9. "What If... Iron Man Crashed into the Grandmaster" (Season 2, episode 4)
Let's kick things off with what was probably the most anticipated episode of What If...? season 2. It was the holdover from season 1, the one that wasn't quite ready for release when the season was dropped, and thus left us feeling a bit short-changed when the Gamora we met in the finale was the only Guardian of the Multiverse without a backstory.
We finally got that backstory in What If...? season 2 episode 4, and the result was... okay, I guess. "What If... Iron Man Crashed Into The Grandmaster" is by no means a bad episode of television, it just focuses on all the wrong things. The odd kinship that is slowly built up between Gamora and Tony Stark is brilliant, but it feels like a footnote in an episode crammed with the same kind of overindulgence that, while fun the first time around, ultimately brought the Thor franchise to its knees.
I mentioned fun and it does feel like a fun adventure, with Tony getting to whip out another ambitious Iron Man suit and Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster being as ridiculously over the top as you could hope for, but it spends a bit too much time having that fun, and not enough building up this version of Gamora as the future Guardian she becomes.
In its defense, it would have been far more at home in season 1, but it doesn't pack the same punch as the other heroes' origin stories either. It's just there, and it has a good time doing it.