With this episode nine of ‘What If…?’, season two comes to a close. And it’s an extremely strong way to finish what has been an overall strong season, improving over season one. The final episode of ‘What If…?’ is a clever inversion of the final episode from season one. In that episode, the Watcher intervenes in the multiverse to gather powerful beings to stop Infinity Ultron, an act of selflessness.
The final episode of ‘What If..?’, season two shows how this power could be used selfishly, focusing on Doctor Steven Strange Supreme who is intervening in the multiverse to gather beings of immense power to try to restore his universe and Christine.
Episode nine picks up where episode eight leaves off, with Strange and Carter enjoying a catch-up with each other, though Carter is pressing Strange to take her home. There’s a sense of uneasiness throughout the scene, one that’s only intensified as Strange shows her the halls of the Sanctum Infinitum, displaying what Strange describes as universe killers. Strange asks Carter to do him a favor. He wants her to find and corner one of these beings of power, it ratches up the tension as Strange isn’t telling Carter the whole truth.
Carter is sent to catch this seeming monster and has a quick debate with The Watcher about the merits of multiversal intervention. It’s a fun little interlude and demonstrates Carter’s innate goodness and willingness to believe others. But this is exactly what Strange has twisted into getting her to try and catch Kahhori, as Strange wants to use them to power a multiversal forge so he can bring back Christine. His inner demons have taken control, something that becomes literal later on.
To delay Strange, Carter, and Kahhori free several of the biggest threats in the universe, leading to a chaotic but impressive display of familiar faces clashing with new ones. Carter gains control of the Infinity Stones from Killmonger, putting her on equal footing with Strange. There’s even the return of Zombie Scarlett Witch and a rather funny moment where a version of Hela takes command of the zombie horde.
But the main focus is the battle between Strange Supreme, Carter, and Kahhori. And it’s staged extremely well, in a huge circular room with a central corridor, allowing Kahhori to run but for the action to remain focused. Even though Carter has the Infinity Stones and Kahhori, it’s clear Strange Supreme is more than capable of defending himself, leading to a push-and-pull battle that never feels onesided at any moment. The visuals are stunning, especially when Strange’s demons take over.
It’s only when the rest of the multiverse furnish Carter and Kahhori with their weapons that Carter defeats Strange Supreme, an act that brings everyone together. Strange Supreme frees himself from his demons before he dies. It looks like this is the end for his story, and perhaps Carter’s too, tying both seasons nicely. For season three, it seems Marvel Studios might be resetting the board. And with a multiverse that has endless possibilities, that makes sense.
The final shot of the episode is a beautiful connection to the end of ‘Loki’ season two. The Watcher brings Carter to the Yggdrasil tree, where Loki is. It’s a fitting conclusion to the season and shows that throughout the multiverse, Loki’s sacrifice is remembered. It brings a sense of cohesion to these projects. Overall, ‘What If…? season two is a step up from the first, dealing with more vaired scenarios than ever before but still maintaining a sense of connectedness throughout.