Marvel’s What If…?
Season 1 Episode 7
What If…Thor were an Only Child?
Thor, who never learned to be a good hero, throws an out of control intergalactic party on Earth.
I guess with the last few episodes of What If…? being so heavy and often depressing, Marvel decided to switch things up with this episode and make it lighter.
Jane Foster and Darcy are conducting research out in the desert when an anomaly appears in the sky. After failing to get anyone, including SHIELD, interested in the phenomenon, a streak across the sky doesn’t land in the middle of the desert. This streak heads straight for Las Vegas and what emerges from it after a speech is Thor and his friends. The episode takes place during the events of the first Thor movie and we get to hear the voices of Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings again, which is fun.
The story posits a world where Thor was not influenced by his brother and because of that he sends out a call across the realms and the strip is filled with aliens including Skrulls, the Grandmaster and more. Jane decides to get some answers, but winds up being enamored by the charming thunder god. Things get rowdy and Jane awakens to SHIELD agents paying a visit. After being taken to the helicarrier, acting Director Maria Hill decides to call in some intergalactic help to stop the world spreading party. Help in the form of Captain Marvel.
I admit there are some fun cameos to be found in this episode and I couldn’t help skimming the background for more, but what worries me is the direction of the story. It seems overly silly and cartoonish. Even when Carol arrives and the two start fighting, there don’t seem to be any real stakes to it. It’s funny at points, but still doesn’t feel necessary. The stuff between Thor and Jane is interesting, but doesn’t really get much development.
Jane gets an idea from Darcy and winds up on Asgard as Thor and Carol go at it again. The episode has an unexpected ending and some amusing moments including a couple of sweet ones. As amusing as it was, the episode does throw in a twist that looks cool, but feels as unearned as the rest of the moments in the episode. The biggest flaw with this episode is trying to recapture the tone and spirit of Thor Ragnarok while earning none of the moments its trying to lampoon. Was the episode amusing, sure, but it was mostly forgettable.