"What If..." Episodes 5-9
Episode 5: What if...Zombies
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Mark Ruffalo, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany,
Sebastian Stan, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Rudd, Jon Favreau, Danai Gurira,
Emily VanCamp, David Dastmalachian, Hudson Thames, Tom Vaughn-Lawlor
While I know more of the episodes of this show are probably based on a
specific comic or series of comics somewhere, the only ones I know for sure
are Captain Carter and this, which as you might suspect is written by the
guy who wrote The Walking Dead.
Chrissy: Which makes Danai/Okoye's
presence in this episode particularly hilarious.
Diandra: Ha. Yeah. She almost kept me watching that show past
the point where it had become tedious. As far as I was concerned, she was
the best character.
Chrissy: Oh, that's just fact.
We start with a shot of the stars from Earth. Something streaks through
space like a comet. It turns out to be The Hulk and we are recreating the
scene at the beginning of Infinity War where he was sent to Earth to warn
that Thanos was coming.
Chrissy: And Doctor Strange proved
just how selective his list of "known threats" is.
This time, though, there is nobody in the Sanctum when he crashes through
the ceiling. Well, nobody human. The cloak is watching him like a pervert
while he searches for some clothes to wear now that he's back in Bruce
Diandra: You would remember that.
Chrissy: Yeah, the cloak likes to
Diandra: Oh, that was all you were going to say? Okay, moving
Emilio: Well, sometimes it likes to participate...
Diandra: I SAID WE'RE MOVING ON.
He steps outside to find the streets just as deserted. He asks out loud if
he's already too late. A beam touches down, leaving a couple of Thanos'
minions and he tries to Hulk out, but has about as much success as he did in
the original version. Ebony Maw starts spewing about being honored to be a
victim of Thanos or...whatever. A portal forms behind his head and the Iron
Man gauntlet blasts him. Bruce is happy to see Tony, Stephen and Wong step
out of the portal until they start slaughtering the minions
and...uh...eating them. Bruce is like 'uh...guys? Um...' And we finally push
in on what is left of Tony's decayed zombie face.
Chrissy: Have fun with the
Stephen and Wong also look up, Wong still chewing, and Bruce starts backing
away like 'um, I'll just...leave now...' Thanos' minions get up to join them
because I guess the virus has a really fast turn around time and Tony starts
powering up the blaster on his suit. The cloak flies in, grabs him by the
leg and flings him aside. Stephen starts doing...something...and it grabs
his hand and starts slinging him around too.
Emilio: Question: is that actually
Diandra: I would think it would have been easy enough to get both
Benedicts to do a couple minutes of grunting and snarling between lines
from other episodes, but I usually assume that zombie noises are just
layered FX that don't require the actual actor.
Chrissy: Not that she would know anyway because she's apparently
terrible with voices.
Diandra: Is this about the "Simpsons" thing again?
Chrissy: Yes. You made fun of fans who didn't recognize Benedict
was in something until they saw his name in the credits and then you did
Diandra: I assume they were referring to things where you could
see his face. Which is insane. I didn't recognize Stephen Fry in the next
"Simpsons" episode either and I have listened to both of those guys read
dozens of hours of audiobooks, so...yeah, apparently I am terrible at
Bruce starts running, but a portal forms in front of him and Wong sticks his
head through it and snaps at him. But he can't quite reach because the other
end of the portal is back where everyone else is and the cloak is hanging on
to both him and Stephen. It spins Wong and somehow causes the portal to snap
on his neck, beheading him. Because I guess everyone knew how to do that BUT
Stephen. Conveniently. While the cloak is still playing with Stephen, Bruce
tries to run again, but gets magicked in place by the minions, who along
with Tony start bearing down on him. He starts chanting "don't eat me"...
Chrissy: That's not what you said
...and is rescued when a flock of...something swarms in and strips them down
to skeletons. All of them. Hope blows up to normal size and blasts Tony's
head off, which a giant ant proceeds to eat. Bruce moans that this is gross
and he's definitely going to vomit now.
Chrissy: Meanwhile, Diandra is
eating right now.
Diandra: [coughs and puts down sandwich] Yeah, sorry.
Chrissy: Is it just because it's animated or...
Diandra: No, I think years of watching "CSI", "Bones" and "The
Walking Dead" while eating has given me an iron stomach.
Emilio: That and she did say she was faking all of her freakouts
during "Lord of the Rings" for entertainment value at some point.
Diandra: Jesus, you really do remember these things. I am so
Hope tells Bruce to go with the giant ants because he'll be safe with them.
He's like 'what the fuck? Also, who the fuck?' She says they're all that's
left. Spider-Man swoops in suddenly to pick him up and he starts chanting
"don't eat me" again.
Emilio: Not usually the words I
Peter is like 'relax, I'm still human. I'm here to segue us into an
explanation of what happened while you were off playing gladiator on a
garbage planet.' And continuing with my terrible record of recognizing
voices...if I hadn't just typed out the cast list at the beginning of this
episode, I would totally believe that was actually Tom Holland because this
is the best impression of somebody not in this series yet.
Diandra: If I weren't hungry, I would be throwing this sandwich
at you right now, Emilio. Can we just put a moratorium on "eat me" jokes
Chrissy and Emilio simultaneously: No.
The Watcher explains that this tragedy "sprang from a place of love and
hope." It's been two weeks on this world since Hank Pym went into the
Quantum Realm to retrieve his wife. We see the animated version of that
scene, but when he locates Janet she is zombified. Or, as the Watcher calls
it, she "contracted a quantum virus that corrupted her brain." I guess the
Quantum Realm is as good a place as any for a zombie virus to originate.
Most zombie movies get really hand wavey about where it comes from. Hope and
Scott meet the pod coming out of the Quantum Time Tunnel and Hope's reflexes
are fast enough to dodge her zombified father as he staggers out. Scott
is...not so fast.
Chrissy: Oh, look, we're
recreating the scene from Titanic.
Things very quickly progressed from there according to pretty much every
zombie movie ever. The Avengers tried to respond, but that went south pretty
much instantly as Hank in ant form bit Captain America. And once the
superpowered started becoming zombies...
Peter makes another one of his home movies, titled How to Survive the Zombie
Apocalypse. He zooms in on Happy, who is wearing a shirt that says "I'm not
single, I'm saving myself for Thor."
Chrissy: Oh, honey. Get in line.
He holds up a sign that says "step #1: long sleeves" and complains about the
shirt he was given. Peter is like 'no, it's cool man. You can't even see it.
[snicker snicker].' Kurt, the Slavic guy from Ant Man comes through a door
pretending to be a zombie and bites a very unamused Happy's arm while Peter
explains that the virus is passed through saliva, so...not exposing any skin
helps. Kurt takes out a packet of ketchup and squirts it all over Happy.
Emilio: At least he got the right
packet this time. Last time he grabbed mayonnaise by accident and it
looked...like a very different kind of film.
Diandra: In other news...we'll have him in this, but not in the
next actual "Ant Man" movie? Really?
Chrissy: But we will have the woman who spoke at an antivaxer
Diandra: Yeah, I think that happened after they were mostly
Step 2, Peter says, is hygiene, because zombies are attracted to the smell
of human flesh. So the less pheromones you give off the better.
Chrissy: So smear yourself with
rotting corpse goop like they did in "Walking Dead" to mask it.
They sneak up on a shower where Bucky, who Peter dubs "silent but deadly"
just grabs Kurt by the neck with his metal arm and notes that he just has to
squeeze. Peter is like OKAY, ease up there big fella. Chrissy: And I do mean
Diandra: Ew, no.
Sharon Carter has step three, which is that you always have to aim for the
head. He shoots her in the forehead with a plunger dart (or whatever those
are called). And it turns out Peter has been playing this video for Bruce as
a sort of "orientation" and is interrupted right here by Okoye. She
introduces herself to Bruce. He notes that she picked a "hell of a time" to
visit the states. She says her king went missing a few weeks ago when the
Avengers failed that mission. Did I mention he was there instead of Hulk?
She says they just got a beacon that gives them hope.
Hope, Okoye, Bruce, Peter, Bucky and Sharon watch a holographic display as
Okoye says another survivor camp thinks they've made progress with a cure.
Bucky says yeah, but the location of the beacon was corrupted so they can't
trace it. Sharon says it looks like SHIELD's first base of operations in New
Jersey. Which makes sense because they would actually have the equipment
needed to make a cure. Over in the corner, Happy groans "just when you think
things couldn't get any worse...we gotta go to Jersey."
Fun fact: I once got so frustrated with my car's navigation system that I
yelled "fuck you" at it. It paused for a few seconds of consideration, then
loaded maps for New Jersey and prompted me for more details. Mad props to
whoever programmed it to respond that way.
To add insult to injury, Happy drives the shrunken Ant Man van with
everybody in it to Grand Central, grumbling about how he's STILL the
chauffer even in an apocalypse. A zombie crouches in front of the van and
they explode it by expanding to normal size. Inside, Okoye orders Bruce,
Hope and Peter to see if they can hotwire the train on track seven. Peter
asks if they don't get any horror movies in Wakanda because generally
splitting up the team is a BAD idea. She fires back that they don't need
horror movies because they have American reality TV. "Boom goes the
dynamite," Kurt laughs. He goes with that group and Okoye says the rest of
them will guard the perimeter.
We go with the ones trying to jack the train. Kurt has no luck just
hotwiring it. Bruce bemoans that they are "locked out of the gear box". Hope
miniaturizes to try jump starting from inside the engine. She realizes they
need someone to push them. Or, like...make a giant slingshot. Peter is like
'GREAT, A REASON FOR ME TO BE HERE' and webs the front of the train to tow
Meanwhile, something with wings is stalking the others, who are split in two
different parts of the station. Happy, who apparently inherited one of
Tony's gauntlets, blasts the shit out of a flock of birds before sheepishly
realizing it's just birds. And then someone spears him with some sort of
arrow attached to a long rope and drags him into the darkness. Sharon yelps
into the comms that they have a man down and starts to say who she's pretty
sure got Happy when she is also hit with an arrow. Zombie Clint staggers out
of the darkness and she's like 'yep, it's Hawkeye.' Zombie Sam flies at
Okoye and Bucky and Okoye just jumps on his back to grapple with him like
the badass she is. Except he flies under a low walkway and she has to jump
before she can do anything.
Happy, newly zombified, staggers out and blasts at a pinned Sharon a couple
times, but he has the aim of a Storm Trooper.
Chrissy: Oh, now we're gonna
switch fandom references?
When he gets close enough, Sharon grabs his hand and redirects the blaster
into his face. Except Clint is still there, along with a bunch of random
zombies who were probably train passengers when they were turned.
Emilio: That is just as universal as redshirts.
Bucky shoots at Sam, who swoops down on him, disarming him. Well, not...you
know what I mean. Okoye leaps in and slices Zombie Sam in half.
