Marvel’s “What if…” Episode 8 Review
“What if…” once again turns back to its darker tuned episodes in its most exciting way yet!
This episode’s overall plot is what if Ultron won? It turns from world conquest to galactic conquest until he reaches the multiverse.
The first part of the episode has Ultron managing to become Vision. With his organic body and one infinity stone he manages to obtain his goal and defeats the avengers leading to him killing all of Life on Earth.
When Ultron destroys life on Earth, he suddenly encounters Thanos who is ready to collect the stone within Ultron. There is no battle, Ultron swiftly kills Thanos and is now in possession of the infinity stones.
Those stones allow a montage of Ultron going across the universe where he has conflicts with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain Marvel, but he ultimately kills all life in the universe.
Ultron starts to program down due to the completion of his goal.
The Watcher starts to have his narration of how Ultron is now a program without purpose and that the Universe is a sad empty place. Then suddenly, Ultron wakes up.
Ultron reaches a new power level that only Doctor Strange had in a previous episode and looks right at The Watcher.
The Watcher fears that Ultron notices him and quickly flees the scene. Ultron’s program to kill all life for peace now includes killing The Watcher.
The Watcher out fear stays in the land but goes to the only hope in the universe. Black Widow and Hawkeye managed to survive the universal holocaust and are trying to shut down Ultron.
Black Widow and Hawkeye fight off some drones and end up at a Russian base looking for clues to defeat Ultron. Meanwhile, The Watcher contemplates breaking his oath and helping them. Right before he does though, the duo find exactly what they need to defeat Ultron.
Black Widow and Hawkeye find the only AI that can beat Ultron: Armin Zola.
Zola, an AI from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” teams up with the two after being threatened to end Ultron.
The Watcher, feeling calm, returns to the multiverse where he sits comfortably believing that the good guys will win once more. Back with the terrific three, they call in Ultron drones so they can infect one with the Zola AI and take over the Ultron network.
During this infection, Hawkeye sacrifices his life, replicating the fall from “Avengers: Endgame,” to hold off the drones that were attacking them during the infection.
When Black Widow and Zola escape, Black Widow starts yelling at Zola to find out why the drones aren’t shutting down from the infection. Zola reveals that Ultron isn’t connected to the universe anymore.
Cutting back to The Watcher sitting in the multiverse thinking Black Widow’s group succeeded in their goal starts to relax. Then Ultron breaks into the multiverse shattering it like glass. Immediately, he starts attacking The Watcher.
The Watcher tries to reason with the machine but due to its objective, it could not be reasoned with. This begins a super cool Marvel fight scene. Each dimension has its own cool scenery and events going on like Steve Rodgers becoming president in the background of one.
But as the fight continues, the audience finally gets to see the formidable might of The Watcher. Ultimately, The Watcher loses to Ultron and must flee from Ultron’s conquest. Ultron is left in alone in the multiverse ready to conquer.
The audience then gets to see The Watcher defeated in a universe and suddenly the all-powerful Dr. Strange who destroyed his universe is standing. The only other person to see The Watcher.
Dr. Strange asks The Watcher if he is ready to break his oath, something The Watcher contemplated doing the whole time. The Watcher agrees starting the process of building a team against Ultron.
This episode is one of the most cinematic episodes in “What If…” With the highlight shot of Hawkeye shooting an arrow into a swarm of Ultron Drones while sacrificing himself being a beautiful example of this.
The fights of this show just keep getting better and better. The Watcher and Ultron battle is one of the most unique fights in TV.
The way how it handled the multiverse and different things that can be done in each one was insane. The shot of a giant Ultron eating a universe like how a famous comic character Galactus does was amazing.
The ability to tie in multiple “What if…” episodes for the first time was Marvel flexing its muscles on their ability to tie in anything and everything even when it seems to be unrelated.
But, that tie-in to previous episodes leads to the shows best cliff hanger yet and builds up even more excitement to the next episode.
Overall, “What if…” constantly gets better each episode and this one is arguably the best one of them all. With cinematic fights and tying the episodes together it leaves to a thrill ride of an episode especially with character development to The Watcher and multi-universe threat in Ultron.
Ethan Hetrick is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.