This review is spoiler-free.
Well, it is safe to say that this episode is up there as one of the best so far and for many different reasons!
In terms of the story, this was a unique one and it is extremely difficult for me to talk about it, as I have no idea how I’d keep it spoiler-free! But all you need to know is Black Widow and Hawkeye go up against Ultron in a post-apocalyptic future with the story having some major impact on the wider What If… universe. We are treated to some beautiful visuals, with one, in particular, featuring Hawkeye that would make for an epic poster! The story is packed full of twists and turns and the ending leaves the episode on a tantalising cliff-hanger. This is an episode with a lot of action and heart at its core.
I love Ross Marquand! Be it from his work in the MCU or The Walking Dead, he’s great! But his Ultron is not as good as his Red Skull, and while it was perfectly serviceable, it just wasn’t James Spader – whose voice just brought so much to the role. I think if they could have gotten Spader back, this would have been perfect! Jeffrey Wright (The Watcher) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) had plenty to do in this episode and the likes of Lake Bell (Black Widow), Mick Wingert (Iron man) and Alexandra Daniels (Captain Marvel) once again were very good in their respective roles. Overall, I think that there are two characters that really come out of this well and that is Ultron and Hawkeye. This episode just hammers home how powerful the potential of Ultron is and how important it was that he was defeated – and boy does he show the audience many examples of his power! Then there is Hawkeye, the ‘joke of the Avengers’ whose skills were on full display and you cannot walk away from this episode without appreciating his unique abilities.
This episode comes the closest we’ve gotten to canon so far, at least in regards to What If… and having some sort of interconnectivity. It was a great moment to witness and just makes you feel like that there is going to be more to this series than just one-off stories, I just have this feeling that some of this will link together in terms of the multiverse, not only in this show but possible within the wider MCU. While I feel next week’s story could easily be a direct follow-on from this episode, they may work it into the narrative of a different story, similar to how this plot stemmed from last week’s ending in the ‘Thor party’ episode.
As for what happens next? Your guess is as good as mine, but one thing I do know is that people are going to be talking about this episode, a lot!