After a two year long big screen hiatus, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back with the first solo outing for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War, Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) is on the run for breaking the Sokovia Accords, with general Thadeus Ross (William Hurt) hot on her heels.
The super spy’s forced to confront her past, however, when her long lost (sort of) sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) reveals to her that the Red Room – the shady spy organisation responsible for training Natasha and making her into Black Widow – hadn’t been destroyed as she thought. Instead, the man in charge, Dreykov (Ray Winston), has been recruiting even more girls to his cause, brainwashing them with chemicals to make an army of loyal supersoldiers.
To bring him down, Natasha and Yelena set off to reunite their old dysfunctional spy family. Their adopted father Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), aka the USSR’s Captain America rip-off the Red Guardian, and mother Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weiss), an older Black Widow and Red Room scientist, are brought in with the hopes of putting an end to Dreykov’s evil plan. Unfortunately for our gang of plucky heroes, Dreykov gets wise and releases his ultimate weapon, The Taskmaster, to track them down.
What happens in Black Widow’s ending?
Unsurprisingly, Natasha is indeed successful in bringing down Dreykov, destroying his hidden floating fortress with some help from her pseudo-family and breaking his control over his army of Black Widows at the same time. Along the way, she also manages to free Taskmaster – who’d previously been revealed to be Dreykov’s daughter – from her master’s control, freeing her from a lifetime of mercenary violence.
As the film draws to a close, Natasha entrusts Yelena, Alexei, and Melina with travelling the world and destroying what remains of Dreykov’s network of Black Widows. The family then make their escape leaving Natasha behind to face the music with Ross as he rolls up to finally arrest her.
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If you thought Black Widow was going to be captured by someone like Ross though, think again. The film instead fades to black, and we cut to two weeks later.
Natasha is then seen riding on a motorcycle, wearing the green jacket she wore in Infinity War (it was given to her by Yelena as a gift before they went their separate ways) and with her hair dyed blonde.
Clearly still on the run, Natasha meets with her fixer Rick Mason (O-T Fagbenle) who, after being the butt of several jokes, finally provides her with a decent mode of transport – an Avengers Quinjet.As composer Alan Silvestri’s familiar theme kicks in, Natasha flies off promising to reunite her other family, Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers.
The scene basically serves as a bridge between Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, explaining where Cap’s rag-tag team of secret Avengers got their plane from, setting up the events in Edinburgh where Falcon, Widow, and Cap rescued Vision and Scarlet Witch from the Children of Thanos.
What happens in the Black Widow post-credits scene?
Just because the movie’s over and the credits have started to roll doesn’t mean you can leave the cinema, though – this is a Marvel movie, after all. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame and Natasha’s death, the scene opens with Yelena tending to her dearly departed sister’s grave.
As she fixes the flowers and rearranges the trinkets left by the grave, she’s disturbed by someone blowing their nose. As the camera pans, it’s revealed to be Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, aka Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who we last saw in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier convincing John Walker (Wyatt Russell) to become the U.S. Agent. Val has somehow ended up as Yelena’s new handler, and she’s a new job for her.
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Passing her a smart tablet, Val teases Yelena with getting revenge on the man who killed her sister and her new target is shown to be none other than Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), teeing up the Disney Plus Hawkeye TV series. If you’re wondering how Hawkeye killed Black Widow, well there’s an easy answer to that: he didn’t.
During Endgame, Natasha chose to sacrifice herself so the Avengers could get their hands on the Soul Stone. Her sacrifice allowed the team to undo The Snap, making her (and Tony Stark) the ultimate heroes of the Infinity Saga’s climax. It seems, however, that Val’s manipulating the situation for her own ends, whatever they may be – we’ll have to find to when Hawkeye arrives on Disney Plus later this year.