REVIEW: ‘What If…?’ Episode 7

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What If...? Episode 7

What If…? Episode 7 is perhaps the most unexpected episode in the series, and yet it’s a testament to the series’ concept that it still manages to work. “What If…Thor Was An Only Child?” takes place in a universe where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was never adopted by Odin, which leads to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) becoming an only child. Without Loki to ground him, the God of Thunder becomes the ultimate party animal. So he travels to Earth for his biggest bash yet, which draws the attention of both Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Captain Marvel.

While most of the episodes have taken a dark turn, including Doctor Strange destroying the universe and a virus transforming the Avengers into the living dead, What If…? Episode 7 serves as a palette cleanser of sorts. Thor being an only child only results in him being more rash and hedonistic than usual; he scoffs at the idea of taking the throne of Asgard and would rather party all day if he could help it. This leads to a meeting with Jane, who has been monitoring the skies for alien activity and was not expecting the biggest party ever. As in the first Thor film, sparks fly between Asgardian and human, and even though they meet under different circumstances, they still form a bond. Showrunner A.C. Bradley, who penned “What If…Thor Was An Only Child?”, said she was inspired by 80s and 90s era romantic comedies, and I can definitely see elements of Can’t Hardly Wait and House Party throughout the episode.

Loki himself even shows up, having fully embraced his Jotun heritage. And if you’ll pardon the expression, he feels more chill than his counterpart in the Sacred Timeline. Fans of the Guardians of the Galaxy films and Thor: Ragnarok will also want to keep their eyes peeled for cameos, including the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). Even Howard the Duck (Seth Green) makes an appearance and hits it off with Darcy (Kat Dennings). And a running gag features multiple aliens interacting with various landmarks such as Mt. Rushmore and the London Eye. Director Bryan Andrews even films a massive fight between Captain Marvel and Thor that literally crosses half the globe, as the God of Thunder brings the full might of Mjolnir against a woman who can absorb energy.

The voice cast for the episode is game to loosen up and have fun, with Dennings bringing her trademark energy and wit to Darcy in order to play off characters including Jane and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). However, the star of the show is Hemsworth, who delivers a take on Thor that’s equal parts boisterous and emotionally open. Hemsworth leans into his natural gift for comedy, providing some genuine laughs as well as some more heartfelt moments when Thor interacts with Jane and his mother, Frigga. Even his interactions with Loki are surprisingly heartwarming; even though Loki was never adopted, he still considers Thor to be his “brother from another mother.” Hiddleston’s performance in this episode continues to show his range; he plays a Loki who is less refined and malicious than usual and seems to relish it.

What If…? Episode 7 takes a detour from the series’ usually grim storytelling, as Thor throws the biggest party in the Nine Realms. The final scene of the episode hints at bringing together other characters from previous episodes and the deadliest being the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. And judging from the reaction of the Watcher (Jeffery Wright), things are potentially about to worsen.

New episodes of What If…? will be available to stream on Wednesdays from Disney+.

What If...? Episode 7
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

What If…? Episode 7 takes a detour from the series’ usually grim storytelling, as Thor throws the biggest party in the Nine Realms. The final scene of the episode hints at bringing together other characters from previous episodes and the deadliest being the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen. And judging from the reaction of the Watcher (Jeffery Wright), things are potentially about to worsen.