The last episode of What If…? has come and gone and there was a lot to unpack in the 35 minute finale. As you can expect from context of the previous episode, this episode started with Uatu The Watcher assembling his team to take his shot at Infinity Ultron. So what happened in &What If…The Watcher Broke His Oath&? Let’s break it down and see what it could mean for the future of the MCU. Oh, and yea, you can expect major spoilers in the rest of this article.
The episode opens with a shot that should seem very familiar. We see Captain Carter in the moments before the assault on the Lumarian Star, a spot where we see Steve Rodgers towards the beginning of &Captain America: The Winter Soldier.& After some humorous banter between Captain Carter and the Black Widow, much in the same way as Steve, Peggy jumps with no parachute down to the boat where she is recruited by Uatu when she faces off against Batroc.
We then see Uatu assembling his team among many scenes that reveal how other episodes of &What…If& may have ended: Ego attacking Peter Quill at Dairy Queen (maybe in that universe, DQ’s ice cream machine was broken) and T’Challa coming to the rescue before he is recruited, Pepper Potts and Shuri closing in on what looked to be a defeated Killmonger, with Uatu recruiting him before he is reached by the duo and their forces, &an unfamiliar universe where Gamora is wearing Thanos battle armor after we are told by Uatu that she killed her father in that universe (more on that in a bit), and of course, Party Thor, where we got our first glimpse of Infinity Ultron. We witness Thor battling away at Ultron’s drones before the Watcher has to pick him up to a humorous scene of Thor screaming.
They all rendezvous at a bar, created by Strange Supreme, from Peggy’s past. Of course, after a couple battles, our heroes win, but not without a few twists.
So what did we learn? Quite a bit actually. I think there are two main takeaways from the episode, and a few more minor ones. First big takeaway: the Infinity Stones are different in each universe. Each set of stones were created specifically for the universe in which they dwell, a lesson that was sort of brought to us in &Infinity War& when Dr. Strange and Wong are explaining the situation to Tony. Ultron furthers this by saying the reason the Infinity Crusher didn’t work on his stones is because they are different.
There had been fan theories and articles circulating claiming that &Loki& made the Infinity Stones irrelevant. We can now put those to bed as false, as we now know the stones just didn’t work at the TVA. The second big take away is The Watcher actually interred twice in this episode. Once by assembling the team, and let’s see if you can guess the second one. Did you guess the twist with Killmonger? Well, you’d be right. After Infinity Ultron is defeated, the &Black Panther&villain tries to steal the stones and gets into a skirmish with Zola.
The two are then put into a pocket universe by Strange Supreme. At the end of the episode, all the heroes with the exception of Black Widow go back to their respective timelines, but Killmonger also misses the cut. In allowing Strange to encompass Zola and Killmonger in the pocket universe, The Watcher is also interfering with the universe where he came from.
The episode is also packed with a lot of other fun stuff as well. We see Arnim Zola in a more comic book accurate form as his face shows in the mid section of Ultrons corpse. Natasha gets to go to the world of &What If…The World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes& instead of going back to her world where she was the last person alive. We can also examine the circumstances behind Gamora being in the episode. Much is the case with a lot, COVID slowed a lot of stuff down, and her episode was apparently no exception. The episode where she kills her father didn’t appear in Season 1, but has been since confirmed for Season 2.
The episode would have had to do with Sakaar in a universe where Tony Stark lives for a change(&What If...& had not been kind to him). Also of note, much like all things Sakaar in &Thor: Ragnarok& , the episode was supposed to be a comedy. &The finale also gives a little bit of a plot hole. When the team brings on Black Widow from Ultron’s world, she is a little hesitant to trust them. Captain Carter, knowing her so well from her time, drops several bits of knowledge, including that Ivan is her father. This would be interesting because in &Avengers: Endgame&she admits to Clint that she didn’t know her father’s name until Red Skull told them. Not in so many words, but the exchange is: Clint: “Why, because he knows your daddy’s name?” to whit she replies: “&I didn’t.”&
In addition to the Sakaar/Gamora episode, the end credits scene also offers a sense of where we might be heading. Back on the Lumarian Star, we get a glimpse of Steve Rodger’s Hydra Crusher from the first episode, and Black Widow mentions someone being inside. The next season will likely use those two points as starters as we explore more new universes in our pondering of the question &What If…?& What was your favorite part? What universes would you like to see in Season 2? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.