What if…? Episode four Recap: Physician Unusual Takes Down a Darkish Path to Grow to be Supreme – CNET

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Doctor Strange embarks on a wild, emotional journey in the fourth episode of Marvel’s What If …

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After the last week Avengers murder puzzle, the fourth episode of Marvel Cinematic Universe cartoon What if…? fell on Disney Plus Wednesday. This episode of the reality hopping show put us on a timeline of a grieving Doctor Stephen Strange gathered immense magical power in a selfish search.

The omniscient guardian (Jeffrey Wright) reveals the answer to the question: What if … Doctor Strange lost his heart instead of his hands?

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Sorcerer Supreme SPOILER arrive.

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Another wound

This episode deviates from the mainline MCU at the start of the Strange 2016 solo film. Instead of traveling alone to his lecture conference and having her hands badly injured in a car accident, surgeon and lover Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is with him. She is killed in the crash, which leads Strange to learn the mystical arts.

He initially follows the same path as his main counterpart, defeats the interdimensional being Dormammu and poses as Sorcerer Supreme in the New York City Sanctum Sanctorum. Reality shifts further as he harnesses the power of the Time Stone to travel back to the night Christine died in an attempt to change that event.

The many deaths of Christine Palmer

No matter what Strange does that night or how many times he repeats it, Christine dies. Here are a couple of ways we see it go down:

  • A car thunders up behind Strange’s Lamborghini, slams into it, and sends her down a cliff and into the river.
  • A truck hits her at an intersection in Manhattan.
  • Christine suffers a fatal medical emergency while dancing with Strange at the event.
  • A robber shoots her after she and Strange skip the event to get pizza.
  • A tire bursts while driving.
  • Strange sets her up and walks into a bar, and she is killed when a fire breaks out in her building.
  • Christine drives instead of Strange, but a racing car hits her.

Seeing the woman he loves dying over and over again clearly traumatizes Strange as he “Noooooo!” cries. at the sky – classic shorthand in fiction for “something terrible has happened”.

The old man (Tilda Swinton) is still alive at this point in the timeline, showing that Christine’s death is an absolute point in time – a pivotal moment that drives events forward. If he erases this event, he risks wiping out the universe.

Demonic Doctor Strange Supreme in Marvels What if ...?

Strange becomes more and more demonic as he wields his powers.

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Doctor Strange Supreme

While trying to revive Christine, Strange amassed incredible power by absorbing other mystical beings – essentially mirroring what Karl Mordo is in the Post credit scene from Doctor Strange (a storyline that remains unsolved) – for centuries.

Many of the beings that Doctor Strange Supreme absorbs are quite demonic and look cool. They know he’s bad because his goatee and collar are more pointed than normal, his skin is paler, and he has dark circles around his eyes. Super stylish.


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It also turns out that this empowered Strange isn’t the only version of the character in this reality, as the Old One appears to an alternate version of Strange that has chosen not to interfere with the times.

“I used the power of the dark dimension to split the timeline … to split you,” she tells the intact Strange. “Allowing two of your possible timelines to occur in one universe.”

Doctor Strange's evil shadow in Marvels What if ...?

Always be on the lookout for evil shadows.

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Battle of the Strange

The good Strange competes against Strange Supreme, but is defeated and absorbed after an epic magical battle. The corrupt, demonic Strange brings Christine back all the way.

Their reunion, however, is short; Picking up the Absolute Point destroys its reality – apparently, Strange Supreme remains the only survivor. If he was bitter about Christine’s death, he will no doubt be angry about losing everyone and everything he ever knew.

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His power also gives him sufficient awareness to perceive and communicate with the Guardian who refuses to intervene so that the security of the multiverse is not endangered. This suggests that he will step in as soon as a multiverse threat emerges.

It’s unclear why Strange survived alone, but we last see him trapped in a tiny crystal, surrounded by the darkness that was his universe.

“I’m sorry,” he says in desperation. “I am so sorry.”

This episode could tie in with upcoming MCU films Spider-Man: No way home and Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness (they are due this December and March 2022 and to see Strange Supreme in live action would be incredible. He’ll almost certainly appear again in What If …? definitely.

Doctor Strange Supreme in Marvels What if ...?

The universe of Strange Supreme is collapsing.

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Observations, WTF questions and Easter eggs

  • This is the first What if …? The reality we have seen has been shattered despite the suggestion that it was ego will ruin the universe of T’Challa Star-Lord in episode 2.
  • In the mainline MCU, Christine and Strange had split up at the time of his accident. In this reality, he loses the use of his hands, which means that his talent was what he loved most.
  • Strange boosts his power by jumping back in time to find the lost library of Cagliostro – in the film Doctor Strange it is revealed that the ancients used dark magic from the book of Cagliostro to prolong their own lives. Presumably she used similar magic to split the timeline in that episode.
  • Leslie Bibb returns as journalist Christine Everhart on the news program about the fire death of Christine Palmer. The character appeared in the first two Ironman Movies and was last seen on the WHIH Newsfront web series which ran in 2015-16.
  • “Magician Armani” is a cool name. However, it would likely result in Strange being sued.
  • The tentacle beast is similar to Strange Summoning Hydras Champion from episode 1 by Abilisk of. was inspired Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s opening. It also looks like Shuma-Gorath, an interdimensional villain from Marvel Comics (and the Marvel vs. Capcom games).
  • When the good Strange protests after his defeat, Strange Supreme says: “But we have to.” This confirms that the beings he has absorbed are still in his head, further distorting his mind.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observation next Wednesday, September 8th, if episode 5 of What if …? meets Disney Plus.

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