Movie & Television Show Reviews

A League of Their Own | “Marvel’s What If … ?” Season 1, Episode 9, “What If … The Watcher Broke His Oath” Review

Critic’s Note: While I’ve covered spoilers before in previous episodes I’ve reviewed, this one will be going over the post-credit scene.

And here we are at the season finale. The show started as a series of alternate MCU scenarios that showed how the events of “Loki” and “WandaVision” unraveled the multiverse in the post-Infinity Saga MCU, and we now we sit on the precipice of this show’s own version of the Avengers.

After the loss from the last episode, the Watcher and Strange Supreme recruit Captain Carter, T’Challa Star Lord, Party Thor, Black Panther Killmonger, and a variant of Gamora that killed Thanos to go up against Ultron. While planning for the attack, Thor inadvertently alerts Ultron to their presence. In a multiverse-level fight, the newly-dubbed Guardians of the Multiverse work with the Black Widow from the last episode to separate Ultron from the Infinity Stones so it can be easier to defeat him.

Watching each of the variants makes for interesting interactions and I wanted to see more of them interact with each other. It truly feels like a Avengers-Guardians of the Galaxy hybrid. Peggy and Thor play off each other’s stoicism and aloofness. The T’Challa and Killmonger tension builds up, knowing how easily Erik killed his cousin in his own timeline. Of all the members, the one that had my intrigue was Gamora; seeing Gamora in Thanos’ armor and Tony Stark in the Hulkbuster armor left so many questions. While this scenario feels out of the blue, it also leaves hope that the second season sheds more light here.

The fight between the Guardians and Ultron deserves the center of attention in this episode. Each of the members of the team has a distinct fighting style that adds character to the fight; from T’Challa pickpocketing the Soul Stone to Thor and Strange Supreme bombarding Ultron with a sphere of Mjolnir. All are captivating as the stakes are amped up. And with every turn made, audiences are left on the edge of their seats.

It wouldn’t be a Marvel show’s finale without a mid-credit scene. We’re show Captain Carter returning to her timeline, which is the beginning of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. Black Widow brings her to a preserved HYDRA Stomper, mentioning that someone was alive in the suit. This is the kind of cliffhanger that we’d expect from Marvel. And without a lengthy think piece, I’d put money on this timeline’s Steve Rogers being a Winter Soldier adjacent for Captain Carter.

This was an engaging ending that complimented the previous episode as well as the rest of the series. From beginning to end, the episode shows that while each of the stories are their own individual narratives, they are part of the same multiverse. This first season gave us a taste of how the multiverse will play a pivotal role moving forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also what the show has in store going forward.

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