by Miller C. Lashbrook
I have been under the impression that each of the What If episodes has had a thesis at its core. This episode just like the previous asks questions of death. On the surface it is about grief, but really it is about how some people help to be our conscious. The episode is tragic but worth every Marvel fan’s time.
Unlike the main timeline this Stephen Strange is a little less selfish and loves his Christine Palmer. This love is our Nexus event, turning Christine’s death into the catalyst for Stephen to become Dr Strange.
This episode introduces a new time travel concept to the MCU, the “fixed point” which for Doctor Who fans is very familiar. This concept seems to conflict with having a multiverse; as soon as the Ancient One suggests that Christine’s death is one, I’m sure many fans thought about how she did not need to die in the main timeline. I think however, that maybe these fixed points are universe or “earth” specific.
This episode takes the Dr Strange pocket of the MCU and expands it with new locations, new faces, and new monsters, with the Library of Calgliostro acting as a beautiful new location I would love to see in live action. And the visual aesthetic used to show a crumbling reality and the “evil” Dr Strange consumed by dark magic is haunting.
This episode, just like the previous three is just another amazing addition to this anthology series that is quickly becoming one of my favorite projects Marvel has done. If you like Marvel you need to watch this show. 5/5 Time Stones 🍎🧿