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

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

WandaVision: Episode 7 “Breaking the Fourth Wall” Review

Here comes the obligatory warning that the following post does in fact include SPOILERS, so if you haven’t been able to watch the episode yet, I recommend you return afterwards. Here we go!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Wanda starts to loose grip on her universe after expanding it, while Monica tries to reenter the hex to help everyone inside before Hayward does something drastic.

My thoughts?

If this episode wasn’t a mix of Modern Family and The Office, then I don’t even know. I guess we are through all the decades now? It should be interesting what the theme of next week will be, as I do believe we have now reached the end of Wanda’s broadcasting era. I was a little disappointed to see that the episode wasn’t longer though, because there was an announcement that the last three episodes would be an hour long, but I am happy about whatever WandaVision content I can get and it was obviously going to end on a cliffhanger anyway, since we are in the final stretches of the show.

Still, this episode had some reveals that a lot of us had guessed for a while, which may not seem super exciting to most, but it was the big set up for the grand finale. I don’t think it was the best episode of the season, but I also thought that the reveals were well done. There’s grief, pain and still a lot of fight left in our characters to explore.

I’m going to keep the “outside Westview” thoughts really brief, because as we know from last time, most of it has been absorbed into the hex now.

  • Hayward is still hellbent on destroying Wanda at all costs. He really does not grow on me.
  • Before Darcy got sucked into the hex though, she managed to decode his file, which had the codename Cataract. Fun fact: cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that leads to the decrease of vision, hence it being a really apt name for Hayward’s plan to use Vision’s corpse as a weapon for S.W.O.R.D. (which was explicitly against his wishes and I knew they were doing something sketchy in that lab).
  • Monica’s engineer friend (Major Goodner doesn’t mean anything to me, but she did know Monica’s mother and seems loyal to her) brought a whole space rover, but the border was too strong and Monica (against Jimmy’s protests) went into the anomaly by herself, ultimately activating her powers/mutant genes (which makes her and the twins the first official mutants in the MCU)
    I have no idea by what name she will go by (Spectrum, Photon, Pulsar, …), but her abilities allow her to transform herself and perceive any and all kinds of energy and light, which is why her vision changed, she wasn’t affected by the hex and could withstand Wanda’s blast to a degree.
    Either way, Monica was the star of the episode! Confronting her own grief and memories led to her only getting stronger and I think she really made an impact on Wanda, if only a certain someone hadn’t inserted herself.
credit: Marvel Studios

Poor Wanda. Just when she wants a day for herself, it becomes abundantly clear just how little control she has over Westview. She was really on the brink of giving in to life just being meaningless, letting her grief and depression almost reach a peak. Here are my observations about what’s happening inside the hex:

  • First of all, Darcy’s transformation to an escape artist was odd. It makes sense with her being cuffed before the transformation and wanting to help vision “escape” when he tried to exit town, but still. While I did enjoy her teaming up with Vision and filling him in on his history, ultimately making him understand why Wanda is grieving and maybe acting irrationally, I thought there was much more that could have been done with her character. Darcy Lewis is so funny and always secretly wanted a guest spot on the show, but this was kind of meh to me.
  • So, the world is definitely glitching and while it could have been jotted down to Wanda having used up too much of her powers or just losing control in general, I think it was pretty apparent in this episode that she just plain wasn’t the puppeteer people had made her out to be.
credit: Marvel Studios

Ad Break: I’m not sure my theory from last week about the ads reflecting the infinity stones really pans out here, because none of this screamed Power Stone to me. Anyway, the commercial seemed pretty straight forward, addressing Wanda’s state of depression, wanting to be left alone and escaping to your own reality. The name for the anti-depressant, Nexus, was well chosen. In the Marvel universe, the nexus is the interdimensional gateway between all realities, once again heavily referencing the multiverse. Wanda is also a Nexus being, which means she can open portals etc.

  • I adore the twins, but especially Billy! My little Wiccan always wants to take care of his mom, even when he hears a bunch of voices and noise in his head. Interesting to note was that he was the first one to pick up that Agnes was “quiet”, meaning she could deflect his powers. But where are the twins now? I do worry about them. Which leads me to the next point and probably main reveal of the episode.
  • Children once again have been an underlying theme throughout the episode. They appeared to stall Darcy and Vision, but usually are absent from town. There was also a missing child visible on the milk carton (that kept going through it’s glitches of different decade-styles) and with the twins now also being nowhere to be seen or heard, it seems quite difficult not to think it has a meaning.
  • After Monica confronted Wanda, Agnes took her home to calm her down. When Wanda inquired about her boys, Agnes said they were in the basement, so that’s where Wanda went and it was so apparent that something was going to go down. The music became sinister again and as Wanda progressed, the aspect ration changed to the one usually used for scenes set in reality outside of the hex. I love that the continued use of aspect ratios and sound has given each era and scene an identifiable look and vibe.
    In the “basement” Agnes finally, finally reveals that she is indeed the much suspected Agatha Harkness and behind all the misdeeds that happened in town. Now, who is the person working with her though? Is the book she’s having the Darkhold? Is it maybe the book that has gone missing/was stolen from The Ancient One’s library in Doctor Strange, tying him into the storyline again?
credit: Marvel Studios

I know I say this pretty much every week, but what a gamechanger! I adore that WandaVision still keeps upping the stakes, even though a lot of us guessed that Agnes would be Agatha Harkness. It’s not so much about the surprise of it all as it is about the repercussion this knowledge has. The revelation still worked and added great tension for what’s to come. After all, it doesn’t look like Agnes/Agatha is working alone either.

credit: Marvel Studios

ALSO, I hope none of you clicked away before our first post-credit scene of the season! We see Monica snooping around Agnes’ house and finding the entry to the basement, just to be caught by “Pietro”. Is he the infamous and never seen Ralph? And who is Ralph really? “Snoopers are gonna snoop”, so we shall find out!

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How are you feeling about this episode? Are you looking forward to or dreading the end of WandaVision? Let’s talk!