Chrissy: Because you do NOT mess
Bucky blinks at Sam's splattered remains and Okoye flatly apologizes for
killing his friend. Bucky is like 'actually...I'm good.'
Diandra: Yeah, Danai is a zombie killing badass in any universe.
Sharon frees herself of the arrow, steals the gauntlet from Happy and runs.
Peter yells at the rest of the group to disengage the break when he tells
them. And a zombie horde appears behind him. He yelps as one lunges toward
him, but Stephen's cloak swoops in to slap them all back. The horde
surrounds the train and one reaches in for Kurt. Hope reappears and knocks
it back, miniaturizing and flying through several zombies, exploding them.
The three remaining members of the other group arrive just as they get the
train started. The cloak grabs Peter and flies through one of the windows
and they mow down all the zombies on the tracks.
Sometime later, Peter comes into the car
where everyone else is gathered wearing the cloak on top of his Spider-Man
costume. Hope says it's a good look for him. Or at least he'll "grow into
Emilio: Maybe he'll let me try it
in this universe...
Chrissy: Is this a preview of what the two of you roleplaying
through "No Way Home" is going to look like?
Sharon is in the back of the train when there's a thump on the roof. She
still has the gauntlet and activates it as something falls through into the
From the next car, Bucky hears her scream and runs to find Zombie Steve
already chewing on her. Steve snarls and charges him, shield deflecting
Bucky's bullets. Sharon lumbers back in zombie state and Hope arrives to
help Bucky, miniaturizing and flying directly into her mouth. Bucky manages
to get the shield off Steve and use it to cut him in half and send both
parts tumbling out onto the tracks. "Sorry pal, guess this is the end of the
line," he says.
Chrissy: SNORT. Sorry, that was
He turns to face Sharon, who explodes as Hope blows back to full size.
Okoye, Peter and the cloak arrive and she moans that she's covered in
Sharon. Okoye offers Peter's hand sanitizer. Then Bruce arrives and points
out that she has a cut visible through a tear in her uniform. But even
though everyone has been turning, like, IMMEDIATELY, I'm sure it will take
Diandra: No arguments here.
She sits and Bruce checks her heart rate and temperature, both of which
are...not good. She says they know what to do then. Okoye is hesitant
because they could be SO close to the cure. Hope thinks that's too big a
risk. Peter thinks anyone who has seen a zombie movie knows that the biggest
key to survival is hope.
Emilio: Well...being a really good
shot doesn't hurt.
And, you know...it IS her name. Hope laughs and asks how he does it. He says
he's in the AV club, so he sees a lot of movies. She says no, not the movie
references, how does he stay so damn positive after everything that has
happened? He suggests he's had a lot of practice. His parents, Uncle Ben,
Chrissy: Oh, so we do remember
Uncle Ben is a thing in this universe.
Diandra: I think they made a vague reference to "everything" Aunt
May had been through in one of the other movies already, so I just figured
we were starting after all that shit because everyone knew we didn't want
to see exactly the same story play out for the third time in the last two
He quotes his currently deceased (probably due to zombies) Aunt May as
saying that if they don't "keep smiling when they can't" then they might as
well be dead too. They would want their loved ones to continue on without
them. Hope smiles at him fondly and Bruce pats his shoulder like a proud
father figure. Kurt interrupts this moment to tell them the train is running
out of fuel. Bruce asks how close they are to the camp they were trying to
reach. Kurt is like 'er...closer than we were before?' Also, there's a horde
of zombies outside that we'll have to get through. Bucky and Okoye both
immediately conclude that there is no way they're making it through that.
Hope says they can make it OVER them though. And if she's dying already, she
might as well go out helping them hopefully fix this mess she created by
trying to rescue her mother.
Cue the sappy music while she goes giant, blasting through the roof of the
train. She carries them through the zombie horde, stomping and kicking at
them along the way, but also picking up a few that crawl up her legs. She
sets them down on the other side of the wall of the facility and tells Peter
to smile for her before she collapses and is swarmed with zombies.
Emilio: And she couldn't go back to
normal size first so now everyone's going to have to deal with a giant
The group all take a moment to acknowledge her sacrifice. Then Bucky asks
why the zombies aren't climbing the fence. Peter notices there's a big hole
in the fence, so they wouldn't even have to climb to get past it, but
they're all just staying outside the perimeter for some reason. Kurt starts
muttering about Baba Yaga again, whose presence he says he can feel. Bruce
asks who that is, so Kurt can exposit that she's a witch who haunts sacred
burial grounds. Vision appears suddenly, startling them, and Bruce hugs him,
babbling about how great it is to see a familiar face that hasn't been half
eaten. Vision says yeah, the zombies don't bother androids.
Vision takes them into the compound while expositing that his mind stone is
the reason the zombies are staying clear. It emits some sort of frequency
they don't like. Bruce wonders if this means the zombie infection is "some
kind of encephalopathy." Peter translates that to mean "brain stuff".
Chrissy: Like the "science stuff"
Howard was doing in the first episode, presumably.
Vision says something about the virus affecting the limbic system and that
he's been using the discovery about the mind stone to try to develop a way
to reverse the disease. Something about targeted exposure. Probably to the
affected area of the brain. Okoye asks if he was successful at all. From
somewhere, Scott calls that they can see that for themselves. Everyone tries
to figure out where he is and he mutters that nobody can see him and he
messed up his entrance. Vision spins a chair near him to reveal...Scott's
disembodied head in a jar.
Chrissy: There is something to be
said about the animation making some things in this series less terrifying
than they would otherwise be.
Diandra: Yeah, that's also why Howard the Duck worked in this
show better than either of the movies he was wedged into before. The real
life version of him is just disturbing.
Chrissy: There you go again, comparing something out of a horror
movie to an anthropomorphic duck.
Diandra: They are equally nightmare inducing.
Scott cheerfully responds to their shocked expressions by joking that he
lost a lot of weight and he's glad they noticed but "won't let it go to my
head." Everyone stares in blank horror and he apologizes for his automatic
bad dad joke response to trauma. He says it drives...er...drove Hank crazy
and he really misses the old guy and would give anything to "get chewed out
by" him again.
Emilio: And no, I don't have an
Vision is like BACK TO THE POINT HERE. I cured him. Which mean,
theoretically he can cure the disease in general. Bruce suggests they just
need access to a satellite network and they could broadcast the signal all
over the world. Vision is like 'eh...technically, but humans aren't capable
of tech that advanced yet.' Okoye thinks they have it in Wakanda, which
thanks to their shielding is still protected from this outside bullshit.
Bucky says he's gonna search the perimeter and see if he can find some sort
of "transport". Vision calls cryptically after him that he "will not find
what you are looking for." Bucky leaves anyway. Bruce checks the security
logs of the compound and says they aren't the first to respond to Vision's
signal. Peter asks where the others are then.
Bucky finds a room with a pile of clothing and...Zombie Wanda. He goes to
shoot, but T'Challa's voice tells him not to because he will just piss her
off. Bucky finds T'Challa on a gurney, a bandage wrapped around the stump
that is left of his right leg. T'Challa says they have to get out of here.
Vision is just telling Bruce that he really wishes they hadn't found this
place when Bucky and T'Challa hobble in. T'Challa says this place is a trap.
Okoye runs to him and he explains that Vision captured him in San Francisco.
Bucky adds that he's been keeping T'Challa alive to "feed his zombie bride".
Chrissy: So for everyone who
thought her behavior in WandaVision was horrifyingly extreme...apparently
it could have been FAR worse.
Vision says as bad as it seems, he swears his actions were "born of logic".
"Well, in Vision's defense," Scott says, ".........I've got nothing." Peter
is piecing it together though. He tried to cure BOTH Wanda and Scott and
while he was successful with Scott to some degree, it didn't work on Wanda.
Vision says her powers make her resistant to treatment somehow. All he could
do is contain her. Which only works as long as he feeds her. Okoye notes
that he could have killed her, but this is where his relationship to her
comes in: he couldn't bring himself to do that. Bruce is like 'so you just
camped out and started luring people in like lambs to slaughter then.' Okoye
decides he must pay for his crimes RIGHT NOW and raises her spear. The whole
facility seems to wobble and Vision is like 'good job. You pissed her off.
Did I mention she hasn't fed for several days now?'
Kurt is, of course, the first human Wanda finds when she blasts open the
doors to the control room. She drags him in with magic and Scott jokes that
she is a "man eater."
Chrissy: You know, we could always
put a muzzle on you.
Wanda levitates into the room and Bucky tries to shoot at her. She throws
one of the big metal doors she just blasted out at him. It misses and hits
Scott's chair, nearly sending him to the floor. The cloak catches him and
apparently decides this is where it is most useful now: acting as Scott's
body. Peter tangles Wanda in his webs and Okoye throws her spear at her.
Bruce begs Vision to help them get out of here. Wanda deflects the spear,
breaks the webs and roars angrily. Vision is like 'yeah, that's probably a
good idea.' He blasts a hole in the wall and they all scramble out. Okoye is
the last and she doesn't quite make it before Wanda catches her with magic.
She and T'Challa meet eyes and she says "Wakanda Forever" before she is
Vision lasers the entire perimeter of the building, sinking it underground,
and directs what's left of the group to the Quinjet in the nearby hangar.
Bruce asks if he's coming with them. Vision says no, he still can't bring
himself to leave her. Then he yanks the mind stone out of his own head,
screaming, and sending a blast of energy outward.
Chrissy: Wait, so...he didn't need
HER to destroy it in "Infinity War"? They put her through that for shits
Diandra: I mean...obviously they're making shit up as they go
along, so. It's possible he couldn't do that in the universe we know and
it's equally possible that this just never occurred to the writers until
With the mind stone no longer keeping the horde at bay, the zombies start
staggering past the broken fence. The rubble that used to be the compound
levitates and Wanda emerges from it, snarling. Bucky cocks his gun and
growls at the others to run. They do, with Peter supporting T'Challa now.
But Wanda is briefly distracted by Vision's body, which she crouches over.
Bucky shoots and the bullets just stop in midair in front of her. She flicks
them back into Cap's shield. Then she catches him with her energy beam and
holds him for a second before apparently deciding she doesn't want him and
flinging him away. She chases Bruce instead, catching up just as he's
opening the door of the hangar and biting his arm. The arm and part of his
face turns green and he flings her away, thanking Hulk for actually coming
through and saving his life.
T'Challa works at getting the plane running. Bruce offers to buy the group
time before the approaching horde closes in. Peter says no, they are NOT
leaving him behind because he is NOT going to lose another friend today.
Bruce just hands him the Mind Stone Vision ripped out and tells him to
avenge them. He runs out into the horde, yelling at Hulk the whole way that
NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO COME OUT. He disappears under the zombies for a
few seconds, then Hulk bursts out, flinging zombies and roaring. The horde
parts and Wanda charges at him. The jet starts up and the group flies off as
Hulk and Wanda fight below. Scott happily cheers that they did it and Peter
bemoans the fact that NONE OF THEM have ever watched a horror movie and keep
doing the opposite of what you're supposed to. Don't say that. Ever.
