Winter Soldier, an excellently written and directed movie about SHIELD's fail and Hydra's rise to power in the modern world, everyone who's seen this movie knows the plot and characters, so be prepared for spoilers if you haven't. With Age of Ultron out in theaters, I decided it was high time to bring my theory into the public before I go test it out even more by seeing the movie on Monday, so bare with me a bit.
Everyone is calling for a Black Widow stand alone movie, but what I don't think they realize, is that they already have one, it's just under a different name, Captain America's name. First let's look at Natalia Romanova's character. Nat's whole life has brought her up to be a spy and assassin, she's good at what she does, but she began to feel regret when working for the KGB and defected to SHIELD, where she figured she was working with the good guys. She did whatever was needed of her to keep the world safe, obeying any order, telling any lie. SHIELD became her life. When the Avenger Initiative began, she was the one who went undercover at Stark's to assess him, she's the one who knew the Hulk, she's the one who was with the Avengers from the beginning of their team creation, but it was always under Fury's orders. With me?
Here's my theory.
Most of the time a movie's main character, or a main character in general, is the person who underwent the greatest dynamic change. This person isn't Steve Rogers, who yes gained a friend, found out his best friend is no longer dead, and called for the end of SHIELD, but Natalia. She lost everything she was, everything she had, including her own moral compass of what was right and wrong. Yes, Steve is the one who called for SHIELD to fall, but Nat was the one who leaked the secrets out in to the world.
Need more evidence?
She's the one who gives the "speeches" over right and wrong. She comments on how she's not sure who she is anymore, or what's right and wrong. She tells Steve that he's "In the wrong business" playfully, but when the words are turned on her turns pensive. She doesn't know who's lies she's telling anymore. When she defected to SHIELD she figured she was starting to erase the red in her ledger, but now? If it was really just a mask for Hydra to wear as it manipulated good people into doing it's bidding? Her entire world was flipped upside down, and instead of running away and trying to get a grip on that, she agrees with Steve and goes out to destroy the only home she's ever known. She didn't get the acceptance she deserves in her old world, but Fury was nice to her and she had friends in Steve and the other Avengers.
Besides, what does Rogers really do anyway? He calls for the end of SHIELD, but lets the SHIELD agents handle it, disables two hellicarriers, and fights Bucky. But he's always been moral, righteous, and a downright good person. Of course he would call for an end of SHIELD, it was so corrupt with Hydra personnel there was no telling who you could trust. Of course he disables two of the three hellicarriers, if he didn't millions of decent people would have died. Naturally he fights Bucky, he has to survive somehow, but when it counts he can't kill his friend. His battles weren't about his personality and his moral code, his battles were about saving millions, which he does on an almost regular basis, and helping his best friend. Which is noble, but if the movie was just Roger and Bucky centric, would anyone watch it for the plot line? If it was just those two guys fighting and then talking, only to meet to fight again? Well, we would because it's an MCU movie, but I doubt it would be very interesting.
So what does this mean?
Captain America Two was really just about Natalia realizing she's not a SHIELD agent, but an Avenger. The Avengers is where she belongs, and she finds this out during this movie. The movie is set up to make her question who she is and where she belongs. Is she just the infamous assassin who does the bidding of her master no matter who they are, or is she her own person who can use her skills to do some good in the world?
And on that note, does this mean that Nat is going to rely heavily on Steve to keep her on the straight and narrow? To use his moral compass to guide her own until she can get her sense of right and wrong back? Will this mean that during Civil War Natalia takes Steve's side and fights with him against the others? Where will this leave her and Barton, who we have to assume is still just obeying orders?
I don't know, but I can't wait to find out.