'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier': Maybe Sharon Carter wasn't blipped after all
Something doesn't quite add up for Sharon in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
This post contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
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With the recent drop of the third episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I was left with a lot of questions — mainly with the appearance of Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). After the events of Captain America: Civil War in 2016, Sharon was on the run from the feds after aiding then-fugitives Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes. We never heard from Sharon again until the end of Avengers: Infinity War in 2019 where she is shown to be part of the missing people from the Blip. Now, in 2023, Sharon is still a wanted fugitive and is shown to be living off the grid in Madripoor as a black market art dealer in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. She is obviously doing well for herself running the joint and saving Sam and Bucky, yet again, and looking smoking hot while doing it.
But, after watching the entire episode, something does not add up.
If Sharon had been blipped for five years and barely just returned, then how was she able to return to black market dealings and maintain her residence in High Town? Maybe Sharon wasn’t blipped at all. In the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, we do see the Sharon among the images of those that were blipped. But, that doesn't necessarily mean she's gone. Scott Lang a.k.a Ant-Man was shown among the blipped, but we later learned he was stuck in the Quantum Realm. He wasn't blipped, but just hard to find. Since she was on the run and completely off the grid, there was no way of tracking to see if she had been blipped or not.
It makes sense for Sharon not to be among those lost to Thanos' snap. With half of the population gone, Sharon would have more time to infiltrate deeper in the corrupt system of Madripoor. When we see her again, Sharon is a high level black market dealer. In a lawless place like Madripoor, if you disappear, you will be replaced.
When we first see Sharon in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, she is trying to stay hidden at the Power Broker's club. After Bucky (Sebastian Stan), Sam (Anthony Mackie), and Zemo (Daniel Brühl) run out of the club after the death of the Power Broker's minion Selby, Sharon takes out the assassins attacking the trio. She appears in front of them guns pointing and tells them she is on the run because she stole Steve's shield and Sam's Falcon wings to save Bucky from Zemo. Sam tells her he was on the run too, but she cuts him off and tells him she's still on the run.
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Sharon helps them lay low her home in High Town, a highly secured location surrounded by real, expensive stolen art. If she has to hustle, she is going to enjoy the life of a hustler. It's no surprise that showrunner Malcolm Spellman said we would see a different Sharon than we've seen in the films.
Spellman told A.V. Club, "Emily [VanCamp] has such a baby face. She looks very sweet and innocent, but Sharon Carter is going to emerge as a badass. I'd have to use far more inappropriate language to describe how awesome she is. Let's just say this: Sharon Carter is all grown up now. I guess what made it so fun was we started getting to know Sharon in Captain America: Civil War, and you just factor in what would have naturally happened between Civil War and now and you get a whole different Sharon Carter showing up."
Living by themselves in Madripoor could harden a person, especially when they see the people who wronged them return to their normal lives. It definitely gave Sharon more time to become jaded at the idea of Captain America and the Avengers.
"Look, you know the whole hero thing is a joke, right?," she tells Sam. "The way you gave up that shield, deep down, you must know it's all hypocrisy." She then digs into Bucky, who is annoyed by John Walker holding the shield, "Please, you buy into all that stars and stripe bullshit. Before you were his pet psychopath, you were Mr. America! Cap's best friend." Bucky noticed the change in Sharon, "Wow. She's kind of awful now."
Sure, the evolution of Sharon could have happened within three years and she was snapped from existence only to return to the same spot five years later, but the likelihood is slim that she would have had the same resources before to assist Sam, Bucky, and Zemo in their task to find the Super Soldier Serum creator, Dr. Wilfred Nagel.
Also, near the end of the episode, we see Sharon enter a car with a mystery woman telling her they got a couple of big problems. Could Sharon be undercover again and this was all a ruse? This would further prove that Sharon was never blipped, because if she had to be undercover as part of the criminals of High Town, she would have had to have been there for much longer than when everyone returned.
Maybe Interpol or S.W.O.R.D. recruited her when the Blip happened to infiltrate the Power Broker and his criminal organization since she was already there. Why else would she randomly be at the Power Broker’s club incognito when Bucky, Zemo, and Sam arrive. It seems plausible for Sharon to be working a job. Maybe Steve did help her in the end by clearing her name and having her join another secret organization? Maybe the organization she is with will grant her a pardon if she does this job. Who really knows what Marvel is up to. It’s just great to see Sharon have a second chance in the Marvel universe and being a badass while doing it.
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Laura Sirikul is a freelance writer, researcher, and managing editor of The Nerds of Color. Throughout her career, she has written for Nerd Reactor, What To Watch, Nerdist, IGN, Movie View Magazine, Red Carpet Report, Mental Floss, Trek News, The Hollywood Reporter, Character Media, Bitch Media, and many other outlets. She has been on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Nerdist's Fangirls, and many other news shows. For almost ten years, she has covered film and television extensively along with in-depth interviews with major studios such as Disney, WB, and FOX. She is also a member of the Asian American Journalist Association and the Hollywood Critics Association. Apart from addressing topics covering film and television, Laura is a strong advocate for social awareness for the underrepresented in the entertainment industry.