Murphy’s Team-Up brings the team together every Sunday to give their hot takes on a hot topic. This week: the finale of Marvel Studios first animated series, What If…?. Take a look at what the members of the team hope to see in the finale.
Anthony Canton III
I want to see what actually defeats this Ultron. In a lot of these scenarios normally you can appeal to the villains humanity but that doesn’t apply here. As far as the Watcher, what will be the price of his interference and the additional interference? I want to see that story be told. Finally, will Supreme Strange have a connection to Multiverse of Madness? He’s seemed like the most important character in these stories.
At this point I’m eager for the series to come to an end. I haven’t loved too many episodes and I feel like in most episodes they’ve made some really weak choices with how they’ve dealt with what could be a really freeing premise. So for me, I’m hoping that as the first season of the series comes to an end, we see some of the heroes step through a portal and morph into the live-action versions of their characters that we are rumored to see in upcoming films. I’m also hoping that once this is over, we get our first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
I would like to see Ultron upgrade himself one final time, and that upgrade just so happens to be voiced by James Spader. The series did very well with dark themes and stories without happy endings—so I’m rooting for Ultron. I’d love to watch him take down the array of multiverse Avengers/Guardians we’ll get and be established as an ongoing and genuine threat for the series and maybe even the MCU at large. I would also be a bit disappointed if we didn’t get some sort of tease of how What If… ? can or will connect to the Sacred Timeline.
I hope to see some thematic cohesion between the characters brought together in the What If…? finale. The somewhat abrupt ends of some episodes alongside an unresolved confrontation from What If… Ultron Won? suggest The Watcher will bring together a team to resolve those loose ends. When the Avengers came together they were all lost despite being powerful enough to be Earth’s mightiest heroes. They each found some sort of purpose they had been individually lacking in becoming a team. Whatever team might form in the finale of What If…? does seem like it has a couple of members that are lost like Captain Carter and Supreme Strange. Potential members T’Challa Star Lord, Party Thor and Killmonger each seem content in their universes so it will be interesting to see what the thematic thread between them is that pushes them to join a multiversal team.
If there’s one thing Marvel’s What If…? is lacking, it’s long term consequence. The show has thus far utilized immediate, dramatic effect to highlight it’s differences in universes, but this takes away from the subtle charm that always drew people to the comics. There, a story would often start with an obvious change and end with some unexpected butterfly effect far down the Marvel timeline. If the finale of the show’s first season finds time to revisit any of the worlds it set up in prior episodes, it would do well to show the audience how the likes of Captain Carter’s existence ended up changing the modern MCU time period as well.
For me, I want to see what comes out of the finale. During Endgame, time-travel was explained to us, but it wasn’t until Loki that we found out that this was just how the Avengers understood time-travel. In Loki, we figured “ok, this is the accepted framework for time.” What If has played in that sandbox, with variants and what have you, but there’s still a little bit that is unclear. Namely, is the Watcher pulling all the Guardians from different universes, or do some of these stories overlap? If so, what does that mean for the overarching MCU story that’s going on right now? I hope What If…? begins to clarify the rules because time is a confusing plot device as is, but it can cave on to itself if it isn’t explained correctly. I expect What If…? to do just that.
I hope to see the finale episode of What If…? really set the stage for what’s to come. The series has yet to really wow me and I hope they can do that here. I think I’m mostly looking forward to to seeing what could be Chadwick Boseman’s final performance.
The finale of Marvel Studios What If…? streams this Wednesday on Disney Plus.