Marvel’s ‘What If..?’ Episode 3 Review: A Fury-Starring Thriller Full of Twists

In this thrilling next episode of What If..? Nick Fury gets his chance to shine as he tries to discern who is murdering the candidates for the Avengers Initiative. One of the most creative concepts so far, the episode envisages a world where the original Avengers are killed before they can even assemble, and the wider consequences this would hold both for S.H.I.E.L.D, and the whole world. 

Many conventions are borrowed from the thriller genre. The episode takes place over a week, and snappy editing introduces the title card for each day. The plot focuses on a conspiracy to kill the Avengers, and a hunt for an inside man who has a motive. The fact that Fury and Natasha Romanov are the leading characters of this story only adds to the excitement and suspense – they are two secret agents in a race against time. The twists and turns take many forms, from the characters that show up unexpectedly, to the varied ways people are killed, and the reveal of the culprit. There are many genuine surprises that very few people would see coming. 

More so than any previous episode, this one has absolutely excelled at capturing the likeness of MCU actors, from Samuel L Jackson and Chris Hemsworth to Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner. The animated characters bear a definite strong resemblance to their real-life counterparts. There are also more celebrity voice cameos than ever before. Jackson is of course as perfect as ever in the lead role, bringing the perfect amount of attitude. Cartoon Nick Fury is also a lot more sprier and combat-ready than we’ve seen previously, and it’s great to watch him participate in a fight. 

Despite the serious nature of its premise, episode 3 stands out from its predecessors in the way that it is so incredibly funny. The writers seemed to be withholding the one-liners for use in this episode, with all the fan-favourite characters available to playfully be made fun of. Clark Gregg, as usual, has an excellent sense of comedic line delivery and fulfils that role well as the beloved Agent Coulson. Poking fun at other members of the Avengers, he and Fury bounce off of each other even in animated form. 

Episode 3 of What If..? contains what is by far the most creative concept of the series so far. With many fan-favourite characters, twists, and a thrilling plot with an unexpected direction, the show is continuing to impress with its creative and fun narratives.

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