‘Marvel’s What If..?’ Episode 7 Review: Lighthearted Revelry That Doesn’t Take Itself Seriously
In a universe that seems to constantly be in peril and in need of saving, this week’s What If..? is a breath of fresh air. The world might be in danger, but the only thing endangering it is Thor’s immaturity and appetite for partying. In this episode, Thor’s childhood is reimagined without Loki in it. As an only child, he never grows up enough to accept any responsibility, and shakes whole planets to their core with his raging intergalactic parties. What ensues is a comedic scenario that looks at how Thor would have behaved if he’d never grown into a hero, and shows exactly what it would take for mere mortals to evict him from their planet.
What makes this episode so refreshing is its positive outlook. It takes place in a universe where one of our classic Avengers has never faced any hardship and shows him just having a good time (albeit placing a world in danger by doing so). There is no great villain, just the conflict between him and S.H.I.E.L.D, which is far less serious than usual. It could only be equated to the host of a party trying to get an uninvited guest to go home.
Most amusing of all is Chris Hemsworth’s performance. There are many MCU cast members featured in the episode, but none grab our attention more than his return as the god of thunder. He seems to be having a great time as a young, arrogant version of the character, and really gives his all to his lines. He is condescending while at the same time providing the endearing dim-witted comments that made us love Thor in the first place.
Aside from the refreshing and fun nature of the episode, there is nothing much notable about it. Comedic as it might be, the plot is a bit thin on the ground, and the events get repetitive after a while. It almost feels like this story would have been told better within a shorter runtime, and it can’t justify being dragged out for 35 minutes. At that length, the fun quickly turns into filler as there is only so much drunken revelry you can show before it starts to all feel the same.
Another frustrating aspect of What If… Thor Were An Only Child? Is the fact that it could have been the first episode of the series to have a lighthearted, happy ending. True to form, there is an abrupt cliffhanger, seemingly for the sake of it, that undermines the entire trajectory and tone of the plot and proves incredibly disappointing.
This instalment certainly does something different to all the episodes before it, and its fun and carefree tone is refreshing. However, the novelty quickly wears off as the plot becomes repetitive. This is a weaker episode in the What If..? series. While the concept is lively and fun, it works better in theory than in practice.
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