Synopsis: Taking care of Barnes in Novosibirsk brings long-buried feelings to the surface, reminding Romanoff of their complicated relationship.
Review: “A Trap with a View” by Mikki Kendall continues from “Flashback City.” As an eight-minute read or 14 min listen, it’s the shortest episode to date. Don’t let that length fool you. Kendall crafts a solid story within that brevity to transition to the next phase of the narrative.
In Novosibirsk, Natasha Romanoff takes stock of her surroundings. The opening description sets the scene with a bleak economy. I include it here, because it doesn’t just establish the physical space, but the mental one as well. “The inside was dark and smelled of age and abandonment—concrete dust and animal droppings and the remnants of cigarette smoke and cooking oil that seemed to permeate everything and never fully faded.”
Episode six flows from that desolation, as Natasha lugs Barnes to comparative safety and begins nursing him, Kendall alternates between interior rumination and exterior Russia. She gives Natasha the room to contemplate the existential strain of Bucky Barnes and the Winter Soldier being individuals. All the while, Barnes’ sobering delirium runs together with the harshness of Novosibirsk.
She also gives Natasha room to process the stark reality of her own situation. Barnes condition potentially foreshadows her own. This gives rise to a tactical nightmare, which is compounded by thoroughly unwelcome news.
The foreshadowing through Barnes combined with follow through on earlier story elements reinforces a theory I’ve been working with since Banner’s initial exposition dump a few episodes ago. I appreciate the effort the writing team has made with the foreshadowing. They have to tow a fine line between making it easy to follow without hitting the audience over their heads.
Sarah Natochenny does a fine job alternating between the physical settings and the mental ones. Her best work in this installment, though, is her performance as Barnes. It can’t easy to convey delirium while clearly enunciating Russian dialogue.
“A Trap with a View” puts excellent punctuation on this phase of the story. I can’t wait to hear how Mikki Kendall and her fellow writers continue the adventure next week.
You can purchase Black Widow: Bad Blood here.
- Audio Production10