This week on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, an enigmatic character from the Marvel Comics – one that was supposed to make its debut in the belated Black Widow film – was given a face. And a very familiar one at that.
About a third of the way into the April 16 episode of the Disney + series, after the nefarious new Captain America was read aloud by a Senate committee for filth, John Walker and his wife Olivia were approached by a flashy brunette. Played by eight-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the woman introduced herself as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine – although you can simply call her “Val” (but … not).
Val sat down next to John and confided to the fallen superhero: “I would have killed the bastard too.” He was referring to his very brutal, very public bludgeoning of Flag Smasher Matias. Unfortunately: “The men in ties have something to protect,” she says with a nod to the senators who have just robbed John of his job and handed the army veterinarian a dismissal other than honorable.
“You did the right thing” when you took the Super Soldier serum, Val whispers, and that’s what made Walker “very, very valuable” to certain people. In fact, she says that getting up was the second smartest decision he has ever made (combined with marrying his “cracker” woman). But his best decision will be to pick up the phone when the Contessa calls him. And after Contessa gave her (blank) business card to Olivia to Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, she slipped away.
Is Val the oft-mentioned yet-to-see Power Broker in the series? It seems like this has never been made 100 percent clear. But in the Marvel comics, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is an alter ego of Madame Hydra, and among other things, she was once a love interest for SHIELD boss Nick Fury. She also headed SHIELD’s femme force female attack team at one point, along with… Sharon Carter.
According to Vanity Fair, JLD will appear as Contessa in the original Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson, the release date of which has been postponed several times and which will now be released on July 9th in Disney + and theaters. The fact that she debuted instead on The Small Screen is a ripple effect of the date change for movies and TV series.
“In a year after you’ve seen all of the shows and movies we’ve done, there are a few tiny things I could point out to this shift if people are interested,” said Kevin Feige, chief executive of Marvel Studios TVLine in January. “I can only think of one thing at the moment, and he’s a super minor.”
Our full recap of the “Truth” episode will be released later this morning. Until then, you should weigh Dreyfus’ debut!
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