What If…? Episode 9 recap: A fitting season finale

The Watcher in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
The Watcher in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

In What If…? Episode 9, the Watcher turns to the heroes and villains of the multiverse to save all life from its greatest threat.

This is the moment that the animated Disney Plus show has been leading up to. In What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath? the multiverse is at stake. The Watcher doesn’t have the luxury of sitting by and watching anymore.

So, what does one do when they know and see all? Assemble a team, of course! All the episodes of this season have been building up to this team.

The survivors, the winners, the losers, the ones who moved on, the ones who didn’t—they’ll have to come together and work together if they’re going to defeat Infinity-Ultron (Ross Marquand).

What If…? Episode 9 – Guardians! Assemble!

What If...? Episode 9
Doctor Strange Supreme in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Captain Carter’s life in the modern world has been similar to Captain America’s in the MCU, down to her teaming up with Black Widow to rescue the Lemurian Star.

Captain Carter is just loosening up Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) in What If…? Episode 9 when she’s visited by the Watcher, who tells her that she’s been chosen.

In another universe, T’Challa has rescued Peter Quill from his living planet of a dad, Ego, when he too is summoned.

The Watcher’s next stop is a universe that we did not get to see this season. One where Gamora (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams) and Tony Stark teamed up to stop Thanos. As the infinity gauntlet is being melted, Gamora receives her call.

Next is surprisingly, Killmonger, who has laid waste to Wakanda and is seconds away from being defeated by young Shuri and Pepper Potts. Interesting choice there, Watcher.

And finally, Thor is called as he battles Ultron’s sentries. This being a more juvenile Thor, he doesn’t actually hear the Watcher, who has to take the god of thunder by hand. A very large, scary hand that has Thor screaming for a very long time.

Until Thor realizes he is safely on solid ground, surrounded by strangers. However, Dark-Doctor Strange/ Strange Supreme hands Thor a beer and all is well.

The Watcher explains the situation to the team he’s gathered, who he’s named the Guardians of the Multiverse.

Unlike the Avengers, this team doesn’t have much time for niceties. They get straight to planning. After a lot of plotting and discussing, the Guardians hatch a plan to get their hands on the soul stone.

What If…? Episode 9 – Battle for the multiverse

What If...? Episode 9
Infinity Ultron in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Strange Supreme takes the Guardians to an uninhabited planet in What If…? Episode 9. Infinity-Ultron is looking for life, so this planet is the safest place for them to prepare.

While they assess the situation, Strange Supreme uses his dark magic to put protection spells on all the team members. This is a hardy group, but they need a little extra for what’s to come.

The soul stone is the key to winning this battle. It’s what the Guardians will use to power Gamora’s infinity stone crusher. Ooh, I really wish we could have seen Gamora’s episode.

Thor, adorable though he may be, is also willful. He gets excited at making new friends—all of whom he implicitly trusts because Thor—and he lets out a huge wave of lightning.

And that’s all the incentive Infinity-Ultron needs to come after them.

But the Guardians aren’t nearly as prepared as they should be. The Watcher opens a portal for Gamora and Killmonger to leave while the rest of the team holds Infinity-Ultron at bay.

As much of a mess as this battle is, and it is all Thor’s fault, it’s worth it just to hear Thor scream “Viva Las Vegas” as he lets out a massive blast of lightning from Mjolnir. As Infinity-Ultron notes, this is an unusual battle cry, but it rules!

There’s no way the remaining Guardians are winning this battle, even with Strange Supreme multiplying Mjolnir by an infinity. By the way, did anyone else notice Captain Carter flying with the real Mjolnir? I think Thor definitely noticed.

Strange Supreme finally opens a portal and lets something else distract Infinity-Ultron—zombies! Even though Infinity-Ultron manages to get through most of them, there’s one that gives him pause—Zombie-Wanda.

Unfortunately, this Wanda isn’t quite strong enough, and she’s likely distracted by Infinity-Ultron looking like her husband.

But by then, the Guardians have escaped and are ready for the final battle.

The Guardians recoup on the world where it all began—Infinity-Ultron’s homeworld. This will be the final stand.

But first, a new ally! Black Widow is now the last surviving being in her universe, and she’s suspicious of these new beings.

Though this Widow doesn’t know Captain Carter, that doesn’t stop Cap from making a new friend. It isn’t long before the Guardians add one more to their ranks.

