What If…? Review of Episodes 5-9

What If…? Review of Episodes 5-9

Devin Page

In my previous article, I have discussed my opinion on the What If…? series episodes one through four. In this article, I want to be able to express my opinion to you, the reader, about what episodes five through nine did for me. Once again, there will be spoilers ahead (much more than the last article) so please read on with caution.

To begin, an episode largely loved by the community is What If… Zombies?! In this episode, we see that the zombie apocalypse has taken over the world that we know and love. Heroes that are admired and loved are now brain-eating zombies. In this universe, when Hank Pym travels into the quantum realm to save his wife, Janet van Dyne. Sadly, she had been infected with a quantum virus that turned her into a zombie. The two return to their normal world and slowly start spreading the zombie disease. The world’s mightiest heroes are called in to help, but even they could not stop the zombies, no matter how hard they fought. The story follows the remaining survivors of this world including Hope van Dyne, Peter Parker, Happy Hogan, Kurt Goreshter, Bucky Barnes, Sharon Carter, and Okoye. The group decide to try and find the cure and realize that Vision could likely have the answer. As they each get picked off one by one, they arrive at the base of Vision and find out that his Mind Stone keeps away the zombies. It is realized that he doesn’t want to do anything with this because he is protecting Wanda, who has long since been a zombie. Peter, Scott (who is now just ahead), and T’challa all go to Wakanda to use the Mind Stone to save the world, but a zombified Thanos is already waiting for them.

So, I want to say right off the bat, I really did try to like this episode. I promise that I’m not trying to hate on it just because it is a popular episode but I just can’t enjoy it or say I love it. Honestly, the whole episode felt like fan service because everyone loves zombies. Even in the final episode of the season where literally every episode made some sort of an appearance, this episode only made a cameo. It is just kind of depressing and honestly there just seems like there could’ve been so much done to AVOID the zombie apocalypse. This is probably my second least favorite episode as it wasn’t something creative or interesting to watch. It was just evil brain eating zombies that were way too powerful. The only redeeming part of this episode, in my opinion, is Wanda being a super powerful zombie and Vision trying to save her from the survivors. All in all, despite what many fans thought, I do not like this episode.

In What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? the plot is pretty straightforward by the title. After Tony Stark gets attacked by people using his own weapons, instead of him being stuck in the desert and needing to create the suit, he is saved by Killmonger, the main villain from Black Panther. After being rescued, Killmonger is appointed by Stark as CSO of Stark Industries. This is to help create weapons that will overpower those that got put into the wrong hands. Stark takes Killmonger to his garage and they talk about the idea of making a mini Arc Reactor and Killmonger suggests using vibranium to power it. Stark proposes a meeting with Ulysses Klaue who has a vast supply of metal. Despite Pepper’s warnings, Stark goes through with the plans. Killmonger then kills both Rhodes and T’challa, who showed up at the meeting. Killmonger frames the United States for the death of the Wakanda king at this moment.

 Stark then finds out about this through J.A.R.V.I.S. and is killed as well by Killmonger. Killmonger goes to Wakanda to warn them of an attack from the Americans when truly he is the one commencing the attack. Killmonger is celebrated for helping Wakanda win the fight and is given the Heart-Shaped Herb to become the next Black Panther. While this goes down, Shuri and Pepper team up knowing their common enemy is Killmonger.

I know I have been a super Debby-Downer with my opinions so far, but that is not going to change for this episode either. I feel like the story was really good and it was a super creative outlook on the iconic Iron Man series. What makes it painful for me to watch is the acting. I tried so hard to let it pass, but the voice acting for Killmonger is just awful. It truly physically pains me listening to the episode because I just can not take it seriously. Other than that though, this episode isn’t too bad! It’s interesting to think about hon Man could’ve never become a thing if someone had actually saved Tony Stark after the attack in Afghanistan. With one instance, it can completely change the existence of one hero along with the life of another. I didn’t really like that everyone just automatically trusted Killmonger, when truly people should’ve been a little more cautious (especially those in Wakanda). I love seeing Shuri and Pepper team up like a couple of girl bosses. That is a pairing that I wish I could see more of in the possible new seasons or just in general. All in all, this episode isn’t bad, but it also isn’t great either.

