The Story Behind 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Episode 5's Surprise Cameo

Were we supposed to know who that was?

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Fans were expecting a lot of revelations from the fifth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, titled “Truth,” and while we still don’t know for sure who the Power Broker is, the show went ahead and revealed another likely candidate. In the week ahead of the penultimate episode, there was a big character reveal tease, and the episode delivered a treat for comic readers and TV sitcom fans alike: Veep‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus stalking towards the screen in a sharp-heeled pair of boots and a streak of electric blue hair, introducing herself to John Walker (the now ex-Captain America) as Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

It’s a short scene, but she makes quite an impression, giving John her (completely blank) card and telling him that following his violent instincts was the right thing to do. Sounds like villain talk to me!! Valentina is a crucial character in the Captain America comics, an Italian heiress-turned-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, an erstwhile lover of Nick Fury, and one of the dangerous villainesses who have gone by the name of Madame Hydra. While she only has a few moments of screen time in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier so far, it’s probable that she’s being set up to become one of the many possible big bads of Marvel’s Phase 4 (Thunderbolts, anyone?)-especially since this scene wasn’t originally supposed to be her character’s big debut.

If you’re still left confused by Valentina’s surprise appearance, it might be because her character was actually going to be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Widow. But Black Widow‘s coming out a month from now, after this show is already done, but before quarantine hit and jumbled up every movie and TV studio’s release schedule, it was Black Widow that was supposed to kickstart Phase 4 in May 2020, and, according to an article about this episode in Vanity Fair, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was originally planned to surprise cameo in that movie first. If that had happened the way it was supposed to happen, we’d already recognise her by the time she appeared in this show. But the world is a fickle place, and as it turns out, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier got to introduce her character first. It still works as a fun surprise, just one that might take some googling to figure out.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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