Sandwiched between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Black Widow unfolds years before the main character’s sacrifice in Endgame. As such, there was never any hope that the pre-requisite end credits scene would become a sequel to Natasha Romanoff. Instead, it laid the groundwork for the future of Yelena Belova and, perhaps surprisingly, of Clint Barton.
In the process, though, the sequence begs the question: Where, exactly, does it take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Although Black Widow contains flashbacks, to the childhoods of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh), and then to the legendary Operation Budapest, the rest of the action takes place in 2016, perhaps in a matter of days, shortly. post Civil War. The film ends with Natasha, now sporting a blonde bob from Infinity War, setting off in a newly acquired quinjet to help free her friends from The Raft, adding another layer to the final moments of Civil War.
The final credits scene then appears to the MCU giveaway, 2023, where Yelena visits Natasha’s gravestone (inscribed with the words “Sister Daughter Avenger”), which marks an empty grave. However, her moment of calm sadness was interrupted by the performance of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Viewers of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will certainly recognize Valentina (“don’t call me Val”) from episode five, where she comforts a humiliated John Walker (Wyatt Russell) before promising to contact her. In the Black Widow scene, it’s clear he’s teamed up with Yelena, who reminds Valentina not to bother her on vacation before demanding a raise. Valentina agrees, assuring Yelena she will get one with her next target. “Maybe you want to shoot the man responsible for your sister’s death,” Valentina said before showing a photo of Hawkeye.
Does The Scene Take Place Before Or After The Falcon And The Winter Soldier?
It would be difficult to determine whether Valentina’s conversation with Yelena took place before or after the meeting with Walker if not for the knowledge that Louis-Dreyfus was originally supposed to make his debut in Black Widow. That was before COVID-19 prompted Disney to delay the film’s release three times, from the original May 1, 2020, until, finally, July 9, 2021. Into that gap stepped Marvel’s first Disney+ series, WandaVision, The Falcon, and Winter Soldier and, currently, Loki.
Therefore, we can safely say Valentina already had Yelena on her payroll before she contacted Captain America once in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. How long before is not clear.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier begins about six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and Blip brings back half of humanity after five years. (Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place about eight months after Endgame, just to make the MCU timeline a little more complicated.) While we don’t know if Yelena and Valentina were among Snap’s victims, six months (give or take) will still give them. enough time to establish a working relationship. After all, consider what Sharon Carter could achieve in that time frame.
Directed by Cate Shortland, Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, David Harbor as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, OT Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel The film is showing in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access.