Trimmed with a spoiler-cut because I'm considerate like that.
[New York is not like other assignments.]
New York is not like other assignments.
It’s not just the monsters and the magic; it’s not just that she fought in broad daylight alongside some of the hardest-to-miss men on the planet; it’s not just losing Coulson and coming close to losing so much more.
It’s that she can’t walk away.
This is not a DNA sample in San Pedro, or encrypted files in Johannesburg, or a weapons depot in Tehran. She cannot shed an evening gown like a skin, burn a passport, crumple up another tissue-paper identity and call it a day’s work. She has no mask, no persona, no computer program to screen her calls. The despair and the horror and the beauty of it – because there is beauty in the devastation; there always is – belongs, not to a handler or a minder, a faceless voice or a rough-hewn, one-eyed visage, but to Natasha.