What If? S1E9 REVIEW: A spectacular and satisfying season endgame
Haven’t I earned my Happy Ending? —Captain Carter
We should have known.
We should have known that Marvel had a plan. That the episodes of What If? weren’t mere standalone tales of the Multiverse, but that they would all eventually interconnect…somehow.
As if we needed any more proof that Marvel ABSOLUTELY HAS THEIR CREATIVE SHIT TOGETHER, the season finale "WHAT IF…The Watcher broke his oath?”arrives to remind us yet again.
The final scene of last week’s episode saw The Watcher realize he cannot defeat Ultron on his own, and recruit an ally from a previous What If? episode. We also should’ve known Marvel wouldn’t stop there. The Watcher goes all in, recruiting and assembling an entire team of heroes, each from a previous What If? episode, a team that he naturally calls… The Guardians of the Multiverse.
The Watcher gathers his team in a virtual pub to strategize how to defeat Ultron, now with Vision’s body, possessing all five Infinity Stones, and fully aware that there is a Multiverse to destroy. The team’s plan includes a secret weapon from the previous episode, which is itself a callback to the first Captain America movie, and a surprise or two that even Ultron admits he didn’t see coming.
The Watcher himself shows an unexpected sense of humor in this scene that feels out-of-place, even among all the dark humor the other heroes display in the face of multiversal Armageddon. This particular attempt at shoehorning comic relief into the scene is the only aspect of this episode that I objected to.
I mentioned in a review of an earlier episode that in any reality, we can count on a certain character to be a scheming, powerhungry, untrustworthy asshole. I am proven to be right again.
I didn’t care for the look of the animation style in the first few episodes, but it seems to have improved as the season has gone on. The animation and special effects in these last two episodes has been truly impressive, especially when it comes to energy effects and cosmic powers being thrown around during the epic battle scenes. In intimate moments, the shadows and lighting effects have gotten even more sophisticated and detailed.
The voice acting is solid for the most part as all but a few roles are MCU actors reprising their roles. But as in last episode, James Spader is sorely missed as the menacingly creepy voice of Ultron.
The ending was a bittersweet, but satisfying end to an entertaining first season of What If? I was very impressed with how the season’s seemingly freestanding episodes were tied together at the end, and I can’t wait to see what happens in season two.
Stay tuned through the credits for an extra scene, and have your tissues handy.
The 9-episode first season of What If…?aired Wednesdays on Disney Plus, and will no doubt remain available for repeat viewings.