It may have been a long time coming, but Black Widow brought the curtain down on Scarlett Johansson’s time in the MCU in scintillating fashion.
The standalone adventure may have signed off on a high, though some are questioning a specific scene in Black Widow’s final act – or lack thereof.
Now, director Cate Shortland has clued everyone in on a possible ‘missing’ scene from the Black Widow ending, and why the ‘plot hole’ was a deliberate choice rather than an oversight.
Spoilers for Black Widow follow. You have been warned!
By Black Widow’s end, the Red Room has (quite literally) been brought crashing down to Earth and Nat is set to stall the incoming General Ross while Red Guardian, Melina, and Yelena all escape. Then, a cut to black and a two-week time jump.
But what happened next? And how did Nat get clear of SHIELD custody after Ross had spent so long tracking her down after breaking the Sokovia Accords post-Captain America: Civil War?
It's an odd moment that has caused confusion on social media. One fan summed up the feeling of a section of the fanbase on Twitter when they said they "would very much like to know how Nat got away from Ross at the end." The (frustrating) answer? There isn't one: It’s not clear, and it’s not meant to be.
Speaking to The Wrap, Shortland explained: "That was intentional, because we wanted to leave the question of how she would get away, rather than allow the audience to get exhausted by another fight."
"We wanted to leave you guys on a high with the question of how did she use her ingenuity? Because she did. And it was probably, I would say, she bargained her way out of that situation. But I don’t know [how]," she admitted.
We do know what happens after that, however. Two weeks later, a newly-blonde Natasha finds O-T Fagbenle’s Rick Mason has procured her a jet to help free some of her fellow Avengers from prison – a scene which neatly sets up Avengers: Infinity War.
Following on from that, the Black Widow post-credits scene saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine make a return, this time instructing Florence Pugh’s Yelena to take down Hawkeye. We’re likely to see where that leads next when Hawkeye fires its way onto Disney Plus later this year.
For more on the MCU’s future, check out our complete guide to Marvel Phase 4.