What If … Zombies!? Episode Review

Wednesday remains Marvel review day, even if I might post a little later in the day. As a warning, this will likely happen for several weeks to come, as my schedule has changed a bit. BUT reviews are still happening. Today we talk about What If … Zombies!? and spoilers are ahead from here on out!

What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

When Bruce Banner falls to Earth to warn everyone about Thanos’ arrival, he finds a planet entirely changed and now inhabited by … zombies.

My thoughts?

I genuinely thought last week’s episode was dark, but this one was equally (if not partially more) sinister. In general, I was never a huge fan of the zombie genre, but I was curious to see what they would do with it paired with the Avengers and it was a lot of fun. I don’t have a comparison to the comic book storyline (because yes, there were zombies in the comics too), but it worked alright for me. That is … until the once again, super open and ambiguous end. I vowed not to complain so much about the episodes feeling rushed (which they still do), but I also haven’t made peace with the fact that it’s never really a closed story. Sometimes an open end is great, but sometimes … I just don’t know what to do with it. But let’s start at the beginning!

  • Just like in Infinity War, Bruce Banner crashes into the Sanctum Sanctorum to warn everyone of Thanos’ arrival. However, in this reality, Bruce finds Earth changed and seemingly deserted. That is until Bruce’s henchmen arrive to start a fight, just to be surprised by superpowered zombies in the shape of Tony Stark, Wong and Doctor Strange. It’s not often that I see zombies retain the abilities they had before they were changed.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Bruce eventually gets saved by Hope van Dyne, Strange’s cape and Peter Parker as we find out what happened on Earth.
  • In this version of events, Hank Pym also went to find his missing wife in the quantum realm, but the reunion went quite differently. Janet van Dyne contracted a quantum virus that corrupted her brain (aka turned her into a zombie) and because of her daughter’s unrelenting search for her, she managed to bring the virus back to our realm and infect large groups in no time. Once the Avengers joined the fight and got turned as well, the fate of humanity was more or less sealed. 
  • If only it weren’t for a small group of survivors that still carried that torch of hope. In a very curious constellation, Hope van Dyne, Peter Parker, Happy, Bucky Barnes, Kurt (one of Scott’s friends, if you struggled to remember him as well), Sharon Carter and Okoye as well as Bruce Banner now, all found themselves in New York, willing to give their all to save the planet.
  • The group gets a beacon that tells them that a potential cure has been found and in an attempt to get there, they lose a couple members. I have to say that, despite the scenes being fairly brief, the violence was definitely upped quite a bit. I never thought that I’d have to watch Sam get cut in half from top to bottom and Bucky react entirely nonchalantly, but here we are. I mean, he literally said “I should be sad, but I’m not”. To me, there were several quite gruesome moments.
  • Only Peter, Bruce, Bucky, Okoye and Kurt make it to the base that is supposed to hold the cure, just to find Vision there. He found out that his mind stone creates an aversion within the zombies, which ultimately led him to test his theory. He was able to save Scott, but only his head. A head that keeps floating around and just telling dad jokes. Typical Scott!
  • This is where Marvel really twists in the knife though! When everyone gets excited about potentially saving humanity, Vision turns dark. In reality, he has been luring people to his hideout in order to feed his zombie bride – Wanda. She is too strong and her zombie-condition can’t be cured, so he instead contained her and fed her, even holding T’Challa hostage.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I did not expect to get another appearance of Chadwick as T’Challa, but my heart sang again. This wasn’t nearly as happy as the last episode he was in, but yeah, I’ll take what I can get.
  • Ultimately, Vision can’t betray everyone he knows, while he also can’t let go of Wanda. He opts to destroy himself and give up the mind stone to the others, rather than leave her or kill her himself.
  • A Hulk vs. zombie Scarlet Witch fight ensues, while Peter, Scott’s head and T’Challa are the only ones making it off the base with the mind stone. Thankfully, Wakanda’s shields were strong enough to not have them fall pray to the zombie apocalypse. So, technically, there is still hope that they can fabricate a cure, if only it wasn’t for the small little detail everyone forgot – Thanos arrival.
  • The episode ends with an image of a zombie Thanos, who is wearing an infinity gauntlet with a full set of stones. To me, that means he defeated the remaining people in Wakanda and got the mind stone. I’m assuming his plans for the use of the gauntlet changed with his turn to a zombie, but I don’t know. I could speculate and form a dozen theories, but that’s the frustrating thing with these episodes sometimes. The end could mean basically anything and everything.
What If ... Zombies!?
credit: Marvel Studios

What did I learn from this episode? I still remember this thing going around TikTok or Twitter, where someone said that heroes would always sacrifice their love in order to save the world, whereas villains would burn down everything rather than let you go. Well, I think the What If … multiverse proves that our heroes are definitely willing to let it all go to hell for their loved ones. Just some more food for thought, because as the watcher said, all these stories (most of which often turn to a form of horror) started with love and hope/Hope.

Something I appreciate a lot with these episodes is how they replicate certain shots from the bigger MCU in animation. It was especially notable with Captain Carter’s episode, but continued to be utilized throughout the season thus far. This time around, for example, we saw a corrupted Steve Rogers still use his shield and it looked marred by blood, just like it did when John Walker misused it in TFATWS. It’s very smart cinematography, because it easily creates a connection and possible emotional memory to something familiar, but in a very subtle way.

