Each week, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of What If…? and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What If…? Thor was an only child and came to Earth to party it up in Las Vegas? This week’s episode injects the MCU with a party atmosphere and lets the God of Thunder have the time of his life on Earth.
This week’s episode of What If…? diverts from the more serious tone of the series which has focused on telling alternate stories of MCU characters, and insteads lets Christ Hemsworth have the time of his life as Thor. Going with the comedic direction of the character that was introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, the episode turns Thor in not just an all powerful god, but a party animal galore who unleashes his partying on Earth. Hemsworth is clearly having a blast voicing this version of Thor, but the entire time watching the episode, I could only imagine what this storyline could have been in live action. While his voice performance was spot on, Hemsworth would have been sensational playing party Thor in real life, and it appears to be a missed opportunity not letting Hemsworth bring this iteration of Thor to the big screen…unless it is coming and we just don’t know it yet. As for the rest of the voice cast, the returning MCU stars easily slip back into their characters, though for the most part they don’t bring anything exciting to the episode. Except for the delightful Kat Dennings as Darcy who is just a comedic bundle of energy in this episode, bringing back everyone’s favourite intern. The story of the episode is fun, there is a clear direction for the episode, but this feels like a filler episode. It’s enjoyable, but it lacks the excitement, intensity, and depth that made the first half of the season such a breath of fresh air in the MCU. But the episode ends with a huge cliffhanger, and hopefully unlike previous cliffhangers we have had this season, this one will be continued as it will have fans freaking out.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of What If…?, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what we learnt in this week’s episode…
The episode begins in New Mexico, with Jane Foster and her intern Darcy in their truck monitoring their tracking equipment. They pickup significant activity, with everything pointing to an alien invasion. Jane tries S.H.I.E.L.D. and even the government parks department, but no one will listen to her warning that something is coming to Earth.
The scene then changes to follow the beam of light through the sky that Jane’s equipment picked up. The light touches down in the middle of Las Vegas, revealing the individual who has just arrived on Earth: Thor. And he is ready to party!
The Watcher quickly introduces everyone to Thor, the God of Thunder. However, this is not the Thor we know from the main universe of the MCU. This Thor was raised as an only child. Loki was returned to the Frost Giants when Odin found him, leaving Thor to grow up alone, missing out on valuable lessons that turned him into a different prince. We then cut Thor and Frigga, watching Odin as he falls into the Odinsleep. And once he falls asleep, Thor and Frigga are out of Asgard. Frigga is off to visit her sisters to celebrate the solstice, but not before telling Thor not to leave Asgard to go and party. Thor assures his mother that he will do no such thing, that in fact he is heading off to study…
In the vaults of the palace, Thor meets up with the Warriors Three and Lady Sif. They begin discussing Thor’s future as the King of Asgard, to which Thor tells them that he has no intention of being a boring king like his father. While doing so, Thor pulls out a beer and announces that they are going to the most backwards planet, that not even Heimdall watches, for a good time: Earth.
So that is how and why Thor arrived in Las Vegas. But he’s not come alone. In addition to Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, many other MCU characters including the Grandmaster, Topaz, Korg, Howard the Duck, and Skurge; all clearly having a wonderful time. Jane and Darcy arrive in Vegas to investigate, and quickly determine that Thor was the first individual to arrive on Earth that evening. However, Jane admits that she was not expecting the individual who arrived on Earth to look like Thor, which sets Darcy up for some inappropriate jokes about Thor.
To find out more about Thor, Jane strikes up a conversation with him. After commenting on how tiny she is, Jane asks Thor if he really is a Norse god. Thor, clearly a party frat boy, says he doesn’t know anything about Norse gods, but that he knows how to bring the thunder! This leads Jane to ask Thor about a previous incident her research found that destroyed a planet, which Thor happily admits was him and the Warriors Three. To distract her, Thor begins hitting on Jane, which clearly is having an effect on her. Elsewhere at the party, Darcy and Howard the Duck for some happy hour nachos.
The party continues raging on, with tunes courtesy of DJ Grandmaster. To top off the night, the Grandmaster releases the foam. Korg and Nebula are trying their luck out at the craps table, Jane and Thor get tattoos, and Darcy and Howard the Duck get married by Elvis. Basically, just another Tuesday night in Vegas.
