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The Black Widow Scene Fans Thought Made No Sense

2021's "Black Widow" finally provided fans with the long-awaited story of what exactly Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson) was up to following the events of "Captain America: Civil War," and even gave the audience a pretty detailed background on how she became the deadly assassin (turned Avenger) known as Black Widow.

It's revealed that, when she was younger, Natasha lived in Ohio with two undercover Russian agents and her foster sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). The four posed as a regular family for some time, until they had to flee the country with stolen intelligence. They succeed in bringing the information to Cuba, where Natasha and Yelena are separated and forced to go to the Red Room, which takes young girls and brainwashes them to become elite assassins known as Black Widows.

The story is about Natasha confronting her past and destroying the Red Room program once and for all, and her journey eventually forces her to cross paths with Red Room leader General Dreykov in one of the more memorably brutal fight scenes in the MCU. But one aspect of the fight doesn't make much sense to fans.

Natasha had other options to take down Dreykov

As explained in the film, each Black Widow is controlled by Dreykov via a "pheromone lock" installed in them during their training, making it so that none of the Widows can hurt him as long as they can smell him — so Natasha breaks her own nose on the table to sever the nerve. After the film's release, fans took to Reddit to express confusion over why Natasha had to do this in order to take down Dreykov.

"Can we just talk about how Dreykov's pheromone thing is useless if someone actually tried to kill him," u/Stein619 wrote. "Nat could have just walked across the room and shot him." Others were unsure why she even bothered with the whole "sever the nerve" maneuver in the first place. "At minimum she could've figured a much simpler way to stop herself from smelling," says u/Great_Zarquon. "a) before she entered the room and b) that isn't permanent lol."

As u/dimsonny jokes: "It's basic science you have to sever the nerve. Nose plugs don't exist in the mcu." In retrospect, it seems like there were plenty of other ways that Natasha could have overcome this particular hurdle, though admittedly none of them are as absurd as removing her own sense of smell to take down a villain — and perhaps that's the point.

Others think Natasha knew exactly what she was doing

While many users were overtly critical of Natasha's tactics during that final fight, many other users rushed to her defense, claiming that her lack of preparation was intentional and meant to trick Dreykov into explaining the rest of his plan. "It was Natasha again playing vulnerable to get them to lower their guard so they feel in control," explained u/waitingtodiesoon. "Like in Avengers 1 when she was 'tied up and being interrogated' she was getting all the intelligence she needed from him."

Indeed, while Natasha is under the effects of the pheromones, Dreykov spills her entire plan to her: he tells her how to access all files on the other Black widows he has stationed around the world, what he plans to do with them, and how to fix their brainwashing — all in one monologue. He even explains how to remove the brain chip controlling Taskmaster for seemingly no reason at all, and after she gets all the information, Natasha breaks free from his control and absolutely wipes the floor with him.

So, was Natasha's seemingly nonsensical plan effective? In the end, yes. Was it incredibly dramatic, risky, and perhaps unnecessary? Also yes.