In general, this episode offered a lot of imagery hinting at the fate of characters in different realities. There was Peter with the cloak/cape and him being Spider Supreme in another universe. Then there was Bucky with the shield (“guess this is the end of the line”), stepping up as the new “Captain America” in this version. It’s the little things that often only last a couple seconds, but that can be meaningful to viewers (although Sam is my Captain. Sorry not sorry).

Ultimately, I liked the episode, but I’ve enjoyed others even more. Maybe I’m not the right audience for an anthology series like this, but we’ve made it to episode 5 (which I believe to be the halfway point of the season), so I’m going to keep going with these little reviews/recaps.


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like this take on zombies? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat!

What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? Episode Review

It’s Wednesday and we all know this means it’s time for another Marvel review! Today we’re talking about What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?, so continue at your own peril. Spoilers ahead!

What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Doctor Strange’s entire life changes when he loses Doctor Christine Palmer in an accident rather than his motor skills.

My thoughts?

So, that was quite something! Maybe I will really like every other What If …? reality more than the previous one. This episode truly felt like the Marvel version of a Black Mirror story and I didn’t mind it. That obviously means that the ending was quite depressing, which probably won’t be to everyone’s liking, but if you think about it, it is also not very likely that every reality in the multiverse is a happy one. Let’s break down the events of What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?

  • Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer were on a date. They were goofing off, clearly having a great relationship, when the dreadful car accident happens. Instead of Stephen losing the precise motor skills in his surgeon hands, he loses Christine, the love of his life, instead.
  • I thought it was interesting that his grief for her sent him on the same journey as the despair about his hands did. He traveled the world, eventually trained in the mystic arts and became the Sorcerer Supreme. However, it’s after that, where the story really changes.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Unable to let go of the past, Stephen uses the Eye of Agamotto to travel back in time and redo his date with Christine. No matter what he tries, even if he stays away completely, she always dies though. Her death turning out to be an absolute point in time, unchangeable and irreversible.
  • The Ancient One tries to warn and explain to Stephen that he is endangering the entire universe with his obsession, but they fight and he escapes to the lost library of Cagliostro. There, in the midst of all the hidden mystic knowledge, he learns that he can reverse an absolute point in time, but will need more power. This power can be absorbed from other beings. While a regular person would probably stop at the thought of consuming creatures, Doctor Strange goes on to absorb every powerful being, small or big, he can find (yes, the tentacle monster from What If … Captain Carter Were the First Avenger? makes a reappearance) for centuries.
  • What this version of Doctor Strange wasn’t prepared for was the fact that his last interaction with the Ancient One led to a split timeline. All the while he got stronger, there was another half of him, who hadn’t chosen to change time, running around and still being good. This means we got a Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Strange face off.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Where a usual Disney or happy storyline would have the good Stephen, the hero, win, this story is not that. The evil and now monstrous looking Doctor Strange cannot convince his counterpart to help him save Christine. So, instead, he even consumes himself, ultimately resurrecting Christine into a crumbling universe.
  • Christine doesn’t recognize Stephen when she comes to. He looks like an amalgamation of all the monsters and creatures he consumed, having no resemblance of his former self anymore. But worst of all, his entire effort was for nothing as Christine starts to disintegrate with the rest of the universe. He had broken the fabric of his reality to the point of no return. Even begging the Watcher himself to help resulted in nothing. So, Stephen created a bubble to shield him and Christine from the destruction, but in the end, he was all alone in vast nothingness.
What If ... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
credit: Marvel Studios

Something I enjoyed a lot during What If … Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? is the fact that The Watcher was involved, albeit he did not intervene. In one of the earlier scenes, The Watcher talked to us and told us that Stephen was on the wrong path. He could intervene, but the safety of one universe was not more important than the others, while he also didn’t think that Strange would actually listen. However, Stephen did hear him and later directly talked to him. As I said last week, he seems to get more present in the storylines each week. Be it in the imagery or by actually talking with the characters now. I wonder if this will amp up even more in the future.

While I still think that the episodes deserve to be longer to make full use of the storylines and the potential emotional impact, it worked better here than with some previous ones. Once again, there were some fun visual and dialogue references to movies we know. There was a whole montage of how Stephen learned his craft and jokes about his name and hilarious moments with the cloak. At the end of all of this, I might do a personal ranking of all the What If …? episodes. Would anyone be interested in that?


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did it shake you in any way? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!

What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? Episode Review

Wednesdays are mostly our Marvel review days on the blog, so it’s time to talk about today’s episode of What If …? called What If … The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes? There will be spoilers from here on out, so proceed with caution.

What If ... Nick Fury
credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

What if someone eliminated the candidates for the Avengers initiative before they ever had a chance to band together? 

My thoughts?

I’m really feeling like I’m having my ups and downs with this show. While I tremendously enjoyed the plot of last week, I was somewhat disappointed with this episode. It wasn’t just the way it felt rushed in the short run time, but it also seemed like the real story only started once it ended. Let us break down what the episode was about!

