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Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5: Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character explained

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character explained
(Image credit: Marvel Studios / Disney Plus)

Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier contained a huge reveal — if you know your Marvel mythos, that is. In this episode, we saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus arrive in the MCU to play Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. When Marvel fans heard her recite that name, they must have shouted around the world.

Spoiler warning! Beyond this paragraph lies a big reveal that you might see coming, and which has all sorts of ramifications for what's to come in the MCU. Watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 — or not — and then proceed.

First, some context: Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine arrived on the scene after John Walker was served a bit of justice and told to hand over the Captain America shield. But as Walker sat, reacting to it all, the big boots of the Contessa  click-clacked into the MCU.

While you shouldn't call her "Val," the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine has another moniker that you really ought to know: Madame Hydra. While de Fontaine is only one of many women to hold the title of Madame Hydra, it means that the cursed faction could be back in business — and in style as well. 

Since the Contessa appeared to recruit John Walker, we now have a clear path to him becoming the bad guy we all know he's destined to be. Just look at that punchable face.

According to Vanity Fair, Louis-Dreyfus was slated to be in the Black Widow movie, but plans changed. There is also a chance that de Fontaine is in fact the Power Broker. Except, well ...

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5's other big reveal

Yes, our suspicions were confirmed. It appears that Sharon Carter is in fact the Power Broker. While only seen briefly in the episode, she seems to be pulling the strings behind the scenes for the baddies. Carter was seen in her regal home, talking about helping someone out of an Algerian prison and asking that person to do a deed. 

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

A few scenes later, we find out that Karli Morgenthau got some help. It doesn't take a lot of work to put two and two together. With just one episode left in this season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we're curious about how this will all play out.

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5 sets up the finale

In other news, the loose end of Baron Zemo has been tied up, as he's off to Wakanda with the Dora Milaje. That leaves just Karli, the Flag Smashers, John Walker and Sharon Carter in play. 

Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 5

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Plus)

Karli's got a whole arsenal. John's building a new shield, and Sam Wilson is finally ready to hold the title of Captain America. We look forward to seeing how this plays out in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 6.

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.