In Review: Serial Box: Black Widow: Bad Blood, Episode 13

This review contains spoilers.

Synopsis: A dangerous escape, a helicopter chase, and a parasite that needs to be stopped—standard operating procedure for the Black Widow and Winter Soldier.

Review: This review contains spoilers. “Fast and Dirty” by L.L. McKinney is as action-packed as an episode should be after our heroes blow up Holt’s facility.


The Black Widow and the Winter Soldier have a full itinerary in this episode. McKinney’s penultimate effort can be divided into three sections — the escape, the chase, and the pile-up.

First, Natasha and Barnes have to escape Holt’s facility and the campus above it, as Barnes realizes he used too many explosives. McKinney’s language, combined with Serial Box formatting, propels the narrative. I really appreciate how the characters’ movements were juxtaposed with the utter collapse of the underground bunker and everything above it. The period of silence between the destruction of the lower and upper levels is particularly effective.

Next, our heroes have to coordinate and pursue the chase. Natasha calls Nick Fury in a highlight character sequence. Then, she and Barnes follow Viscose and company. A couple of chapters ago, I thought the writers were foreshadowing Natasha and Barnes’ use of Holt’s own military hardware against him. I was right, but the sequence they were setting up was much more elegant in its brute force simplicity than anything I envisioned. Well done!

Finally, the Black Widow and Winter Soldier execute a maneuver that only comic book characters or the CGI-aided stunt people playing them could pull off. How the helicopter or the impromptu zip line remained intact long enough for them to get where they were going is another feat of fictional engineering.


Sarah Natochenny nails both the adrenaline rush pacing as well as the effortless banter between Natasha and Barnes. She also perfectly captures Nick Fury in a brief, but welcome, appearance. 


After all that action, I can’t wait for the final pay off next week as Natasha and Barnes face off against Viscose. I have no doubt our heroes will prevail, but at what cost? Will Barnes be able to go dark again? What state will Natasha’s relationship with Fury be in when the dust settles?

You can purchase Black Widow: Bad Blood to find out here. 

Serial Box: Black Widow: Bad Blood, Episode 13
  • Story
  • Narration
  • Audio Production

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
    No Comment