What If…?: What’s hidden in plain sight in episode 9

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

The What If…? season finale offered some colorful Easter Eggs, including glimpses into what could happen with these Variant heroes.

The first season of Marvel Studios’ first animated series, What If…? has concluded, and did so in spectacular fashion. As an Ultron (voiced by Ross Marquand) infused with the Infinity Stones threatened to destroy all of existence, the Watcher (Jeffery Wright) put aside his non-interventionist observations and narration to gather heroes from the season’s previous episodes for an epic showdown. Meaning that in order to have full appreciation and enjoyment for “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?”, you probably shouldn’t have skipped an episode like you would any other anthology series.

Going back to previous episodes and characters also means more potential Marvel-related Easter Eggs, too. Some of them involved new takes on older Marvel Studios outings. Others referenced comics and previous episodes. And one in particular hinted towards an episode that we never got the chance to see… yet. Let’s venture forth then, one more time, into the worlds of What If…? to see what the finale offered us who look for every clue inside these Marvel Studios Disney Plus shows (SPOILERS,of course) with our first stop being…

Captain Carter: The Winter Soldier

Just as the first season of What If…? began with Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” also begins with Captain Carter. And just like “What If… Captain Carter Were the First Avenger?” retold Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) with Peggy taking over Steve’s role, the beginning of this episode retells Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), specifically S.H.I.E.L.D.’s counter-terrorist raid on the high seas.

In fact, this episode goes even a step further in substituting Peggy for Steve. Her costume and shield follow the same design aesthetics that Steve’s costume and shield had in Winter Soldier, right down the all silver emblem. The dialogue between Peggy and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) during the mission briefing are virtually identical to the exchange between Steve and Rumlow. Same for the dialogue between Peggy and Black Widow (voiced by Lake Bell) over the discussion of dancing, only it’s a guy in accounting for Peggy instead of a gal from statistics for Steve. Natasha even has the same hair style as she did in Winter Soldier, to boot.

Finally, in keeping with the rest of re-imagining The Winter Soldier with Peggy instead of Steve, she also dives into the ocean like he did, and fights with Batroc (Georges St-Pierre). But the mid-credits scene at the end of this episode, also echoes a plot point from The Winter Soldier, too, which we’ll save for later.