  • The episode covered the span of a week, with every day more or less featuring the death of one of the Avengers. It all started with Tony Stark’s demise, which Black Widow got framed for. Then, it continued with the assassination of Thor by the hand of Hawkeye, who, just like Black Widow, claims innocence, which was followed by his own death. After that the Hulk literally exploded and even Natasha got found after her escape from SHIELD’s capture and taken down. Nick Fury (alongside Agent Coulson) seemed to be the only one left standing.
Black Widow
credit: Marvel Studios
  • I was somewhat surprised to see Doctor Ross, which is silly, because of course she is part of Bruce’s story, but we haven’t seen her in so long. In fact, in the live action version with the character being portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, she has never even been mentioned.
  • I didn’t see the point of rehashing each death in detail, as few of them have lasting consequences within the episode, except for Thor’s passing. His death prompts Loki to arrive on Earth with an army, vowing to revenge his brother. Fury manages to strike a deal with him by offering him the real assassin in return for leaving the planet in peace.
Thor and his glorious hair
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Natasha, before her final battle, managed to give Fury a hint at who was behind the attacks. She called him and told him that it was all about Hope. We, as devoted MCU viewers, obviously knew right away that it had to do with Hope van Dyne, but she really couldn’t have just told him the full name instead of repeating her first name twice on the message? Seems inefficient to me.
  • In this universe, Hope was an agent of SHIELD, just like her mother before her. They both died on missions, which left a grieving Hank Pym unable to deal with his emotions. He, in his suit could manipulate all the situations without being seen, therefore being the real culprit. He got tricked by Loki, who disguised himself as Fury to coax out a confession, and eventually got taken in by the Asgardian army.
  • Loki wouldn’t be Loki if he didn’t betray someone. So, despite Fury honoring his deal with the trickster God, Loki decides to stay on Earth and without anyone stopping him and a full army to back him, he manages to take over the rule of the planet within a day.
Loki on Earth
credit: Marvel Studios
  • It was odd to see Fury and Coulson so non-chalantly dealing with the alien invasion. However, the episode ends with Captain Marvel showing up for back up and Coulson looking at the frozen shield of Captain America. Maybe in this universe he was never unthawed? We literally don’t find out more as this is where it all fades to black.
  • What I noticed within the episode was that the Watcher was present in the sky/background a lot more obviously than in previous stories. I don’t know why it stood out so much here, but it did. I still wonder if he will really just remain someone to tell us tales or if he will eventually be involved in something as well.

As you can see, I kept that a lot shorter than with previous Marvel reviews or recaps, but I really wasn’t that impressed by the episode. Wouldn’t the meat of the story be about how Fury has to find alternate Avengers team members? How did Loki manage to conquer Earth in a day? There seemed to be exactly zero pushback from anyone as he spoke in front of the UN, which could possibly be because of his large armada, but come on. That was way too easy!

I have no idea what next week’s episode will be about, as I think they’ve only revealed the first three in advance, but I hope it will be something I can be more enthusiastic about again. Not even the funny quips about Thor’s glorious hair could keep me entertained for long here. Maybe I just also didn’t want to watch all the Avengers die … again. See you for more next week!


PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What did you think of this episode? Did you like it? Did you agree with my opinion? Let’s talk!

What I’ve Been (Binge-)Watching #64

I remember when I used to do these posts almost weekly, but here we are with them popping up maybe once or twice a month. I guess a lot of my time has been diverted to reading, so I can get my challenges and experiments done in time. I don’t regret spending my time differently, but I do miss binging all day sometimes. Still, I have a decent amount of things to talk about again!

The White Lotus (Season 1)

The show makes you feel uncomfortable, but simultaneously keeps you interested in a way only an HBO show can. We’ve all met these sort of entitled, troubled, lost people before and some of us might even be able to find part of ourselves in them. I’m so very glad I don’t work in a hotel anymore, although that part, too, was relatable. It’s not exactly laugh out loud funny, but it’s definitely top notch dark humor.

You may think you know where this show is headed, but there’s some really good, partly grotesque turns along the way. All the actors did such an amazing job, but that ending … it’s not going to be for everyone.

CODA

This might be one of, if not my absolute, favorite movie of the year!

CODA, meaning Child Of Deaf Adults, is a movie about family in the most beautiful way. Ruby is the only hearing person in her family and that comes with many responsibilities. However, her true passion is singing, something none of her loved ones can quite comprehend. And so, a tale of self-discovery, love and obligation and letting go ensues.

I seriously cried my way through the final scenes, because I was so touched by the whole story. It was beautiful to have deaf representation that showed the struggle on both point of views and didn’t put any blame or take a side in the process. I can only highly recommend this movie! Please, go watch it!

The below music/lyric video is amazing, but does contain some spoilers in case you want to avoid them.

Resort to Love

Resort to Love is the kind of cheesy romance movie I like. It’s predictable, sweet and like a warm hug in most cases. After Falling Inn Love, I also knew that Netflix had a plan for Christina Milan and I’m here for it. I know that these kind of movies aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like that kind of stuff, it’s definitely worth a watch.

The Kissing Booth 3

I’M SO GLAD THIS MOVIE FRANCHISE IS FINALLY DONE!

I don’t really know why I did this to myself, but it was kind of fun to make fun of the first movie. Then I sort of stumbled into the second and finally, I felt like I couldn’t pass up on the last part of it. In the beginning, I didn’t hate it, but by the end of it, I really couldn’t stand it anymore? Most of these characters were unreasonably rich, immature and co-dependant. It was just difficult for me to root for anyone. Also, there was absolutely no need for this movie to be two hours long.

Shows I Watch Weekly

Last time, I talked about a bunch of shows I watch on a weekly basis and since that worked well for me, I’m going to continue doing it!

