'What If...?'s Big Twist Was Never Given a Chance
This week marked the season finale of Marvel’s What If…? meaning that we’ll have to wait a whole month and a half until the next MCU-related show: Marvel’s What If Hawkeye Trained a Replacement That Didn’t Have an Embarrassing History of Selling Hilariously Egomaniacal Apps?
The last two episodes of the season broke from the anthology series format, in what is a genuinely ingenious concept. We think we’re watching a series of disconnected stories, like The Twilight Zone (or Playboy’s horny Twilight Zone knock-off) but then, thanks to the concept of the multiverse, not only does our host Uatu the Watcher get dragged into becoming a participant in the story but all the variations of our familiar heroes that we’ve been introduced to over the course of the season get plucked out of their various dimensions and assembled into a new superhero team. It was all part of the same story; we just didn’t realize it.
Except that ... we did. This could have been, and really should have been, a mind-blowing surprise -- but it totally wasn’t. From the jump, these episodes were structured less like stand-alone episodes in a typical anthology show, and more like mini-Marvel movies, ending on cliffhangers that were clearly designed to tee-up further adventures. The fact that we’re revisiting these alternate storylines that were billed as one-off diversions, like in the What If comics, is a great twist -- but because of how most of the individual stories wrapped up, it’s a twist that we were all expecting.
Even worse was the fact that the genuinely thrilling finale was already spoiled by a car commercial. As we previously speculated, the conceit that these alternate universe characters would unite to battle a common enemy was already the premise of a goddamn Hyundai ad.
We should have been blown away at the sight of Captain Carter battling Ultron alongside Doctor Strange and T’Challa -- but many of us already saw that play out weeks ago. Thankfully in the actual finale, Thor didn’t save the day in a spiffy new SUV.
Top Image: Marvel Studios