Movie Reviews

No Strings On Me | “Marvel’s What If … ?” Season 1 Episode 8, “What if … Ultron Won?” Review

Last week’s cliffhanger got me on the edge of my seat; just like the many other scenarios presented before. But when I saw that the shot of Ultron in Vision’s body emerging to Party Thor’s world with the Infinity Stones on his torso, I wanted to see what this Ultron was capable of. And this episode did not disappoint.

This universe showed a scenario where Ultron not only takes over Vision’s body, but nearly wipes out humanity and single-handedly takes on Thanos. After taking the Infinity Stones, he takes his army and wipes out the many other worlds, from Asgard to Xandar, where he takes on Captain Marvel — he even wipes out Ego the living planet. With his goals accomplished, Ultron feels useless; until he spots the Watcher and looks to take to the multiverse. As the Watcher fights Ultron and the dilemma over whether or not he should break the code not to interfere, Hawkeye and Black Widow try to use a copy of the AI mind of Arnim Zola to take over the Ultron hivemind.

Watching Hawkeye and Black Widow fight against Ultron’s hivemind balances tension and excitement. The action scenes showcase the potential that Hawkeye has had for years, with moves and skills that hopefully act as a precursor to the Hawkeye series. And the battle between him and Natasha in whether to surrender or persist despite the loss of his family makes for good tension and pays off perfectly in the final action scene between the two surviving Avengers and the hive mind of Ultron drones that try to thwart them.

The biggest surprise in the series was seeing the Watcher go from a passive narrator to an active character in his own right. The scenes between him and Ultron are a game of cat and mouse that makes you want to see the Watcher rise up and fight back. And when he does, it becomes an inter-dimensional fisticuffs through Wakanda, the Skrull World, and even a version of the Earth where Steve Rogers becomes president. Watcher loses, but we get a final scene — an “all is lost” moment — in which the Watcher finds himself back in Strange Supreme’s world, asking for his help.

We’re coming close to the end of the first season and this episode sets up the pieces for the final domino display this upcoming Wednesday. The storylines in this episode are engaging and compliment each other, and gave us a taste of what the Watcher can do in a fight. Now to see him interfere.

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