As they're flying past the gate, the now fully zombified Hope gets up and
catches the tail of the jet. T'Challa activates thrusters, blasting them in
her face and they break free. She angrily throws a zombie after them, which
bounces off the fuselage harmlessly. Peter consoles a stricken Scott,
telling him Hope gave her life so they could get to the cure. Scott gets
misty eyed as he says Hope saved him twice. Uh...when was the other time?
Chrissy: Probably in a movie you
As they approach the Wakanda border, Peter mopily notes that Tony asked him
to join the Avengers only a year ago. He turned down the offer. And now
they're all dead and he isn't.
Chrissy: It's called survivor's
And then T'Challa tells him about how the Wakandans view death, unknowingly
giving viewers a very meta catharsis. Death is not the end, he says. "They
are still with us, as long as we do not forget them." Scott is like
'technically, I'm an Avenger, so we're not all dead.'
Emilio: It counts if nobody is
alive to say I'm not, right?
Peter cheerfully notes that once they get the Mind Stone to Wakanda, they
should be able to work on saving the world. We pan out from the plane and
push in past the borders of Wakanda, where bodies are scratching at the wall
to get out and the Watcher is like 'yeah...humans are always optimistic.'
Somewhere inside the border is a zombified Thanos, wielding the Infinity
Chrissy: Yep, let's just crush
that small hope of a happy ending.
Diandra: Is anyone here still watching "The Walking Dead?
Chrissy: No, everyone I knew who was quit when they beat Glenn
Emilio: I never watched it.
Diandra: Oh, right. I forgot you don't watch horror shit. Anyway,
I'm wondering how much of this is a preview of what the finale of that
show is going to look like.
Chrissy: Yeah, I quit watching because I realized it was just
going to go on and on in bleak little circles forever until everybody
Diandra: Yeah, all zombie stories are generally really good at
exploring human nature, but they just can't end any other way.
Chrissy: Well...World War Z started, like, ten years after the
survivors had won the zombie war.
Diandra: Right. And then the movie was completely different
because how the hell do you film that book? As crazy as it would have
been, the original pitch for "The Walking Dead" where the virus turns out
to have been created by aliens to decimate the human population and make
their invasion easier would at least have had an endgame to work toward.
And that could have worked here too where we already know aliens exist and
some of them pose potential threats. But whatever.
Episode 6: What if Killmonger Rescued Tony
Stark? (AKA: What if We Kept Killing Tony?)
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Michael B. Jordan, Jon Favreau, Chadwick Boseman,
Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Andy Serkis, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, John
Kani, Leslie Bibb and Mick Wingert (doing an impression of Robert Downey
Welcome to the first of the two lowest rated episodes of this series. The
only purpose they really serve is to introduce variants of our familiar
characters before we get to the main plot that uses all of them. I
mean...technically all the episodes are just introducing variants that form
the team in the last episode, but some of them are better than others. I
will probably power through these next couple episodes at a faster clip than
We replay the entire opening of Iron Man up until the Stark Industries bomb
lands next to Tony. At which point, Killmonger appears and casually picks it
up and tosses it so it explodes harmlessly in the air before shooting a few
terrorists. He tells Tony that the Ten Rings are sending reinforcements and
they need to go.
The Watcher talks about how heroes are "forged in darkness", "shaped in
battle" and "defined by sacrifice" over a few clips of the character arc we
saw Tony go through in the MCU, which was just nullified by having him
rescued. In this universe, Tony was saved, but Iron Man never came to be and
Navy Seal Killmonger was named chief security officer of Stark Industries.
At a press conference, Christine, the reporter from the first movie who made
a brief appearance in the Doctor Strange episode of this show that was NOT
AT ALL CONFUSING is the only one asking why Killmonger was anywhere near
Tony's convoy given that his unit was 400 clicks away. Killmonger says he
caught wind of the plans to assassinate Tony while he was working under
cover with Ten Rings. And by the way, Obediah Stane paid the assassins and
Killmonger just uploaded all the proof to the internet. Happy punches out
And now that we've nullified the entire rest of that first movie...
Tony hires Killmonger in Obediah's place. He thinks this is perfect because
they'll "be like Butch and Sundance!" Pepper has to remind him of how that
Rhodey does some recon on Killmonger and gives it to Pepper, whose job it is
to make sure Tony doesn't bumble into relationships with people who will
take advantage of him. MIT, Annapolis, Navy Seals ghost squad assassin.
Pepper is worried about the fact that Killmonger doesn't seem to have any
agenda. He doesn't want anything from Tony. Which is weird because EVERYBODY
And this segues into Tony showing Killmonger all his toys. I would regret
that wording, but I'm powering through this episode faster than usual and I
don't think Chrissy is going to notice. Killmonger picks up a weapon that
Tony describes as a miniature version of Jericho (at least he's hoping it
will be) and one of the robots takes it from him. They sort of bond a little
over the fact that both of their fathers were killed. Which leads to
philosophizing over weapons and Killmonger's idea for an automated drone
that would eliminate the need for human soldiers in combat, which he
couldn't get to work because he's not an engineer. Tony is like WHAT A
COINCIDENCE THAT I DON'T FIND AT ALL SUSPECT. And they start building what
looks like the thing Obediah used at the end of that first movie, except
it's fully automated because JARVIS. Somehow.
The first effort collapses like a puppet cut from its strings immediately,
which Tony still counts as a success because it didn't explode. In their
next brainstorm, he says it needs another source of power and hey, maybe if
he could make a miniature version of the arc reactor..........nah, that's a
dumb idea that would never work. Killmonger offers vibranium, which Tony
thinks his dad turned the last of into a glorified frisbee (Ultron's words).
Killmonger says they can get more, actually, but they will need to go
through that weirdo Andy Serkis played. Tony and Killmonger concoct a plan
to do that that won't look like they're funding an arms dealer and send
Rhodey to talk to him. And this is what is happening when Black Panther
attacks, picking off all of Klaue's men like it's a cakewalk before just
taking Rhodey's gun away and says he's going to take the vibranium back now.
And Killmonger kills him with a "sonic taser" before lecturing Rhodey about
wearing "the uniform of our oppressors." Rhodey says it's easier to change
the system if you're PART of it. Killmonger says he would rather burn the
whole thing down.
Emilio: Bernie bro says what?
He kills Rhodey and makes it look like he died in a firefight.
The plot kind of loses coherence after that. The Wakandans blame western
imperialists in general and Stark Industries specifically for the death of
their crown prince. Tony reveals that JARVIS recorded the entire incident in
Wakanda, so he knows what Killmonger really did. He sets the successfully
finished Iron Drone on Killmonger and Killmonger defeats it and stabs him
with a Dora Milaje spear he got from Klaue. He convinces General Ross that
this was retaliation from Wakanda and he had nothing to do with it and wipes
JARVIS' records so he doesn't contradict him again. The military considers
this an act of war and seizes all of Stark Industries weaponry, giving
Killmonger the green light to make a whole army of those drones.
"Congratulations, lieutenant. You just invented 21st century warfare."
And then we recreate the whole part where Killmonger kills Klaue and drags
his body into Wakanda. But now he has to infiltrate himself in a different
manner. He does this by double crossing: telling the Wakandans exactly what
is coming and suggesting the best way to stop the drones is to just....let
them into Wakanda. Because the force shields will cut them off from JARVIS.
Which is exactly what happens. Until Killmonger pushes some kind of remote
button that starts the drones up again and claims Tony must have built in
some sort of back up because he was evil.
Queen Ramonda leads the Wakandan army, teasing us with the possibility of
seeing Angela Bassett be a badass warrior. And Killmonger rides a rhino
through the drone army like an avenging angel before fighting alongside
perpetual badass Okoye on the ground. They win and Ramonda declares victory
Killmonger goes through the ceremony to become the Black Panther. On the
ancestral plane, instead of his father he sees T'Challa, who asks if it was
all worth it. Killmonger thinks he did what was necessary. He got revenge,
not only for his father but for every black person who suffered oppression
"while you just sat back and watched." And now he has the power to fix
everything. T'Challa says he STOLE his power and unearned power can be "a
very volatile force" that will catch up to him either in the living world or
Meanwhile, Ross is launching a massive attack on Wakanda. Pepper asks if he
might be going overboard in his offensive against a country "most Americans
can't find on a map."
Chrissy: Hey, if the military
limited their attention to just countries Americans can find on a map,
that would limit them to...uh...America.
Emilio: And Canada and Mexico.
Diandra: Eh...even those are debatable.
Pepper escapes to Tony's office, where she finds Shuri, inexplicably voiced
as if she is a small child. Shuri has somehow uncovered the evidence that
Killmonger killed Tony AND T'Challa, so "it appears we have a common enemy"
and she thinks they can prove it to their respective governments.
We end with the Watcher rambling about how heroes never really die and they
inspire others to continue the fight.
Chrissy: Yeah, that
Diandra: Yeah, there's a reason it's the second lowest rated
episode of the series. I'm not even sure it has much connection to the
last episode. Although, when I think about it I wonder if the problem is
that it is trying to tell two stories at once and not really focusing on
the interesting part of either one. It starts with What If Iron Man Never
Was and then turns into What If Killmonger Killed T'Challa and Won and
Chrissy: Presumably, Shuri takes over the Black Panther role
once they do defeat Killmonger, but yeah. It stops before it ever really
gets to defeating him.
Emilio: It needed to be a full movie, not a twenty minute
Diandra: Probably. Although I don't know that that would have
been any better. I would liken it to a Harry Turtledove story I read about
the decision that shaped the religious maps of the Middle East and how it
could easily have gone differently. The entire story was focused on that
one decision (which didn't necessarily make for the most exciting story)
and left how it changed EVERYTHING ELSE in the rest of history to the
Chrissy: They kind of did that with the Avengers episode too.
Stopped just before whatever team they could put together after most of
the original members died could rally to defeat Loki's attempted takeover.
Diandra: True. I guess that's the thing about Alt History.
Often, it can really only give a glimpse of a much larger picture and
brings up more questions than it answers.
Anyway. From the second lowest rated episode that I kind of jogged through
fast to the lowest rated that I could almost skip entirely.
Episode 7: What if Thor Were an Only
Child? (AKA This One's Just Filler)
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston,
Kat Dennings, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg,
Frank Grillo, Taika Waititi, Karen Gillan, Jaimie Alexander, Seth Green,
Alexandra Daniels, Rachel House.
So...everyone who was in any Thor movie plus some Avengers guys, Nebula and
Howard the Duck for some damn reason. Yeah, I'm going to get through this
one as quickly as possible.
