Marvel Studios' Disney+ TV show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier better not make Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) a love interest, especially after being underused in Captain America: Civil War. The MCU's Phase 4 slate was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, confirming new movies and upcoming Disney+ series. The first of these TV shows is The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which follows Steve Rogers' (Chris Evans) closest allies: Sam Wilson aka. Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes aka. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Steve retired as Captain America, passing his shield on to Sam. Presumably the TV show will show depict Sam and Bucky dealing with Steve's retirement and stepping up to fill the void he's left. To help continue their story, Marvel Studios is bringing back another familiar face: Sharon Carter.
Marvel announced Sharon Carter's return at D23, with VanCamp reprising her role from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Across those two films, Sharon was introduced as a SHIELD agent posing as Steve's neighbor, then works for the CIA after SHIELD falls. It's also revealed that she's Peggy Carter's (Hayley Atwell) niece. However, in Civil War she also takes on the role of Steve Rogers' love interest, with the two sharing a kiss right in front of Sam and Bucky. But with Steve gone - choosing to live out his life with Peggy, which makes his relationship with Sharon awkward to say the least - Sharon better not be reduced to the love interest for either Sam or Bucky.
In both the Marvel comics and the MCU, Sharon Carter is a highly trained and capable agent. In The Winter Soldier, she proved to be a trustworthy ally to Captain America and helped bring Hydra down. However, though she's again integral to helping Captain America in Civil War, the movie forces in a kiss that doesn't make sense - their relationship is hardly developed as a romantic one. It seemed thrown in because the filmmakers didn't know what to do with her otherwise, or to fill some kind of romance quota (after all, nearly every male lead in the MCU has a love interest and it seemed they needed someone to fill Peggy's shoes). However, it's a disservice to their character arcs - especially considering where Steve ends up - and Sharon in particular.
Now, with VanCamp returning as Sharon Carter in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the MCU has the chance to redeem themselves and give the character a compelling emotional arc. It makes sense for her to return, since she's proven herself as much of an ally to Sam and Bucky as Steve, but the show shouldn't make her a love interest to either of those characters. Civil War already undermined her skills as a CIA agent by focusing on the supposed romantic relationship between her and Steve, it would be a shame to see that happen again.
Further, because Sharon was Steve's love interest at one point, even if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier attempts to portray a more well-developed and compelling romantic relationship between her and either Sam or Bucky, it would have to address the fact that she had, at one point, kissed Steve. A tortured, quasi-love triangle between a man, his former love interest and one of his closest friends might be the premise of a compelling TV show, but it doesn't make sense for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier - and, frankly, sounds more overwrought than a CW teen drama. Even if any such relationship was well developed, which is doubtful considering so much else would be going on, it would detract attention from the main story of the show.
Although it's not yet known what exactly to expect from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we do know Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) will return as the villain. With Zemo back, Sam wrestling with becoming Captain America and Bucky moving forward from his time as the Winter Soldier, the MCU show has enough going on. Adding any love interest storyline shouldn't be a major focus, especially if it includes Sharon Carter. She's served her time as a token love interest, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier should develop Sharon Carter's character in a different, more compelling way.
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- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022