What If…? Episode 6 recap: Wolf in sheep’s clothing

(Center) Killmonger in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
(Center) Killmonger in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In What If…? Episode 6, Erik Killmonger rescues a future Avenger and changes the course of his world’s history. But what does the ‘hero’ really want?

This Disney Plus show really knows how to subvert our expectations. “What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” brings together the most unlikely group of characters. And we love it!

In the MCU, Tony Stark was almost killed in Afghanistan and vowed to change his ways, thus becoming Iron Man and eventual co-leader of the Avengers.

Meanwhile, Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan) made his name as a ruthless Navy Seal until he eventually had the data and resources to find the elusive Wakanda.

This episode sees the Black Panther villain rise to the top by being as charming and manipulative as possible. His target? Tony Stark.

What If…? Episode 6 – Meet-cute

As in the MCU, Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) goes to Afghanistan and is attacked and almost killed by his very own missiles.

But in What If…? Episode 6, Iron Man doesn’t get impaled and kidnapped—Erik Killmonger rescues Tony on a covert operation. Tony goes in a completely different direction than his MCU counterpart, with his life no longer in danger.

In this universe, Tony decides to create stronger and more powerful weapons. He also appoints Killmonger as his chief of security instead of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).

Killmonger impresses Tony even further by exposing Obadiah Stane (Kiff VandenHeuvel) as the man responsible for trying to kill Tony. This earns Killmonger the title of COO of Stark Industries. Neither Happy nor Pepper Potts (Beth Hoyt) think this is a good idea, but Tony has made up his mind.

For a while, it seems like Tony and Killmonger are a force to be reckoned with. Tony’s the brains, Killmonger’s the one with actual military experience.

Together they start building a new kind of army, one that will ensure fewer American fatalities. The liberator drones that Killmonger was working on in his doctoral thesis (what didn’t this guy do?) can be controlled from afar but be just as effective as humans in battle.

These drones might look familiar to MCU fans—they’re the ones Justin Hammer had attempted to build before Ivan Vanko hijacked his operation. Little does this universe’s Tony know that his fate won’t be much different.

What If…? Episode 6 – Internal affairs

Killmonger has a plan to make the drones unstoppable in What If…? Episode 6—get his hands on vibranium. Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) is still the best black market smuggler of vibranium, but how can Stark Industries get their hands on it without associating with Klaue?

Tony decides to make a proposal to Klaue via his best friend, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). As a representative of the US military, Rhodey will legitimatize proceedings.

Klaue shows Rhodey a Dora Milaje spear made of vibranium, then reveals the real treasure—thousands of vials of vibranium. Tony and Killmonger are excited about what this will mean for Stark Industries.

But there’s a hitch in their plan—an unseen force knocks out Klaue’s goons. It’s Black Panther! This wasn’t part of Klaue and Killmonger’s plan.

Prince T’Challa wants to know why Rhodey wants the vibranium. He’s understandably suspicious and angry at Wakanda’s resources being bartered this way. Unfortunately, T’Challa doesn’t get a chance to stop Rhodey.

Killmonger uses the vibranium spear to kill T’Challa. Rhodey is momentarily relieved, thinking Killmonger has saved him, but Rhodey soon joins the prince.

Rhodey’s crime? Siding with the oppressors. Rhodey pleads his case—that he’s trying to effect change from within. But that’s not a good enough reason for Killmonger.

With all that vibranium in hand, Killmonger is set to upgrade the drones beyond anyone’s imagination. But when he returns to Tony, his ‘friend’ is less than pleased.

Killmonger was careful about a lot of things, but he didn’t realize that his murder of T’Challa and Rhodey was recorded. Tony sees his new friend kill his best friend, and he is incensed.

But though this Tony is smart, he isn’t strong nor protected by a suit of armor. Tony ends up being yet another scar on Killmonger’s chest.

With Tony dead, Killmonger manages to put his final plan into action. He blames the Wakandans for Tony’s death, and the US decides to go to war against the hidden nation to avenge their own. Leading the way are Killmonger’s vibranium-enforced drones.

What If…? Episode 6 – Fox in the hen house

What If...? Episode 6
(Center): Queen General Ramonda in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Thaddeus Ross commands the US troops to Wakanda’s border in What If…? Episode 6, but Killmonger beats him to it.

Klaue knows a lot about Wakanda, except how to get in. But that’s not a problem for N’Jadaka, son of N’Jobu, brother to King T’Chaka of Wakanda.

Killmonger kills Klaue and brings the body to his family—of course, Killmonger proclaims that it was Klaue that killed T’Challa.

Though young Shuri (Ozioma Akagha) is suspicious of her cousin, her parents, King T’Chaka (John Kani) and Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), are welcoming. They believe Killmonger is their family and should be treated as such.

Killmonger suggests letting the drones in through Wakanda’s shield, so their connection to Jarvis (Paul Bettany) will be disconnected. It’s a risky plan, but it works. This also drives Ross up the wall.

To sweeten the pot, Killmonger reactivates the drones remotely. He blames the reanimation on Tony, saying the American built in a failsafe.

A battle ensues, and Killmonger more than acquits himself beside Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Queen-General Ramonda. It’s not the same as having T’Challa, but N’Jadaka fills the hole in their hearts.

The battle having been won, King T’Chaka appoints Killmonger the new Black Panther. After having the heart-shaped herb, Killmonger visits the Ancestral Plan and sees his cousin, T’Challa.

T’Challa is disappointed in Killmonger and is concerned about what he has brought upon Wakanda. Killmonger only cares about having more power and using it to unleash violence on those that hurt his people. This will not end well. But Killmonger doesn’t care.

With the possibility of war with the US ahead, King T’Chaka asks Killmonger to help protect Wakanda. Killmonger is obsequious, promising to serve his king and country any way he can.

But when King T’Chaka turns away, Killmonger gleefully considers his bright future as the eventual king of Wakanda.

Back at Stark Industries, Pepper is frustrated at her resources being commandeered for a war. She retreats to her office to find young Shuri at her desk.

They may not know each other, but they have a common enemy. Shuri and Pepper must unite and find a way to take down Killmonger.

Final Thoughts – What If…? Episode 6 was an entire movie in just 30 minutes

I loved What If…? Episode 6, and I need a sequel! I can’t believe how much this episode packed in in just 30 minutes. It felt like I was watching all of Iron Man and Black Panther in that short period of time.

My only complaint about this episode would be with the character animation. While the animation of this series and this episode is stunning, I didn’t like Tony here. He looked so angry, which is not how Tony was in the MCU or earlier episodes this season.

But that didn’t impact my enjoyment of this installment. What an unexpected pairing Tony and Killmonger was, but they worked so well. This is what I love about this series, and it makes me so excited for Wednesdays.

I’d also love to see how young Shuri and Pepper defeat Killmonger. That would be so much fun to watch!

What did you think of What If…? Episode 6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

What If…? is streaming on Disney Plus.

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What did you think of What If…? Episode 6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

What If…? is streaming on Disney Plus.

What If…? Episode 6, What If…?, What If…? Episode 6 Recap, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney Plus