What If … The Watcher Broke His Oath? Episode/Season Finale Review

We’re back on this fine Wednesday (I say like it’s not raining where I live, then again, I do like rain) with another Marvel review – What If … The Watcher Broke His Oath? Spoilers for the episode ahead!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

The Watcher assembles a team from across the mulitverse to fight Ultron.

My thoughts?

This was … a good episode? Still a little packed, because of the minimal run time, but overall one of the better ones. It definitely felt like a season finale more than anything else, but then again, it seems like Marvel still has something up their sleeve for the upcoming season. Either way, this was an action-packed episode. Let’s break it down!

  • The Watcher finally decides to intervene and plucks the candidates for a team of his own from across the multiverse. Eventually he assembles the “Guardians of the Multiverse“, which consist of characters from previous episodes such as Captain Carter, Star Lord T’Challa, Killmonger, Party Thor and evil Doctor Strange. However, he also recruits a version of Gamora, who managed to kill her Thanos and save her universe with an infinity crusher (a device, designed to destroy infinity stones). I wonder why we haven’t gotten to see her story.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • This odd mix of characters was quite fun to watch, but they don’t get a lot of bonding time before getting thrown into a fight with Ultron. It’s here that the zombies make a cameo again, but easily get defeated by the AI.
  • As T’Challa manages to steal the Soul Stone, the gang flees to another world, where they meet Natasha, the only survivor on her planet and the version we met the previous week. Ultron quickly catches up, but they manage to hold him down long enough to use the infinity crusher. Unfortunately, this course of action fails, as each infinity stone is unique to its world and the crusher was designed for only those of Gamora’s universe. I guess this is their way of talking themselves out of the power of the stones cancelling each other out once there are multiple versions in one world? 
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Ultimately, it all comes down to the Zola virus Nat managed to save because of Clint’s sacrifice last week. With Peggy’s help, she manages to drive the arrow home and Ultron is destroyed, but nothing is ever that easy.
  • Killmonger betrays the group and takes the stones for himself. He suggests to make everyone’s world the way they want it, to give everyone what they need/desire, but the other’s are having none of it. Before anyone can intervene, Zola wants to reclaim the stones though, starting a power struggle with Killmonger.
  • It’s at that moment, that Stephen realizes what he has to do. Now that the stones aren’t attached to a body, he freezes the fighting Zola, Killmonger and the infinity stones in a pocket dimension, becoming their watcher in the process. Let’s face it, he didn’t have anything else going on.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Everyone returns to the moment they were taken from their universe, their sacrifice unknown to everyone. Except for Nat, who gets taken to a world that had lost their widow. For a moment, I carried the slight hope that it would be our universe and that the Black Widow movie wouldn’t have been for nothing and way too late, but it wasn’t “ours”.

In the end, this was a decent episode. Very action-packed and not so much character focused, but it really tied what we had seen so far together. I appreciate that it wasn’t all for nothing.

This isn’t something really big about the episode, but I feel like, if you shipped Steve with Nat in the live-action movies, then you should 100% be able to ship Nat with Peggy because of what we’ve seen. Their chemistry was off the charts and I don’t care if they call each other BFFs or not. Usually, I’m not someone who needs to find characters to ship and advocate for loving platonic relationships, but some comments on the internet pissed me off. Consider this my rant, because I can’t tolerate intolerant people.

For some reason, I thought this was the penultimate episode, but alas, I was wrong. This felt like it tied up things neatly for the season, so it makes sense to end the story here for now. Maybe we will get to find out about Gamora after all some other time? I don’t really think so, but I also don’t know what’s about to happen. I would, however, love it if the episodes would have tied together with the finale of Loki and would explain what happened there. But again, this did not happen.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this final episode of Season 1? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

September 2021 Wrap-Up

September was the month that I chose to take a break from my reading experiments, not so much because I don’t like them, but mostly because I wanted to pick the books I was reading myself. This all started very well, but I fell in love with the first book so hard, it almost put me in a reading slump. I still managed to get to four stories though!

The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1)  Ace of Spades  Beasts of Prey  Franny and Zooey

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I have also recently created a Storygraph profile and try to link to the books on that platform as well when I do my reviews. However, I haven’t had the time to fully delve into it. Feel free to add me as well here, but know that I’ve mostly just looked at the way they portray stats (very cool) but have struggled a bit with the navigation on site otherwise (my phone has no storage for further apps, so I’m using the desktop version). I’d like to support it though!

