Warning: This post contains Black Widow spoilers.

Black Widow changes several aspects of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are perceived. Marvel Studios returns to the theaters with Scarlett Johansson’s long-overdue standalone movie. While it’s a period piece, set on the heels of the Avengers’ fall-out in Captain America: Civil War working around the idea that its titular character is dead in the present MCU timeline, it reframes several elements of Natasha Romanoff’s story after it.

Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow sees Nat on the run as General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) and the rest of the U.S. government hunt her for violating the Sokovia Accords. During this time, she discovers that despite a previous mission to end the Red Room, the program remains functional, with General Dreykov (Ray Winstone) still heading it. Her quest to properly take it down reunites her with her Russian family — all of whom have their respective connections to the project. With that, the MCU gained several new players such as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz), and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh).

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In the end, the clan successfully defeated General Dreykov and freed the mind-controlled Black Widows. Given where the events of Black Widow land in the MCU timeline, Nat refuses to escape with her family after the mission. The next time she’s seen, she’s already sporting the blonde hair and get-up she had upon Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) arrival. As a transitional film, the latest MCU project either explains or adds context to how the rest of her story unfolded in Infinity War and Endgame.

Black Widow Did Have A Memorial

The decision to kill Black Widow in Endgame is one of, if not the most controversial creative decision Marvel Studios made in the film. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained that this was their way of giving the character her agency considering how adamant she was in sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone. But, that explanation has fallen flat for many critics. The fact that there’s barely any memorial to celebrate Nat’s legacy and contribution as an Avenger made this so much worse.

Black Widow rectifies that by finally revealing the hero’s tombstone; in the post-credits scene, Yelena visits her sister’s grave in the present MCU timeline. While she came by alone, the flowers, teddy bears, and other tributes in the site imply that it’s a location known to the public. Depending on when exactly the tag takes place, it’s either from a funeral/memorial service or that people have been coming by to pay respects to the fallen Avenger who gave up her life to undo the decimation and defeat Thanos. It’s only a shame this didn’t play out on the screen.

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Black Widow Explains Avengers: Endgame’s Nat Cut Plot

Every surviving Avenger used the five years in between the snap and the time heist in different ways. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) tried to move on by focusing on group counseling; Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) fitted his consciousness to the Hulk to become Smart Hulk, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) grieved the disappearance of his family, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) wallowed in his failure, and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) became a family man. Nat stayed in the Avengers HQ and manned the base, regularly communicating with allies across the universe. However, this wasn’t her original job. In an Endgame deleted plotline, she would’ve been in charge of an orphan shelter in Washington D.C. Due to time and story constraints, it was scrapped from the 2019 ensemble film.

While it seems like an unlikely job for a spy like Nat, Black Widow explains why she would’ve been interested in that kind of work. In the new film, it’s fully revealed how she and other girls were groomed to be Black Widows. Not knowing her parents, she, understandably, had a soft spot for kids who are abandoned or just don’t have a home in general. It could also go back to her yearning to have her own children — something she couldn’t because also because of the Red Room.

Black Widow Did Have Another Family

There’s a notion that the reason why Nat was significantly impacted by the disappearance of her fellow heroes in Infinity War was that the Avengers were her only family. She talked about it in her heart-to-heart with Steve at the beginning of Endgame on the heels of the five-year time jump. Black Widow, however, reveals that this was not exactly the case. The latest Marvel Studios post-credits scene shows Yelena visiting her sister’s grave. While it’s not explicitly shown what she’s been up to during the debacle with Thanos, her connection with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) implies that she’s been working with her for a while. Hence why, chances are that she wasn’t affected by the snap. Alexei and Melina’s whereabouts are currently unknown, but having made up with Yelena in Black Widow, Nat knew that she could always reach out to her second family, even if that’s just Yelena, at any point during those difficult years.

Black Widow Gives Deeper Meaning To Nat’s Avengers: Infinity War Costume

Thanks to Black Widow‘s marketing, it’d been confirmed that the green vest that Nat was wearing in Infinity War was originally Yelena’s. However, there’s more meaning to this than just the sisters sharing the same garment. After Yelena is exposed to the Red Dust and freed from the mind control of the Red Room, the first thing she bought herself is the jacket; she found it very practical considering the many pockets it has. The simple piece of clothing represents her freedom, and at the end of the film, Yelena decides to give the jacket to Nat, almost like a parting gift, because she thought her sister was eyeing it. Given that, the gesture marks the pair’s full reconciliation after years of being separated.

Black Widow Explains Nat and Hawkeye’s Budapest Comment

After Hawkeye sat out Avengers: Infinity War, Nat and Clint reunited and were tasked to retrieve the Soul Stone during the time heist in Avengers: Endgame. On their way to Vormir, they once again brought up the Budapest incident, saying that they were a long away from that. By that point, the said incident was still a mystery, but Black Widowfinally reveals what exactly happened in the encounter. Nat’s final mission for her defection involved killing General Dreykov and effectively ending the Red Room, with his young daughter, Antonia (Olga Kurylenko) deemed collateral. She managed to pull it off by collapsing the building that the father and child were, but the Hungarian Special Forces were quickly onto them. Nat and Hawkeye spent 10 days in the city, two of which were in an air duct in a subway station to evade authorities until they were eventually able to escape. As grueling as the experience was, it made them closer.

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