Both Black Widow and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier misstep the same way in setting up the future MCU superteam of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Had things gone by plan then Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) would’ve debuted in Black Widow, which was initially slated to release in 2020. The person then would’ve highlighted in Falcon and Winter Soldier, but while that request switched, the mechanics of her presentation and what it sets up generally continued as before.
In isolation, that is an interesting and in any event, energizing thought, as the MCU building towards the Dark Avengers is a coherent heading to go in given the characters being presented. Unfortunately, in both of Contessa Valentina’s appearances so far, the setup has been a case of putting the MCU’s future in front of its present (or in Black Widow’s case, its past). Val arrives at key moments in both Falcon and Winter Soldier and Black Widow, assisting with transforming Walker into U.S. Specialist and giving Yelena another objective as Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), respectively. Both of those stories merit investigating, but each presents a problem: for Walker, it exacerbates the issue of so a lot of his curve being rushed to fit his transformation into Falcon and Winter Soldier season 1; for Yelena, it undermines the tribute to Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
Contessa Valentina’s appearance in Black Widow’s post-credits scene brings with it a similar issue. On this occasion, it doesn’t straightforwardly hurt the story of the piece, because it’s coming after the primary account is finished. Notwithstanding, it’s perhaps much more egregious, because it undercuts what should be the enthusiastic essence of the film itself, but continuing on from Avengers: Endgame, Nat’s demise, and the controversial absence of a burial service held for her there. Finally, Marvel gives Black Widow a dedication, but there’s no an ideal opportunity for pathos or remembrance, nothing that allows the second to sink in or convey any genuine weight, because Val pops up to give Yelena an image of Clint Barton and send her after him. Indeed, the MCU chooses to tease the future rather than permit time for what’s going on at the time.
Once more, these aren’t bad ideas from Marvel. Yelena following Hawkeye, Walker becoming U.S. Specialist, and Val building the Dark Avengers all have merit, both in isolation and when taken as part of a bigger entire that the MCU is building towards. But the problems stem from how they’re executed, and how they need to come at the expense of what should be more important elements in their respective film and TV show. Black Widow’s completion should’ve felt like a poignant goodbye to Nat, and Walker’s bend in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier should’ve completely reckoned with his terrible crimes, but Val’s presence, with its significant implications and Louis-Dreyfus’ scenery-biting performance (which would otherwise be enjoyable), dominates and gets in the method of both.