What If…?: What’s hidden in plain sight in episode 8

Ultron in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Ultron in Marvel Studios' WHAT IF...? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /
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Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME..Thanos (Josh Brolin)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2019 /

The Death of Thanos

Let’s talk about the one scene which probably annoyed most of you watching, and that is Ultron killing Thanos. Or, to be more accurate, Ultron using the Mind Stone to slice Thanos in half despite the Mad Titan having five Infinity Stones in his gauntlet. Because this raises a legitimate question: If the Mind Stone is capable of doing that, why didn’t Vision just do the same thing to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War?

The easy answer, of course, is there’d be no story, or Avengers: Endgame. Another, in-movie, answer could be that Vision believed destroying the Mind Stone was preferable to killing Thanos. Or, perhaps, the reason Ultron could get away with doing this to Thanos in What If…? is because he was able to catch Thanos off-guard. Even so, it certainly would’ve saved everyone a lot of problems if Vision was capable of doing this to Thanos all along.

This isn’t the only headscratcher about this scene, either. Consider that “What If… Ultron Won?” takes place during the same time as Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is also set in the same year when the movie came out in the real world. Thanos didn’t really start collecting Infinity Stones until three years later. So what, in this timeline, caused him to start going after the Stones earlier than planned?

More importantly, how did Thanos obtain these particular Infinity Stones? Granted, he would’ve obtained the Reality Stone the same way he did in the main timeline. But what about the Power Stone? As we later see during Ultron’s invasions on other planets, Xandar, which is where the Power Stone is still located, is still intact. The same goes for Asgard, which is where the Space Stone, which still inside the Tesseract, is located. If Thanos obtained both Stones from those places, shouldn’t those worlds already be ruined?

Then there’s the Time Stone, which, at this time, was still in the possession of the Ancient One, and there’s no way she’d give that up to Thanos as part of some gambit like Doctor Strange did. And most baffling of all, how did Thanos get a hold of the Time Stone since only Gamora knew it’s location. Also, she’s still alive and fighting alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy after Ultron killed Thanos.

In short, not only does it seem questionable that Ultron could’ve slain Thanos with ease, it’s also questionable that this version of Thanos could’ve obtained the Infinity Stones in the first place.