As promised, this week’s episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier delivered a plethora of content as the series nears its finale. Prior to today, the crew behind the series teased that there would be a cameo from a Marvel Comics character that we’ve yet to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by a notable actor.
Early on in “Truth,” after John Walker was discharged for his actions in “The Whole World Is Watching,” the surprise was revealed to be none other than Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine — portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Valentina approached Walker and his wife after the trial, comfortably settling in on the bench right between the two of them to casually assure Walker that he had indeed done the right thing by taking the serum (something that she’s mysteriously already heard all about). She then informed him that being a Super Soldier has made him very valuable to certain people. After making it clear that he’s to pick up the phone when she calls, she left Walker with a brazen comment about the fact that the shield doesn’t belong to the government … it’s a legal grey area. Valentina then sauntered off, leaving behind an oddly blank business card with a baffled Walker and his wife.
So who is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine?
In the comics, she’s an incredibly efficient Russian spy, one that has acted as a triple agent working for the terrorist organization Leviathan while also infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra. Amongst other characters, she has notably had ties to Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, and Sharon Carter during her time with S.H.I.E.L.D. She has also operated under the identity of Madame Hydra.
So what does this mean for her character in the show? Thought it’s not out of the question for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier to have simply brought Louis-Dreyfus in for a brief, fun cameo, her short scene with Walker has already clearly exemplified the brilliant and charismatic potential that she would have as a long term villain in the MCU.
Given her ties to Sharon in the comics and the mystery surrounding Emily VanCamp’s character and her questionable level of power in Madripoor right now, could the two be connected in the series? Valentina’s comment about John being valuable to certain people as a Super Soldier also begs the question as to if that was a nod toward someone like, say … the Power Broker.
And furthermore, just because we can’t help but continue to speculate about the potential of the Thunderbolts coming to the MCU, could this somehow lead into a recruitment campaign for the infamous team of antiheroes? After all, considering Zemo’s hands are seemingly now tied as his sentence has been moved to the Raft, someone’s got to hand out the business cards.
The finale of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will premiere exclusively on Disney+ next Friday, April 23. In the meantime, make sure to follow along with our episodic recaps, reviews, theories, and more, as well as our recent interview with series composer Henry Jackman.