The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has probably introduced the next Scarlet Witch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Disney+ series has blurred the lines between the good versus evil debate. They are pitting Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes between the likes of John Walker’s Captain America, Karli Morgenthau, and the Flag Smashers and Baron Helmut Zemo, who is a war criminal. But with the introduction of Karli, MCU has followed the footsteps of Wanda Maximoff and her journey in WandaVision.
Karli is a super soldier and the leader of Flag Smashers. This group of rebels wants to restore the world to the post-Blip state after getting displaced since half of the population returned in Avengers: Endgame. At the core of Karli’s ideology is that government officials who were in power before Thanos’ snap and the ones who returned to the same positions later don’t care about the people who were not dusted.
The goal of Karli for the Flag Smashers is to topple the corrupt systems that are still there despite the Blip. After a one-on-one conversation, Karli looks torn between believing Sam about the possibility of a peaceful resolution and proceeding by her plans with Flag Smashers. Karli being in a situation about what to do resembles the journey of Wanda in Avengers: Age of Ultron and WandaVision.
Scarlet Witch was initially working with Ultron. He wanted to destroy the Avengers and all humanity to restart. Wanda abandoned Ultron and joined the Avengers. She had doubts about her actions. Her role in WandaVision took her back in the morally gray area. She went rogue towards the end of WandaVision. She opted to isolate herself instead of working with anyone side. It is possible that Karli might do the same at the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Karli has established herself as a sympathetic character. She is someone whose intentions are not bad. When Zemo argues that a super soldier cannot be removed from supremacist ideals, domination is not what Karli and Flag Smashers have been fighting for. Just like Scarlet Witch, Karli has taken the matters into her own hands. She has caused some harm to others but her choices stem from a place of hurt and turmoil.
When Wanda teamed up with HYDRA, she thought it was for a good cause. The same applies for Karli. Her role within the Flag Smashers is to right the wrongs of the ones who are in power. She believes that what she is doing is right. But her efforts are not the same without any doubt. She is not a traditional superhero and also not a villain. This has mostly been the case with Scarlet Witch. The fourth episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier made this abundantly clear.
It remains to be seen whether Karli joins Sam, Bucky, and the Avengers or goes her own way. It does seem that she’d be too hard to redeem after the finale. But her journey in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier can set her up to follow the footsteps of Wanda moving forward. There is much more in Karli’s story that can be explored down the line by MCU.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is currently streaming on Disney+. Here’s the official synopsis:
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.”
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier, Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, Wyatt Russell as John Walker, Desmond Chiam, Miki Ishikawa, Noah Mills, and Carl Lumbly.