Marvel’s “What if…” Episode 9 Review

Story posted October 14, 2021 in

This episode is the conclusion of “What if...” It ponders the question of “What if… The Watcher broke his oath?” Which means The Watcher went from viewing the multiverse to intervening with it.

The episode starts with the intro of “Captain America: Winter Soldier” but with Peggy Carter from episode one. Eventually in this sequence, The Watcher appears and recruits her for a team.

This begins a montage of The Watcher and Doctor Strange, from episode four, recruiting most of the main characters from each “What If…” main characters and where they left off. It shows T’challa’s Starlord fighting Ego, Killmonger in war and only child Thor fighting Ultron drones.

They even added a Gamora who killed Thanos and with her, for the first time, had a living Tony Stark.

The only characters missing were Nick Fury from episode three and the characters from Marvel’s zombie episode.
The Watcher brings them all to a pub where he turns them into The Guardians of The Multiverse.

The Guardians’ goal is to stop Ultron, from episode eight, from ending the multiverse.

The next scene is The Guardians setting up a plan and leaving for a “deserted” universe so they can clash with Ultron.
Before the battle, there is a nice bonding moment amongst the team except for Killmonger who is keeping to himself and has an Ultron drone’s head.

But during their toast, Thor starts shooting lightning to celebrate their battle, and suddenly they hear Ultron’s voice.
Ultron has arrived and he is here to kill them.

Ultron immediately attacks but Doctor Strange provides spells to protect them from the power of the infinity stones so there can be an equal fight.

Then the battle commences. There were multiple cool action shots and one unique one was, when The Guardians were fleeing into a new universe, Doctor Strange opened a portal of zombies from episode five, to bury Ultron. There was even a confrontation between zombie Scarlet Witch and Ultron.

When Ultron inevitably arrives, The Guardians start to lose until Black Widow, from episode seven, shows up to help The Guardians.

During the battle, Starlord managed to use sticky fingers, callback from another episode, to steal one stone from Ultron which weakens him greatly.

The Guardians play keep away with the infinity stone. Eventually, the tide turns into The Guardians’ favor and they pin Ultron down.

Suddenly, their secret weapon is revealed - The Stone Cutter - the device that destroyed the infinity stones in Gamora’s universe. They use it on Ultron and then there is an explosion leaving The Guardians lying there triumphantly.

But in the words of Starlord, things felt like they went too easily. The voice of Ultron then appears once more.
He states that the infinity stones in each universe are different. So, what might work in one universe, didn’t work in this universe.

Then, Ultron, with all the infinity stones, starts attacking and beating The Guardians. Eventually, Ultron separates Black Widow and Peggy from the rest of The Guardians.

Black Widow, feeling defeated, sees the arrow with the Armin Zola virus on it. The only A.I. that can defeat Ultron.
She then tells Peggy to distract Ultron so she can get a clean shot on Ultron to upload the virus.

Peggy managed to distract Ultron and then in a beautifully animated shot, Black Widow gets the arrow right into Ultron’s eye.

Then the battle in cyberspace begins where Armin Zola manages to take over Ultron’s body and the battle is won.

From the battle ashes, Killmonger uses the Ultron drone head he’s been carrying to steal the stones. After a moral dilemma where he is about to start fighting the Guardians, Armin Zola attacks Killmonger to try to get the stones.

Since neither one of them should get ahold of the stones, Doctor Strange casts a spell where he holds two in that exact moment of time for as long as he can focus on it.

With that the battle is won.

Doctor Strange goes back to his dimension and holds the spell for what will seem to be the rest of time.

The Watcher then congratulates the Guardians and sends them back to the exact moment of time that they were taken from, but before Peggy leaves, she asks if she can go back in her time to be with Steve Rodgers. The Watchers tell her no and her time needs her, so she reluctantly goes back.

Black Widow refuses to go back to her universe where she is the last living being on it. The Watcher, out of kindness, brings her to the universe where the original Avengers died, from episode three.

It then cuts to The Watcher closing out how he cares about all the characters and the stories they tell, showing the audience how he is just like them. The Watcher is a fan of the characters and loves them all and is intrigued by the “what if” ideas all viewers think. He then promptly ends the season by telling the viewer that he still has many stories to tell.

There is a mid-credit scene where it shows Peggy finding Rodgers and each character gets a happy ending.
The episode overall was a fun one.

With its incredible action scenes like with Peggy and Black Widow using their version of Captain America’s shield to beat up Ultron was very cinematic.

Its usually amazing visuals were at play again.

The ability to tie all of the episodes together was incredible. A viewer can’t really tell that would happen until the previous episode and it was very well executed.

A lot of the character development was lackluster this episode, like Gamora felt very shoehorned in.
Also, an episode about The Watcher breaking the oath barely had him in it, which was upsetting.

Overall, it was an epic and very happy conclusion to the “What if…” season.


Ethan Hetrick is a first-year communications major. To contact him, email eth5186@psu.edu.