Black Widow — Scarlett Johansson’s solo adventure, now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar — inevitably has a scene during the credits, as is the case with nearly every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. The lone exception to date is the studio’s biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame, which also saw the death of Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. For precisely that reason, Black Widow‘s post-credits scene doesn’t involve Natasha in the flesh. Instead, it focuses on a related character — and brings in another character from a Disney+ series. Naturally, Black Widow‘s final scene is tied to the MCU’s future.
Major spoilers ahead for Black Widow. Stop reading if you haven’t seen the Marvel movie.
Black Widow ending, explained
After the high-flying climactic act that ends with Dreykov’s floating home crashing to the ground, Natasha bids goodbye to her “family” — her “younger sister” Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), her “father” Alexei Shostakov (David Harbour), and her “mother” Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) — as the government forces arrive. The three of them leave with Antonia Dreykov/ Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) and all the other Widows whose minds have been freed from the chemical agent that was used by the villain Dreykov for everyone in the Red Room, following Natasha’s defection to S.H.I.E.L.D.
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A couple of weeks later, Natasha meets up with her fixer Rick Mason (O-T Fagbenle) who supplies her with the Quinjet that was used by Steve Rogers/ Captain America (Chris Evans) to free the imprisoned Avengers at the end of Captain America: Civil War. That closes out Natasha’s standalone journey — this will lead into the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.
Black Widow post-credits scene, explained
Black Widow‘s post-credits scene picks up following Endgame, with Yelena back in Ohio where she lived as a kid, as we saw at the start of Black Widow. She has a dog with her and she is visiting Natasha’s grave. It’s not the funeral that fans had demanded in the wake of Endgame, but it definitely feels like a response to that. “Daughter, Sister, Avenger,” her tombstone reads. The grieving Yelena bends down, grabs the tombstone, and whistles — just like they did as kids. Yelena’s moment of quiet is rudely interrupted by someone just then, who’s blowing her nose.
Turns out it’s Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the mysterious woman whom we first met in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. (It was then revealed that Louis-Dreyfus would be part of Black Widow, so fans who have been closely following the news had been waiting all movie for her arrival.) Valentina apologises for her behaviour, claiming she’s allergic to the Midwest. Ohio is part of Midwestern US. Valentina then adds: “What this woman [Natasha] did, honestly, I can’t even imagine.”
“You’re not supposed to be bothering me on my holiday time, Valentina,” Yelena says in response, confirming that the two already know each other. “I’m just here paying my respects,” Valentina says to placate her. Yelena isn’t buying that and says, “You know, coming here makes you look desperate. I want a raise,” which suggests that she has been working for Valentina. Similar to how she recruited US Agent. Louis-Dreyfus chuckles before noting that she has her “next target.” Handing Yelena an iPad, Valentina adds: “Maybe you’d like a shot at the man responsible for your sister’s death.”
Who’s on the iPad? It’s Clint Barton/ Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Wait, what now? Sure, Clint was with Natasha on Vormir in Endgame when she died, but how is Valentina spinning this absurd fabrication? Clearly, fake news is a problem in the MCU too. But how long does Valentina expect this lie to hold up? I would imagine it will take Clint two minutes to bring up something he wouldn’t know if he wasn’t close to Natasha. He could even argue that he offered to sacrifice himself in lieu of Natasha, though I don’t think Yelena would receive that well. (“You should’ve done a better job,” Yelena might retort.)
In any case, what this establishes is that Pugh will have a semi-antagonistic role on the upcoming series Hawkeye, led by Renner and Hailee Steinfeld, and premiering in late November on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. We already knew about Pugh’s involvement on Hawkeye, so no surprises on that front, but now we have a little more direction on what that entails. This is not the main story though. Hawkeye is about Renner’s Clint passing the baton to Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, just as Black Widow did the same from Natasha to Yelena.
Black Widow is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.
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