Roswell, New Mexico (Season 3) – So far, I like the season better than the last one, although it still doesn’t reel me in as much as the first one did. I can’t explain why at all, but there are definitely still aspects I love. I always look forward to every single scene with Maria and I’m kind of intrigued by the blossoming Rosa/Wyatt relationship. Undecided on whether I’m for it, but I’m definitely interested in seeing more.

Ted Lasso (Season 2) – Ted Lasso giving its characters more room to develop without pitting them all against each other is beautiful to watch. I feel there’s still something the season is building up to, a big blow up of some sort, and I’m not ready for it.

Animal Kingdom (Season 5) – As suspected, I prefer binging it rather than tuning in weekly. It’s been dragging a bit for me.

Stargirl (Season 2) – I’m really happy the show is back! So far, my obsession hasn’t reached the same height as last summer, but seeing these characters on a regular basis again warms my heart.

Gossip Girl (mid-season finale) – I’m so over Obie and his indecisiveness. Also, there’s no way he and his mother are German. I’m going to headcanon them as Belgian now.

Superman & Lois (Season 1 finale) – Sad and excited at the same time that we ended on the cliffhanger we ended on. I’m really looking forward to more here.

Schmigadoon (Season 1 finale) – As someone who is not a big fan of musicals, this show was alright. I did expect more from the finale though.


What have you been watching lately? Do you plan on checking out or have maybe already watched some of the things above?

What If … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? Episode Review

It’s Wednesday and at this point, we all know that means it’s Marvel day on the blog! Today’s review is for What If … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord? Proceed with caution, because there are spoilers!!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

When you outsource a job, it can go awry. So, instead of abducting a young Peter Quill, Yondu and the Ravagers take in T’Challa, altering future events entirely.

My thoughts?

This episode was so much more after my taste! This is exactly the kind of “what if” scenario I was looking for!!

Let’s start off by saying that this episode was dedicated to our hero, our inspiration Chadwick Boseman. I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I got at hearing him voice T’Challa, but I’m so happy it exists. And on top of that, he got such a beautiful episode about family and kinship, paralleling what a bright light he was.

While I’m still no fan of the overexposed animation style and I don’t think that the characters look like their live-action counterparts, I can 100% say that I’m now more on board with the story ideas. What If … T’Challa Became a Star-Lord was not just fun to watch, but also showed far more drastic differences in the universe, prompted by just one small change. Let’s break it down:

  • Alternate title suggestion for the episode: Yondu kidnapping random Earth children since 1988
  • Because the Ravagers got distracted by the vibranium beneath Wakanda’s soil, they kidnapped T’Challa instead of Peter Quill. Since he had felt restless and wanted to explore the world either way, Yondu took it upon himself to show little T’Challa the whole galaxy instead
  • Whereas no one really knew Quill’s Star-Lord, T’Challa quickly made a name for himself. When he steals, he does so to give to the less fortunate. He’s kind of a space Robin Hood like that and therefore has a growing fanbase everywhere. All he wants to do is good and he has an entire crew that supports him in doing so. Nothing can dim that boys light.
  • I think one of the most interesting remarks happens at a casual get together of the crew for drinks, when it is revealed that T’Challa single-handedly prevented Thanos from going through with his plan with … words. He proved that there were other ways to relocate half the universe’s resources and Thanos gave in to reason (despite still joking that “it’s no genocide if it’s random but it would be more efficient” to whoever is nearby). Just imagine all of the pain from Infinity War and End Game being redundant if someone had reasonably and level-headedly talked to Thanos. It’s a really wild thought to me.
  • At the bar, we also meet Drax, who still has his wife and daughter thanks to T’Challa. That man really saved a lot of lives throughout the universe.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Even odder might be the insinuation that Nebula (now with a long blonde wig and not nearly as cut up and made of parts as we know her) and T’Challa being romantically involved. There definitely was something flirty about her calling him ChaCha and my brain doesn’t quite compute. T’Challa even wanted to convince Nebula and Thanos to go to family counseling. They are that close.
  • I won’t go into detail about the entire thing that went down with the Collector, but there were so many fun details in that bit. For one, he had items such as Hela’s headpiece or Cap’s shield in his possession, but he also had Howard the Duck as one of his prisoners. I was waiting to see how he’d appear and he did not disappoint. I’m sure there will be plenty of videos breaking down what all was mentioned, be it Frost Giants or the dagger imbued by Dark Matter. There’s a lot to discover in the Collector’s lair.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Eventually, the episode leads towards a confrontation between Yondu and T’Challa, because the former lied to the latter about the fate of Wakanda. While Yondu claimed it was destroyed in a war, T’Challa’s father had actually been looking for him, even among the stars, this entire time. They return to earth and have a little (really brief) nice family reunion. They all get along well and even though it’s an odd combination, having this found and blood family join ranks worked for me.
  • Like last week, there is a cliffhanger again, although I would claim this one is much, much bigger. As the Watcher lets us know, there’s another family reunion in the works. Ego has traveled to earth to meet Peter Quill, a meeting that could result in the end of the world.

Ultimately, I enjoyed that there was a certain focus on nature vs. nurture, found family as well as the one you are born into. There were really several beautiful (albeit short) parent-child-moments and those always go straight to my heart. I can’t deny that some changes just felt weird, but I liked this episode a lot! I may or may not have shed some tears when the dedication popped up on the screen, but what can you do? In the end, I’m a big softie.

credit: Marvel Studios

PREVIOUSLY: WHAT IF …


What are your thoughts? I think it’s clear that I was way more enthusiastic this week! 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!

