Synopsis: Armed with new information, Romanoff and Barnes head to Geneva to crash a party. But first things first: dressing the part.
Review: I can’t believe we’ve reached the ninth episode already. The pacing has been phenomenal.
As our heroes prepare to see a man about some blood, I find myself thankful for the calm before the storm.
“Black Tie” by Margaret Dunlap is an excellent transition episode. The characters are allowed to take a breath, as they go through the process of undertaking their new mission. This allows Dunlap room for character and world-building.
Romanoff and Barnes are ready to bid Novosibirsk adieu and head to plumber climbs in Geneva. First, though, Dunlap provides an opening section that serves as both expositional recap and soul searching exercise. Then, she treats listeners to a delightful and economical tutorial on off the books air travel that’s inadvertently nostalgic in this pandemic era.
Once in Geneva, listeners get a brief but evocative description of opulence before Romanoff and Barnes get down to the business of clothing themselves for a posh gala. I really appreciate how Dunlap juxtaposes the process of dressing themselves with the harsher memories of past missions. The cherry on top of Barnes’ sartorial sundae is the reflection on how his metal arm affects tuxedo tailoring.
Later, the saga of Natasha’s dress unfolds. This is my favorite part of the episode. The stores are closed, and their schedule is tight. What does the Black Widow do? She picks a lock, of course. What follows is a wonderful bit of character and world-building. Natasha flashes back to Chicago while encountering an acquaintance among the present-day couture.
This, in turn, allows Natasha and Barnes to further cement their reconnection. Their conversation at the end of the installment is worth the price alone.
Sarah Natochenny does a lovely job conveying Natasha and Barnes’ emotional levels throughout the chapter. She really sells that these two have known each other for years.
Once again, Margaret Dunlap delivers. I’m looking forward to the escalation this episode is building toward next week.
You can purchase Black Widow: Bad Blood here.
- Audio Production10