The following article contains spoilers for episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so if you have not seen the episode yet, DO NOT PROCEED.
Aside from setting the stage for a very big finale, this week’s penultimate episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also began filling in some gaps and answering some questions. As promised by writer Malcolm Spellman a few weeks ago, the episode also delivered on a major cameo. That was, of course, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
Now, while the character might not be a household name for those generally familiar with Marvel, judging by how the series sets her up she’s about to be.
Who is she though? Well, similar to how she describes Captain America’s shield in the episode as a “grey area”, she is a morally “grey” character. For the most part in the comics set on Earth 616, the Contessa (as she’s often referred to) is a spy. Not only does she dedicate a majority of her life to S.H.I.E.L.D., she is one of the few people to ever overpower Nick Fury in combat. There’s an argument that Fury may have let win though because the two are also lovers for a brief time too. She’s also by his side when S.H.I.E.L.D. is disbanded in the comics.
However, the character is probably most known for her brief stint infiltrating Hydra. There, she garnered another moniker in which she’s often known by, Madame Hydra. After betraying them though, she was eventually revealed to be working against what was left of S.H.I.E.L.D too. Unbeknownst to both parties, she was a triple agent for an organization called Leviathan.
What does any of this mean for Julia Louis-Dreyfus iteration of the character? Considering that we can’t tell what side she’s on in the few minutes we do meet her, it’s hard to say. With a history of mostly comedic roles, particularly in Seinfeld and Veep, it was surprising to see the actress do something seemingly against type. Thankfully, it appears we’ll get to see more of her relatively soon.
According to Vanity Fair, a source close to the production of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revealed that this cameo wasn’t supposed to be a surprise at all. Louis-Dreyfus was actually supposed to appear in Black Widow first, but she ultimately ended up debuting on the show due to Marvel’s need to shuffle its entire slate. Unless her appearance was cut from the film, it appears that Marvel is setting her up for quite the arc in its fourth phase.
Personally, I just want to see her fight Nick Fury.
What do you guys think about Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ cameo? What are your theories surrounding her character? Sound off below!
Source: Vanity Fair