REVIEW: ‘What If…?’ Episode 3

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What If... Episode 3 - But Why Tho

Episode 1 of What If…? eased viewers into the premise of the anthology series with a simple parallel story highlighting one scenario of what it would be like if Peggy Carter had taken the super soldier serum thus becoming Captain Carter. Episode 2 then raised the bar and really turned the screws by contemplating what the cosmos would be like had T’Challa become Star Lord instead of Peter Quill, and we were all stunned at the impact. Now, in Episode 3, the showrunners dive really, really deep. Welcome to Marvel’s What If…? Episode 3, which ponders the question, what if the Avengers never had the chance to form?

The series is directed by Bryan Andrews, with A. C. Bradley as head writer. The episode features Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, Clark Gregg as Special Agent Phil Coulson, and as always, Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher and narrator of What If…?. There are some other notable voice cameos for this episode, and some notable voices missing, however, this is a spoiler-free review, so I’ll let you watch first.

Therein lies the difficulty with this review. There are some particularly juicy details that I’d love to dive more into, but literally within the first five minutes we dive right into the spoiler territory. So let me attempt to keep this vague, while highlighting exactly why I enjoyed this adaptation so much.

This week, we cover essentially five films merged into one action-packed 30-minute show. There is intrigue, mystery, murder, invasion, and betrayal from a deep level. All because of one little shift in the choices of people. Up until the last 5-10 minutes, you’re absolutely unaware of what the twist is. The sheer premise of what the what-if choice is based on remains a mystery until the very end. This one tiny decision sends ripples across Earth and literally uproots five beloved MCU films, wiping them out in the blink of an eye.

What really caught my eye about this story was the nature of the mystery. I had no idea what was going on, who was behind the sabotage, and the motive behind it. That being said, the reveal at the end was brilliant. But such as last week’s episode, every change continues to result in further ripples, laying open the potential for dastardly deeds.

Episode 3 doesn’t quite have the impact of Captain Carter kicking arse, or of T’Challa Starlord having a huge positive impact on the universe, but it does have an extraordinary plot that really drives the action and enigma forward. This one especially really ups the ante on how far the showrunners will go to play the story in their namesake. This one feels a lot more like the What If…? comic stories that were published by Marvel Comics brought to life. The show is an acknowledgment to fans of the MCU as well as those that follow the tertiary characters in the background as much as the primary ones.

Overall, this story plows through various situations from different Marvel movies that highlight the implications of what would have happened if the Avengers had never formed. A true mystery until the very end, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A whodunit of epic Marvel proportions. All that’s left to say, what will happen next week?

What If…? Episode 3 is available now to stream exclusively on Disney+.


What If...? Episode 3
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Overall, this story plows through various situations from different Marvel movies that highlight the implications of what would have happened if the Avengers had never formed. A true mystery until the very end, that will keep you on the edge of your seat. A whodunit of epic Marvel proportions. All that’s left to say, what will happen next week?