Quote:The plot is extremely coherent.
[BIG SPOILER - please, don't read before watching the movie]
I don't understand how Natasha was able to betray Dreykov during Operation Budapest and become a SHIELD agent.
Is it due to exceptional willpower?
The North Institute Disk containing the informations about the brainwashing process was stolen in 1995 when Natasha was only a child.
Thus, Natasha should have been submitted to the same brainwashing process than Melina & Yelena. After all, the technology comes from the Winter Soldier Program and Bucky was already brainwashed & operational in the 1990s (he killed Tony's parents in 1991).
In 2016, when Natasha met Dreykov, we could see that she had the same "pheromonal lock" than Melina & Yelena, impying that she went through the same brainwashing process than them.
But the only way to free a Black Widow is the "red dust" and this antidote was not known before 2016.
So, how did Natasha free herself before Operation Budapest? How was she able to escape the Red Room? How come Dreykov never tried to use her as a double agent when she was working for SHIELD?
Does it mean that the Red Room needed more than 20 years to read and understand the contents of a disk and that Black Widows were not brainwashed at the time of Operation Budapest? But then, in this case, why couldn't Natasha attack Dreykov in 2016 if she was never submitted to the brainwashing process to begin with?
In my opinion, it is a plot hole.
Killing him remotely with a bomb from across the street or whatever would not trigger the pheromonal block. No smell = No block. It's no different from breaking her nose.
The Red Dust is not the only way to break the brainwashing. It just makes it easier.