What If…? Episode 9 Review: The Watcher Broke His Oath

The Watcher does not interfere… until he does. Everything has been leading up to What If…?‘s epic season finale.

There’s a lot to break down in this episode but let’s start with the obvious. All of the setups for sequel episodes throughout this season were because we would be visiting these characters again, just a lot sooner than we thought.

From T’Challa protecting Peter Quill from Ego to a recreation of Captain America: Winter Soldier with Captain Carter, we get a glimpse of what came next for all these heroes at the top of the episode. 

Instead of waiting until next season to see them again, the Watcher brings all of them together to form a super team to take down Ultron. After all, superhero team-ups are all the rage.

Guardians of the Multiverse

The Watcher brings together heroes from across the season to form what he calls “The Guardians of the Multiverse.” The team includes Captain Carter, Star-Lord T’Challa, King Killmonger, Party Thor, Doctor Strange Supreme, and the new to viewers Titan Gamora.

Watching these heroes from across the multiverse interact is a highlight of the episode and lets their unique personalities shine. 

The actual plan to stop Ultron is a little convoluted involving an infinity crusher machine that Titan Gamora brings. Of course, she never got an episode this season so it all feels a little plot device-y. 

After an epic battle to steal the first stone, the Black Widow of Episode 8’s Earth shows up to assist after learning they’re there to save the world. Peggy is BFFs with the Black Widow back on her Earth, so it’s sweet to watch her befriend this different Natasha. 

Good thing too since the infinity crusher fails since Ultron’s stones are different than the ones in Gamora’s universe (anyone else thinking about the drawer of Infinity stones at the TVA?).

Instead, the arrow with the Arnim Zola computer virus from Episode 8 is what finally takes down Ultron. Of course, Killmonger betrays them which we all saw coming.

Even after promising to help fix their universes, they still don’t trust him (probably for the best).

A Happy Ending?

Despite Killmonger’s offer, the Guardians decide to not fix their worlds. Instead, Doctor Strange traps Killmonger and Zola in Vision’s body in a pocket dimension where he will watch over them and protect the Multiverse.

Everyone else returns home to the exact time they left, seemingly happy to return to their lives. All except two. Peggy wistfully looks at the picture of Steve in the bar, asking isn’t it her turn to have a happy ending?

But instead of pulling an Endgame, the Watcher tells her they need Captain Carter in her time. An end credits scene reveals that there’s another reason he sends her back: they find the Hydra Stomper and Steve hidden on Batroc’s boat. Can you say Winter Hydra Stomper?

Natasha pushes back telling the Watcher they’re just stories to him. The Watcher doesn’t fully disagree but explains how their stories are everything to him. Poor guy.

Natasha has nothing to return to, so the Watcher gives her a new life — and sequel of her own — by sending her to Fury’s new Avengers to replace the Black Widow killed by Hank Pym. 

As the Watcher says, “[They are] all creatures searching for a place to belong. To call home.” And in the end, they get one. 

Although this season was hit or miss at times, it’s satisfying to see how they show tied everything together at the end. Having such a big storyline during the first season does raise questions about where the show goes next.

Will the Guardians of the Multiverse reassemble for future threats? Or will the show refocus on individual stories? Either way, fans are invested in these characters now and likely looking forward to a Season 2.

Additional Thoughts:

  • I loved Thor’s battle cry being “Viva Las Vegas!”
  • Does anyone else sort of ship Nat and Peggy after this episode, or just me?
  • I want to see more of the Avengers team with Captain America and Captain Marvel!
  • Will Party Thor settle down with Jane now? 
  • There were way too many visual callbacks to list but that classic 360 shot of the team from the first Avengers movie was a big one. 
  • Poor Tony Stark. The writers really do hate him. 
  • Titan Gamora better be the first episode we get next season. 

What did you think of the What If...? finale? Let us know in the comments.

Season 1 of What If…? is streaming now on Disney+