Marvel’s What If Just Went Too Far | Screen Rant

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Marvel's What If...? episode 7.

Marvel’s What If…? has had its share of silly moments so far, but episode 7 pushes things too far, yielding a story that falls drastically short of its potential. The series was created as way to explore different, more extreme realities of the MCU multiverse and introduce new versions of the classic characters from the films. At times, What If…? has lived up to that promise spectacularly, but episode 7 is far from what it could have been.

Because of the multiverse, the narrative potential of What If…? is essentially limitless. What If…? episode 2 is a great example, showing a universe where the alien abduction of T’Challa led to him becoming an intergalactic Robin Hood figure, Thanos converting to the side of good instead of evil, and numerous other fascinating changes. Unfortunately, some of the other episodes of What If…? have basically just retold stories from the films with minor tweaks, preferring to focus on empty, silly plotlines than to embrace the bigger possibilities available to the series.

Related: Every Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie & TV Show In Development

To that end, What If…? episode 7 is the worst offender yet, and it pushes things too far into silliness to have any real emotional impact at all. The title of the episode is “What If…Thor Was An Only Child?” That’s a strong premise at face value, but the episode doesn’t spend any real time exploring it. Instead, the story portrays Thor as an intergalactic frat bro whose only interest is drinking and carousing across the universe. It’s a funny idea, but none of the jokes land well enough to justify all the potential it squanders.

A story about Thor grappling with heightened familial responsibility, or making some huge mistake because of his hubris, could have been riveting. But rather than embrace those bolder ideas, What If…? episode 7 goes for the lazy joke every time, adding absolutely nothing to Thor as a character and delivering very little in the way of effective comedy. There’s nothing wrong with making a comedy episode, but when the title promises so much more, and when what humor there is feels so generic and uninspired, it’s hard for the result not to feel disappointing.

Sadly, What If…? episode 7 isn’t the first time the show has chosen the easy story over the more interesting one. All the returning MCU characters have extensive backstories, motivations and emotions that could be tapped into to great effect, but the series largely portrays them all as flat caricatures, preferring cheap references and winks of irony over adding actual depth. What If…? is an animated series, and it’s clear that it has a more kid-friendly tone by design, but that’s not an excuse for squandering its own narrative potential.

Next: Why Ultron Has The Infinity Stones In What If Episode 7’s Ending

Marvel's What If...? releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

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