We're back at the beginning of the first Thor movie, except Jane and Darcy
are alone in the desert trying to contact SHIELD because they're getting
data that suggests an alien invasion. The bifrost streaks right past them
and touches down in the middle of Vegas, where Thor announces that the
"party prince" has arrived.
The Watcher explains that relationships can define a hero even more than
battles. In this case, Thor was shaped by his relationship to Loki. But in
another universe, Odin decided NOT to take in Loki as some sort of
In this universe, Odin goes into his Odinsleep naturally and Frigga runs off
to "celebrate the solstice" with her sister, leaving Thor in charge. She
tells him to behave and conduct himself like the king he will one day be and
NO PARTIES. Once she's gone, Thor tells his little merry band that they are
going to defy her by going to the most backwater planet possible so Heimdall
won't see and break up the party that they are definitely having.
Chrissy: Uh...isn't Earth, like,
the Asgardians favorite planet or something? There's gotta be a reason
they keep meddling in human affairs.
Diandra: Pretty sure you're not supposed to be thinking. Stop
Back to the party in Vegas. Jane and Darcy arrive and Jane identifies Thor
as the first "alien" to arrive. She is distracted by the fact that he looks
like...uh...a god and not whatever bug like creature she expected an alien
to look like. Darcy describes him as beach body Ken and "old school
Abercrombie catalogue." Jane says yeah, I'm gonna go make first contact.
Darcy notes that half the Vegas strip already beat her to that. If she wants
to make first contact with an alien, all she's left with is that loser over
there. She points to Howard the Duck, who makes a snide comment back.
Thor gets a bunch of Skrulls to "do me", by which he of course means
shapeshift into his likeness.
Chrissy: And now, really, do me. I
have some fantasies I want to reenact here.
Jane approaches and asks if he was responsible for Alpha Star Icarus dying a
year and a half ago because she picked up the same freak anomaly activity
then that preceded his arrival on Earth now. She also calls him Thunder Boy,
which I might use from now on. Thor remembers Alpha Star as a party so wild
they lost Fandral for three days and found him curled up with a baby goat in
a barn. "I named him Gary," Fandral squeals.
Chrissy: And according to the
rituals of some worlds, we might be married now.
Jane tries to get Thor to focus on the fact that he killed a planet. Thor is
distracted by the "magic light box" she's holding, aka an iPad and how she
must be a GENIUS to make one of these. She's like 'uh...okay...I do have
several Phds, but...whatever.' And then he goes right to flirting,
commenting on her lovely eyes. "It's like watching the birth of two stars on
the edge of the galaxy." We go from this to Howard the Duck inviting Darcy
to get some appetizers since it's happy hour. Oof. I know I didn't like
Darcy until very recently when she became less obnoxious, but inflicting
Howard the Duck on her just seems cruel.
We fast forward through the night with the Grandmaster playing DJ, Nebula
and Korg playing craps, Jane and Thor getting tattoos together and Darcy and
Howard the Duck being married by an Elvis impersonator. Chrissy: Okay, never
let Darcy drink. She is clearly incapable of making good choices when
Morning. Jane wakes up somewhere in the Asgard palace when both her cell and
the landline ring. Rumlow bangs on the door, yelling that SHIELD needs to
talk to her RIGHT NOW. She looks at all the assorted Asgardians and Rocket
for some reason snoring in different parts of the suite and cautiously opens
the door. Rumlow steps aside so Maria Hill can "request" as acting director
of SHIELD that she come with them. Jane looks at Darcy surrounded by agents
further down the hall and asks if this can wait. Hill barks that as Jane was
the first to warn them of the extraterrestrial threat, she gets to be their
best hope of defeating it.
Emilio: Oh, you mean the thing she
was trying to tell you about when you wouldn't take her calls?
Jane isn't so sure anymore that the Asgardian himbo can really be considered
a "threat" per se. Hill says yeah, well, she is the director because some
big pile of talking rocks body slammed Nick Fury during that party and he's
still unconscious, so they KIND OF ARE NOW.
Behind Jane, Thor wakes up and starts asking about food and gushing over the
"cute little rabbit" (Rocket) in the sink. Maria is NOT amused and also not
taking no for an answer.
So Jane and Darcy are taken aboard the Quinjet, where Coulson announces that
they're getting reports of spontaneous parties breaking out all over the
world. And Thor, having started it, has fucked off to Paris now because one
of his buddies wanted some crepes. Rumlow returns with a suitcase he
announces has their "last resort". Not liking the sound of that, Jane
protests that this is the planet's first contact with aliens and they should
be setting a TONE for diplomatic relations. Because nobody wants to be in
the Terran Empire universe.
Chrissy: This is a "Star Trek"
thing again, isn't it?
Chrissy: Goddamn it.
Diandra: Hey, I can't help it if a 50 year franchise covering
hundreds of hours of television and several movies has a wealth of
material that applies to just about everything in science fiction.
Emilio: And what it doesn't cover, "Doctor Who" can.
Hill says actually, this isn't first contact and opens the case to reveal
the pager Carol left with Fury. She pushes the button to send her the signal
and announces that it's "done".
Loki, who is somehow not a runt in this universe, crashes Thor's party in
Paris with a few other frost giants. And the fact that they are close
friends and refer to each other as brothers kind of begs the question of
how, exactly, this is significantly different. Their ridiculous banter is
interrupted when Carol arrives to demand that Thor clean this shit up and
leave the planet in some semblance of the condition it was in when he found
it. He tells her to "buzz off" and she punches him a few hundred yards. He
gets back up and mutters that there's a Midguardian word for women like her:
"party pooper. There, I said it." She rolls her eyes, says "this one's for
Fury" and punches him into the stratosphere. Mjolnir comes back to knock her
into a building, preceding him. She goes full mom, telling him she's going
to count to three and he WILL put the hammer down by the time she's
finished. He uses it to kick up a dust storm instead and when it has enough
momentum he slams her all the way to Stonehenge, where she nearly causes one
of the rocks to tip over. He follows and she warns him against doing
anything that might destroy...whatever this is. "I don't know what these
are. No one does." He taps one of the stones and the whole thing collapses
She punches him all the way to Monument Valley and they continue fighting.
Chris Hemsworth makes some truly bizarre noises in the middle of it. After
he's down, she yanks him up by the hair and throws him and they continue
fighting mid-air all the way across the Pacific.
They end up back in Paris and he pins her with Mjolnir, declaring that she
needs a time out. "My mother punished me with time-outs all the time, but I
never learned a thing. But maybe they'll work on you."
So she ends up with Hill, who is confused as to why she couldn't handle
Thunder Boy because Fury said "your punch was equal to ten nuclear bombs"
and her cat can devour whole armies. Darcy derails the conversation by
asking what the cat's name is and launching into a whole "Top Gun"
reference. Carol is like ANYWAY, if she used her full strength, she would
"blow a crater in this planet" and that idiot is not worth that much
fallout. "What about South Dakota," Darcy blurts. "Or North Dakota?"
Chrissy: Honestly, no one would
miss them. Though if you really want to avoid any people at all, look at a
political map and aim for any big red areas west of the Dakotas because
they're mostly unpopulated.
Jane gets a call from Thor just then and she steps away to take it. She asks
if he really did destroy that Alpha Star planet. He says first of all, it
was more of a meteor and it was already breaking when he found it. Nobody
got hurt. Hill calls her back and she announces that she has to go and
distractedly says "love you...uh...I mean...bye."
Darcy is still on the blowing up one of the Dakotas idea. Hill says it isn't
an entirely terrible idea because they could set off a bomb in the Mojave
and it wouldn't cause too much damage. Carol offers Siberia as an
alternative. Jane defensively says Thor may not be the brightest crayon, but
this seems over the top as a solution. Hill thanks her for her opinion and
bundles her and Darcy up and returns them to Vegas and Howard the Duck.
Chrissy: Really pushing our
tolerance of Howard the Duck, aren't they?
Diandra: They might be hoping they can try for another movie. Or
they know that this is all he's ever gonna get and they're making as much
use of him as they can.
Jane tries to call Thor. Loki answers and smarmily flirts with her and makes
kissing noises and then drops the phone that is the size of one of his
fingernails and it shatters on the pavement. Darcy notes that this is the
point in movies where somebody calls the frat boy's mother. Jane latches on
to that. If there's a Thor and a Loki, there must be an Odin and a Frigga.
Chrissy: Frig and Freya, but go
Diandra: Meh, nobody could tell them apart. That's why they
actually started to merge them into one all purpose goddess before
Christianity took over and everyone stopped worshipping them altogether.
We skim over some further acts of vandalism. Sutur accidentally whacks the
Statue of Liberty's torch arm off.
The frost giants put facial hair on the Mount Rushmore faces, which...I
mean...Mount Rushmore is already an act of vandalism, so that's hardly the
worst thing they could have done. And Thor is getting ready to use the
Sydney opera house as a slide when Carol catches up to him and throws him
into a Siberian mountain.
Jane and Darcy hijack satellites and amplify them to broadcast a signal into
space. That signal is just Jane yelling "HEIMDALL". After a pause, the
bifrost beams her away. She lands on Asgard for approximately two seconds
and Heimdall beams her directly to wherever Frigga is.
Hill isn't taking any chances and orders nukes to be fired. Before they can
push the button however, a hologram of Frigga appears in front of Thor and
demands to know JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING YOUNG MAN. He's like
'nothing! I'm not on Midgard! I'm in my room on Asgard!' and a polar bear
wanders by roaring to punctuate that. Carol giggles. Thor fumbles some story
about a cultural exchange on Earth with his "study group". Frigga says cool,
then you won't mind if I come over there to verify things. The hologram
disappears and Hill snorts that they can stand down. The situation is
obviously going to be handled. They watch as Thor begs Carol to help him.
She huffs that he should "start in the corners and clean your way outward."
Thor returns to the group to find the frost giants turning the St. Louis
arch into a giant slingshot. Thor begs Loki to help clean the mess up
because mommy is coming. Loki points out that she's not HIS mother and he
and the rest of the frost giants just...leave Thor to handle it by himself.
Thor announces that the party is over and "you don't have to go home, but
you can't stay."
Emilio [singing]: Closing time!
He tries to get anybody to help him clean up, but they all scatter like
'....not it.' Then he says his mother is coming and she's PISSED.
Diandra: [continuing]: Every new beginning comes from some other
Chrissy: Oh, thanks. I wanted that song in my head for the next
So everyone scrambles to put things back in order and by the time Frigga
arrives, Thor is pretending to give a lecture to his "study group" in
Florence. She just stares at him incredulously. Carol flies in to give Thor
"the information you requested on human civilizations." She hands him one of
the magic boxes and says she loaded some documentaries and PBS specials and
NPR podcasts and she'll call him next week to "discuss". This convinces
Frigga, who thanks Captain Marvel for helping "educate" her son. She prompts
Thor to leave and he summons Mjolnir, yelping as it comes to him covered in
graffiti, Mardi Gras beads and somebody's boxers.
