The first season of What If…? has officially come to an end with an episode full of epic action sequences and a fun team up of characters that, for the most part, fans were introduced to throughout the season. The action sequences were the clear standout scenes in the episode with each character getting at least a moment to show why they were selected to be on this elite team. The animation and color was gorgeous for the fight scenes especially when it came to Doctor Strange Supreme and his magical protection armor around the other Guardians. The music was another stand out element of the finale as it has been throughout the entire series.
A few stand out moments in the epic fights include Thor’s hammer being multiplied by Strange and continuously pummeling Ultron, the Black Widow and Captain Carter team up as they tag team Ultron with their shields, and Strange’s monstrous form either being actively used by the sorcerer or bleeding through because of the immense power he was using. Not to mention when the entire team each takes a shot at Ultron only for the killer android to throw them all off and use the time stone to slow everything down, other than Strange.
THE WHAT IF…? FINALE IS FULL OF FANTASTIC ACTION AND HILARIOUS COMEDIC MOMENTS
And while the action was top notch there were still some fun moments of comedy. While the Party Thor episode of What If…? felt a bit over the top, Thor fits in perfectly as the comic relief in an episode full of intense action, “Viva Las Vegas!”. And the momentary inclusion of the Marvel zombies as a weapon and distraction was a fun way to bring that episode back in the finale. It is a bit disappointing that the Guardians Of The Multiverse didn’t have a chance to be fleshed out as a team and build different dynamics given how little time they had together.
Captain Carter’s trust in Black Widow once again harkens back to Captain America, specifically in Captain America: Winter Soldier, which makes their relationship instantly recognizable and understandable. The only other characters that had a feeling of familiarity were The Watcher and Strange which is a relationship that is hopefully explored further in the next season of What If…? Although the teams did have some great moments when split into smaller groups especially Strange, Carter, T’Challa, and Thor.
Most of the episodes of What If…? featured a tag at the end hinting at continued stories on each Earth. The finale touches upon each of these tags, but because The Watcher drops in on the characters in the middle of what could be another episode it feels unlikely we will get to see these stories fully play out in future episodes of What If…? This is understandable as it allows future seasons of What If…? to explore new original stories while still wrapping up the cliffhangers, but is a bit disappointing as the set ups pointed to some amazing possible future episodes.
One issue with the finale is unsurprising due to an episode in the season being pushed to season two of What If…? With Gamora and Tony Stark’s episode being delayed it makes her inclusion in the finale feel unearned especially with how integral she and the Infinity Crusher appear to be at the start of the episode. And given the Infinity Crusher didn’t actually work, the rules of the Infinity Stones in What If…? really needed to be explained more clearly to coincide with Loki, the Infinity Crusher feels like a wasted plot device.
The finale has a few story beats that are dropped including Gamora’s suspicion of Killmonger that is quickly dropped, but proven right. The condensed nature of these stories can work well, but with how much of this episode is dedicated to action it’s hard for any other part of the episode to shine through.
The betrayal of Zola and Killmonger was unsurprising, but the way that the finale of What If…? wraps up this conflict without truly ending the danger feels a bit like an unsatisfying. It makes sense to not truly wipe out the danger especially if the What If…? writers decide to revisit this pocket dimension, but the idea that the team was not meant to win feels a bit unsatisfying especially when compared to other climactic battles in MCU history. That being said, including Zola’s face on the torso of Ultron’s body after he takes control is a fun reference to the robot Zola in the comics.
The finale of What If…? sets up some interesting changes in the future of the series. The Watcher now acting as a protector of the multiverse could lead to some intriguing changes for the future of What If…? And hopefully the friendship between Strange and The Watcher is further explored in the next season, especially with the understanding that Strange seems to have for The Watcher.
The moment when Black Widow confronts The Watcher about his inaction is definitely one of the few moments that stand out in the episode outside of the action sequences. Her anger feels earned as audiences have seen The Watcher as countless lives were lost throughout the season and transplanting her to a new world feels like a hint at how The Watcher could change What If…? in the future.
The mid-credit scene also opens some interesting possibilities that can be explored next season. Assuming Steve is in the Hydra Stomper armor, has he been cryogenically frozen and is he this universe’s version of the Winter Soldier? The pocket dimension that is holding Killmonger and Zola is also likely to become an immediate threat again in the future, it seems a waste to lock them away and never revisit this multiversal threat.
Overall the first season of What If…? is a fun experience with new takes on beloved characters as well as amazing animation, music, and production design. While it would have been fun to see a more tangible connection between What If…? and the live action MCU in the end it makes sense that if this series is meant to follow the same idea as the comics it is also the most separate from the rest of the MCU. The finale has incredible action sequences and leaves enough plot threads to continue following these characters if the creators choose to in the future. What If…? is a series with infinite possibilities that will be exciting to explore in future seasons.
What did you think of the finale of What If…? What did you think of the series overall? What do you want to see in What If…? season 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media and check back with The Illuminerdi for more MCU and What If…?