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What if... - Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark? & Thor Were an Only Child? - Double Review

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What If... Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?

Well, this episode of What If...? surprised me a lot. As the title says, the pivotal moment that changed this universe is related to Tony, who doesn't become the Iron Man after being saved by Erik Killmonger. This idea by itself is very, very interesting, and intrigued me a lot — after all, Tony was a key character to the MCU until Avengers: Endgame. What would have happened if he never became a hero? Would the world be doomed? Would he become a villain? Maybe he could get a happy ending with Pepper, after all.

But soon I discovered that this episode wasn't really about Tony or a universe without the Iron Man. Instead, it focuses on Killmonger, who wants the same things his canon counterpart wanted in Black Panther — with a different plan to conquer them this time.

First, he gains Tony's trust by saving him, exposing the man who ambushed him and helping him to create a combat machine. Then, to produce an army of combat drones, Killmonger and James Rhodes negotiate with Ulysses Klaue, but they are interrupted by T'Challa. Plot twist: it's been Killmonger all along! He kills Rhodes and T'Challa, making it look like they murdered each other. Later, after Stark confronts him about the murders, Killmonger also kills Tony. This is part of his plan to start a war between Wakanda and the USA, and it works.

Killmonger goes to Wakanda with an army of drones controlled by General Ross, supposedly planning to attack them. In the end, however, he betrays Ross and helps his people, stopping the machines and gaining his family's trust.

Finally, Killmonger becomes the new Black Panther. Betrayed by Erik, the USA thinks Wakanda is behind Tony's and Rhodes's deaths. Wakandans think Rhodes killed T'Challa, plus Americans tried to invade and destroy their country. A war is about to begin.

However, at the last minute, Shuri goes to Pepper Potts, suspicious of Killmonger. Their bond seems likely, as well as their alliance to stop the new Black Panther.

That's how it ends, with no conclusion at all, which is quite a letdown for me. But first things first, what makes this episode my least favorite until now is how it blends two interesting plots without developing or finishing them. What would happen if Stark never became a hero is the ignored scenario — and I don't say this as a big fan of Iron Man, but it would be really neat to see how things would unfold if that happened. A missed opportunity, in my opinion.

Also, the episode ends in a very abrupt and weird way, just like the zombie episode. While I am not opposed to open endings, I think that conclusions for episodes 5 and 6 are incomplete. They end in random moments, which is a choice that doesn't work for me.

Finally, positive things: I think the episode improved a lot after Killmonger arrived in Wakanda. His relationship with T'Chaka is interesting to watch. Also, the Dora Milaje fighting was such an emotional scene. Wishful thinking: Angela Bassett's Queen Ramonda as the main star in a future episode about her — I'd also love to watch an episode focused on the Dora Milaje. And the final scene between Killmonger and T'Challa was also strong and symbolic — it's always a blast to watch these two interacting with each other. These moments also left me with a bitter excitement for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — I'm intrigued to watch what comes next.

What If... Thor Were an Only Child?

In this universe, Loki was raised by his biological family. Without his mischievous brother, Thor grows to be a stormy party god. You know, extraterrestrial princes just wanna have fun.

The episode takes place during the first Thor movie when Odin sleeps. In this timeline, however, Thor wasn't exiled, and things are peaceful, which means Frigga earns herself some time out with her friends.

Without his parents by his side, Thor escapes to Earth and hosts an enormous party, inviting aliens from everywhere. This means we get to see many characters from the intergalactic side of MCU: Mantis, Drax, Nebula, Surtur, Howard the Duck, and others.

Just like in the original timeline, Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis are interested in understanding what's happening, so they end up joining the party. Like it's meant to be, Jane and Thor have fun and fall in love with each other. However, when the morning after the party rises, Maria Hill, replacing a hurt Fury, knocks on Jane's door with a plan to end the destruction caused by Thor and his friends.

The plan, of course, involves Carol Danvers. She's called to stop Thor, the biggest menace threatening the world. They fight, but Danvers lose because she is afraid to use her full power and kill innocent people. Then, Darcy, Hill, and Danvers make a new plan: Carol will take Thor to an isolated place where she will get to destroy him for good.

But Jane is in love, so she has a plan as well. Using some science stuff, she travels to Asgard and meets Heimdall, who helps her contact Frigga. Before Hill starts a nuclear attack, Frigga interrupts Danvers and Thor's fight with a magical holographic call, telling her son she's coming to Earth. Scared, Thor and his friends clean up the mess they made just in time for Frigga's arrival. The episode ends when an army led by Ultron appears, just after Thor asks Jane out on a date. Plus: this Ultron is with all Infinity Stones.

This episode was enjoyable. I feel it's not meant to be taken seriously, so I had some fun watching it. I also don't think the ending ruined it for me, as everything about the main story was solved. So Ultron's appearance is more like a cliffhanger, though I don't know when we're going to discover the outcome of it all. Maybe the finale will tie up all loose ends left; imagine how crazy it would be to have both Zombie Thanos and Ultron with Infinity Stones as the final villains. However, I think that if this show wants to continue the Killmonger/Shuri/Pepper plot, it'll be only possible in season two.

Finally, my favorite thing about episode seven was Loki as a Frost Giant being friends with Thor. Also, Howard the Duck and Darcy are fun to watch as much as Darcy and Jimmy Woo in WandaVision; I liked to see Captain Marvel in the spotlight, and I'm intrigued to watch Thor: Love & Thunder after all these interactions between Jane, Thor, and aliens. It might be a wild ride.

What about you? Did you like these episodes? Excited about the final ones?

Thanks for reading, and see you soon.

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