Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood Episode 12, “A Rock and a Hard Place”

In this episode, all hell breaks loose. And of course, men are the cause of it.

Yeah, it’s like that. Let’s discuss Bad Blood.

NOTE: Major spoilers for this episode below!


Art by Jamie McKelvie

Quick recap:

Holt reveals his plans. Viscose has a different one (sort of). Things escalate very quickly.


Oh, boy.

Kudos to these writers, first of all, for so perfectly crafting a reveal designed to evoke the sheer outrage and ultimately nearly useless rage over the actions and unconscionable attitude of an old man with too much money and not enough empathy, that so many of us are so intimately familiar with today.

I was not ready for it. In hindsight, I should have been; Holt’s reveal of his Grand Plans did not, all things considered, surprise me all that much. Instead it was Viscose’s villain turn which snuck up on me, but that, too, feels very cleverly played. If the idea here was to give us villains that feel painfully appropriate to the nightmarish political times we’re all living in, then it’s damned hard to go wrong with an Old White Man who thinks he knows best, and a Toxically Masculine Thug who’s looking after number one. These two men could not be more different, and yet they both exemplify so many things that are wrong with society.

Then there’s the overlying, thankfully more enjoyable, paint job of SF thriller tropes that can make a story really go full steam ahead when they’re played well. From the moment Romanoff and Barnes stepped into this facility, things have been tense. The more they progressed deeper inside, the more they learned, the more that tension cranked up. And we all know what happens when such tension reaches a breaking point, right?

Things go boom. And how.

So now everything looks pretty damned disastrous, and not just for our heroes. I hardly think I need to spell out how much I’m flailing, over here. What will they do? What CAN they do? Did Viscose really survive – wait, what am I saying, of course he did. The Thug-in-Chief always survives for another go at the good guys later on.

I wasn’t expecting what happened to Holt to happen here, though. Guess I got caught up in other things, but as I’ve said – it’s the mark of a story being told well, to be taken by surprise.

My main question at this point, though, is: did S.H.I.E.L.D. get Natasha’s message yet? And if so… what will Fury do?


Until next time…



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