Spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale follow.
Sharon Carter is the Power Broker. It was never much of a mystery, really – certainly not on the level that 'It was Agatha all along!' was in WandaVision. But it does have interesting implications for the future of the MCU, specifically for Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson.
The finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revealed that Peggy's niece and former SHIELD employee Sharon had been pulling the strings of the Flag Smashers to try and obtain the Super-Soldier serum throughout this season. Episode 6's mid-credits scene, too, shows us that she's about to become an even bigger threat in the days to come.
Below, we'll explain what the mid-credits scene of The Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 6 means, explore what Sharon's goal was throughout this season, and discuss how the revelations of this episode could shape a potential season 2 of the series.
Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 6: what was Sharon's plan?
When we met Sharon Carter in Madripoor earlier in the season, we learned that she was essentially on the run after the events of Captain America: Civil War. That's because she helped Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers escape captivity – and stole Sam's wingsuit and Steve's shield from the government. She was embittered about living in exile as a result, and we were shown how she's become a black market art dealer in the intervening years.
Sharon's motivation is striking back at the world that she felt wronged her – and in this season she tried to use the Flag Smashers to make that happen. "I took you in, gave you an opportunity and you betrayed me," Sharon tells Karli Morgenthau in the final episode, as the two meet at gunpoint.
"Because you wanted to control a world that hurt you," Karli responds. "But I wanted to change it. I'm not interested in power or an empire." Sharon makes one last effort to have Karli rejoin her, but it doesn't work out. But this does finally reveal what Sharon's end goal is – power and domination. An empire.
It's then revealed that Georges Batroc was hired by Sharon to keep an eye on Karli during her attack on the Global Repatriation Council headquarters. When Batroc threatens to reveal Sharon's identity of being the Power Broker unless he's paid quadruple his original fee, Sharon kills him – and eventually, Karli herself, after Morgenthau briefly scuffles with Sam Wilson. This covers her tracks, and means no one knows her identity.
Our biggest hint of Sharon's new villainous status before this came earlier in the episode, when we saw her brutally murder a guy with a gas grenade. Clearly, she's gone off the deep end, and has a taste for murder.
Sharon essentially double-crossed both the Flag Smashers and Sam and Bucky throughout the entire series, explaining how and why she led the latter pair to Wilfred Nagel, the creator of the new Super Soldier serum.
While the Flag Smashers were essentially operating of their own accord towards the end of the show, and focused their attention on attacking the Global Repatriation Council, it's clear that Sharon had far bigger plans than they did.
And, as the mid-credits scene would tell us, she's not done yet.
Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 6 mid-credits explained
The mid-credits sequence of The Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 6 shows the senate pardoning Sharon Carter – she's even offered a job in her old division within the United States Intelligence Community. She tearfully accepts a pardon, before it's revealed this is a ruse.
Outside the hearing, Sharon phones a mysterious figure, and offers an update on her new status.
"Start lining up our buyers. Super Soldiers might be off the menu, but we're about to have full access to government secrets, prototype weapons, you name it. Should be something for everyone."
Sharon, then, is still operating as the Power Broker – only now she can siphon off military secrets that she can use for her own gain. This scene shows that Sharon is about to get a lot more powerful, and become an even greater threat as she tries to amass her 'empire'. It also sets her up as a potential villain for season 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, should that go ahead. More on that below.
"The Carter name has always been synonymous with service and trust," said the senator during the hearing. What would Aunt Peggy think?
Why Sharon Carter could be the villain in The Falcon and Winter Soldier season 2
Disney Plus hasn't announced plans for a second season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier yet, but this mid-credits scene feels like a fairly strong teaser for what could happen next. Sam and Bucky facing off against an unseen threat in the Power Broker, without realizing their true enemy is someone they thought was a close ally, is a solid premise for season 2 of this show. Though it'll likely need an extra twist on top of that to avoid retreading some of the same beats of this series.
Eventually, the pair is bound to find out that Sharon was behind most of the events we saw in this season – how merciful will Sam and Bucky be when they find out the truth about the Power Broker?
We look forward to finding out in season 2 – likely to rename the show Captain America and the Winter Soldier – should it go ahead.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.