What If… Thor Were an Only Child? is one of the more funny and lighthearted episodes of the series, which after the last couple of episodes, is extremely refreshing. In this world, instead of Odin raising Loki as his own, Odin returns the child to the Jotunheim. Many years later, Thor goes to Earth and begins throwing an out-of-control, intergalactic party. Jane Foster, who discovered the “alien” arrival, joins in the party as well. Nick Fury comes to the party in hopes of controlling Thor but is knocked into a coma and makes Maria Hill the acting director. The following morning, S.H.I.E.L.D. summons both Jane and her friend Darcy to help eliminate the alien threat. Jane refuses, which forces Maria to use the pager and bring in Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel. Jane, realizing that Danvers will kill Thor, tries to think of a solution that could potentially stop the party. Jane comes up with the idea to contact Frigga and have her talk to her son. Thor gets a message from Frigga and freaks out knowing his mom is going to come to Earth. Thor has everyone on Earth help and put everything back exactly where it was and Frigga soon gets to Earth. Thor, relieved by the lack of his mother’s wrath, sets up a date with Jane. As the story comes to a seemingly happy ending, Ultron enters through a portal with all six infinity stones and a suit of vibranium armor with an army of robots, confusing The Watcher.

I will now finally get back onto a happy track because this is an episode I really like. It’s lighthearted, the characters are all fun, and I just honestly love the little details the producers put into this episode. I love the fact that Loki shows up as a Frost Giant and goes to Thor and says “Hey it’s my brother from another mother!” This is my favorite part of the whole episode because it is so funny and it just makes me happy watching it. Plus on top of that, there are so many iconic landmarks that make an appearance in the show, my favorite being when Thor is quickly cleaning up. While he is cleaning before Frigga arrives on Earth, he fixes all these different landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and of course puts the Leaning Tower of Pizza back into it’s “normal” spot by putting it upright. Overall this is one of the most lighthearted episodes and honestly after the last couple, it is greatly needed. There isn’t much else to say about this episode other than the fact that it is so funny and is so good at not only making fun of crazy teenagers, but also the Marvel Universe itself.

The episode What If… Ultron Won? has a combination of happiness, intrigue, and just pure sadness. In this universe, Ultron is able to successfully upload himself into a new body made of vibranium. The AI is able to kill Thor, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark before releasing the world’s entire arsenal of nuclear weapons. This leaves the world in ruins and the only ones left alive are Barton Clinton and Natasha Romanoff (Hawkeye and Black Widow). The two set out on a mission to find a way to defeat the evil robot by looking for an old HYDRA hard drive holding Dr. Arnim Zola. While this is all happening, Ultron is confronted by Thanos, who he kills in a single slash. Ultron obtains the other infinity stones and realizes there are more worlds that must be destroyed. Ultron goes from world to world, destroying everything. Until Captain Marvel tries to stop him. She fails, as Ultron kills her by destroying the world. Ultron is left feeling like he has no purpose until he realizes the presence of The Watcher. He then understands that there are universes outside of this one that must be destroyed. The Watcher is left terrified by the robot and tries to hide from him. Ultron finds a way into the multiverse and fights The Watcher to take over and destroy all universes. The Watcher is left defeated and is confronted by Dr. Strange from the first episode. Strange informs him that he will need to intervene at this rate. The Watcher takes the sorcerer’s advice and the episode comes to an end.