September was a really good month for me! I switched department at my job and am really enjoying it. I found a flat that I will move in during October, which is lovely and nice and without roommates for once. In addition to that, I’ve felt far more comfortable in my own skin, lighter in general, and that has made me really happy. I even found a new goal to work towards. As silly as it sounds, I feel like I’m adulting quite alright over here, I even contemplated to go on dating apps, but a brief Twitter poll crushed that idea fast.

If anyone has some ideas on how to meet people (to potentially date, to be clear) offline, I’d be all ears!

I don’t know how October will look like for me, as I’m sure I will be busy moving and still getting adjusted at work, I’m looking forward to it. Especially having a space that is all my own will be exciting! I get to decorate and do things just the way *I* want to. Even the mere idea of that makes me giddy!
Aside from that, I’m looking forward to working on the latest reading experiment. I already hinted at who it might be in the Sebastian Stan post, so you can check that one out for a clue. I don’t want to make promises that I’ll post it in the new month for sure, as I’m guessing I will be quite busy, but I’m sure going to try. I might, however, get sidetracked by having Nancy Drew (and therefore Ace, one of my all time favorite characters) back on my screen.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As I said earlier, I really fell in love with one of the books I read – namely, The Atlas Six – and even got art prints of the characters from the person who also illustrated them for the book. They are now in my childhood bedroom and I’ll have to somehow get them off my wall safely and bring them to the new flat. Wish me luck!

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying getting back into more TV shows again. The new season of Lower Decks has me invested in the characters again, while offering light entertainment. I can’t wait for the new episode of Ted Lasso each week and I’ve surprisingly really taken to Midnight Mass. Apparently horror is no longer a no go for me, at least not when Mike Flanagan is involved. Something I haven’t really talked about on here though is The Big Leap, which has only aired two episodes so far, but which I’m really enjoying. I just adore shows that are set in the world of TV. Feels meta to me, but in a good way. I’m only worried, because it is on FOX and we all know their track record of keeping shows I like … (still bitter about Pitch!)

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

This part of the wrap-up where I usually dedicate some space to the amazing work other bloggers do in the community. I hope you give them a visit and show some appreciation for their contributions! I unfortunately didn’t have that much time to blog hop and comment, but I always try!

MY OTHER POSTS

PREVIOUSLY ON WHAT IF …

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you will have a spooky and nice October! I like getting to wear more layers again, which is usually possible around this season where I live, but hope it won’t get too cold yet. I still am gunning to wear my Scoops Ahoy uniform from Stranger Things at least once on Halloween!

TMP – TV Edition: Non-English Shows

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and this time around we are talking about non-English TV shows and series. In general, this is fairly easy for me, as I do not come from an English speaking country. I’ve always watched either German shows or dubbed content from all over the world. However, I think it’s best that I’ll try and present shows that are available on streaming platforms or elsewhere, because where’s the fun if no one can actually watch them? Let’s get started!

Dark (German)

I stand by the opinion that this show is one of the best German shows to ever be produced. The cinematography, the well thought-out story and the intriguing plot are just something that will forever stay with me. You can’t just watch this in the background, you have to pay attention, but it will have been worth it.

The Rain (Danish)

The final season wasn’t my favorite, but I loved this show so much. The moral implications of a lot of it were just great to see unfold.

Ragnarok (Norwegian)

I have a thing for Norse mythology … sue me.

Plan Coeur (French)

My relationship with French has always been a rocky one, but shows like this bring the joy back for me. I loved watching it and even cried at the pandemic special episode they created. So worth it!

Honorable Mentions

As per usual when it comes to TV shows, I just can’t contain myself. Here are some more shows I think are worth the watch, which aren’t all on Netflix (but still most of them):

  • Almost all the iterations of SKAM, but especially Druck
  • Control Z (Mexican)
  • 3% (Brazilian)
  • Elite (Spanish)
  • Blood & Water (South African)
  • Vampires (French)
  • The Mess You Leave Behind (Spanish)
  • Bad Banks (German)
  • Ku’damm 56 (German)
  • Trakehnerblut (Austrian)
  • Arme Millionäre (German-Austrian)

For everyone who’s missing Casa de Papel here, I’m still only in S1, so it didn’t feel right to mention it.


What are some non-English shows you enjoy? Let’s chat!

