You ready for this?
I’m rewatching CAtWS right now and just got to the part where he takes off his eyepatch, and I swear it looks like someone shot him in his eye. We know from an earlier conversation that “the last time he trusted someone, he lost an eye” but that’s all MCU tells us..
or is it?
Natasha Romanoffs arc in this movie is all about trust, especially between her and Steve and her and Fury. We see her react with distress when they think Fury is killed, and it’s obvious there’s an emotional connection there between them.
Then when Fury says his line about “not knowing who to trust” the camera pans to Natasha, who looks like she’s personally singled out by his statement. She genuinely looks hurt that he would have considered her someone he couldn’t trust.
So their relation backstory would basically have gone from her trying to kill him at some point, to where he trusts her to essentially keep him alive during the confrontation at the Treskellion.
Think about the juxtaposition when she fries herself with her stinger to basically give him the opportunity to take down Pierce. Sacrificing herself to save him and now *he’s* the one worried that she’s dead.
So really, him calling her “natasha” while trying to rouse her is just like her whispering “don’t do this to me nick” while he was dying. It shows each character transitioning from being professionally worried about the other, to now emotionally worried about them.
Ok now back to the eye thing.
Natasha shoots The Winter Soldier in the eye during the bridge scene. On the surface, we’re meant to take away from that interaction, that she’s basically the only person who has ever been able to get such a good shot off on him, and it throws him for a few moments. You can see it in the way he reacts when he takes off his mask.
Obviously story wise, she has to shoot him there because he needs to take his goggles off, first revealing to the audience who he might be. And then later Steve pulling his entire mask off was probably aided by the fact his goggles were already missing.
Not to mention her shooting him anywhere else isn’t as “impressive”, and thus wouldn’t give TWS the reason to react in startlement, ensuring Natasha the few seconds to escape further from him and set up that phone recording decoy.
I know it seems a stretch to make a connection between her shooting TWS specifically in the eye, to her possibly being the one to have shot Fury in the eye, but this is Joss Whedon we’re talking about. He does EVERYTHING for a reason. He’s notorious for putting small little details in one movie/episode that later on will be brought back up as an “ohhh now it makes sense” moment.
So connecting the first part of this post, about Natasha and her trust issues with Fury, to the second part, where we know she’s a good enough marksmen to shoot TWS (who’s probably just as hard or harder to shoot than Fury) directly in the eye… it just all seems connected, doesn’t it?
What do you guys think? I’m not sure what comic canon has for how he lost his eye, but i’m thinking maybe in the MCU this is it.
As for when and how it had happened, I’ll leave that up to the fan fiction authors ;)