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 the final two episodes – thirteen and fourteen – so beware of mild spoilers for all the episodes so far.
When we left Natasha and Bucky at the end of episode 12, the pair had been almost buried alive as Allan Holt’s research facility collapsed around them thanks to Bucky’s overuse of explosives. At the start of episode 13 – “Fast and Dirty” – we catch up with them mere seconds later as they run for their lives to escape the falling rubble. Thankfully, Holt’s personal helicopter is still available and they are able to literally take-off toward safety.
Their flight allows them to figure out how Holt planned to distribute his deadly parasite – hardly a difficult conclusion to draw if you’ve been paying attention – and Nat calls her discovery into Fury, knowing she needs all S.H.I.E.L.D.’s resources to put a stop to this. But just when the pair think their mission is at an end, their helicopter radio patches into Viscose who is leading a convoy of parasite-loaded trucks straight to Geneva. With no S.H.I.E.L.D. backup close enough to help in time, they realize it will be down to them to prevent this last element of Holt’s plan from succeeding.
The rest of the episode concludes with the most intense of all the story’s action scenes as Nat and Bucky pool all their resources, both mental and physical, to stop the trucks reaching their destination. This fight has every trope you could want from a Marvel climax: a high-speed chase, trucks veering dangerously on mountain roads inches away from sheer drops, witty dialogue involving bazookas… Best of all, Nat’s ingenuity takes center stage at all times as she pulls out one trick after another to keep herself and Bucky alive for the next minute.
Episode 14 – “Friends in High Places” – is the finale and opens with Nat and Bucky continuing the fight that began in the last episode. This works to bring the story nicely full-circle, ending as it began with Nat in a fight against Viscose. This time, however, things are different. Rather than fighting him alone, Nat has Bucky with her for support and it is this element that changes the tide in her favor. The action continues to be extreme but here we get to see how Nat works when she isn’t forced to do everything alone and can, instead, rely on someone to have her back. It’s a very different style of fighting to what we saw at the start of the story and illustrates, in a way, how Nat is changing and allowing herself to rely on others without considering that to be a weakness.
These final two episodes did a great job at ramping up the tension then exploding into a proper Marvel climax complete with all the epic explosions, incredible fight skills, and brilliant banter you would hope for. The story concludes sometime after the fight when Nat is recovering from her injuries and getting a debrief from Fury, and while I was disappointed not to have a more fulfilling conclusion to the relationship between Nat and Bucky, I was also unsurprised – this isn’t fanfiction after all so the pair riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after was never going to be on the table. More’s the pity.
Overall I have really loved Black Widow: Bad Blood and following along with the story over the last few months has certainly helped ease my disappointment at having to wait even longer to finally see Nat leading her own story on the big screen. Reading only one episode a week made this feel more like an event than simply another book in my never-ending TBR pile
While this story has now concluded, don’t forget to keep reading my recaps and reviews of Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire as it begins to build to its own conclusion over the next few weeks and maybe consider picking up Thor: Metal Gods from SerialBox as well if you’re enjoying these stories.