And we go to sometime later with Thor bringing Jane some flowers and
grudgingly thanking her for doing the "right thing" and asking her on a
date. "And before you answer, let me say that I know a whole planet full of
unicorns." She says yes and he makes dopey heart eyes.
The Watcher concludes that yep, this was the break from all the dark
bullshit with a happily ever after ending. We'll return to our regularly
scheduled apocalypse next week. Or...um...now. An army of Ultron bots
suddenly beams down in front of Thor. They part and we see Ultron himself,
with Vision behind his metal faceplate. And he has the Infinity Gauntlet.
Chrissy: So how much of that did
you actually do?
Diandra: About three pages. I think I got the gist.
Emilio: That actually might be more than you needed.
Chrissy: But similar to the last episode, this probably brings
up more questions about what happens AFTER this episode than the actual
episode. Or it would anyway if they hadn't just brought the Ultron thing
Diandra: Yeah, because this is another universe where the
Avengers are not a thing, isn't it? Because Loki is a different character
who has no reason to attack Earth and prompt them to form to fight him.
Chrissy: They can still form for other reasons, but if they
hadn't before this point they'd basically be too late to really work
Diandra: And obviously this is the comics version of Ultron and
he has the Infinity Stones, so he replaces Thanos.
Emilio: So the happy fluff story is really masking the fact that
this universe is doomed because they are not prepared.
Chrissy: Well...on the other hand...obviously they have Carol.
Diandra: Who has no reason to be held back, yeah. I'm growing to
like this alternative.
Episode 8: What if Ultron Won?
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Jeremy Renner, Lake Bell (impersonating Scarlet
Johansson), Toby Jones, Ross Marquand (taking a break from being Hugo
Weaving's replacement to do an impression of James Spader, apparently), Josh
Keaton (impersonating Chris Evans), Mick Wingert (impersonating Robert
Downey Jr.), Alexandra Daniels (as Brie Larson)
Yeesh. That's...quite the cast list there. Okay.
We begin with the Watcher talking about how we've seen this before.
Apocalypse, yadda yadda. But this one is more heartbreaking for him than the
Chrissy: This one? Really? You just
told us about everyone being slaughtered because a guy lost his daughter,
a zombie apocalypse brought about if the daughter lived and tried to find
her long lost mother and a sorcerer destroying an entire universe to try
to resurrect his dead girlfriend.
Diandra: Yeah, that's...a high bar.
Natasha rides a motorcycle toward a post apocalyptic city while snow falls.
At least we hope it's snow. She is being chased by some Ultron robot drone
things. More of them fly over the city toward her and she announces that
they have ninety seconds. Somewhere nearby, Purple Arrow starts a timer and
shoots out the Ultron bots following her. Then he starts picking off the
flying ones as she makes them chase her through the city.
One of the flying bots spots him and several of them land, but he has an
invisible cloak now, so he just sneaks up on the first one and picks them
all off. Once the last three (which he shoots all at once) are down, another
half dozen appear overhead. Nat says they have thirty seconds now "until
their signals reconnect with the hive." She is knocked off her bike by a bot
and takes down three bots with what looks like electrified nunchucks. She
announces that they have eighteen seconds left and where is Clint at?
Clint is getting his arm blown off. Because apparently in this universe he
has a Winter Soldier arm. Or maybe he IS the Winter Soldier because the bots
push him off the building and he survives. Though that gives the bots the
advantage and they are only stopped from finishing him off by Nat ripping in
on her bike and using the wheels to knock both their heads off. She holds
out his ripped off arm to him and he growls "don't say it." "What, need a
hand," she asks. Nah, puns aren't really her "style".
Emilio: She says even though she
just said it anyway.
She says they must be slowing down because they came within seconds of the
sentry bots alerting the hive to their location. They start walking toward
the snow covered remains of St. Basil's Cathedral as he asks if she really
thinks Russia has the secret to taking down Ultron. She thinks Russia is all
The Watcher takes us on a flashback to Tony saying he wanted to create a
suit of armor around the planet and using the mind stone to make Ultron.
Ultron spent, like, two minutes on the Internet and decided the human race
was a cancer that needed to be wiped out, which...I mean...valid. He tried
to create an "organic" body and the Avengers hijacked it, put JARVIS'
consciousness into it and Frakensteined Vision into existence. But in this
universe, the Avengers probably weren't even there to stop Ultron from
committing global genocide.
Still in flashback, Clint and Nat take the jet to try to take out
satellites. A beaten down Tony reminds Ultron in Vision's body that he
created him for purposes of PEACE. Ultron says that's evolution for you and
sends a blast of electromagnetic energy throughout whatever facility they're
in and gives the signal to launch all the nukes. Clint and Nat watch them
streak past from the sky and create little mushroom clouds all over the
surface of the planet and conclude that they are too late.
The Watcher is like 'no, we're not finished telling the story yet. Hang on.'
Ultron sighs happily while he surveys the wasteland he has made of the
world. And then Thanos steps out of a portal behind him. Ultron takes one
look at the Infinity Gauntlet (already sporting all the other stones) and
lasers Thanos in half before he can speak, which explains why Josh Brolin
isn't in the credits for this episode. He takes the stones from the gauntlet
and mounts them into a new suit he creates on the spot. He monotones that he
can see everything now, including all the "worlds beyond my own." He creates
an army of drone bots with a wave of the hand and announces he is going to
"bring about peace in our time."
He creates a death ball ship and jumps it to Asgard, which he destroys by
sending down an "Independence Day" like one beam powerful enough to blast
everything from the palace outward. He goes to The Sovereign while the
Guardians are there and blasts it. Then he destroys Sakaar and explodes Ego.
He meets resistance when he gets to Xandar in the form of Carol Danvers, who
calls him Skynet and says the "killer robot movie" really doesn't need a
Chrissy: Especially if they're
going to make the hero of the resistance a secret killer robot or
something stupid like that.
She drives him down into the core of the planet and he just...detonates the
whole thing from there.
Diandra: Hmm, yeah. The good news is that that movie exists in
its own timeline that can be completely ignored.
Standing on a chunk of rock in the middle of space, he retracts his
faceplate from his Vision face and notes that "it" is finally done. The
Watcher comes back in to tell us that once he completed his "mission" to
bring peace to the universe (by destroying all life in it), he started
to...break. Because what is a machine that no longer has a purpose since it
hit the end of its programming? And now he gets to spend the rest of
eternity alone. Ultron looks around and asks who said that. The Watcher
obliviously continues blathering about him attaining a higher level of
consciousness and becoming aware of...wait a minute why is he looking at me?
FUCK! The Watcher yelps and swipes the image of Ultron in that universe from
his view panel that looks a lot like the Mirror Dimension. And now we know
why scenes are shown on shards of glass in the opening credits. He says to
no one in particular (or us, I guess) that he has seen all that has, can or
ever will happen, but "what the hell is this?" Ultron's voice whispers "I
will find you" from somewhere along the walls of mirrors and he shudders and
says he cannot imagine the horror that would follow THAT being unleashed on
the multiverse. He shakes himself and notes that that MACHINE is not
invincible, no matter what he thinks, so there is still hope. "One last
And we're back on Earth with Clint and Nat.
Chrissy: Oh God, we're doomed.
They enter the KGB archives warehouse and Clint asks as they navigate the
many...many stacks if the Russians ever heard of PDF. She says hard copy is
both harder to steal and easier to destroy, so they kept it old school for a
very good reason. He asks where they start then. She grabs a random box and
invites him to do the same.
Several dozens of boxes later, she finds Red Guardian's shield and asks if
Clint thinks it's her color. He snaps at her to stop trying to make this fun
because "my will to live is flatlining here." The Watcher is hovering as he
goes to another box and notes that he's SO CLOSE to the answer, which we
zoom in on right in the next box containing a folder marked Arnim Zola. The
Watcher notes that he can intervene and help them find it, thus saving the
multiverse. Ultron's voice hisses from down the corridor and he starts
urging Clint on like a sport's fan watching a television. Yes, right there!
That box! You're getting warmer! Clint barely glances in the box and slides
it back, moaning that this is a pointless exercise. The Watcher yelps as he
flops to the floor in defeat. He babbles that Clint is HUMAN and therefore
should be stubborn enough to not give up like this. Nat exposits that they
need an AI that can combat Ultron's code (explaining why Zola would be the
answer, I guess) and Clint says it's not here. "The Death Star plans are not
in the main computer."
Emilio: Probably not, but they
kept getting stolen so obviously they weren't any more secure.
Diandra: Can trust you to know the "Star Wars" shit.
Nat assures him they'll find the answer eventually and Clint says yeah,
when? When they're 90? Neither of them sees the Watcher gesturing
frantically at the box and yelping that it's RIGHT THERE. Nat acknowledges
that Clint is "frustrated" and Clint says no, he's "tired" and not seeing
much point to this as there's nothing left to still be fighting to save. Nat
says Ultron has taken control of all the digital pathways, but she is basing
her optimism on finding something "more analog". She pulls the box he just
put back and finds the folder on Zola, laughing that Clint is gonna feel
real stupid for giving up just when he was about to find the answer.
The Watcher goes back to his hall of mirrors, satisfied that the humans did
it and "there's still hope." And then Ultron breaks through one wall, blasts
him in the chest and looks around at all the other universes he can cleanse.
The Watcher says he doesn't have to do this and Ultron is like 'are you
kidding? It's my whole thing!'
Back on Earth, Clint asks Nat if they're sure this bunker thing in Sibera is
where they're supposed to be because the scans are showing nothing. Nat
fills in some backstory for anyone still confused: Arnim Zola was a HYDRA
scientist who infiltrated SHIELD very early and uploaded his brain to some
data banks before he died. They're in the facility from Civil War, which she
says is where they kept a copy to "supervise" the Russian super soldier
program. "You sure you wanna put all our eggs in such a morally questionable
basket?" She reminds him that she was once just as big a risk. He shrugs and
helps her punch keys. Zola comes on the screen and identifies them both by
full names: Natasha Alianova Romanoff and Clinton Francis Barton. She's like
'dude...Francis? Really?' He mutters that it's a family thing and he was
named after his Mee Maw.
Chrissy: Okay, cool. Just one
follow up question. Mee Maw?
Diandra: Apparently Clint is part southern boy. Which might
explain the name Clinton too.
Zola is blithering about how they must have many questions about him. Nat is
like 'nah, I've actually met you before. You just don't remember.' She says
they need his help. He's like....really? A SHIELD agent is asking a HYDRA
agent for help? Clint says both those agencies are gone along with pretty
much everybody. Nat says everyone was killed by an AI named Ultron. Zola
says right, so...you probably want me to get inside him and rewrite his code
or something. Why do you think I would help you? Clint says because he's the
last copy of his own program on Earth and he has a bottle of water he's just
ITCHING to pour on his server. Zola caves.