Loki: Episode 6 “For All Time. Always.” Season Finale Review

This is my review/recap of the Season 1 finale of Loki, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read on! You have been warned!!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Sylvie and Loki finally meet their match at the Citadel at the End of Time. Can they trust each other to make the right decision?

My thoughts?

Well, this was different than what I expected and at the same time, not that unexpected at all? I think “For All Time. Always.” offered a lot of explanations and information by just plain telling us, just to end on a freaking cliffhanger. I think that what such a cruel thing to do, because what does it mean? Where are we going from here? We don’t have more episodes and I don’t know which movie this story continues in, HOWEVER, we now finally have a Season 2 of the series officially confirmed!

Before I talk myself into a rage though, let us break down what we learned:

  • We start out with a lot of cosmic chatter, almost as if all of Marvel and real life history were happening at once. We got iconic lines from characters as well as actual people from history and it really made the entry into that place beyond time or at the end of time really special.
  • While Miss Minutes did make a brief (jump scare) appearance in the Citadel at the End of Time, I have to disappoint fans of the theory that she is the big bad guy. Instead, we meet “He Who Remains”, who is never introduced by name, but is definitely a version of Kang. Many people have guessed it and therefore I don’t think it was a massive surprise moment for the majority of viewers, but still a neat introduction of the character.
  • Back at the TVA, Mobius and Hunter B-15 work together to reveal to the other agents that they’ve been lied to. Ravonna (who seems to be called Rebecca and works as a school principle on Earth when she’s not deviating from her timeline) is still convinced that all her work wasn’t for nothing. That is real dedication to the cause. She fights Mobius, but doesn’t prune him again, telling him that she feels betrayed by him. Miss Minutes/Kang supplied her with some interesting files and now she’s off trying to find free will … whatever that means.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • At the end of time, Kang explains how the TVA started, why it is still up and running and that there are only two ways all of this will end. Either the Lokis kill him and the timeline will branch indefinitely, paving the way for other multiversal selves of Kang to conquer this reality. Or, Sylvie and Loki could take over the TVA and run it as they see fit in order to prevent cataclysmic chaos.
  • The portrayal of Kang was very interesting. It had a silly madness to it, but didn’t seem menacing or threatening at all. For someone who lived eons, mostly by themselves, to preserve cosmic peace, he was a bit loopy but not necessarily unkind. I’d almost say he was goofy, which wasn’t at all how I imagined meeting him, but it was a pleasant change of tone.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • When Loki asked Sylvie to contemplate what Kang had said for a second, I thought that was actually very reasonable. They didn’t know if he was lying, but Loki had a solid point in not wanting to unleash something even worse by killing him. In the end, Sylvie could not trust Loki and Loki could not be trusted. It is their eternal cycle. So, Sylvie tricked Loki and pushed him through a portal that led back to the TVA before killing Kang. She did not seem happy afterwards, just slumping to the floor crying, all alone at the end of time.
  • Sylki is now canon … I suppose. Even at the end of the season, I have no idea how feel about that, although I did want them to clarify the kind of relationship they had. They kissed, but they also betrayed each other. Tough call to say if this is salvageable, then again, they’re Lokis … betrayal is in their blood.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Back at the TVA, Loki rushes to find Mobius and Hunter B-15 contemplating what to do about the branching timelines and I cannot lie, that was one of the most heartbreaking moments. He was so remorseful, terrified of what they had let happen, just to learn that neither of them knows or remembers him. The statues of the Time-Keepers we’ve previously seen at the TVA are replaced by one of Kang. Either this isn’t his/our reality, or the branching timelines changed history? I don’t even know, but I’m taking it as confirmation of the fact that we’ve entered the multiverse.
credit: Marvel Studios

This season of Loki was action packed and emotional at times. I can’t say I fully understand the ramifications of what we have watched and I’m not too happy about the fact that we ended on a cliffhanger. I’m not a patient person and I need some sort of graph telling me which movies and shows will carry on with this narrative now and how long I will have to wait to see them.

All in all, I loved the characters we got introduced to in Loki. I didn’t like every choice they made, but I’m so very curious where we’re going to go. This final episode was a lot more calm than I expected it to be and I actually appreciated that. There were fights, but they were much more understated than some of the big CGI blow-ups we’re used to (although I suppose that got covered with Alioth last week). Again, I feel like we just got sat down by the showrunners and they tried to explain some of the logistics to us, while only giving way to small emotional moments in between. Tom Hiddleston’s face at the end was heartbreaking, but in some regards I needed more. More Sylvie/Loki exploration, more background information on the mutliverse issue, more time with Mobius and Hunter B-15, more episodes to watch … Maybe I’m just greedy that way, but I just wish it hadn’t left us with more questions than answer.

credit: Marvel Studios

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Loki: Episode 5 “Journey Into Mystery” Review

Another week, another Loki review is right ahead. “Journey Into Mystery” was a wild episode, so please don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched it yet. This was your obligatory Spoiler warning!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Loki tries to survive after his pruning to get back to Sylvie, while she continues her mission to find whoever is behind the TVA. 

My thoughts?