What If … Ultron Won? Episode Review

I’m pretty sure most of you know it by now, but it’s Wednesday and that means it’s Marvel review day! Today we’re talking about What If … Ultron Won? – spoilers ahead from here on out!

What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

What if Ultron got himself a body, some infinity stones and the realization that there are several worlds he can bring his version of “peace” to? A heap of chaos, that’s what.

My thoughts?

It’s odd – this was the first episode that actively connected to previous ones we’ve watched, but simultaneously it didn’t make sense if you considered last week. What am I referring to? Well, we clearly saw the Watcher distressed at Ultron’s appearance during the end scenes of What If … Thor Were an Only Child?, but now the course of Ultron’s story seemed to surprise him all over again. Simultaneously, we know that the episodes are connected now due to the final moments. It doesn’t fully make sense. I’m getting ahead of myself though, let’s break it down!

  • From the beginning, the Watcher seemed more invested in this universe. He said that it breaks his heart and it’s the one where Ultron managed to get hold of the body that would become Vision in the “regular world” and made it his own instead.
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • After deploying all the world’s nuclear weapons and extinguishing most of humanity in the process, Nat and Clint (who has a metal arm) seem to be the only ones left, the only hope alive.
  • All of a sudden, Thanos shows up, but Ultron doesn’t hesitate – he cuts him in half and takes the infinity stones for himself. This Thanos must have come for the mind stone, as that was seemingly the only one he was missing, giving Ultron a full set and therefore his own infinity armor (instead of the gauntlet).
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • With all that power, Ultron continues to bring his version of “peace” aka complete and utter destruction to all planets and life in the galaxy. Even an encounter with Captain Marvel didn’t stop him and he ultimately extinguished everything and everyone (except for Nat and Clint, but he doesn’t know that).
  •  As he becomes a program without a purpose, he suddenly reaches a previously unattainable level of consciousness and becomes aware of the Watcher, who is terrified by his hunger. The realization that there are multiple universes gives him a new mission.
  • Through all of this, the Watcher could still not intervene, but only hope that Nat and Clint would find the answer in the Russian KGB archive they needed. Apparently Zola, the AI made from uploading a Hydra scientist’s brain, is the only one that could counteract Ultron’s code from within. In an attempt to upload Zola to the hive mind, Clint sacrifices his life – it perfectly mirrored Nat’s sacrifical scene from Endgame and I liked that in an odd way.
What If ... Ultron Won?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Meanwhile the Watcher and Vision are carrying out an epic battle throughout the multiverse. They crash from one reality into the next and you could barely keep up with what was happening (Steve Rogers seemed to be president of the US in one though …). Ultron is not invincible, but the Watcher eventually has to retreat and seek help.
  • Ultimately, the Watcher finds himself out of options and seeks lonely Doctor Strange from a couple episodes ago. He had been all by himself, in his single bubble, since the destruction of his universe and is only willing to help. We shall see if this team up will be effective.

So, we get another open end, but, at the same time, we are entering a phase of the show where everything starts to connect. As much as I still think What If …? has plenty of storytelling weaknesses in general and banks way too much on the viewers previous knowledge and emotional attachment to the characters, I’m intrigued by this development. I enjoy that it seems like there is an overall purpose and possibly something that will be really relevant to the MCU as a whole.

I bet a lot of people who mocked Age of Ultron (which was honestly always one of my favorites) are surprised just how much the characters from that movie came back in the shows this year.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray (ARC Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count
: 496
Release Date: September 28, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: death, verbal/physical abuse, indentured servitude/slavery, kidnapping, drug use, sexism, spiders, snakes

Beasts of Prey is the debut novel and first installment in a magical Pan-African-inspired series by Ayana Gray. From the get go, it is clear that there was a lot of thought put into the magic system and I loved uncovering the different layers to it, despite being quite confused in the beginning. Told from multiple POVs, namely those of Ekon, a boy who wants nothing more than to follow into his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a warrior, Koffi, an indentured beastkeeper at the Night Zoo, who wants to see her family free, and a third person, who I’d like to keep nameless in this review, it was interesting to see these different characters introduced and oppose each other.

It was easy to take a liking to sweet Ekon, who is better with books and has a compulsion for counting in order to quell his anxiety, as well as Koffi, who is bold, impulsive and very caring. However, the third POV was the one that felt out of place to me for the most part. It often seemed contradictory to what we learned from the others, but at the same time, I have to admit that it made sense in the end. Still, I wasn’t entirely sure it was necessary to include and more than once felt taken out of the story because of it.