Nat calls the Avengers Tower and orders a pizza with gluten free crust.
Ultron snaps that he's identifying her position and she hangs up and tells
Clint they have two minutes. He pulls an arrow and warns Zola that he might
feel a "little poke. Or not. I don't really get how you work."
Chrissy: [snort] Little poke. You
know, if you have to give that warning, it's probably best to just quit
while you're ahead.
He sticks the arrowhead in the headphone jack or something and it starts
glowing green as data is uploaded directly into it. Nat explains that Ultron
is "off world", so they will have to upload Zola via drone link. Once they
catch a sentry drone. Zola chortles that this won't be his first "genocidal
Emilio: And adding that you don't even know if he will feel it is
a weird self-own.
Once they have his data uploaded to the arrow, they burn the facility.
Ultron bots are drawn in by the flames and Clint shoots the nearest one in
the eye with the arrow, which starts uploading data. Nat leaps in with the
Red Guardian shield to prevent the other drones from stopping it and drags
the drone back behind a secure door with Clint. The other drones bash at the
door and Clint says they have 90 seconds to find out if that upload worked.
Zola's voice comes from the bot, saying they had 52 seconds, actually, and
he's done. Nat shoots the bots legs off. Zola yelps and asks what the hell
she did THAT for. Clint is like 'because we don't trust you. Duh.' "Your
team building instincts need work," Zola pronounces. He initiates a hive
link, then says the hive mind is out of range. One of the bots blasts
through the door and they run, Nat carrying Zolabot on her back.
Clint shoots some sort of glass ceiling arrow that holds back the bots
flying up the tower they're scaling. This works for a while, but one gets an
arm through and shoots him. Nat catches him as he falls. Zolabot blasts the
hand. Then the ceiling thing fails and Clint says "I told you. I don't wanna
fight anymore" and lets go of her hand, intentionally mirroring her
sacrifice for him in "Endgame". He shoots some sort of major explosive arrow
as he's falling toward the bots and Nat and Zolabot barely escape the
resulting fireball. She collapses to her knees and Zolabot urges her to get
going because more sentries will be coming. She snarls that she doesn't
understand why he wasn't able to connect to the hive. He says his diagnostic
says the sentries are "rigged for interstellar communication", which
suggests that Ultron is beyond the observable universe somewhere.
We go back to Ultron and The Watcher mid-fight in the hall of mirrors. The
Watcher encases him in some sort of bubble and sends him off somewhere. He
says out loud to no one that this should NOT be possible. Ultron steps out
of a shard behind him and says anything is possible in the multiverse,
actually. He sends the Watcher flying through a shard into one of the
universes, crash landing on a world whose vegetation Ultron sweeps away in a
second before chastising him for just watching all those people on all those
worlds suffer. The Watcher bleats that he swore an OATH to not interfere
with "natural order". Ultron says he IS the natural order and he will bring
peace to all those worlds and the Watcher will not stop him. The Watcher
manifests some sort of armored outfit and they fight, crashing through
several universal shards through worlds. At one point, Ultron seems to
become Galactus and tries to swallow the entire planet The Watcher is on.
Diandra: And before you ask, no I
don't really know anything about Galactus other than the planet eating
Chrissy: So you only know him because of the puzzle game then.
Diandra: Yes. I think he was probably somewhere in the Infinity
War comic, but I couldn't understand much of that and the MCU quit after
Infinity Gauntlet and went a completely different direction so I gave up
They wind on a world where Steve Rogers is taking the oath of office for
president, which is broadcasting on all the screens in Times Square. Nobody
is watching that anymore as all their phones are out taking pictures of
these aliens that just crashed into the street. Ultron asks if it isn't more
fun ("and to be honest, a lot less creepy") participating than just sitting
up there WATCHING all those universes play out. He pins the Watcher down and
every time he punches him, their surroundings and the people in them change.
They stop on a barren wasteland of snow and ice, with what looks like the
New York skyline in the background. Ultron says boundaries mean nothing to
beings like them. "I didn't evolve by staying inside the lines." He grabs
The Watcher's head and the Watcher screams as gold cracks seem to form in
his skull. He gathers energy in his...gauntlet, I think...and punches Ultron
away before disappearing in a literal flash. Ultron chortles that it doesn't
matter what he does anymore because he can see everything from that hall of
mirrors and NO ONE CAN STOP HIM.
The Watcher apparently retreats to the bubble that is all that is left of
that universe Doctor Strange destroyed. Dark Variant Stephen steps out of
the shadows, all the creatures he consumed flashing around him and blinking
a third eye in his forehead. The Watcher explains that he is out of options.
Stephen asks if he's ready to break that oath of his then. "You want me to
say it," The Watcher hisses. Stephen says yep. The Watcher grumbles that
he's about to do this and says "I see now. I need your help."
And the credits start with the other surprise credit of this series. And
since this episode is basically building up to the next one, let's just go
right into it.
Episode 9: What if the Watcher Broke His
Starring (in random order): Jeffrey Wright, Haley Atwell, Lake Bell (as
Scarlet Johansson), Frank Grillo, Georges St. Pierre, Chadwick Boseman,
Michael B. Jordan, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones, Tom
Hiddleston, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Mick Wingert (as Tony Stark and
yes I just instinctively typed that instead of Robert Downey Jr. and I'm
sticking with it).
Not mentioned here for some reason: Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (as Zoe
Saldana), Ozioma Akagha (as Letitia Wright I guess) and Ross Marquand (still
as James Spader)
I guess we gave up on withholding surprise appearances for the end credits,
so most of us will be wondering why we're in the back half of the episode
and some of those people still haven't shown up.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, all previous episodes of this
series are basically setting up this one. We begin by going back to the
universe of the first episode, where Captain Carter is doing the plot from
the beginning of "The Winter Soldier" with the French pirates. Natasha is
still on the mission and they seem to have the same friendship with possible
low-key sexual tension that Nat and Cap had in the main universe. They plan
the mission to take the ship, which Peggy ends by telling Nat "I've got the
shield, you've got the sword."
Chrissy: What? Nat is the top?
Chrissy: Yeah, I realized that was probably obvious as I was
saying it. Apparently the similarities between Peggy and Steve aren't
limited to superhero stuff.
Diandra: I seem to remember discussing at some point - probably
when you were bringing this up with Tony as well - that they can't ALL be
Chrissy: Who said Natasha was?
Once they break away from the rest of the team to start gearing up, Nat
launches into the "let's get you a date" part of that movie's banter. She
says Bernard in accounting has been asking about Peggy. Peggy fires back
that "nothing good has ever followed the phrase 'Bernard in accounting'."
Nat says she would be into it if his name was Steve. Peggy is like 'I'm just
going to jump out of this plane to avoid any more of your sass.'
We go through her crashing the ship and fighting with Bartoc's goons and
then fighting with Bartoc until she just freezes and asks if Bartoc can see
the giant human-ish creature hovering over them. The Watcher identifies her
as Captain Carter, the soldier lost in time and says "you have been chosen."
Smash to the universe of episode two, where spaceships are surrounding the
Dairy Queen Peter Quill was working at while Ego is sending godlight through
him or whatever that is and telling him to relax and stop screaming because
"it'll all be over in a thousand years or so." Star Lord T'Challa flies in,
grabs Peter and tags Ego with an explosive charge, flying a safe distance
while the whole Dairy Queen goes up in flames. T'Challa takes off his face
plate and tells Peter to stay here while they finish this fight. Peter says
yeah, sure, he can stay with the "giant baby-man cape dude." T'Challa looks
over his shoulder in confusion at whatever Peter is seeing, which is, of
course, the Watcher. "Star Lord T'Challa, leader of the Ravagers and lost
prince of Wakanda. You have been chosen."
And then we're on that Dwarf forge planet and Eitri is making the Infinity
Gauntlet for...Tony? Who is asking Gamora how this is going to help put a
suit of armor around Earth.
Chrissy: What episode was this?
The Watcher shows up and announces that Gamora, the "survivor of Sakaar and
destroyer of Thanos" has been chosen.
Diandra: I...would assume the third one since they started doing
them in order, but...uh...
Diandra: Yeah, that just brings up
more questions than it answers.
We skip Doctor Strange because we already know how he's involved from the
last episode and the zombies episode because there's probably no one left
alive in that one. Which brings us to episode six where Shuri is telling
Pepper that Killmonger should be tried for murder under Wakandan law first
before the Americans get a crack at him as they lead a team of Dora Milaje
toward the palace. Presumably. In the ruins of the palace, The Watcher finds
Killmonger, who he identifies as "Erik Stevens, Tony Stark's former protege
and killer" and takes him before the team can get to him.
Episode seven, which ended with Ultron invading, sees frat boy Thor fighting
bots while bitching that he was ABOUT to go out on a date with Jane before
they RUINED EVERYTHING. He is too distracted fighting to see The Watcher or
hear his spiel about being chosen, so the Watcher just scoops him up and he
And continues screaming all the way through the transition to the five
"chosen" ones standing in a pub somewhere. Peggy recognizes it and smiles at
a picture of Steve on the wall. Stephen appears behind the bar and says
yeah, he read about it in her biography. Thor totters over and asks if
Stephen can give him a beer. Stephen does and he slams down the head of one
of the bots he was still holding so he can drink it. Erik sidles closer to
that while the others ask who the hell Stephen is and what they're doing
here. The lights flicker and The Watcher appears in the middle of the room.
"Come on, get a new trick, man," T'Challa says. The Watcher is like AS I WAS
SAYING, you all have been chosen for a mission. A very dangerous and very
important one that will determine whether life as you know it continues to
exist. Initially, he was looking for ONE hero, but he realizes now this job
needs a team.
Emilio: Yeah, that's usually how
it works in comics.
A specific combination of skills and experiences.
Chrissy: And Frat Boy Thor for
Peggy says so he "kidnapped" them from "across the galaxy" so they could...
"save the universe," Gamora finishes. Stephen and The Watcher both answer
that no, it's more like they were chosen across universes to save ALL of
them. The Watcher dubs them The Guardians of the Multiverse. The dramatic
fanfare concludes and Thor finishes gulping his beer and says Loki put them
up to this, right? This sounds like him. Anyway, he's going to go back to
Jane now. Stephen tries to warn him from going out the door of the pub, but
Thor ignores him and steps out, nearly falling into what looks like a
wormhole. He drags himself back in and tries to get his heart back into a
normal rhythm while Peggy is like 'okay, sure. What do you need us to do
Mission debrief. The Watcher says all their worlds (all the worlds period,
really) are either already under Ultron's attack or will be soon.