For whatever reason, I keep thinking that this show will calm down for a bit, but they really deliver new insanity every single time. While I think that a lot of the theories people had after “The Nexus Event” came true, there was still so much tension, especially in the final minutes. It’s odd to say that it was exciting and yet, it also felt very familiar.
Only one more episode to go and I’m a little sad. We always get the “big bad” showdown in the finale and I’m just a teensy bit disappointed that they stuck to that format again. All three Marvel shows have been very formulaic in their build up, despite being very different in terms of style and content. Just think about it, episode 1 and 2 are always here to reintroduce the characters, then we get to know to the major players and problems of the season, the twist/reveal comes around two thirds into the show, followed by a penultimate episode that ends just before the big fight with the enemy. You can literally apply that to WandaVision, TFATWS and Loki every single time. It’s nice to know what to expect, but it’s also not that innovative the third time around?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s break down what this episode showed us:

  • Loki is now in the Void. It’s a place at the end of time where all pruned people and reset timelines get dumped to be devoured by a cloud-monster named Alioth. He quickly gets taken in by a band of Lokis and learns abut what caused their respective Nexus events (which ranged from killing Thor to simply not wanting to be alone). As per usual, a bunch of Lokis cannot co-exist without betrayal though, so there’s even warring factions. It was hilarious to see Loki be exasperated at how annoying Lokis can be.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Sylvie and Renslayer have a talk, which ends with Sylvie pruning herself to escape. Ravonna is far too calm and casual about her worldview crumbling for my taste. No matter how often it is mentioned this episode, I don’t feel like she is seething or angry at the reveal. To her, it doesn’t really change anything about her purpose, just who she reports to and obviously she wants to know who that person is.
  • In the Void, Sylvie runs into Mobius, who managed to not get eaten by Alioth thus far. He picks her up in a car and brings her up to speed. In every conversation Sylvie had, be it with Ravonna or Mobius, saving Loki never seemed like a priority to her. Instead, she is single-mindedly focused on getting back at whoever is behind the TVA. As B-15 put it, Ravonna wants it, but Sylvie needs it.
  • It doesn’t take long until we get a Sylvie-Loki reunion, where I’m pretty sure he had to stop himself from just running into her arms, while she stood there. I wish this episode had finally put a label on what their feelings for one another are, because I feel like that is single-handedly the most controversial topic of the season. Loki trusts and believes in Sylvie, which is rare and monumental for him. She puts her faith in him as well and they prove that they are stronger together, but … what are those feelings? They stare into each others eyes all lovey-dovey, hold hands with intertwined fingers, share a blanket (and yes, they are both technically Jotun and shouldn’t be able to feel cold and might have both pretended to be cold to get closer? Or we have major story inconsistencies …), but at the end of the day Sylvie still said “I never had a friend before”.
    I don’t enjoy prescribing romantic feelings to people that don’t actually share them, but not even Herron (director) and Waldron (showrunner) managed to not contradict each other on what the Sylvie-Loki-relationship is. One of them said it doesn’t have to be romantic and the other one confirmed it is. Now the fandom invented a whole term just for Loki (“selfcest” has been in my mentions way too much since) and no one knows what to think anymore. Some clarity would be nice, because this back and forth (“I’ve never done this before”/”I don’t even know what we’re doing”) is getting on my nerves to be honest.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • The Mobius and Loki scenes on the other hand couldn’t have been more heartfelt and clear. It was so lovely to see them reunited and hug. Mobius calling Loki his favorite will sustain me until next week and I just cannot wait for him to burn the TVA to the ground.

Fun fact: There were SO many Easter Eggs in the Void. If you saw that jumping figure in the mason jar when the Lokis descended into the underground bunker, you just got a tiny glimpse of Throg (=Thor + frog). They really did him dirty with that cameo, but it was a nice comic book reference. Other references included but aren’t limited to a giant Yellowjacket helmet, the Helicarrier, Chitauri Leviathans, Mjolnir, the Thanos Copter, …

  • When Sylvie decided to enchant Alioth, I knew it was going to be hard. The VFX team did an outstanding job though and it looked absolutely epic. All the Lokis really did the most with their powers and they truly are so much more powerful than we knew. They have such a broad variety of powers.
  • Classic Loki really was the MVP this episode. He went out with a bang, laughing like a maniac and fulfilling his very own glorious purpose – the way he was supposed to!
credit: Marvel Studios
  • Finally, who is behind the veil at the end of time? Many people think it has to be Kang, but I believe Jonathan Majors when he says he’s not in the show yet. It would be a great link to Ravonna and potentially Ant-Man 3, but there’s still one more option – King Loki. If I remember correctly, he was shown in the trailer, but didn’t appear yet. (We had Classic, Kid, Boastful, President and Alligator Loki though). Obviously, there could still be someone behind King Loki and that someone could be Kang (kind of like Thanos was behind Loki’s actions in the first Avengers movie), but I’m just trying to lower expectations. We don’t want another Mephisto situation … and the pattern in previous Marvel shows proved to us that the “big bad” isn’t someone new (It was Agatha all along and Sharon Carter was the Powerbroker).

So, I liked that we were right about pruned people and things ending up in the Void. It was an easy guess and therefore made some scenes last week less impacting. Knowing that Mobius and Loki were likely fine really took out the severity, but it’s still always nice to be right. I’m not sure if I prescribe to the idea that all Lokis are the same, but I can get behind the idea that Sylvie is the only truly different one. Maybe that’s what makes her so special? We shall see, but I definitely love her by now. The truly sad thing is that (no matter if I believe in the Sylki relationship or not) I have a feeling that Sylvie might not make it past this season … they can’t actually let a Loki have nice things.

