What If…? season 1 episode 9 review: What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?

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

What If… the Watcher broke his oath? That’s the question that our What If…?  season 1, episode 9 review looks at.

What seems to be a standalone animated series has evolved into a loosely-connected series instead, which will be discussed in more detail later.

Last week on What If…?The Watcher was attacked by Ultra-Vision, a version of Ultron that succeeded in taking over Vision’s body, and thus ruling Earth, killing Thanos and taking the Infinity Stones, then doing the same to various planets around the universe.

Eventually, he becomes aware of the Watcher’s presence, and breaks into his inner sanctum after criticizing the Watcher’s passivity in the affairs of humanity.

What If…? season 1 episode 9 unexpectedly brought the series together as a whole

What If…? season 1 episode 9 continues where last week’s episode of the Disney Plus series ended, with the Watcher teaming up with Dark Dr Strange. This episode opens in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier scene apprehending Batroc, as Captain Carter and Natasha Romanoff trade entertaining banter.

That’s when the former is recruited by the Watcher to join the less-than-creatively-named Guardians of the Multiverse along with Dark Dr Strange, T’Challa Star-Lord, Party ThorAlternate Killmonger and a Gamora who survived Sakaar.

The plan is explained in a pub where the team meets each other before the final fight takes place on an undefined planet.

T’Challa manages to steal the Soul Stone from Ultra-Vision’s armor, and two other ploys involve multiple Mjolnirs and the arrival of the zombies before the Watcher zaps everyone to Survivor Natasha’s rubble-strewn Earth.

Once there, Carter and Survivor Nat use double shields to attack Ultra-Vision, Dr Strange turns into the giant octopus and fire dragon creatures, and everyone realizes that Gamora’s Infinity Crusher machine doesn’t work on the Stones if they’re from another universe.

The computer virus arrow brings him to a standstill eventually, while Killmonger predictably betrays the rest of the team, only for Dr Strange to trap them inside a pocket universe as the two villains battle for control of the Stones.

As further punishment with some redemption attached, Dr Strange is assigned to be the guardian of this pocket universe, while everyone else returns to their worlds and friends – Thor to Jane, T’Challa with Dairy Queen Quill, Carter to her present, and Natasha to the Avengers Chitauri invasion on the Hank Pym is a serial killer Earth.


This episode feels like a really well-written and well-drawn comic book, and standing alone, it works really well. But because it betrays the standalone concept this series has had for nearly the entirety of its first season, it really felt like a letdown.

The banter between the random characters work well, but the replacement voice actors are really noticeable alongside original cast members like Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman and Chris Hemsworth.

The poignant moments work well too, especially Natasha’s quiet “This is for you, Clint,” on shooting the arrow, and Carter’s “Haven’t I earned a happy ending?”, pleading to go back to the 1940s.

Thankfully, Natasha calls out the Watcher’s creepy actions in passive watching everything: “We’re just stories to you. We’re not real. You watch us fight, win, lose. Tell me, did you make popcorn while Ultron murdered my friends and burned my world to the ground?”

Overall, What If….? season 1 isn’t an essential piece of the MCU homework to study, but it is fascinating to see snippets of ways the world could have worked differently.

Multiversal odds and ends

  • Seriously, I’m with Carter on her “Nothing good ever starts when it begins ‘Bernard from accounting'” stance.
  • Thor: “Don’t be a party pooper. VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Ultra-Vision, perplexed: “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that battle cry before.” Also, it’s still hilarious to hear Hemsworth say “party pooper.”
  • Killmonger again proves that he’s one of the best villains the MCU has ever crafted.

You can watch all What If….? season 1 episodes on Disney Plus until the next drop of MCU action arrives with Eternals in theaters in early November.  What If…? season 2 will release at a currently unknown point in the future.

Next. What If....? Every season 1 episode ranked. dark

What did you think of the season 1 finale of Marvel’s What If…? Did you enjoy the series? Let us know in the comments below!