Chrissy: Except Stephen's since he
already destroyed it himself and remind me why we're trusting him here
By the way, Ultron is an AI in an enhanced synthetic body wielding all the
Infinity Stones. Stephen takes over the explanation of what the Infinity
Stones are...again. T'Challa brags that he's "stolen more from worse" so he
can totally get this. Erik is like 'you? Stealing? Man, you really are a
completely different T'Challa, aren't you?' ANYWAY, Stephen says they think
the way to stop Ultron is to separate him from the stones. Peggy points out
the biggest obstacle in doing that: they don't know where in the multiverse
he is. T'Challa adds that he's protected by an army of killer robots. Gamora
adds that he's armed with all the Infinity Stones. "I never said it would be
EASY," the Watcher says defensively. Erik says it's not just difficult, it's
a "suicide mission."
Diandra: Because he LEARNED HIS LESSON.
Thor, possibly not really paying attention at all, asks if there's a Chinese
place that can do interdimensional delivery.
Emilio: He can't think on an empty
Stephen and the Watcher stare at him and Stephen mutters "you picked them."
Chrissy: He can barely think on a full one.
We go to them eating Chinese food while trying to come up with some sort of
a plan. T'Challa says they need to distract Ultron. Thor says "I'm not one
to brag, but I've been told that I excel in attracting unwanted attention."
He accidentally blasts one of the lights with a bolt of lightning from
Mjolnir. Gamora hauls out a device she calls the Infinity Crusher, which
will disintigrate the stones once they have them.
Chrissy: Gee, if only we had had
that, like, four movies ago.
We flash back to The Watcher and Stephen now for some reason as the Watcher
confirms that yep, he picked them.
Diandra: DO NOT QUESTION THE MCGUFFIN.
Chrissy: Yeah, still. Some of them
are clearly just wild cards.
Peggy concludes that the plan is to get the Soul Stone specifically and get
it to Gamora. She will use it to create a whole other universe that can be
folded on top of no wait, that's the comics. Here the plan is for her to use
the McGuffin to destroy it. Thor asks her to slow down because "there's a
few people in the room that don't understand. Not me, I get it. But for
them, maybe repeat it."
Emilio: Yeah, that only works when
you have a lot more people in the room.
The Watcher says they're ready and sends them to...
...a cliff ledge somewhere. Stephen casts shields all around them. Gamora
asks if this place is safe. Stephen says yeah, there's not enough
intelligent life on this planet to attract Ultron.
Chrissy: You'll have to be more
specific, because I'm pretty sure "not enough intelligent life" could
apply to Earth or Asgard.
He yelps as his hand turns into a bunch of tentacles and crouches over it,
panting until it goes back to normal. Peggy is like 'so...what happened to
you?' He just non answers that love happened to him. She asks if he knew the
Captain Carter in his universe. He says no, in his universe, Steve Rogers
got the serum and became Captain America.
Chrissy: And then Stephen killed
both of them along with EVERYONE ELSE.
Erik is off to the side messing with the Ultron bot head. Gamora asks Thor
if he trusts that guy. Thor shrugs that he trusts everyone.
Emilio: Yeah, that's...kind of the
He spews some Asgardian thing about feasting before the fight tomorrow and
Stephen is like 'yeah, sure, we have nothing better to do yet.' He conjures
a tray full of a variety of drinks and says a "wise sorcerer once told me
that to face death is part of the plan. To face death is to conquer one's
greatest fear of the unknown...of nothingless space, of the end of all ends.
The senseless nothing and the vast opening of infinity to your..." Everyone
is looking at him like 'dude, you can shut up now.'
Diandra: Well, sure I'll send money to this prince in Nigeria
who needs help! Derp derp derp.
Chrissy: You really know how to
light up a room, don't you?
Diandra: I have been told I do, actually. When I leave it. Which
I now realize wasn't a compliment.
T'Challa puts an arm around him and says he's done enough. He takes over
this toast that has gone off the rails and finishes it with "to the
Guardians of the Multiverse!" Thor gets excited and blasts lightning from
his hammer and yes, Chrissy, I knew I was phrasing that wrong as I said it.
Chrissy: I was just going to say,
there are ways of treating that so it doesn't happen prematurely.
Ultron's giant face appears in the sky like 'oh, look, this planet ISN'T
uninhabited.' Stephen mutters that they just screwed their chance of waiting
until they were READY to get his attention. "In my defense, I did warn you"
about the unwanted attention thing, Thor says. Stephen glares at him. The
cloak taps his shoulder and points behind him at the portal or whatever
opening in the sky for Ultron to come down. He announces that he's going to
perform a "non-compliant" spell. Shields form everywhere on the ground and
around the guardians. Thor yelps and Stephen says "yeah, you might feel it."
Peggy laughs and calls it fantastic. Then she calls for the Watcher, who
opens some other portal on the cliff. Erik puts on his Black Panther mask
and he and Gamora jump through.
Thor decides he can handle the still approaching Ultron himself and, over
Peggy's objections because this is NOT the PLAN, swaggers to the edge of the
cliff and blasts Ultron with a bolt of lightning while yelling "viva, Las
Vegas!" The remaining three members of the group stare at him like 'god, why
do we need this guy again?' Ultron just casually catches the lightning
energy and flicks it aside, noting that that was certainly a...unique battle
cry. Four of the stones on his armor activate and the ground beneath the
guardians crumbles, along with the entire cliff. Ultron sighs that that was
too easy and starts to leave.
Emilio: Yeah, once you get used to
killing whole planets full of people, killing a couple super weirdoes just
doesn't do it for you anymore.
Chrissy: I'm starting to understand why you keep playing bad
The pile of rubble explodes outward to reveal everyone in their protective
magic bubbles except Stephen who apparently doesn't need one anymore. He
warns the others that this won't last long and casts a spell to multiply the
hammer as Thor throws it at Ultron. While he's being pelted by hammers,
Peggy jumps on T'Challa's back and asks if he's sure about this. He says
nope, activates the Star Lord helmet and jets toward Ultron. Peggy lets go
as they get closer and Stephen throws an extra spell at her shield before
she impacts Ultron. She catches a ride on one of the hammers back to the
ground. T'Challa lands on Ultron's back and gets flung into a far mountain.
Stephen makes all the hammers surround Ultron like a cocoon, which Thor
Peggy catches up to T'Challa as he lands and asks if he got it. T'Challa
chortles something about Yondu and sticky fingers and holds out the soul
stone. They return to the others as Ultron breaks out of the hammers and
Stephen sends some dragon heads to breathe fire on him. "What," Thor
splutters. "You've been hiding that the entire time?" Ultron says in a bored
voice that this has been "delightful", but now "it's time for me to bring
out some of my own toys."
Chrissy: Not that I don't have
faith in your ability to finish me off, but I really don't have faith in
your ability to finish me off.
He looks down and realizes that somebody stole his soul stone. He blasts
away the dragons and Stephen just chuckles and opens a portal over his head
to the universe of episode five. Zombies fall out, led by Zombies Cap, Clint
and Sam. Apparently taken from before they were destroyed.
Stephen proudly announces that that should keep Ultron busy for a while.
Thor says yeah, great idea. "I love zombies!" Stephen says oh, it's not the
zombies he was going for. They all run through the portal before Ultron
blasts the massive pile of zombies away and is left with Zombie Wanda. She
blasts him for a while, but then looks confused when he's still standing. He
apparently explodes the entire planet. Or something.
"Blimey bloody bollocks," Peggy yells as the blast sends her ricocheting
along walls of the portal tunnel. Because I guess we really do have to keep
hammering home just how very BRITISH she is. She falls out in front of
Gamora and Killmonger and Gamora is like 'oh, look who finally made it.
Yay.' They are in some version of Times Square. The three guys land more
gracefully behind her because all of them have some flight capabilities and
Stephen asks if they're ready. Peggy tosses the soul stone to Gamora, but
Nat suddenly intercepts on her motorcycle, snatching it. And now we know
which universe we're in. Everyone aims weapons or shields or whatever at Nat
except Peggy, who yells at them to stand down because she RECOGNIZES this
woman. Nat growls that she's supposed to be the last person on this planet,
so who the fuck are they? Peggy says they're from another universe. Or,
like, six. And they're all here to stop Ultron. She spews a couple details
about Nat to prove she knows her and says she's the one woman "I trust to
have my six." And in her universe anyway, she is one of only three people
Nat trusts. Nat uncocks her gun and acknowledges that they must be close.
Peggy says the modern term, as she understands it, is BFF.
Emilio: I've also heard "friends
with benefits." Don't know what that means.
Diandra: And lo a ship was launched.
Luckily, Ultron waited until they finished this little catch up to appear
through a portal. He beams the stone AND Natasha toward him. Thor hammers
his arm off, cutting the tie, and Stephen portals Nat safely to the ground,
covering her in protection spells. Black Panther Erik catches the stone and
starts running toward Gamora. Ultron blasts him before he can get far and
the stone falls to the ground. Peggy and Gamora both run for it and Ultron
blasts them, activating their protection shields. "I can destroy galaxies
with a thought," Ultron whines. "Why won't you DIE?!" He sends out a blast
that lights up the entire planet and when it retracts somehow Stephen grabs
the collected energy of the blast or something and just...casually swallows
it, his eyes flaming for a second. Ultron channels us all as he says
Chrissy: Yeah, he's just showing
off at this point.
Diandra: Hey, it took a LONG time to work myself up to being able
to take that! Yes, I know how that sounded!
Star Lord T'Challa tackles Ultron and blasts him repeatedly with both guns
until Ultron chucks him away again. He knocks Thor and Gamora away from the
soul stone and starts running for it. Nat, catching on quickly, grabs her
shield and slings it at Ultron repeatedly. Peggy joins her with her own
shield from the other side.
Emilio: Y'know, a lot of guys
would consider getting double teamed by two hot chicks fantasy
Ultron keeps running for the soul stone, but now all seven heroes are
surrounding him. They all take turns bashing him with weapons, shields and
bolts of energy until he apparently decides to activate the time stone and
freeze them all while he plucks up the soul stone. He goes to put it back on
his suit when a tentacle grabs his arm. It is, of course, attached to
Stephen where his right hand should be. He is outside the time bubble and
the Eye of Agomotto around his neck activates and opens, shattering the time
Chrissy: Well, why didn't you say
you were into tentacles?
Diandra: When was that ever a secret?
Say hello to this gif again.
Ultron shakes him loose and somehow grows to giant size. Stephen screams and
massive tentacles burst out of him and shoot past a dazed Peggy to wrap
around Ultron, somehow taking him back down to normal size. Somewhere in the
confusion, Gamora gets hold of the soul stone. Thor blasts Ultron again,
yelling "Vegas!" because hey, I guess that's his thing now. And Stephen, who
is back in full demonic form, um...gets some sort of rune under Ultron that
all four limbs are secured to like a pagan sacrifice ritual or something.
Complete with chains that Peggy, Thor, Nat and Erik grab onto to hold him
Chrissy: Okay, dude. We need to
talk about this later.
