Falcon and The Winter Soldier had two primary villains. One, Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers, revealed themselves early on in the Marvel series. The other, the Power Broker, was only formally unveiled during the finale.
Each are different – one favoring brute force, the other pulling strings from the shadows in Madripoor – but they are actually connected by a secret shared history that was only briefly hinted at during their climactic showdown.
A new interview with Marvel’s official site (opens in new tab) now confirms that Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) and Karli (Erin Kellyman) weren’t just mere associates.
As Kellyman says, "Sharon recruited Karli at a younger age and trained her. She was going to create this little army of super soldiers. In Episode 6, we learn [Sharon] wanted to control the world while I wanted to change it. That’s why Karli left and created the group, the Flag Smashers."
Different ideologies aside, this peek into their past fleshes out one of the more undercooked aspects of Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Namely, the Power Broker’s ties to Karli and why the Flag Smashers were so desperate in their pursuit of a life free from the restraints of governments and borders.
Those ties run even deeper – even extending to Karli’s combat prowess. Naturally, the Super Soldier Serum helped, though Karli’s abilities were nurtured by the ex-SHIELD agent. "She’s the reason Karli knows everything she knows, fighting-wise," Kellyman said.
If nothing else, it gives our next rewatch of the Falcon and The Winter Soldier finale some extra flavor – and makes us fear Sharon Carter just that little bit more.
Find out what’s coming next in the MCU with our guide to Marvel Phase 4.