DISCLAIMER: This recap of What If…?‘s season finale episode “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” is riddled with spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, Marvel fans! What If…? blesses us with an explosively vibrant season finale that ties up most of its loose ends. We get a resolution to the Killmonger story, the Thor cliffhanger, Fury versus Loki, Captain Carter’s arrival in the future, a remedy for the zombie problem from episode five, Peter Quill in Dairy Queen, and, of course, the Ultron conundrum. 

Now, this might be nitpicky, but I wish the outing showed us what happened to Peter Parker, Scott Lang’s head and T’Challa after the zombies vanished. They were en route to Wakanda at the end of the fifth episode. 

That said, “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” brilliantly resolves these threads and introduces us to the Guardians of the Multiverse. It’s an intricately detailed story laden with stunning visuals, badass fight sequences and “Vegaaaaas!” Thor making “Vegas” his warcry is one of my favorite things about this installment. 

Ready to delve into “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: What If…? Recap: (S01E08) What If… Ultron Won?

We open with Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Natasha Romanoff (Lake Bell), preparing to infiltrate the Lemurian Star, hijacked by Georges Batroc, to free SHIELD hostages held therein. Just like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier! There’s even the bit wherein the two discuss Peggy’s Saturday plans. 

Meanwhile, Captain Carter kicks all the ass aboard the ship when the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) appears, revealing that she must accompany him on a special mission. 

Photo of the Watcher in Marvel's What If...? episode "What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?"

The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Back at the Dairy Queen, Ego feeds on poor Peter Quill. Thankfully, T’Challa/Star-Lord (Chadwick Boseman) swoops in to save Quill. The Watcher also arrives, urging T’Challa to join him. 

Then, we see Iron Man and Gamora (Cynthia McWilliams) forging the Infinity Gauntlet with Eitri the Dwarf King. We learn that Gamora kills Thanos in her universe, and the Watcher also brings her into the fold. 

The Watcher even nicks Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) before Pepper Potts, Shuri and the Dora Milaje swarm him in Wakanda. 

Lastly, the Watcher finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battling Ultron’s sentries in Las Vegas. He’s fuming about his missed date with Jane, but at least he can save Sin City, his favorite party destination. 

Later, the Watcher brings Thor, Captain Carter, T’Challa, Gamora and Killmonger to a pub Peggy recognizes — it boasts a framed photo of Steve Rogers. Dark Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who approached the Watcher in last week’s episode, is present.

So, the Watcher and DDS give our Guardians of the Multiverse the lowdown regarding Ultron. They need to separate his vibranium body (a.k.a. Vision) from the Infinity Stones and destroy the said stones.

RELATED: What If…? Recap: (S01E07) What If… Thor Was an Only Child?

Next, the Watcher transports our team to another planet that doesn’t sport “intelligent life.” The plan is to extract the Soul Stone precisely, and Gamora will eradicate the rest with her Infinity Crusher. DDS activates a powerful protection spell to keep everyone safe from Ultron’s wrath. Killmonger and Gamora venture off to Ultron’s home universe to commence their part of the mission. Killmonger discreetly steals Thor’s Ultron sentry head.

Suddenly, Ultron (Ross Marquand) arrives. DDS and Thor unleash a horde of Mjolnirs to impede Ultron. Then, we see the zombies from episode five fall through a portal and onto Ultron. Zombie Scarlet Witch emerges, duking it out with him. Marvel continues to hurt us by, once again, pitting SW and Vision against each other. 

DDS, Thor, T’Challa and Captain Carter retreat to Ultron’s homeworld while the enemy is distracted — they’ve successfully snagged the Soul Stone. They encounter that universe’s version of Natasha, who’s the sole survivor of Ultron’s merciless destruction (remember, she has Armin Zola uploaded to an arrow as a virus). 

She intercepts the Soul Stone.

Captain Carter persuades her to fight on their team and that they’re friends in another universe. Then, once Ultron arrives, we see a fight of epic proportions unfurl. The Soul Stone precariously bounces between our heroes and our foe, and just when Gamora attempts to destroy the Infinity Stones with her Infinity Crusher, we learn that it won’t work. Different tech boasts different effects in alternate dimensions. 

What If...? Season 1 Episode 9 What If... The Watcher Broke His Oath?

Pictured (l-r): Captain Carter, Thor, T’Challa, Doctor Strange, the Watcher, Killmonger and Gamora in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? Season 1 Episode 9

Finally, Natasha concocts the idea of piercing Ultron’s eye with the Armin Zola arrow, thereby infecting him with a malicious, unshakable virus that penetrates his vibranium body. It works, and we see a digital version of Zola (Toby Jones) sharing a vessel with Ultron, much to the latter’s dismay. 

Then, Ultron crashes to the ground, utterly defeated. 

They eliminated the threat, or so our protagonists think. Killmonger dons Ultron’s suit, complete with the Infinity Stones (the Soul one reinstated). He urges his Guardians of the Multiverse teammates to look at the bigger picture — they could utilize the stones to remedy their universes. T’Challa attempts to change his mind but to no avail. 

Suddenly, Vision returns to the fray and squares off against Killmonger for the stones. DDS’s protection spells on our heroes hold, but they’re starting to wear thin. We see the Infinity Stones floating between Vision and Killmonger. 

Dark Doctor Strange realizes they can’t “win;” they can only extricate the stones from Ultron. He promptly traps Vision and Killmonger in an orb of sorts. 

Then, the Watcher tasks DDS with watching over the orb to ensure that Killmonger and Vision don’t break free. That and keep the stones protected. 

Next, the Watcher sends everyone back to their respective universes. However, Natasha refuses to go back to her world, where she’s the only survivor. 

RELATED: Catch up on all the multiverse madness with our What If…? recaps!

So, the Watcher brings her to a universe wherein Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Captain America and Captain Marvel ward off Loki and his army. They lost their Natasha, so she’ll fit right in. Once she uses Loki’s Scepter against him, Fury knows she’s a good match for his team. 

Meanwhile, we see T’Challa fighting alongside Peter Quill, Thor reuniting with Jane and Gamora and Iron Man looking on. The Watcher resumes his post as the observer of the multiverse in the Nexus of All Realities. 

The Watcher in Marvel's What If...? Series

The Watcher (voiced by Jeffrey Wright) in Marvel Studios’ WHAT IF…? exclusively on Disney+. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Time for an end-credit scene! 

Natasha shows Captain Carter an exciting find that Batroc was after — the HYDRA-Stomper suit! Oh, and someone’s still inside of it. 

“What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” is such a fun, action-packed episode, and I can’t wait to see what happens after that cliffhanger! What If…? shaped up to be a surprisingly delightful series after that rocky start, and it’s proof positive that the multiverse is chock full of possibilities. 

It pains me to think this might be Boseman’s final performance as T’Challa, but I love seeing him befriend Peter Quill. Natasha becoming the unlikely hero in defeating Ultron feels fitting and like the MCU’s way of making up for her demise on Vormir. This outcome is the perfect way to continue her story — by inserting another version of her into the sacred timeline. 

Side note: Captain Carter needs a movie. 

Bring on Season Two!

All episodes of Marvel’s What If…? are available to stream on Disney Plus. 

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