What If … Thor Were An Only Child?
** Warning! This review contains spoilers for episode 7 of Marvel’s What If …? Series **
The episode starts with Jane Foster and Darcy tracking an alien invasion. It is Thor landing in Las Vegas, and he is having a party with the Nine Realms. Odin returns Loki to his people in this universe, and Thor grows up without having Loki testing him throughout his childhood.
Odin enters Odinsleep, and Thor leaves for Midgard to party. Tons of familiar faces are present, like Skrulls, The Grandmaster, Howard the Duck, Valkyrie, Drax, Nebula, Korg, and Rocket. During the party, Darcy marries Howard the Duck. It has nothing to do with the party, but it was pretty funny. Jane and Thor meet and get off to a rocky start, but eventually get along and party.
Jane is waking up hungover, and Maria Hill and Brock Rumlow wake her up because of the alien threat. Hill is the acting director because Korg knocked out Fury while doing a cannonball in the fountain. Thor is spreading the parties all through the planet. They call in the first alien they’ve seen, Captain Marvel with the beeper.
We’re in France, and Loki as a frost giant is here and he and Thor are super tight. Captain Marvel is here! She says the party is over and when Thor doesn’t listen she uppercuts him. He hits Marvel with Mjolnir and knocks her all the way to Stonehenge in the UK. Thor knocks over Stonehenge Marvel knocks him all the way to the US, and then they fight in the desert.
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Thor gets everyone to call Marvel a party pooper after beating her. Jane tries to call Thor, but Loki answers and accidentally breaks Thor’s phone. Jane and Darcy come up with a plan to call Thor’s mom. Surtur is on Earth and he is hitting on the Statue of Liberty. Thor wants to slide down the Sydney Orchestra building and Marvel catches him to bring him to Siberia.
Jane and Darcy contact Heimdall, and he summons Jane and she talks to Frigga. Hill wants to nuke them in Siberia. Before Marvel and Thor can battle, Frigga intervenes. Thor lies to his mom but she’s coming to check on him and his “study group”.
Thor tries to get everyone to help clean up the party and they all bail on him! He convinces them when he mentions that Frigga is coming. They put everything back, including the now Perfectly Straight Tower of Pisa. Marvel actually bails Thor out by giving him an iPad with lots of knowledge. His ruse is undone by Mjolnir having graffiti, beads, and underwear on it. Thor reconnects with Jane, happily ever after.
Except that a portal opens, Ultron robots emerge led by Vision who is in a suit with all of the infinity stones. Yikes.
We have had some extremely heavy episodes the last few weeks. With the zombies episode, Dr. Strange destroying a universe, and Killmonger killing many heroes, we needed a break. This episode was a fun, light-hearted break. The portrayal of Thor as a hard partier was not a wild stretch from the Thor we already know, so it was a very easy What If concept to get on board with. Plus bits like Surtur hitting on the Statue of Liberty and Stonehenge being knocked over were great small gags.
We were also treated to a battle that is a great “who would win” for comic book fans. Captain Marvel and Thor are two of the strongest Avengers. Having them face off against each other, even in a low-stakes situation, was a fun fight to see.
The Not As Good:
With the stakes being lower than other episodes, this is the most “skippable” of the episodes so far. It is still a great episode of a show that has had very few misses so far, but this one doesn’t have the same weight that others did. The ending twist revealing an evil Vision with an army and the infinity stones is sure to have some consequences moving forward, but the rest is just pure fun.
It has to be Chris Hemsworth. Returning to Marvel to voice Thor, he does a great job of bringing some of the Thor characteristics we know (like calling Rocket a rabbit) with the new wrinkle of being a complete frat bro. Another great performance from Tom Hiddleston as well, this time as the Frost Giant and non-world conquering version of Loki.
What If …? has episodes dropping every Wednesday on Disney Plus.
Evan Gomes is a freelance pop culture & sports writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsEvanGomes, and check out his two podcasts: Crossbody of Work and The Pop Capsule Podcast.