Synopsis: Old endings and new beginnings as Romanoff and Barnes save the world.
Review: This review contains spoilers.
“Friends in High Places” is the main event. L.L. McKinney’s finale doesn’t disappoint — addressing outstanding questions and hopefully setting up a second season.
The bulk of the final episode takes place in, on, and around two trucks, as Romanoff and Barnes face off with Viscose. I absolutely love how there’s no subterfuge at this point in the process. There’s something truly cathartic about The Black Widow and The Winter Soldier in blunt force mode.
McKinney’s language throughout this chapter is powerfully visceral both when our heroes have the upper hand and especially when they don’t. She has the unenviable task of building suspense in a story involving Marvel brand characters who the audience knows succeed in the end. McKinney’s solution is to make listeners feel every punch, every crack, and every wrenched shoulder as The Black Widow hangs from a mountain.
McKinney’s other solution is to slow characters down within the chaotic fight, so the psychological beats really land. This is epitomized by the sequence in which Viscose is strangling Natasha. Listeners can practically feel the breath behind every syllable Viscose utters and see the life or death struggle through Natasha’s eyes.
The rest of the finale is Natasha’s recovery from the fight. As with the fight itself, McKinney makes the audience feel every nanosecond of it. In and around that, Natasha interacts directly with Nick Fury, which frankly justifies the entire story line on certain levels. I’m particularly happy with how effectively McKinney finds Fury’s voice.
However awesome he may be, though, Fury isn’t the only treat in store. Listeners also get a charmingly in character interaction between Natasha and Barnes. In addition, there’s also follow up on the friends Natasha made while undercover as Melanie. It seems Keisha may be more heavily featured in subsequent seasons, which I heartily look forward to.
Sarah Natochenny doesn’t hold back for her final outing. She’s particularly good at finding just the right vocal intonations during character dialogue. I hope she continues to narrate during additional seasons.
Thank you, Serial Box, for my introduction to Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes outside the MCU. Here’s hoping I enjoy the delayed Black Widow film as much when it finally comes out.
You can purchase Black Widow: Bad Blood to find out here.
- Audio Production10