Black Widow: Bad Blood is a serialized novel released in a new episode/chapter every week on Serial Box. Today I’m recapping and reviewing episodes seven and eight so beware of mild spoilers for all episodes so far.
Episode six left us on yet another cliff-hanger with Nat knocked to the ground by an unseen enemy. Episode seven (Of Monsters and Men) picks up mere seconds later and, this being the Black Widow, after all, it doesn’t take long for Nat to turn the tables on her assailants. There’s a great, if short, fight scene that kick starts this new episode but episode seven is more about information-gathering than outright action. Using her wits, Natasha has soon extracted valuable information that she is able to bring back to Bucky, allowing them to plan out their next move.
Something I particularly enjoyed in episode seven was Natasha’s internal monologue. She is initially annoyed with herself for allowing the attack to happen, recognizing that she is desperate and angry, a combination that can easily “make a person stupid” but she also understands that she is afraid. The memory of being rendered helpless and vulnerable back in Chicago is fresh and those feelings are ones unfamiliar to Natasha. She is determined never to feel that way again but she understands that she is fighting so hard to avoid it that she is now opening herself up to other threats. It’s a difficult revelation for Natasha and watching her grapple with it was a highlight.
Episode seven also gave us valuable insight into the relationship between Natasha and Bucky, something that was never explored much on-screen in the MCU. In the comics, the pair have had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship for decades and there’s certainly a strongly implied attraction and touching connection happening here, although what may become of it is yet to be seen. While I’ve never shipped the pairing myself, I’m enjoying watching this relationship unfold and seeing how Natasha is capable of helping a Bucky who thinks of himself as little more than “a damaged monster” – a line that echoes Natasha’s own controversial one in Age of Ultron.
Moving on to episode eight (Old Friends) and we once again got to see the Black Widow in action when Natasha finally infiltrates the VECTOR institute. Using a number of disguises, Natasha stalks her way around the building in search of a name – Karbayeva – but when she finds her way to her goal, it’s not at all what she expected. All of Natasha’s theories come crashing down around her and she realizes that the danger brewing is worse than she had imagined and puts a whole lot of people at risk – including the friends she left behind in Chicago.
Episode eight was much shorter than episode seven but it certainly packed a punch. For Natasha, who had hoped to go to VECTOR and put an end to this, her discoveries are difficult to accept. Rather than a fight (and, most likely, an assassination) she has found herself stalled yet again. She finally gets some questions answered, but a new one has stepped up to more than fill the spaces they left behind. Crucially, we still don’t know many of the key details Natasha is seeking – specifically what her enemies want with her blood and that of the Winter Soldier – but a defined enemy has stepped into view which makes their next moves critical.
I’m hopeful that over the next few episodes we will start to build to a worthy conclusion and find out exactly what this new enemy plans to do with Natasha and Bucky’s blood. I’m continuing to hugely enjoy this story and, as always, I’m excited to read on to the next few episodes. Watch out for my recap of episodes three and four of Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire later this week and come back on June 24th for my recap of Black Widow: Bad Blood episodes nine and ten.
GeekMom received a copy of this book for review purposes.