Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier promised fans a cameo from a “well-known performer” playing a “grounded” character – and the boy was to put it mildly. While the previous Disney + Marvel Cinematic Universe series, WandaVision, was busy making nonexistent appearances, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does more than respond to what its creator Malcolm Spellman and other reports teased. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this cameo is in my top three, alongside Matt Damon playing Loki in Thor: Ragnarok, and the return of JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: away from home. If you haven’t seen it, please watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 before continuing reading.
Spoilers ahead for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 “Truth”.
Falcon and Winter Soldier Episode 5 Cameo
Early in the final episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, after John Walker (Wyatt Russell) was stripped of the title of Captain America and his military rank due to his actions in Episode 4, he sits on a bench and complains to his wife Olivia (Gabrielle Byndloss) that the US government “doesn’t understand what it takes to be Captain America.” It’s not like I just want to disappear. Olivia tells her to concentrate and take things one step at a time, but before she can finish her sentence, the walkers are interrupted by someone’s footsteps. Very loud heels indeed.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 5 recap: Black Captain America
A stranger dressed in dark purple from top to bottom approaches them and introduces herself as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. “In fact, it is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, ”she adds. This is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the star of award-winning comedy series such as Veep and Seinfeld. In fact, Louis-Dreyfus has won eight Emmys for his acting, including six in a row for Veep. Marvel has a habit of exploiting comedians for its movies and TV shows – WandaVision villain Agatha Harkness, played by Kathryn Hahn, was the latest – but it’s as important as it can be for the MCU.
Back to the cameo – Valentina then squeezes between Walker and his wife, then says that she would have done the same as him, back in Lativa: kill the Flag Smasher. Olivia interrupts her to ask who she is, but Valentina just hands her a card without even looking in her direction. She continues to talk to Walker, telling him that she knows he took the Super Soldier Serum and adds, “It has made you very, very precious to some people. I actually think it was the second best choice you ever made in your life.
The first best choice? Valentina says it’s tied to “fabulous firecracker” Olivia’s wedding, even though she’s really playing with them. “Pick up the phone when I call you,” Valentina adds to Walker, making it clear who he currently works for. Valentina then tells her not to worry about the shield – she knows he doesn’t have it anymore – and then confides in her a “dirty little state secret”. The Captain America shield does not actually belong to the US government; it’s kind of a legal gray area.
“I’ll be in touch,” Valentina said as she stood up and left. Olivia hands the card she got to Walker, who discovers there is nothing on it. It’s just black on one side and white on the other. What is that supposed to mean?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 Post-credits scene, explained
Who is Valentina Allegra de Fontaine?
In Marvel comics – according to the official Marvel.com site – Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is a Russian spy alias who works for a secret network called Leviathan. She and her family were transferred to Italy during the Cold War and received their “de Fontaine” identity. After her spy parents were reportedly killed by Russian agents, Valentina would be recruited into the newly formed SHIELD and trained as a full-fledged super-spy.
But Valentina was actually a double agent working for Leviathan. Valentina has had a long career in Marvel comics, being part of dozens of stories starring Captain America and Nick Fury. She even called herself Madame Hydra at one point. But many of them are incompatible with the MCU given the time and place where we are now. That said, the MCU is used to tweaking origin stories anyway, so don’t expect it all to turn out like this. The only thing that will seem true is its connection to Russia, as a report from Vanity Fair revealed.
Spoilers ahead for an upcoming MCU movie.
Immediately after The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 was released on Friday, Vanity Fair said Louis-Dreyfus was supposed to appear for the first time as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in Black Widow, the standalone film directed by Scarlett Johansson. Black Widow was originally designed to release before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the order. Black Widow Now set to debut July 9 in theaters and on Disney + with Premier Access.
Given Black Widow revolves around Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) ‘s ties to the Soviet spy training center Red Room, it looks like Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina will retain her story of Russian origin. What its history has been since remains unclear, however. Vanity Fair wonders if Marvel will always maintain its presence Black Widow but he also claims that people familiar with the matter have said that Marvel has “great ambitions” for Louis-Dreyfus.
That means we’ll see a lot more of Fontaine’s Valentina Allegra in Phase Four of the MCU. Could she be the next big bad in the MCU? Or will it be limited to the next films? Well, that’s something we’ll just have to wait to find out.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5 is now streaming on Disney + and Disney + Hotstar. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Episode 6 – the series finale – releases April 23 at 12:30 p.m. IST / 12am PT.
Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, has a dual project this week: the OnePlus 9 series and Justice League Snyder Cut (as of 25:32). Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere you get your podcasts.