I want to start this article by saying that the theory I’m about to discuss has not left my mind for the past few months and it all started when I noticed something in one of the trailers for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. The following theory I’m about to discuss not only discusses what I consider to be one of the most important scenes from the film, but also the film’s most important plot twist. So, take the following letters in bold as your general warning.
**This article delves deep into a possible major spoiler for the upcoming MCU film, Black Widow. Consider yourselves warned.
Still here? Alright then!
If you’ve read the title, then I’m sure you’d understand what I’m about to discuss, but if you require a blunter description:
SOMEONE’S GONNA DIE IN THIS MOVIE.
And when I mean someone, I don’t mean an extra or a one-off character. I mean someone who is part of this central cast. Now the question is: who?
We already know Natasha’s fate following the events of this film, where she heads off to join Captain America, The Falcon and Scarlet Witch and eventually the rest of the Avengers in both Infinity War (2018) and Endgame (2019). At the very least we know she’s safe for now.
What of Yelena Belova, Melina Vostokoff and Alexei Shostakov? Could one (if not all) meet their fates during this film? Well, as Charles would usually say, “it’s a 50/50 chance. Either they’ll die, or they’ll live.”
I believe I have enough evidence to make the case for at least one of these character’s ultimate demise. And that character is none other than…
Now let’s discuss the scenes that lead me to believe this.
Evidence #1: The “potential death scene”
Now, this gif that you see right here is from the final trailer for Black Widow. In this shot, you see Yelena and Natasha embracing together in what appears to be a forehead bump. Here’s what’s really interesting about this shot in particular: Natasha is very clearly devasted and heartbroken in this shot. Why? One can assume that something tragic has just occurred prior to this sequence, but it’s not so much what possibly happened that gives credence to this theory as much as who Natasha is reacting to this event with and how Natasha herself is behaving in this gif. Notice that she’s bringing in Yelena for this hug. Why her instead of Melina or Alexei? If they are embracing, why isn’t Yelena reciprocating the movement back at Natasha?
Notice how Natasha blinks several times while crying, yet Yelena has a motionless (almost dead) look on her face where she doesn’t appear to even blink? Now, as an Anatomy and Physiology TA, I can tell you that when you look in different directions, your eyes will always blink no matter the direction you’ll look to. (You just tried it out for yourself, didn’t you? Good!)
Anyway, do you notice that when Yelena is being brought into the embrace her eyes don’t blink or move even once? She is completely focused on just one spot and her eyes do not move the entire time. Look closer: it isn’t just her eyes, but her body doesn’t move either. In fact, in this shot, Natasha is PULLING Yelena into this embrace.
So, just with this shot alone, analyzing the body movements, plus Natasha’s reaction and movements, plus Yelena’s stillness, leaves me to believe that Natasha is indeed mourning her sister in this shot.
Now, if you’re skeptical and don’t believe me fully, then let’s continue with some more clips I’ve got.
Evidence #2: Widow’s Jacket
Now, remember that look Black Widow debuted in Avengers: Infinity War with the green vest? Well, that vest is actually worn by Yelena in this movie, as shown in the first image. When Natasha gets up from the floor in the second shot, she’s holding on to that same vest. My assumption is that Natasha took Yelena’s vest as a memento to remember her by and that her look in Infinity War is a nod to Yelena Belova.
Now I know what you are about to say; But Edward, what about that shot where they’re both standing together side by side!?
Yeah, I took those into account, and they stand out even more when you pay attention to the whole sequence where Alexei says “We fight with you.”
Rule #1 when dealing with Marvel Studios films:
NEVER TRUST MARVEL STUDIOS. ESPECIALLY THE TRAILERS.
Look at what Marvel has done for trailers in the past, with the Hulk in Wakanda with the Avengers during Avengers: Infinity War or Nebula fighting in the ruins of the Avengers Facility when it was actually 2014 Nebula during Avengers: Endgame. Anyone remember this?
Here we have a classic example of how Marvel Studios alters scenes in trailers to hide the final product, which may contain an important plot point or twist in the final product.
I think this entire interaction is a fake scene with Red Guardian, Melina and Yelena. Mainly because the VFX and coloring of the scene with Alexei and Melina looks incomplete compared to this shot. This is in the same place and neither Alexei nor Melina nor Yelena are with her in the shot, yet it feels more complete because of the camera angle shot, the lighting and the coloring of the scene.
If I am right, don’t fret! Here’s the bright side, YelenaStans: Always remember Rule #2 with Marvel Studios films:
NO ONE EVER STAYS DEAD.
This shot (also from the final trailer for Black Widow), shows Yelena strapped to a bed. Notice she’s wearing her white combat gear that she would wear underneath the vest Natasha currently has in her possession. This scene would have to happen immediately after the events of what I consider to be the ending. Here’s what’s interesting: see the machine next to her with the logo? Can’t read it? Let me flip it around, increase the brightness and sharpen it for you.
Right here, we can clearly see the corporation known as A.I.M. making their presence known once again in the MCU since their debut in Iron Man 3 (2013).
My prediction is that we are most likely seeing a “Winter Soldier” scenario where Yelena will be “enhanced” as shown by the line around Yelena’s head. This leaves me to believe that Marvel will try to incorporate the storyline from the comics where Yelena accepts to be a part of A.I.M. in exchange for becoming an “adaptoid”, and THIS is how the Black Widow mantle “lives on”.
Why make her an adaptoid, you ask? Who would do such a thing? Could Marvel be setting up Yelena as the new Black Widow for something bigger in the future? A new team perhaps?
THAT’S for another theory.