Marvel’s What If…?
Season 1 Episode 4
What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?
Like everything in the What If universe, this episode takes a moment from the original Doctor Strange film and posits what would happen if different decisions had been made. This time the decision revolves around Strange’s relationship with Christine Palmer. After picking her up, the accident that claimed Strange’s hands instead claims Christine’s life and sends the surgeon on a path that mirrors the one we all know, but in the aftermath of another death, Strange makes a different choice regarding his path as the Sorcerer Supreme.
Tempted by the power of the Eye of Agamotto, Strange attempts to change his past. His attempt to change his fate leads to a series of personal tragedies that attempt to teach him a lesson about changing the past. This sequence is really interesting in many ways. It’s still dark, but it has some really intriguing moments that will resonate with fans of the film and the character. After an intervention from someone trying to help him realize the truth, Strange decides to take a trip into the distant past to seek the power to change his fate.
Strange discovers a wealth of ancient knowledge and uses it to do something he is told is impossible. The sequence is interesting because it has an innocent tone to it, but the knowledge Strange is seeking is putting him on a dark path. In a rare instance, the Watcher himself speaks of intervention and that moment is filled with some interesting tension. Things get more interesting when Strange discovers that he is not the only one. This is where the episode gets really good and takes some bold and impressive directions. I don’t want to spoil the twists that happen in the episode, but as a fan of Doctor Strange as a character, this works really well as a study of the man and his emotions.
The fourth episode of What If…? takes another dark turn down the path of consequence and this episode has a lot of great action and emotion as well as some interesting and compelling twists and turns that make it entertaining. It will be interesting to see if the events of this episode somehow ripple through the rest of the multiverse or affect other What If…? stories to come.