It’s just a glimpse of how much of a monster Dreykov is clear. He may not have disintegrated 50 percent of the universe, he may not be a real skull-faced Nazi, or a goddess destroyer of worlds, but Dreykov is still a bigger bastard – and a very recognizable one, too.
This villain is not a failed experiment, or a damaged character bent on revenge; he has no misguided noble ideals, he is just a complete jerk who treats women and girls as commodities. Dreykov runs the Widow program as if it were a farm. He removes children from their families when they are very young (Yelena was six – Natasha was even younger). One in twenty survives the training and becomes a widow. He kills the rest. Given the revelation of the number of brainwashed widows Dreykov has stationed around the world, the number of deaths for which he must be responsible is staggering. But those who survive are hardly better off. We learn through Yelena that these women have no free will. Not a meaningful life at all. It’s funny, but it’s also heartbreaking how excited Yelena is to buy herself a piece of clothing for the first time.
Dreykov has Harvey Weinstein/Jeffrey Epstein/Donald Trump vibes. He is the epitome of toxic masculinity, a violent bully obsessed with power and who sees women as property – in fact, he describes girls as “the only resource the world has too much of.”
There is nothing to indicate that Dreykov is a sexual abuser, but there is also nothing to indicate that he is not. What motivates Dreykov is power and he has complete control over these women – hundreds of women. They are not people for him. So the limits of his abuse are not defined. And the fact that he can treat his own daughter so horribly would indicate that there are no limits at all. He treats women and girls like garbage, including his own child.
Dreykov’s widows get involuntary hysterectomies – Yelena describes the process to Alexei in cold detail. He violates the bodies of these women and controls their minds, leaving them in a state of awake torture. They are aware and aware of what they are doing, but cannot tell what they are and what they are not.
And when Dreykov is confronted by a woman he can’t control, Natasha, his facade slips. He loses his temper. And his response is to punch her in the face. Repeatedly. Wet can take it. It’s all part of her plan. But you know that in another life, Dreykov would definitely be a domestic abuser.
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