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!

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!

What If … Captain Carter Were The First Avenger? Episode Review

Marvel is back at it, but this time with an animated show! Please do not read on if you don’t want to know any spoilers for What If … Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

A single moment can change everything and so it happened that Peggy Carter took the serum instead of Steve Rogers, altering the course of reality.

My thoughts?

I wasn’t sure if I was going to review this show, or even watch it, to be completely honest. I am a huge Marvel geek, so I like their content, but I’m really picky about animated content I consume. I don’t know why, but I just struggle getting into things that aren’t live action or a very particular style I fancy.
The animation style of What If …?, while at times beautiful, is not my favorite. I don’t think that they really caught the likeness of all the characters we know so well and even though they tried to get most of the people who played the live action counterparts to voice the same characters on the show, there are several actors not involved in the project. I’m not saying all of that’s an insurmountable problem, but it did put me off slightly.

The first episode in the series introduces us to the Watcher. He is our narrator and guide through the new realities. Right at the beginning, he explains that time and space is a prism of endless possibilities and that every single choice can lead to an infinite number of realities. Releasing this after the finale of Loki therefore makes a lot of sense, showing us what is all potentially out there and simultaneously declaring all of what we see as canon.

credit: Marvel Studios

This episode in particular focused on how things would be different if Peggy Carter had received the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. Here are some of the most notable points that were made:

  • Peggy Carter was always a force to be reckoned with. Of course, it was sad to see her be dismissed, even after she had become a super soldier, but we already knew how capable she was. It came as no surprise that she changed minds rather quickly through her actions. There didn’t seem to be a big adjustment period to her new strength and abilities, which was interesting. She might be stronger than Steve ever was.
  • I very much appreciated the fact that Steve wasn’t intimidated or turned off by Peggy after her change. He fell in love with her as a person and their story continued on just as sweetly as it would have were the roles reversed. We knew he was a good guy, but that proved it again.
  • In this version of events, Peggy gets the tesseract from Red Skull and Howard Stark builds a suit of armor for Steve powered by it. They call it the Hydra Stomper, but it is very much reminiscent of an early prototype for a later Iron Man suit. Can you imagine Steve Rogers as the first Iron Man? I cannot, but it worked here.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Steve enlists Peggy to save the 107th and that leads to Bucky hanging out with Howard Stark, which I find hilarious in my head for some reason. Can you imagine unburdened Bucky from the 40s just getting into all sorts of trouble with Howard? Because I sure can!
  • Peggy, Steve and the Howling Commando try to capture Red Skull on the train again. It’s a similar scene to the one Bucky first “died” in, but Peggy catches him. He thanks her for it by saying that she nearly ripped his arm off, a callback like many others during the episode. In the end, it is Steve who falls victim to an explosion and is believed to have perished.
  • All of it was a ploy by the Red Skull to capture Steve though, who survived due to his suit, and get the tesseract back. He uses it to open a portal, which releases a monster with massive tentacles. I’m not sure what monster it is exactly. It resembles quite a few possible candidates.
  • As Peggy and the squad discover that Steve is alive and try to stop the monster from devouring them all, Peggy picks up a sword to fight back. This is another (aside from the suit and shield) reference to Captain Britain, who did carry a sword. She eventually manages to drive the monster back through the portal, but only by sacrificing herself. In typical Steve-Peggy-devastating-last-conversation-fashion, he tells her she still ows him a dance.
  • Now we jump about 70 years into the future, when Nicky Fury and Clint Barton accidentally activate the tesseract in the present day, releasing Captain Carter in the process. This is where the episode ends, similar to how Steve woke up in present day New York, sad that he couldn’t keep his date with Peggy.
  • Lastly, throughout the episode, there were a lot of visual and other callbacks to “our” version of events, such as Peggy furiously knocking a punching bag off its hook or making fun of the ORS tours. They are nice and aplenty, if you want to go hunting for them in the brief air time.

I’m sure there are important bits that I missed, but overall, I didn’t think it was *that* different or mind-blowing. I thought I would be more impressed? Seen as this is a bit of a one shot thing, with each episode focusing on a different character, I can’t help but wonder what the purpose of this particular story was. Everything is always so interconnected these days, with actors hinting at the show influencing future events, that my brain won’t stop trying to figure out what it could all mean.

All in all, this was enjoyable, but I’m a bit unclear on what this means for the future of the MCU. Am I supposed to be prepared for an appearance of Captain Carter in the upcoming live action movies, because we are now dealing with the multiverse? Is this all completely inconsequential? I guess only future episodes will tell.


What did you think of the first episode of What If …? Talk to me in the comments below!