What If…? Episode 8 Review: Ultron Rules the Multiverse

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Many times throughout this season I suggested What If…? was setting up stories for future sequels. Well, it turns out we don’t even have to wait until Season 2 to get one thanks to Ultron.

Episode 8, which features a reality where Ultron defeated the Avengers and took over the world, is a chilling follow-up to last week’s episode. It also means something much bigger for the future of What If…?

The premise is a pretty depressing but straightforward idea that we’re used to by this point in this season: what if the villain won and the ragtag group of survivors has to defeat them? 

This time it’s Nat and Clint in the spotlight, who somehow manage to survive nuclear armageddon. The show is slightly ambiguous about who else survives and who the two are even fighting for at this point.

They try to use Arnim Zola to create a virus that will destroy Ultron once and for all, but not without some losses. 

For fans of this duo, they’ll enjoy them teaming up again even if it leads to a heart-breaking ending similar to Avengers: Endgame (This time it’s Clint who takes the deadly plunge).

As much as we love Nat and Clint, there’s something else going on in this episode that will blow your mind. After destroying tons of planets and galaxies (Asgard, Xandar, Ego… you name it), Ultron reaches a new level of consciousness that allows him to see the Watcher. 

Ultron

He may be bored now that he’s done with this universe, but he realizes there are so many more left for him to fix!

It leads to an insane battle with the Watcher who initially struggles with his vow to not interfere, only to realize he has no choice if Ultron must be stopped. Even though Ultron is pure evil he makes some good points about the Watcher always just standing by and letting calamity happen.

The Watcher may be our guide this season, but now he’s also part of the story. When things look to be at their worst, he calls in his last hope: Doctor Strange from Episode 3!

Not only is this episode a sort of sequel to What If…? Episode 7, but it also connects back to even earlier in the season. 

So what does this mean for the future of What If…? This episode went above and beyond a normal sequel, shattering the boundaries of the multiverse.

Marvel explored the multiverse in Loki and will break it in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so it makes sense that something along those lines is happening in What If…?

The finale should provide more answers, but for now, we are left with a lot of questions. Does this mean we’ll see more multiverse crossovers next season? And what does that mean for all of the episodes that warrant a more straightforward sequel (Like Captain Carter)? Will we get those episodes or will these characters just show up in the other multiverses? 

If Ultron wasn’t supposed to be able to break the multiverse, does that mean there might be another big bad next season who tries to do the same thing? 

Whatever happens, What If…? promises to end its first season with a big bang. 

Additional Thoughts:

  • “My will-to-live-meter is flatlining.” OKAY CLINT!
  • Nat using Alexei’s shield was the best.
  • How did Clint get his robot arm?
  • Steve Rogers for president! (Cue Old Man Steve looking like Joe Biden jokes).
  • I was hoping for some even more interesting planet name drops but no such luck.
  • Captain Marvel has got to watch some more recent movies. 

What did you think of this episode of What If…? Let us know in the comments.

What If…? airs Wednesdays on Disney+.

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