Honestly this episode is weird because I don’t know if I like it because the episode is super good, or if I love the following episode so much that it blinds my actual opinion of this episode. Overall, this is probably one of the most creative episodes in plot, characters, and the endings/solutions to come. I love the cameo from Dr. Strange at the end, fully showing to the world that all of these episodes have been connected in small ways. I know when I was watching these with my boyfriend, he absolutely hated how overpowered Ultron was. In my opinion, it makes sense that he would be so powerful. Not only was he created by Tony Stark, he is just an all-knowing robot as it is. So the likelihood of him being super powerful makes a lot of sense at least to me. The fact that the episode also had the classic “breaking through walls” fight, but instead it was Ultron throwing The Watcher from universe to universe. What I love most about this episode as it truly poses the question of what would happen if this universe’s Ultron went into the Marvel Universe we know and love. It could be interesting to see our Avengers be forced to fight a threat they never needed to fight and what would’ve happened to them. I honestly do really like this episode, but honestly the final episode that I am about to discuss is my number one.

The final episode of season one: What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath? In this episode, we see The Watcher going to different universes and choosing people that he deems as worthy to defeat Ultron. The Watcher picks Captain Carter, Star-Lord T’challa, “evil” Dr. Strange, Killmonger, Thor, Gamora (who in her universe defeated Thanos), and Black Widow from Ultron’s universe. The group is all set into a bar that is held within the multiverse portals. Dr. Strange and The Watcher explain to the group that their universes will be destroyed if Ultron is not stopped. They all agree to stop the rogue AI and go to a seemingly “unworthy universe” in the eyes of Ultron. Thor accidentally lures Ultron to the universe and they all begin to fight his army of robots. The group is able to stun Ultron by stealing an infinity stone, leaving him unable to destroy the universe. They try to destroy all of the other stones as well but realize the infinity crusher was made only for Gamora’s universe. Natasha and Peggy go to grab the arrow that holds Dr. Arnim Zola, and before Ultron can kill the group, the arrow is shot in his eye and Zola begins to hack into Ultron. Thinking they have finally won, Killmonger then emerges from the ashes wearing what once was Ultron’s vibranium suit. He takes the infinity stones and as he is about to destroy the world, Zola stands up and tries to steal the stones from Killmonger. It’s an infinite game of tug-of-war and Dr. Strange realizes this and uses his powers to trap the two in the prism he himself was once in. The two are defeated and The Watcher puts everyone back into their respective universes. He even takes Natasha to a universe where the Avengers lost their Black Widow. She joins this world and is left to fight with her new family. The Watcher finally talks to Dr. Strange and informs him that because of his sacrifice, he saved the multiverse. Dr. Strange agrees to watch over the two stuck in the prism and the episode comes to the credits. After the credits, we see Peggy returning back to her universe and we find out the H.Y.D.R.A. Stomper is there and there is someone supposedly inside.

If you couldn’t tell by my extremely long paragraph explaining the plot of this episode, I LOVE this episode. It is probably my favorite episode of the series as it is so creative and it truly makes me so happy. The group of heroes are referred to as the “Guardians of the Multiverse” which in it of itself is absolutely amazing. I love how each of the characters get along and how they are so well interacted. My favorite is probably Captain Carter and Black Widow from the Ultron universe. The two are a great pair and even though they don’t know this version of each other, they still are the ones to defeat Ultron and save the entire group from destruction. On top of that, I love that Killmonger stayed evil as expected because it truly is only what makes sense. The fact that him and the H.Y.D.R.A. doctor fight back and forth for the stone is one of the most predictable endings for these villains, which is what The Watcher realized. I love the fact that the whole time The Watcher knew about these two true intentions and is what helped him save the multiverse. My all time favorite part of this episode though is the end credit scene. I love that it hints at Steve Rogers still being alive and the fact that Peggy may be able to finally see the love of her life one more time. This is definitely my favorite episode of the show and it made watching the rest of the series so worth it.

All in all, this series is absolutely amazing. I will be taking my time rewatching these episodes that I love. I hope that even despite these spoilers, you go and watch the show too. It is a whole different experience watching the episodes and feeling the emotions of each of the characters.