Black Panther is a gift that has not stopped giving since February 16th, 2018. I saw it for the seventh time last weekend and it just keeps giving. Every time, I appreciate something else. The last couple times I watched Black Panther, I’ve walked out of the theatre thinking about Okoye and W’Kabi. You know the scene:
W’Kabi: Would you really kill me, my love?
Okoye: For Wakanda? Without question.
The way Danai Gurira says “without question” gets me every time. To me, there is nothing lacking from Black Panther but W’Kabi’s storyline is the one that leaves room for the most questions. How could he betray his best friend like that? How could he so easily choose to fight against his love? Why is W’Kabi the WORST? Well, a deleted scene (!!!) from Black Panther was just released and Okoye has those very same questions.
The tension! This scene is a spectacular display of both Danai Gurira’s and Daniel Kaluuya’s talent. Goddamn. I understand why it was cut (pacing, W’Kabi is the worst, etc) but goddamn. It gives even more context to the W’Kabi’s submission scene I referenced above and gives more insight into his motivations. It also delves into Okoye’s role as a woman and as the leader of the Dora Milaje. W’Kabi wants her to give up her general title to start a family. Is W’Kabi a wasteman who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as Okoye let alone be the father of her childen? Without question.
Aside from all of that, this scene is a great example of the ways in which Black Panther delivered the best romances of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the biggest criticisms of the MCU I’ve seen since Infinity War is that the romances are sh-t. In defense of the MCU, romance isn’t exactly the highest thing on these movies’ priority list. They are trying to pack a lot of story into a couple of hours and unfortunately, the romances suffer. It’s not surprising that the scenes that may give these romantic subplots more depth end up on the cutting room floor. But Black Panther was able to do both. Aside from T’Challa and Nakia, I can’t think of a romance in the MCU I’m actually rooting for.
They need to stop trying to make Natasha and Bruce Banner happen (apparently, she’s with Hawkeye in the comics which makes way more sense). No one asked for the Vision/Scarlet Witch love story that took up way too much time in Infinity War. We all know that Steve Rodgers’s OTP is Peggy but she’s long gone and that sad attempt to hook him up with her niece Sharon Carter, played by Emily Van Camp, was futile at best. The one good thing that romance gave us was this tweet:
I didn’t mind Peter Quill and Gamora in Guardians but in Infinity War, it was glaringly obvious that Peter is a wasteman and like Okoye, Gamora deserves better. I’ll always be here for Tony Stark and Pepper Potts but they’re the old class of the MCU. Can Bucky and Shuri be the new Tony and Pepper, please?
If this is what we can expect from the Black Panther bonus features coming with the digital and blu-ray release this month, I can’t f-cking wait. Give me all the romance deleted scenes. Take all my money.
(Lainey PS: excuse me, but I suggested this, and then nerds yelled at me for the age difference because Bucky is, like, 100 or something and this would make Shuri and Bucky like Bella and Edward. Which means unless there’s a time machine, both Bucky and Steve can’t hook up with anyone because they’re 100 years older than everyone, poor Bucky and Steve.)