The set up takes a while, but is entirely necessary to really make the characters come to life and give us the full spectrum of their motivations, however, it makes for a slow start. I much preferred reaching the halfway point and the faster pacing that came with it. Once I, the reader, entered the jungle with the characters, it was just so thrilling. There was danger around every corner, gruesome creatures to haunt your dreams and I really rooted for everyone to make it out alive at the various crossroads they faced.

jungle danger snake

The setting is absolutely fantastic, offering almost a mix of spirituality and magic. The story keeps you on your toes, especially once you think you know where it is going, and even leaves you on a cliffhanger that will have you waiting for the sequel for sure. Maybe, because I liked the characters and their dynamic so much, I would have preferred a singular focus on Ekon and Koffi, but I would completely understand why that won’t necessarily change in a sequel. I’m intrigued either way!

Finally, I’d like to point out that I found the author’s note at the end of the novel very enlightening. She explained some of her choices and I really appreciated getting that insight from her, which truly isn’t always a given and neither should it be, but I always enjoy it a lot.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! I would definitely pick up a sequel, although I’d hope for a more consistent pacing.


Do you intend to pick up Beasts of Prey once it is released? Do you enjoy magical jungle settings? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks: Femme Fatales

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As you know, each week has a different theme and this time around we are talking Femme Fatales. I have to admit that I really struggled to come up with movies at first, but I’m very determined to make that theme my own. By definition, a femme fatale is often a mysterious, beautiful and seductive woman, who’s charms ensnare people, leading them into compromising or deadly situations. Let’s get started!

Promising Young Woman

This is still one of my most favorite movies of the year and I won’t pass up an opportunity to mention it. Cassandra dressed herself in various ways to appeal to men, giving them the chance to act decently or horribly instead. What she did to them after they showed their true face is entirely their fault.

Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer, too, used her body to get guys’ attention and then … well, should I spoil the movie? I feel like it’s a classic and you all should know what happens next.

Atomic Blonde

I loved Charlize Theron in this role and falling for her will 100% put you in danger, something she sometimes does on purpose. Also, such a good soundtrack! Suppose I’ve just always liked the 80s and German music.

Practical Magic

This is probably not a movie you’d think about right away with the theme “femme fatale”, but both sisters have quite a fatal touch. I mean … think about it! Still one of my favorite witch/magic movies though. I’ve seen it so many times and still adore it.

Nightmare Alley

This movie isn’t released yet, but because I enjoyed sharing movies in the Outlaws post that I’m looking forward to, I wanted to include this one as well. It does look fantastic.


What are some movies featuring a femme fatale that you enjoyed? Let’s talk!

What If … Thor Were an Only Child? Episode Review

Once again, I’m a little late, but I have written a review for the latest episode of What If …? titled What If … Thor Were an Only Child? From here on forward, there will be spoilers for the episode!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Thor, who never had to compete with or set an example for his brother, turned out quite differently – he became the Party Prince of Asgard!

My thoughts?

We’ve established by now that I’m not the biggest fan of the show, so I don’t think we need to harp on it much more. I was, however, actually looking forward to Party-Thor, just because I knew it would be a more light-hearted episode and it didn’t disappoint in that regard. Then again, much like last week, this episode didn’t feel too imaginative to me. Did not having a brother really change Thor all that much, or were his parents just more lenient? I almost believe it’s the latter, but let’s just break down the episode bit by bit.

  • In this universe, Odin never adopted/kidnapped Loki and instead returned him to his birth father. This must have also quelled the war/animosity between Asgard and the Frost Giants, as it doesn’t seem to be an issue henceforth. This led to Thor and Loki growing up as friends, however, never as real brothers.

More than battles won or lost, it’s relationships that truly define a hero. The people who shape them, their stories.