I feel ready for the finale now, but at the same time I dread that it’s over. I found myself very attached to the Marvel shows this year and to know there’s “only” movies coming in the near future doesn’t exactly have me at ease.


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Loki: Episode 4 “The Nexus Event” Review

Once again, I’m coming to you with an all new Loki review/recap! Beware of spoilers for this week’s episode “The Nexus Event” moving forward!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Suspicions grow among the TVA agents as the two Lokis are captured.

My thoughts?

My head is still spinning a little bit, if I’m being completely honest. I keep thinking that I know what’s going to happen, just to be surprised by some (albeit not all) developments. As with previous Marvel shows, we’re really getting into the nitty-gritty parts of the series in its second half. I like that I at least know to expect that much from the narrative.

Now where to start with this week’s breakdown? How about the beginning!

  • We finally learn how Sylvie got involved with the TVA. Although we never find out what Nexus event caused her to be taken in, we start off the episode with a little flashback. Ravonna, still being a Hunter back then, tracks down Sylvie when she was just a child to arrest her for crimes against the sacred timeline. At court, Sylvie manages to steal Ravonna’s TemPad and flee into the timeline, having jumped through place and time ever since. It’s so heartbreaking to watch, because Sylvie literally never did anything wrong. She just existed and was a mere child, who then got to grow up during the ends of a thousand worlds. I’m honestly surprised she isn’t more messed up.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • While everyone at the TVA is scrambling to find the Variants, Loki and Sylvie have one more essential bonding moment as the world around them is ending. Sylvie shares her past, Loki genuinely seems to care about her. It’s now evident that I wasn’t imagining the heavy romantic undertones last time, because them holding hands and developing feelings for one another causes one of the biggest and most drastic Nexus events – ultimately leading the TVA to them and saving them before they perish on Lamentis.
    HOWEVER, according to Kate Herron, this relationship is “not necessarily romantic”. I think people will find it difficult to not see that side, just because Mobius straight out calls it a crush later on in the episode, but I do see her point. It could all just be an elaborate tale of self-love and acceptance. Then again, Michael Waldron (showrunner) said they were falling for each other. No clue anymore. I will have to see future episodes to really tell, because not going to lie to you all, I still haven’t decided how I fell about a possible romance. It 100% makes sense with Loki’s narcissistic nature, but it’s also twisted.
  • Loki and Sylvie get separated, with Loki being put in a Time Cell. In there, he has to relive a bad memory with Lady Sif (what a fun and unexpected cameo and very on brand with the actual mythology) and it was really interesting to see him come to realizations about himself throughout that looped bad interaction. I think his feelings for Sylvie (whatever they may be) really clicked in that cell as well, because he kept being told that he was alone and always would be, but with Sylvie he really found someone who understood him.
  • Throughout the entire episode, we can see the growing suspicion about the TVA with several agents. Mobius’ doubt is fueled by his budding friendship with Loki and the desire to want to believe the trickster. B-15 got to experience memories while she was enchanted by Sylvie and even temporarily breaks her out to see more of her previous life. All the while, Ravonna becomes more and more shady as she hid the real reason C-20 passed away or why she wants to keep Sylvie isolated.
  • It all comes to a head when Mobius tries to side with Loki and gets pruned by Ravonna. You could see they had a special relationship and that it wasn’t easy on her, but she didn’t hesitate to have him erased. Her character seems to grow darker with each bit of information we learn about her. And losing Mobius … that was tough to watch, especially because Loki had grown really attached to him and so have we, as viewers, in the short span of time.
  • Ultimately, Loki and Sylvie both get brought in front of the Time-Keepers to get pruned themselves. B-15 shows up in the nick of time to bring Sylvie her trusted sword and a fight ensues. It looked like the Lokis were doing well, having defeated almost everyone and facing the Time-Keepers, just to find out they are fake and mindless androids. So, who is truly behind the TVA? Is Ravonna working for the real masterminds? Your guess is as good as mine.
credit: Marvel Studios
  • In what looked like Loki trying to confess his feelings for Sylvie (again, let those be whatever they are?), us viewers get dealt one final blow – Ravonna prunes Loki. I knew he wouldn’t be gone. This is his show after all, but … that moment hurt. He came such a long way.

We got our first post-credit scene! I was waiting for it, because I knew it was going to happen in the second half of the season. I’m glad they didn’t leave us with too much of a cliffhanger as to what happened to Loki after he got pruned, but rather with more excitement and even more Lokis! (We have a spectacular Richard E. Grant in classic Loki attire, a kid Loki, boastful Loki AND alligator Loki!) I’m currently loving the theory that they are at a place where all the things that get erased go.

credit: Marvel Studios

When Tom Hiddleston said that episode 4 and 5 were going to be game changers, he wasn’t lying. Aside from the fact that the body count went up considerably … so much just happened! While the suspicions towards the TVA were always warranted, I have an incredibly hard time imagining where all of this is supposed to go. No matter where we end up though, I keep enjoying the ride! All these characters are so well developed that I don’t even mind a couple smaller plotholes here and there.

For all time! – Always! – Until next week!