However, Infinity-Ultron is strong, and he chips away at their defenses. In an absolutely brilliant set of action sequences that include visual throwbacks to all the Avengers films, the Guardians of the Multiverse use their abilities and skills to defeat Infinity-Ultron.

At long last, Gamora is able to activate her infinity-crusher, and it steals the stones right off Infinity-Ultron’s chest.

The battle should be over, but as T’Challa notes, it doesn’t feel like it. He’s not wrong.

What If…? Episode 9 – The virus

What If...? Episode 9
Arnim Zola in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

There’s something important the Watcher forgot to mention in What If…? Episode 9. Each universe has its own unique frequency. In the Star Trek universe, they’d be called phase variances.

Gamora’s crusher was made for the infinity stones in her universe—it doesn’t work on Infinity-Ultron. The battle’s not over yet. In fact, it’s worse.

Infinity-Ultron is stronger and angrier. And he’s already adapted to the Guardians’ fighting style. He now knows that defeating Strange Supreme will weaken the others.

The harder Infinity-Ultron fights Strange Supreme, the weaker the protection spells become. Something needs to be done.

Black Widow still has Hawkeye’s bow and arrow, the one with the Zola virus. She just needs someone to hold open Infinity-Ultron’s helmet long enough for her to shoot. Captain Carter is ready for the task.

It isn’t long after Infinity-Ultron is infected that Zola takes over the Vision body. But it takes him some time to come online. As the Guardians celebrate their victory, one of their team has a different plan.

Killmonger’s been fighting for the multiverse and something more. Himself. He uses an Ultron sentry’s head to call the Infinity-Ultron armor to him, and soon, he’s the owner of the infinity stones.

But not so fast. Zola wants those stones for himself. Have the Guardians defeated one megalomaniac, only to create two more?

As Zola and Killmonger fight for the stones, they make a crucial error—the stones are floating in air, free from anyone’s grasp.

Strange Supreme realizes what’s happening and uses the freed stones to lock Zola and Killmonger in their very own pocket dimension.

The Guardians really have saved the day!

What If…? Episode 9 – Return to normal

What If...? Episode 9 Recap
Captain Carter in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. © Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

With the multiverse safe, Strange Supreme is given a new task in What If…? Episode 9. His job is to watch over the pocket dimension securing Zola and Killmonger. That’s not a great life, but it’s a purposeful one and Strange Supreme is happy to do it.

Gamora returns to her universe to fight alongside Tony Stark. T’Challa goes back to being Starlord in his world and partners with Peter Quill.

Captain Carter asks the Watcher why she can’t go back to an earlier time. She feels she deserves her happy ending. But the Watcher can’t change things. He’s already done too much.

Black Widow has the same question. She refuses to go back to her world. There is literally nothing for her there. How could the Watcher have stood by and let all that happen?

But Widow needs to go, that the Watcher makes clear, and he transports them away. But this is not Black Widow’s broken world.

Widow and the Watcher arrive on a helicarrier with Captain America/Steve Rogers fighting Asgardians. In the sky, Captain Marvel is lighting up more Asgardians.

As the Watcher explains, this world lost its Black Widow. Nick Fury, slightly worse for wear from a fight with Loki, knows this isn’t his protégé, Natasha, but she’s what his world needs.

Captain Carter finds herself back on the Lemurian Star, facing Batroc. But at least she’s reunited with her friend, Natasha Romanoff.

But the time for hugs is later. Black Widow has something to show Captain Carter. It turns out something was found on the Lemurian Star. It’s the Hydra-Smasher that Steve Rogers used to operate.

There’s more. Someone’s still inside!

Final Thoughts – What If…? Episode 9 was everything I wanted it to be

I loved What If…? Episode 9, and I loved this show. I need so much more, but I am thoroughly satisfied with the finale. The action was outstanding, and the dialogue was hilarious. Chris Hemsworth was wonderful, comedy for him forever.

Chadwick Boseman was such a delight this entire season. Every time I heard him, it was a stab in the heart, but my gosh, did his voice put a smile on my face. He will be missed so much.

There were just so many feels in this episode, I was not expecting it. Someone give us a Captain Carter-Black Widow spinoff. I can’t believe it’s taken this long for the MCU to realize how much these two characters are worth.

I do hope we get the missing Gamora episode next season. I have so many questions, and we deserve more Gamora!

This show has been a joy to watch. I loved the creativity and the fact that the episodes weren’t afraid to delve into the darkness of the comic book world. Season 2, come quick!

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What did you think of What If…? Episode 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

What If…? is streaming on Disney Plus.