The next morning, Jane wakes up to her phone ringing. Struggling to become fully awake, Jane misses the phone call. But there is a knock at her door. Maria Hill, Agent Rumlow, and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are here looking for her as they need her help eliminating a new threat to Earth. Maria informs Jane that she is the acting director currently. Turns out Nick Fury tried to break up the party last night in Vegas, but was injured as Korg was doing a cannonball into the pool. But while doing so, Maria overhears Thor in the background talking about a rabbit, which prompts her to ask Jane if she has company. Jane avoids answering that question and agrees to go with Maria.
Back on the S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft carrier, Coulson informs Maria and Jane that the party atmosphere is spreading across Earth, thanks to Thor. Jane is more annoyed that Thor left her without even so much as a note saying goodbye. While Grillo thinks that Jane is a last resort to solving their problem, Jane is more concerned with how the situation is handled because this would set the tone for all diplomatic relationships with aliens in the future. However, this is not S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first contact with an alien creature. Maria is then presented with a pager, which she activates. The pager’s screen illuminates, displaying Captain Marvel’s logo.
Catching up with Thor in Paris, Thor is currently taking selfies with partygoers. With the party raging on, Loki and the Frost Giants have come to Earth to join in the festivities. While not raised together, Thor and Loki are old friends, or as they say “brothers from another mother”. However, their reunion is interrupted by a large boom. Something has entered the atmosphere, and it’s heading right for Paris. Touching down in front of Thor and Loki is Carol Danvers aka. Captain Marvel. Wasting no time, Carol tells Thor that they need to chat. Thor attempts to distract Carol, but Carol tells Thor that he needs to clean up his mess and leave Earth immediately. Thor tells her that he was having a good time till she arrived and to buzz off. Not impressed, Carol hits Thor with a punch, knocking him to the ground, telling him she wasn’t asking him to leave Earth. She then lands another blow on Thor, sending him flying into the sky. However, Thor launches Mjolnir at Carol, before creating a windstorm that sends Carol hurtling into Stonehenge in the United Kingdom.
While Carol does not knock down the stones at Stonehenge, Thor arrives moments after her and knocks them down like a row of dominoes. Carol then hits Thor with a powerful punch that sends him flying into the United States, where their fight continues. Carol absorbs Thor’s thunder and throws him into the sky, turning their battle into an aerial one which leads them back to Paris. Their fight concludes in Paris with Thor asking Carol if she knows what she needs, to which Carol answers with a stiff drink and two weeks in Hawaii. However, Thor disagrees, stating that Carol is a party pooper who needs a time out, before ending the fight.
After failing to defeat Thor, Maria is not happy with Carol as Fury led her to believe that Carol was the best. Carol informs Maria that the number of casualties that would result in her taking out Thor is not worth it, and that is why Thor is still on Earth. However, Darcy is fangirling out over Carol and Goose the Cat, while inquiring if Carol needs an intern. During this, Jane’s phone rings. It’s Thor, and he wants her to come and meet up with him again as she thinks that she is the best of the two women he has met so far on Earth. Jane uses this moment to learn more about Thor, asking him about the planet he previously destroyed. Thor assures Jane that it was only a meteor, and that no one got hurt as he assured everyone got home safely, including Gary the Baby Goat. However, Maria is calling for Jane and Jane quickly hangs up the call, but not before blurting out to Thor that she loves him.
Darcy has begun trying to convince Carol that no one would notice if she kaboom-ed South Dakota while taking out Thor. However, Jane objects to this and refuses to allow South Dakota to be destroyed. After hearing this, Maria tells Jane that her assistance is no longer needed, and drops her and Darcy back off in Vegas. Darcy is truly crushed at her lost prospect of becoming Carol’s new intern, however this is quickly interrupted by Howard the Duck. He comments on how his “Ma Duck” is back, to which Darcy tells him not now. While Darcy is fighting with Howard, Jane calls Thor back. However, it is Loki who answers the phone and informs them that they are currently having some late night Chinese food. Taking advantage of his time on the phone with Jane, Loki asks Jane if she has any friends that he could double date with her and Thor, before dropping the phone and causing it to break. Jane throws her phone at Howard. Trying to help Jane brainstorm ways to get a hold of Thor, Darcy remarks on how it’s too bad that they can’t call Thor’s mother, which gives Jane an idea.
