy of the American state for helping Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) get their superhero accoutrements back in Captain America: Civil War, Carter has set up shop in the lawless city-state of Madripoor. She makes a good living supposedly trafficking in stolen artwork, but her fugitive status has forced her to abandon her real identity and her family. What we don't know, is if any of that is even true.

In episode 5, "Truth," the mystery of Sharon Carter deepens. In her scene, she tells French criminal Batroc the Leaper (Georges St. Pierre) — previously seen in episode 1 hijacking a U.S. Air Force cargo plane — that she has a job for him, and if it weren't for her, he'd still be in prison in Algeria, implying that she still has influence with S.H.I.E.L.D., who captured him in Civil War. She offers him double pay "this time," implying she hired him for the Air Force job that Sam interrupted. Then, at the end of the episode, Batroc delivers supplies to Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) and the Flag Smashers, and says he doesn't care about their cause, he just wants to kill the Falcon.

So what's the truth about Sharon Carter's role in all this? If she's really trying to kill Sam, why? Or is some complex espionage afoot? Fans have theories. 

Sharon Carter is the Power Broker

On Reddit, Marvel fan Beardicus223 laid out a compelling argument for why Sharon is the enigmatic Power Broker that's been pulling the strings and causing trouble for Sam and Bucky. "There are the obvious things like the fact that she has obviously made a huge name for herself in Madripoor, has a fortified mansion with armed guards, has access to spy satellites, etc," they wrote. But most importantly, they said, she has the motive to want to get her hands on the super-soldier serum. She wants to clear her name and go home.

"Who could clear her name and get her record expunged? General/Secretary Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross," Beardicus223 wrote. "What does General Ross want? A super-soldier serum. Who was previously developing a serum for the CIA? Dr. Nagel." Fans will no doubt remember that Dr. Nagel (Olli Haaskivi) is the name of the ill-fated scientist we met in episode 3 who was working for the Power Broker. Theoretically, Sharon met Dr. Nagel while they were both working for the CIA, and later hired him to develop super-soldier serum that would help her get leverage.

Bearidcus223 pointed out that Marvel twists are generally heavily hinted at before they happen, and are never too crazy. If the evidence points to Sharon, it's probably Sharon. "I don't think it's any more complicated than what's been put in front of us," they wrote.

Counterpoint: No she isn't

Other fans say there's no way Sharon could be the Power Broker.

1funnyfish speculates that Sharon is still working as a spy, and the Power Broker thing is a red herring. "We're supposed to be theorizing about her," they wrote. "She's probably undercover, trying to take him down herself, & still connected to [S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick] Fury. She's a spy, after all. And her phone is the same as Fury's in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier], which I think is a deliberate detail."

DeadSweetHenrietta says it just doesn't make sense that Sharon would still have to be on the run from the government after everything that's happened in the years since Civil War. "It's a cover story, she's a spy," they wrote. "Zemo and her (former?) allies showing up could blow her cover, that's why they are a problem, for more than one reason." That's why she seems like she might be working against them. She's trying to protect herself and her own, possibly Fury-mandated mission.

Miikumon has an alternate theory. "I don't think she is trying to get Sam killed," they wrote. "But I do think she is working with the Flag Smashers, that would also explain how Karli found out super quickly that Nagel died right after Sharon saw it. She also asked Sam and Bucky to stay out of it, so I don't think it's anything personal. But the Flag Smashers want to erase the borders, right? That would benefit Sharon a lot, since she hasn't gotten a pardon."

We'll find out whatever Sharon's deal is next week on the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.