Black Widow Movie Ending Fills In One Plot Hole, Opens Another
There is a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that always bugged me. After retrieving the Cross of Coronado from the White Hat Man on a ship in the middle of the sea, Doctor Jones jumps off the side of the boat and it explodes due to Indy being Indy. We are shown our hero holding onto a life preserver as the burnt hat of his nemesis floats by. Then, we hard cut to the campus of the university where Indy “teaches.” How he survived floating (presumably?) in the middle of the ocean and made it back to land is forever a mystery. Some might call this a “plot hole,” but it’s not really. And I mention all this because the ending of the Black Widow movie presents audiences with a similar kind of situation. Yet, it also addresses another one of these “plot holes” from an earlier Marvel film.
First, let’s talk about what a plot hole really is, or at least the ones worth mentioning. True plot holes occur when a story changes the “rules” its universe in order to advance the story without a proper set-up to explain or justify it. Take the Last Crusade example above. If it was established that Jones goes everywhere alone and with no back-up, we’d have a problem. But in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom, Indy has a pal along on those adventures literally waiting to help him out. The previous two films establish that Indy usually has assistance, thus it’s safe to assume that Indy chartered some kind of boat to get out there. It’s not a plot hole, Spielberg and writer Jeffrey Boam expected audiences to simply assume this.
Now, before we go on, we are going to go deep into the spoilers for Black Widow, so if you’ve not seen the movie or care about having the ending revealed check out our spoiler-free review instead. Or if you want all the spoilers, check out our in-depth spoiler review. Okay? Good!
The Plot Hole That the Black Widow Movie Fills In for Us
Image via Marvel Studios
In the last act of Captain America; Civil War we see Black Widow go on-the-run, and Steve somehow makes it to the Raft to break his pals out of prison. The eternal nitpicky-fan question of “How?” has lingered since then. When we see these characters again in Infinity War, they are all together (save for Ant-Man). Well, now we know thanks to the ending of Black Widow, although that movie does give us another of those questions to mull over. More on that later.
Arguably, one of the most important characters in the film is O-T Fagbenle’s Mason. He’s one of the Black Widow’s “contacts” in the intelligence/espionage world. He’s a guy who can get things for people without raising red flags. It’s thanks to him that the entire movie happens, as he both provides for Nat and Florence Pugh’s Yelena, even bringing them together. Early in the film, Mason says that he needs “time” and “money” to do what he does, and without it he can only produce things like the janky helicopter he gives to Team Nat in the movie. Yet, at the end he presents Natasha with an Avengers Quinjet, seen in Infinity War and presumably how Steve was able to get into the raft and out with his friends.
Is this an important question to have answered in any of the films? No, not really. These people are metaphorical (and in some cases literal) gods, so all that matters is if what they do feels right for their characters. Would Red Room-trained Widow and super-spy Natasha Romanov be able to escape the authorities. Of course. Would Steve Rogers be able to find allies and resources in order to save his friends? Also, of course. Still, this provides a nice bit of connective tissue.
The Plot Hole Left Dangling Open? Second Verse, Same as the First
Image via Marvel Studios/Disney.
So, now we know how Natasha was able to both escape Secretary Ross and link up with Cap again. Yet, the film takes a leap to get us there. In the climax of the movie, Natasha is left standing over a pile of smoking rubble. Secretary Ross and his team of specialists headed right for her. Then, we jump-cut to Mason in a field and all we’re told is that it’s two weeks later. The question the becomes, how does Natasha get away? There may be a story there they want to tell, either through a tie-in comic or maybe even leaving a window open for Black Widow 2, should the fans demand it. However, I hope that neither of those things happen.
One thing that comic book characters have going for them is that they are immortal. Even when they die in the books, it’s just a countdown until they come back. This is the nature of the medium, serial stories that just keep going and going for the legacy titles and characters. So, the jump-cut from the wreckage to Nat meeting with Mason is what will keep this version of Black Widow immortal. Fans can imagine all sorts of adventures taking place in those two weeks. Maybe she was captured and escaped? Maybe she cut a deal? Maybe she was headed for the Raft, but then they needed a hero (cue the Bonnie Tyler), and (Insert logline for Black Widow 2).
Remember, we don’t need to know every answer or an exact timeline of off-screen events. Talking about and imagining those moments is what will keep these movies alive in the minds of the kids who grow up with them forever.
Black Widow is currently in theaters and on Disney+ via Premier Access
What do you think? Do you think the ending of the Black Widow movie was a plot hole? Either way, tell us your favorite theories/head-canon for what took place in those 14 days.
Featured image via Marvel Studios.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.