The party continues to rage across Earth as we get a quick montage of the mayhem being caused. We see the Frost Giants freezing Mount Rushmore, Surtur slicing the arms of the Statue of Liberty, the London Eye being rolled around, and power lines knocked down causing blackouts for entire cities. We then cut to Thor partying in Sydney, Australia as he slides down the roof of the Sydney Opera House, but Carol quickly picks him up, taking him into the sky with her.
Outside of Vegas, Jane and Darcy have realigned their satellites, which they use to summon Heimdall and the Bifrost. Hearing them, Heimdall beams them up to Asgard. Once arriving, Jane tells him what Thor has been up to on Earth, which results in Heimdall opening the Bifrost again.
Carol has brought Thor to a snowy mountain patch, and throws him into the mountain. Watching this on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s satellites, Maria orders Rumlow and Coulson to arm their nuclear warheads and ready them to fire in case Carol cannot defeat Thor.
Heimdall has sent Jane and Darcy to see Frigga. After questioning Frigga if she is drinking chardonnay, Jane tells her that Thor is in trouble on Earth. After hearing this, Frigga decides it is time for her to pay her son a visit.
With Carol not defeating Thor, Maria orders the warheads to be launched in five seconds. Luckily, Frigga arrives with Jane and questions Thor about what he has been up to. Thor is adminant that he has been studying in his room, until a polar bear appears behind him. He then explains that his study group came down to Earth for a cultural exchange. Calling his bluff, Frigga says she wants to see this cultural exchange for herself and wants to see the syllabus. Upon seeing this, Maria orders to hold off on the attack.
With having to show his mother his cultural exchange, Thor begs Carol for her help to clean up Earth, but Carol flies off without giving a helping hand with only the advice to clean from the corners outward. However, this only confuses Thor as Earth is a sphere.
Thor returns to the party, where Loki and the Frost Giants have brought the Gateway Arch to convert it into a massive slingshot. However, Thor is concerned as Frigga is coming and begs Loki to help him cleanup Earth before she arrives. However, Loki tells Thor that Frigga is not his mother and that Thor sounds like Odin, before leaving. Thor then announces that the party is over but tells everyone to stay and help clean up. Unfortunately, everyone decides to leave the party without helping to clean up. But once Thor tells them all that Frigga is coming and that she is mad, they agree to help Thor put Earth back together and begin their cleanup.
After cleaning up Earth, Thor sets up a study group featuring the partygoers. The lesson that Thor is teaching them has to do with magic and how Earth is the birthplace of the Snuggie. Upon seeing this, Frigga is suspicious, but Carol shows up to the rescue to give Thor information, documentaries and podcasts on human civilizations. This convinces Frigga that Thor was actually studying and thanks Carol for helping develop Thor’s knowledge. But Mjolnir then appears, covered in glitter and paint, showing evidence of the party. Thor claims he can explain.
Thor then pays a visit to Jane. While he tells her that calling his mom was not cool, he admits it was the right thing to do and thanks Jane for doing so. Sensing the romantic tension, Jane tells Thor to ask her on a date. Thor then suggests a planet that he knows of which is full of uniform. Jane thinks this is a wonderful idea and tells him to pick her up at eight.
The episode then closes with voice over from the Watcher talking about love blossoming and a happily ever after…except! An army of Ultron robots show up, with their leader revealing their face beneath the armour. It is Vision with the Mind Stone powering the army!
The episode ends on a major cliffhanger. And with the Watcher’s voice over being interrupted with this unexpected event, hopefully this teases a continuation of the story next week and a collision of storylines to stop the army controlled by Vision. But in terms of MCU references, there were tons of characters showing up for small appearances at Thor’s party. They create some small but great laughs, allowing for some fun moments for big MCU fans as for the majority of the characters who appear, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen them in such a fun setting.
Looking forward to the future of What If…?, will we see the fallout of Vision’s arrival with his army of Ultron robots? Or are we going to see a separate story explored in next week’s episode? And will Party Thor appear again in the MCU? Don’t miss my next recap of What If…? to find out the answer to these questions and what mind bending events occur in the next episode.