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What are your feelings concerning all these new developments? I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

Loki: Episode 3 “Lamentis” Review

I’m writing this under a bit of a time crunch, so I really hope this won’t be too much of a mess. Either way, please beware of spoilers for Loki’s episode 3 “Lamentis” moving forward!

credit: Marvel Studios

What was it about?

Loki and the Variant find themselves in a life or death situation and have to work together to get out of it.

My thoughts?

What an interesting change of pace for Loki (and not just because it was 10 minutes shorter than episodes 1 and 2). While I thoroughly enjoyed the Loki-Mobius-dynamic prior to this episode, I must say I really am into this exploration of Loki and the Variant. I must say that this show keeps reminding me more and more of Doctor Who the further we get along. I don’t know if it’s the nature of time travel or the Doctor/companion vibes I’m getting, but it definitely feels reminiscent of the classic sci-fi series.

But, first things first, is Sophia Di Martino playing Lady Loki? I think the question was a bit difficult to answer before, but Lamentis shed some light on the situation. She is credited as Sylvie, which led many people to believe she is actually Enchantress. Well, I feel like they may have blended the two characters together. From what we’ve learned, she used to be Lady Loki, but prefers being called Sylvie now. Her powers are effectively described as “enchanting people”, so it makes sense to think she is a mix of the two and honestly, why not? I know they were both iconic in their own rights, but these MCU shows really need to keep things fresh in order for the content to not get too predictable. Also, it just makes reviewing so much easier when they don’t have the same name.

Now, let’s break down the episode:

  • We start off with a little flashback of how Sylvie extracted the information she needed about the Time-Keepers from C-20. Her powers allow her to invade strong-willed minds by creating a fantasy from their memories. This, later on, leads to a huge reveal concerning the TVA. All the employees, which were supposedly created by the Time-Keepers, were once regular people and are just variants as well. Although, some brain fog prevents them from knowing that information. Loki was quite shocked to find out that bit of information and I am seriously intrigued how that revelation will play out for characters such as Mobius. This annihilates their entire world view.
  • After the exciting end of last week’s episode, we learn that Sylvie simply portalled back to the TVA. There, her plan is interrupted by Loki, who got his hands on his beloved daggers again. They fight, get disturbed in their bickering by Renslayer and, in an attempt to flee, end up on Lamentis – a doomed planet.
  • Because the TemPad they used is out of juice, they are now stuck in an apocalyptic event, having to work together to either find a new power source or get off the planet before a moon crashes into it.
credit: Marvel Studios

For once, I don’t think I need to go into every little detail the episode provided, as it was clearly focusing on the Loki-Sylvie-relationship. They know virtually nothing about each other, despite being a supposed version of one another. I had a hard time knowing the intention behind their interactions, which is untypical for me. Usually, I can sense where a dynamic is supposed to go, but I got odd flirtatious undertones and I felt weird about that. Maybe that’s just me, I don’t want to judge. Obviously, there’s a lot of mistrust and trying to get useful information out of the other, but they also had some genuine bonding moments.

Mini highlight of the episode for me: Tom Hiddleston drunkenly singing a song in Asgardian (which just sounded Norwegian in part to me) about “when she sings, she sings come home”

Aside from them constantly fighting and bickering, Loki and Sylvie more or less compared powers, childhoods (Sylvie knew she was adopted and only has a hazy memory of their mother – did she pass away sooner?) and love lives. I was so very happy that Loki is now finally a confirmed queer character by admitting to having had past relationships with men and women, despite none of them lasting. The MCU is slow in that regard, but I can see them trying to implement more LGBTQIA+ rep in the next phases.

credit: Marvel Studios

As the two were discussing the meaning of love “Love is hate/love is mischief”, I think Loki was actually on to something with his comparison. It seemed fitting somehow:

Loki: Love is a dagger. It’s a weapon to be wielded far away or up close. You can see yourself in it. It’s beautiful. Until it makes you bleed. But ultimately, when you reach for it …
Sylvie: it isn’t real. It’s just an imaginary dagger.

I always enjoy the callbacks to Frigga, because she was such a beautiful character and shaped the lives of Loki and Thor so much. I’m glad she is not forgotten, although, as I hinted at above, I would really like to know what happened to her in Sylvie’s world.

Anyway, what I took away from “Lamentis” was that Sylvie and Loki would make an excellent team if they just actually worked together. Loki can’t go off and get drunk in the middle of a mission and Sylvie needs to let him in just a tiny bit. Trust is a rare good when it comes to the tricksters, but if they can’t even trust each other, then who is left? They fight really well together (someone get all the MCU stunt coordinators a raise and all the awards!) and their powers compliment each other, although I suspect Loki will try learning some enchanting magic himself soon.

credit: Marvel Studios

While the episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Sylvie and Loki seemingly being stuck on a Lamenits, we know that the show continues, so there must be a way out of it somehow.

It’s so strange to me to think this show is already halfway done again. It feels like just yesterday that my Marvel excitement was spiked up again, yet here we are. Tom Hiddleston said in one of the many interviews preceding the season that he was most looking forward to episode 4 and 5 airing and I feel like that has been the main consensus with all Marvel shows so far. These episodes seem to be the most intense in terms of character depth and development, so I can’t wait for next week! (which will once again be a late review and not out immediately after it airs!!) Let’s see what the show still has in store for us – it’s been a wild ride so far!


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How do you feel about having reached the halfway point of the season already? Do you like the way the show is progressing? Let’s talk!