What If… ? episode 7 recap: Party Thor makes an epic Marvel mess – CNET

Thor in Marvel's What If...?

The God of Thunder stars in episode 7 of What If… ?

Marvel Studios

Following Killmonger’s rise to power last week, episode 7 of the alternate reality Marvel Cinematic Universe animated series What If… ? landed on Disney Plus on Wednesday. This one puts Thor in the spotlight, as we see how differently the God of Thunder would’ve turned out if he’d had no Loki to challenge him growing up.

The all-seeing Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), who keeps an eye on the many realities of the multiverse but vows never to interfere, asks What If… Thor Were an Only Child?

SPOILERS coming down like a hammer.

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Brother from another mother

This reality diverged from the mainline MCU hundreds of years ago, after Frost Giant king Laufey abandoned his son Loki as a baby. In the Sacred Timeline, Asgardian king Odin found the tiny Frost Giant and adopted him — Loki was then raised as an Asgardian prince along with Odin’s biological son Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

Here, we’re introduced to a universe in which Odin gave Loki back to Laufey, so Thor grew up without a sibling and is even more of a doofus than he was early in the MCU. We join the “Party Prince” at the moment his father enters the Odinsleep, a state he must go into periodically to recharge his powers (this happened in the first Thor movie).

Jotun Loki in Marvel's What If...?

Loki is feeling blue and loving life in this reality.

Marvel Studios

When Thor’s Midgardian party moves to Paris, we meet this reality’s Loki (Tom Hiddleston). He looks awesome in his towering Frost Giant of Jotunheim form, and he and Thor are apparently tight. 

“Brothers forevaaaaa!” Jotun Loki says as they greet each other warmly.

It’s unclear how this relationship developed, but it’s likely Odin formed a bond with Laufey and the Frost Giants when he returned baby Loki. Then their sons became party bros, and it’s pretty heart-warming to see.

Out of control

Astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) realizes the Bifrost Bridge energy signature from Thor’s teleportation shenanigans matches one that happened just before a planet was destroyed (though it turns out the Asgardians weren’t responsible that), so she tracks the Party Prince down in Las Vegas. She and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) end up falling for that Asgardian charm.

SHIELD is out to spoil the fun, though, since Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) was left unconscious by an exuberant Korg (Taika Waititi) as he tried to make contact with Thor. As a result, the less diplomatic Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is in charge, and she wastes no time in summoning Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Alexandra Daniels).

Captain Marvel and Thor in Marvel's What If...?

Captain Marvel and Thor battle it out.

Marvel Studios

The party pooper

Much of the episode is taken up by Carol and Thor battering each other across the planet (with some awesome music as they fight in the desert). SHIELD is ultimately prepared to nuke them both to eliminate the “threat” Thor poses. 

Jane opts for a less violent approach, tracking down Thor’s mother, Frigga (Josette Eales), and revealing her son’s silliness. He convinces his party buddies to clean up Earth before Frigga arrives, and almost gets away with it.

Partygoers

We get a whole bunch of intergalactic cameos as characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Thor: Ragnarok show up on Earth to hang out with Thor and company:

  • Howard the Duck (who marries Darcy)
  • Drax the Destroyer
  • Rocket Raccoon
  • Nebula
  • Mantis 
  • Yondu
  • Kraglin
  • Korg
  • Grandmaster
  • His bodyguard Topaz 
  • Valkyrie
  • Surtur the Fire Giant

A Dark Vision

All seems to end well after Thor acknowledges that Jane was right to call Frigga on him. He asks Jane out on a date (to a planet full of unicorns) and appears to have grown up.

“Oh dear. Perhaps I spoke too soon,” the Watcher says.

Ultron-Vision in Marvel's What If... ?

An Infinity Stone-wielding Ultron-Vision strikes in the episode’s final moments.

Marvel Studios

An unexpected threat appears in the form of Ultron, who’s uploaded himself into Vision’s body and gathered with all six Infinity Stones. He’s brought an army of Ultron sentries, apparently intending to wreak havoc.

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Vision was originally created as the perfect, Mind Stone-empowered body for robot baddy Ultron as he planned to wipe out the human race. The Avengers stopped him from uploading himself into Vision’s body in that reality, and Vision later destroyed him. He apparently managed to get into the new body in some universe — it’s possible this Ultron has arrived from an alternate reality.

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Observations, WTF questions and Easter eggs

  • The Watcher seems quite perturbed by the dark turn of events at the end of the episode. There are also only two episodes left in the season and Ultron might be a multiversal threat, so it’s about time he interfered.
  • It’s Natalie Portman’s first full MCU appearance as Jane since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World — she only recorded a voiceover line for the character’s appearance in Avengers: Endgame. 
  • Writer AC Bradley wanted to do an episode about Jane becoming Thor, but this was nixed because Taika Waititi planned to use that version of the character in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder.
  • Maria Hill and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) don’t seem like a pair that’d be sympathetic to a hangover.
  • Rumlow seems pretty eager to fire the nukes. Probably because he’s a Hydra sleeper agent, which SHIELD is full of at this point in the timeline. 
  • Mjolnir whizzing by Carol’s head mirrors the “I like this one” moment in Endgame.
  • “Totally thought you were gonna be a dude captain,” Darcy says to Carol. The original comics Captain Marvel was male.
  • If Vision has gathered the Infinity Stones, what’s Thanos up to in this universe? Nebula mentions that her dad is calling when Thor tries to rally everyone to clean up. 

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Sept. 29, when episode 8 of What If…? hits Disney Plus.

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