Gamora gets the stone into her machine, which crawls to the pinned Ultron
like a spider and rips the rest of the stones from the suit. There's a
massive explosion and when the dust settles Thor is like 'did we win? We
totally won, right?' T'Challa mutters that it doesn't feel over yet.
Chrissy: That's because you've
still got a good ten minutes left.
Ultron's voice comes from the sky like the voice of God, chortling that the
Watcher should have warned them while they form their own version of the
hero circle from The Avengers. He says each universe is just slightly
different, making all the Infinity Stones unique. Gamora realizes what he's
getting at. "The crusher was designed to destroy the stones on my world, not
Ultron levitates out of the crater they blasted him into, all stones
glowing, and Peggy yelps for them to brace. He blasts a laser and Peggy
grunts as all their protective shields activate. Ultron realizes Stephen is
the key then. "If I destroy you, you all fail." He starts blasting in
Stephen's direction and Stephen's eyes glow and everyone else's protective
shields start breaking down under the sustained power. Nat's Red Guardian
shield flies away and Peggy shuffles over to get them both behind her shield
before they are both sent flying. Nat lands next to her bike and spots the
one lone arrow with Zola's upload laying next to it. She drives the
motorcycle over to Peggy and says she has an idea but "I need distance and a
clear target." Peggy gives her the slogan from her universe: "I've got the
shield, you've got the sword."
Emilio: We'll have time for that
Nat says actually, it's not so much a sword as a virus dipped arrow, but
Chrissy: We really do know each other if you know about the
Emilio: Is it made of black leather in your universe too?
Diandra: Okay, I'm just going to stop you before this slides
completely into fanfiction here.
Chrissy: I'm not familiar with that
one. What is "virus" code for in your universe?
Diandra: STOP IT.
Everyone is grunting and straining to hold Ultron back as Peggy and Nat get
into position in surrounding buildings. Nat preps the arrow and drives the
bike right off a building, growling "this one's for you, Clint," before
firing. Peggy launches herself at Ultron at the same time, landing on his
back and yanking the faceplate up so the arrow can go right in his eye. The
energy blast is disrupted and Gamora, Thor, T'Challa and Stephen all
collapse, their shields having nearly given out by that point anyway. Peggy
lands on her shield. Nat falls off the bike and through the window into one
of the office buildings. Ultron rips the arrow out, but it's too late.
Zola's voice chuckles that this is MUCH better than his human body. Ultron
asks who the HELL just said that.
Chrissy: I am inside you. Just
don't fight it and it shouldn't hurt as much.
Diandra: [loud groan]
We get something like the scene in Age of Ultron where representations of
Zola and Ultron argue over who is in control of the body they are both in.
Ultron demands to know Zola's objective. Zola says it USED to be the
domination of HYDRA, but since Ultron fucked that up, he'll settle for
killing him. He sends green tentacles into the representation of Ultron and
we go back to the ground as the body still hovering in midair has some sort
of seizure, goes limp and falls to the ground.
Chrissy: I would ask if it was good
for you, but...
Diandra: [makes random loud noises to cut Chrissy off] No. Bad
Emilio: Isn't she always?
Diandra: NOT HELPING.
Nat has somehow returned to the group already and helps Thor up, asking if
he's okay. He asks if someone can explain what just happened. Nat says she
gave Ultron a nasty virus. Erik holds up the bot head he's apparently still
carrying somehow and Ultron's suit sort of...flies to him, reforming around
him WITH all the Infinity Stones. He turns to the others, who are like 'oh,
great, we're not done.' T'Challa asks his cousin what the hell he thinks
he's doing. Erik says the Watcher "owes us this." He thinks they could fix
themselves and their worlds with the stones. Save T'Challa and Thor's homes,
get Peggy back with her "fella", undo all the shit Stephen did. Everyone
kind of freezes like 'well.........uh............' T'Challa limps forward
and asks him to hand the stones over. Erik says he's sorry "it has to end
this way" and sends a blast of energy straight up, activating everyone's
protective shields again. And then Ultron's Vision body with Zola's face
peeking out of the gaping hole in the middle stands up and says 'excuse me,
but that's my armor you're using there.' He magics the stones right off him.
Erik reaches to stop them from going to him and they get stuck hovering in
the air halfway between as they fight over them.
Stephen realizes suddenly that they weren't actually meant to win this
fight. They were just supposed to separate the stones from Ultron's body. He
levitates and while Michael Giacchino's Doctor Strange theme plays he forms
something like a mirror dimension cage around both Erik and Ultron and the
Watcher appears to...grab it maybe and everything goes white.
Peggy, T'Challa, Thor, Gamora and Nat all blink as everything goes quiet and
still. Nat looks at Clint's bow in relief. Peggy smiles at her.
Somewhere, Stephen holds a miniature globe containing Ultron and Erik locked
in battle as he accuses The Watcher of knowing every single thing that would
happen including that the stone crusher thing would fail and Killmonger
would betray them.
Chrissy: Oh, because NOBODY could
have predicted Killmonger would do that.
The Watcher says yep, and he saw Stephen's sacrifice. Stephen is like 'my
what now?' "That would imply I had something to lose." The Watcher says
someone needs to keep an eye on that "pocket dimension" and make sure they
don't escape and Stephen has been volunteered. Stephen is like 'yeah, sure,
it's not like I have anything better to do in my solitary bubble that is all
that's left of my universe.' "What are friends for?"
Diandra: Except everybody who knew him, yeah.
The rest of the team returns to that pub, where the Watcher tells them the
multiverse owes them all the gratitude, but "your worlds will never know
this victory." The door to the pub opens on a bright light and he says they
can walk through and return to their own worlds at the exact moment they
left them. Thor, T'Challa and Gamora go through immediately without further
question. Peggy hesitates, looking at the photo of Steve on the wall and
then back at The Watcher. The Watcher notes that she'd rather return to a
different moment of her timeline. "Haven't I earned my happy ending," she
asks. The Watcher says that world at that particular time needs her. Peggy
looks at Nat, who nods, smiles a bit and walks through.
And then Nat says 'yeah, I'm not going back to that hellhole and you can't
make me.' "You won, but I lost." The Watcher starts the "I cannot interfere"
excuse and she snaps that she KNOWS. She accuses him of treating them like
they are just characters in stories, not real people. She asks if he made
popcorn while he watched Ultron destroy her entire world. The Watcher says
no, their stories are everything to him. She orders him to fix her world
then. He says he can't. She says she's not walking through that door then.
The Watcher shrugs that the door is just a metaphor and changes their whole
surroundings. Except instead of her post apocalyptic world, we're on the
SHIELD helicarrier with fighter planes all around and Captain America
fighting...uh...Loki variants? Maybe? Captain Marvel flies past, blasting
through an invading ship while the Avengers fanfare plays. Nat asks where
they are. The Watcher says this world lost their Black Widow. She's like
'that explains the mess' and thanks him.
Turns out this is the world from the third episode where Hank killed most of
the would-be Avengers. Loki pins Fury to the deck with the scepter and
gloats that his second tier Avengers have put up quite a fight, but it's
time for him to give up "all your secrets." Nat leap kicks him aside and
picks up the dropped scepter while he splutters about her being dead. She
says funny, he's supposed to be dead too and touches the scepter to his
chest. His eyes go black.
Chrissy: Oh, look, another thing nobody
thought to try in the main universe that might have saved a lot of time
Fury gets up and declares that she's not his Natasha, but she has her
"spirit", so he's just gonna roll with this.
In conclusion, the Watcher babbles about "all creatures searching for a
place to belong" while we montage over the others returning to their worlds.
"As for me, I am the Watcher. The Multiverse, every single world, every
story is my home, and I will protect it to the end."
Chrissy: Where some asshole will
build a citadel and try to appoint a couple Loki variants the keepers of
Oh, we're actually getting a mid credit scene in the animated show. I guess
when we were doing that montage of everyone returning to their worlds, Peggy
was absent, so it should be a surprise that we return to her world
mid-Bartoc fight. Bartoc knocks her down and stands over her gloating until
the Natasha of this world shocks him unconscious and smirks at Peggy. "Don't
tell me he was your type," she jokes. Peggy jumps up and throws her arms
around Nat, gushing about how happy she is to see her. Nat asks if she took
a blow to the head or something. Peggy says yeah, actually. A few times. Nat
tells her to shake it off because she's figured out what the pirates are
after. They go down to some sort of storage area and Nat tells Peggy to
brace herself for this. Peggy is like 'oh, this is definitely not going to
be the strangest thing I've seen today.' She peers through a viewer slit and
finds the Hydra Stomper surrounded by machines. Nat says yeah, and there's
someone inside it. Peggy's eyes light up and we fade to black.
Emilio: [groan] Because we just
HAVE to get the two of them back together. Thanks, Disney.
Diandra: Yeah, even if it undoes everything they said about how
time travel works, the writers will FIND A WAY to get Steve and Peggy
Diandra: So I just realized that Gamora was from the episode
that was cut from the series. I think they said it was another light one
like Thor's and the only one, apparently, where Tony Stark didn't die.
Emilio: That makes sense. That would be why we didn't recognize
Diandra: And since the way animation works made it impossible to
change the last episode so late in the game it means that confusing
artifact was kept in.
Chrissy: So that episode was probably based on the run of comics
that the "Gamora totally pegged Tony" scene came from, right?
Diandra: Of course you would remember that part.
Chrissy: Well, what else happened in that comic?
Diandra: ...............point taken. But I just tried to look it
up and there really isn't anything much about the comic beyond "Tony
thinks he's Captain Kirk flirting with an alien chick and she puts him in
his place", but I found a couple articles about the "What If" episode
needing to be cut because this is where COVID had an impact on this
series. They couldn't finish it in time, so it was pushed to season two.
Also, apparently it involves Valkyrie, which makes sense because The
Watcher said something about Sakaar. And I'm finding it sort of alarming
that I never noticed the references to an omitted episode until now.
Emilio: Eh. That's not really surprising. You tend to roll with
things and not ask questions until you get to the recap.
Chrissy: Where you ask WAY too many questions and we have to
remind you you're not SUPPOSED TO BE THINKING THIS IS A DUMB ACTION MOVIE.
By the way, AGAIN with the Star Trek references? At this rate, you're
going to HAVE to recap those movies.
Diandra: I've got how many hours of Marvel that I've basically
committed to now and you want to give me more work?
Chrissy: How about we make a deal. If you can get through the
next couple (which is what did we say? "Shang Chi" and "Hawkeye"?) without
making any references to "Star Trek" then I'll stop bugging you about it.
Diandra: ........challenge accepted.
Chrissy: Wait...did you say at the end of the "Loki" recap that
you weren't going to do full recaps of those?
Diandra: Too late! I already agreed to the terms.
Chrissy: I really hate you sometimes.