After The Falcon and The Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman teased a big cameo in episode 5 (which hit Disney+ today), the rumour mill went into overdrive. We've heard lots of conflicting information from so-called "scoopers," but one thing they definitely seem to have been wrong about is this appearance not setting up something much bigger down the line.
Moments after John Walker is stripped of his Captain America title, a woman approaches him who introduces herself as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Played by Emmy award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), the mysterious new character tells John she'll be in touch and that, despite the government's claims, the shield doesn't technically belong to them.
We're not entirely sure what she's up to, but Vanity Fair reports that "According to sources close to the production, Louis-Dreyfus was slated to first appear in the Black Widow film which, in a pre-Covid world, was scheduled to debut in theaters May 1, 2020. But Marvel, reportedly, has even bigger ambitions for Louis-Dreyfus's villainous figure."
For those of you unfamiliar with the character, she was a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest to Nick Fury for many years. However, it would later be revealed that she was really a Russian sleeper agent and reported to an organisation known as Leviathan. Along the way, she also called herself Madame HYDRA for a time, and we're sure you'll know that another woman with that title (Viper) once ruled over Madripoor. In other words, we're betting Fontaine is, in fact, the Power Broker.
It feels like a new big bad is being established in the MCU, and with Sharon Carter seemingly up to no good, the new Captain America's first threat could very well be Madame HYDRA...