The film, starring Scarlett Johansson, is set before the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), in which Natasha Romanoff sacrifices herself at Vormir so that Hawkeye can retrieve the Soul Stone.
It’s the post-credits scene that viewers think revealed a future Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) plot twist. In it, Yelena (Florence Pugh) can be seen mourning her sister at her grave, when she’s approached by Contessa Valentina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
Val explains specific details of Natasha’s death, telling Yelena that Hawkeye “killed” her sister. While this directly sets up Disney Plus’ standalone Hawkeye TV show, which Pugh will star in alongside Jeremy Renner, it also hints that something sinister is at play.
The HYDRA villain was exiled to Vormir to guard the Soul Stone and, while there, oversaw Romanoff’s death. However, with the Infinity Stone removed, his job was rendered obsolete, meaning he may have been free to leave.
After Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) went back in time to replace the stones to their rightful places, it would be assumed that Red Skull was back on Vormir, guarding the Soul Stone as if nothing ever happened.
However, considering the time-jumping antics of Loki in his own TV show, it certainly seems like there could be a loop for Red Skull to escape through.
Could Red Skull be using his newly-free status to his advantage, and sending around Val to spread misinformation as his secret accomplice?
Let’s be honest: this would be a savvy way of ridding the world of the Avengers. Plus, the theory has legs when considering Val is revealed to be Madame Hydra in the comic books.