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back on Earth Dr. Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis notice a pattern from outer space, guessing an alien invasion is about to happen. While they are right about the visitors being from somewhere else in the galaxy, it’s actually just Thor and his friend group deciding to go on a bender while Odin is asleep and Frigga is off to visit her sisters.
  • I’m not going to go into detail, but Thor turns the entire planet into an intergalactic party central and apparently once partied so hard on Alpha Star, it destroyed the whole thing. Jane, who met and fell in love with Thor in this version too (they even got matching tattoos), worries that he will accidentally be the end of Earth. Death by party?
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The cameos in this episode are almost boundless. You have several characters from the Thor movies (Korg, the Grandmaster, Skurge, …), The Guardians of the Galaxy (Drax, Mantis, Nebula, …) as well as Howard the Duck again. Howard even gets married to Darcy. I’m not joking. That happened!
What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Maria Hill, who is acting director of SHIELD after Fury had a run in with an overexcited Korg, is ready to bring in the big guns to fight Thor and calls in Captain Marval aka Carol Danvers. They have a fight around the globe, but ultimately it is Jane who stops Thor by ratting him out to his mother.
  • All the alien visitors help Thor clean up his mess on Earth, but he still gets caught. It nevertheless serves as a lesson to the God of Thunder to become more mature and he eventually asks out Jane on a real date. The end? Happily ever after? Not quite!
  • The final scene, because why would we ever just end on a happy note, showed an evil Ultron appearing with all infinity stones. What does it mean? Who even knows at this point …

I’m a little tired of the cliffhangers, BUT I am intrigued by this one in particular. The thing is, The Watcher seemed surprised by the end himself. So far, no matter how bleak the outcome, he always knew that it had to be the fate of that particular universe or character. However, at the end of the episode, he appeared to be flustered by the appearance of Ultron, possibly not expecting it. So, what could it mean?
I can’t help but wonder if this Ultron breached from a different universe, which would slowly fold into the Loki series storyline of the multiversal chaos we are about to witness. The only reason I’m hesitant to fully buy into this theory is that his infinity stones would effectively be useless if he were from another universe. At least in the comics, it is impossible for more than one set of infinity stones to exist in the same realm and remain powerful. It’s like they cancel each other out.
Another theory is that he might be from the future, which would still work, but not really explain the Watcher’s surprise. We might never get an answer, so this could potentially just remain another frustrating loose end, but there is a chance that this might be the first multi-chapter story within the What If …? stories. We shall see!

What If ... Thor Were an Only Child?
credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of the episode? Did you enjoy it? Let’s talk!

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (Book Review)

Ace of Spades

Publisher: Usborne
Page Count
: 480

CW: racism, homophobia, bullying, hate crimes, forced outing, emotional abuse, mention of suicidal attempt, anxiety and panic attacks, torture, blackmailing, violence, stalking, gaslighting and murder

This review is brought to you by the sheer generosity of my good friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. She hosted a giveaway and I was the lucky winner, getting to choose from books she had previously talked about on her blog. I picked Ace of Spades (you can read Marie’s review here) and have not regretted that choice one bit!

This book was FANTASTIC! It genuinely deserves all the hype and I’m currently trying to wrap my head around how I could possibly put my thoughts into coherent words. The premise is pretty straight forward: the only two black kids at Niveus Private Academy suddenly get targeted by an anonymous presence called “Ace” in their final year at the school. While people don’t grasp the connection at first, a thrilling tale unfolds that will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

I loved the hints that were placed throughout, but how I was still shocked and surprised at every single revelation. Maybe, sometimes, it wasn’t so much because I didn’t think it was possible, but just because I didn’t want to see the knives in those kids’ backs get twisted in any further. I was rooting for them so much as they showed strength and vulnerability, where I am sure I would have crumbled to pieces already. I would have loved to burn down that entire school for what was happening to them.
While it’s easy to love Devon from the get go, it’s Chiamaka who grows on you over time, as you learn more about her. Both were so different, yet such compelling personalities in their own rights. They created the perfect balance for each other. But so did the book as a whole, in general. The writing kept me on my toes, made me turn page after page and managed to be engaging, chilling and disturbing all at once.

As much as it was a magnificent thriller, it was also an exceptional commentary on elitism, racism and the intersectionality of being queer and Black/a person of color.

My recommendation is to go into this book with as little knowledge as possible and to get yourself swept up in the mystery and emotions. I was riled up and sad and shocked. My range of emotions was really exploited to its full extent and that means I can’t put it any other way than calling this book a masterpiece. That end is going to keep a wicked smile on my face for a while, I believe.

Lastly, yes, this book really did combine Gossip Girl and Get Out in the best way possible, while completely staying its own story. Please, convince yourself of its magnificence!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! A fantastic and thrilling read. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!


Have you read Ace of Spades? Do you plan to? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!