Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood Episode 4, “Sleep When I’m Dead”

In this episode, Natasha starts to put some puzzle pieces together. Meanwhile, Barnes continues being evasive…

Let’s discuss Bad Blood.

NOTE: This review contains spoilers!


Art by Jamie McKelvie


OH MY GOD. This episode.

OK so, quick recap:

Natasha arrives in the Albanian town where it turns out Bucky Barnes has indeed been staying. She follows (not) his pet stray dog to the place he’s been bunkering, and upon arriving finds evidence that a fight recently took place. Also – thanks to figuring out that the, er, “lived in” smell doesn’t mean a) somebody died; or b) Bucky just hasn’t been showering but that, in fact, he’s been feverishly ill for several days (LIKE SHE SO RECENTLY WAS) – Natasha can deduce that, perhaps, her guess was correct and whatever happened to her has also happened to Bucky – but she didn’t get there before his attackers, and now, though he’s not dead, Bucky is nowhere to be found…

First off, can I just say that Natasha Romanoff’s powers of deduction are impressive and slightly terrifying. I’ve touched before on the point that her knowledge and understanding of Bucky is Very Meaningful, and that’s still true here, but this is something else. It takes a very special kind of person to look at the scene of unquestionable violence and be able to recreate it in her mind. And to then come to the conclusion that whatever else happened, not only did Bucky get away but he let his attackers live in order to follow them?!

That is totally what Natasha would have done, isn’t it. If only she hadn’t been so very out of it that night…

BUT. This entire scene leaves me with what I feel are important questions (I could be wrong, and in a way I’m eager to find out):

The smashed cell phone beside Bucky’s bed: was it smashed accidentally in the fight? Did his attackers take the time/initiative to smash it? Or did Bucky do it himself, knowing that Natasha might take his lack of response as an alarm bell and figure out that something was up?

That last guess might be skewing the timeline a bit, but … it just strikes me that Bucky likely is not the sort to call her up (or text her back) and ask for help, but this way at least he is sending a message, of sorts, alerting her to trouble? I mean, I haven’t forgotten that Natasha used their code for “answer this or I’ll assume you’re dead” but … HECK I’M FULL OF WILD IDEAS AT THIS POINT BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING.

<Deep breath>

For the uninitiated: this kind of wild speculation/rampant feelings verbal rollercoaster is how you know I am loving a thing.

I DO NOT LIKE THIS. But I love this.

With all of that frantic fangirl madness spewed forth, let’s take a moment to breathe and address the other major curiosity I have at this point:

After Nat searches Bucky’s place and has her run-in with the local mob goons (who have a problem with Barnes messing up their ‘collection’ schedule, because of course they’d be harrassing local business owners and OF COURSE Steve Rogers’ best friend would take offense at that) – also I have to state for the record that ‘Natasha Romanoff takes down mafia goon WITH A CHEW TOY’ is going on my list of favourite scenarios EVER – she gets a call from Bruce Banner, who informs her that apparently there’s been a recent string of bioweapon thefts from high-security research facilities, including one most recently that was being used to store a lethal pathogen engineered by the Red Room. And now a sample of that pathogen is also missing.

The name of that facility? VECTOR.

Natasha didn’t hear her attackers drop the name of a person – it wasn’t “Victor”, it was “VECTOR”. And now Natasha is gunning it for that facility to try to stay on the trail of these guys, because with Bucky Barnes’ trail having gone cold, this is all she’s got.


This feels like something backstory-ish that I just don’t understand the relevance of, but my questions at this point are as follows:

  1. It’s unlikely that the Red Room are responsible for these attacks, because why would they steal from themselves, assuming they still have access to this pathogen?
  2. Why would they (ie. anyone at the Red Room) need to steal Natasha’s blood? I’m also assuming this is something they would already have a sample of, if they’re the ones who ‘created’ the Black Widow, right?
  3. If it wasn’t the Red Room, was it Hydra? But then, if so, same question as before: would they really need to attack Bucky Barnes to get a blood sample from him?
  4. If it’s not the Red Room OR Hydra, who the hell is it?!
  5. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF ‘ILLNESS’ WOULD KNOCK OUT BOTH NATASHA ROMANOFF AND BUCKY BARNES AND LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND? And how the hell did they get so sick in the first place if they weren’t injected with anything?


Drive faster, Natasha…



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