Wanda Merlin, voiced by Elizabeth Olsen, with red chaos magic coming out of her hands in What If...? Season 2, Episode 8 | Agents of Fandom

‘What If…?’ Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: Thor Rules With an Iron Fist

Maybe Thor wasn’t fit to be King after all?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for What If…? Season 2 Episode 8.

Just like that, the nine days of What If…? are nearly over and only one episode remains to tie up the story. The penultimate episode is now streaming on Disney+, returning a star-studded cast of MCU familiars from throughout the Infinity Saga. This installment answers the question: what would have happened if the Avengers assembled in 1602, and not 2012? Let’s review all the specifics in our What If…? Season 2, Episode 8 recap.

Most of the Former Avengers Are Back in Their Iconic Roles in ‘What If…?’ Season 2, Episode 8

Ant-Man, voiced by Paul Rudd, wearing a new outfit and holding a sabre in What If...? Season 2, Episode 8 | Agents of Fandom
Paul Rudd returns to voice Ant-Man in What If…? Season 2, Episode 8, bringing back all his charismatic charm. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

The episode opens with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) on stage acting out a play, with his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in the crowd. A mysterious green portal opens in the sky, and Loki is about to be pulled through, but Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) saves him — having been pulled into this universe at the end of Episode 5. However, she cannot save Queen Hela (Cate Blanchett), who falls into the portal and out of Peggy’s grasp. Now in need of leadership, the people crown Thor as their new king.

Captain Carter has failed to stop these dangerous realm tears that just claimed their queen, so Thor sends his soldiers to seize her. Peggy escapes into the city, and King Thor summons the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to help solve the problem. Peggy is now a hero displaced and on the run, but she can hear The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) narrating the story. He offers to take Peggy back to her reality, but she refuses to let this world die.

To prevent this dimension from collapsing, Peggy must find and kill the time traveler causing the problem. She goes to visit Tony Stark (Mick Wingert), and the two scheme up a plan to steal Loki’s scepter. But, if Peggy is going to do this, she can’t do it alone. She decides her old love Steve Rogers (Josh Keaton) is the best choice to help, and sets out to find him.

Steve Rogers Makes His Triumphant Return, Free of the Hydra Stomper

Steve Rogers, voiced by Josh Keaton, holding a saber in What If...? Season 2, Episode 8 | Agents of Fandom
Rogers Hood bears a striking resemblance to his bearded, Infinity War counterpart in What If…? Season 2, Episode 8. Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

Peggy finds Steve out in the woods, but it’s not the one she’s familiar with. He’s robbing Loki of his riches with his Civil War-esque crew of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Steve reveals that his Peggy died long ago, and they agree to go and talk someplace safe. Before they have the chance to settle into the conversation, a legion of Royal Yellowjackets attacks. Just when the fighting seems to be all but over, a Royal Destroyer opens fire on the building.

Peggy and Scott agree to cover Steve’s escape, but Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) captures Peggy because of it. After another brief conversation with The Watcher, Peggy escapes from prison, freeing the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) on her way out. She takes him back to Tony Stark, and Steve and the crew arrive in unison, offering to help with the new plan. Hulk attacks the Royal Court, and Steve Rogers gets into a fencing match with Happy Hogan, causing him to turn into the purple Hulk from Episode 3.

Steve saves Bucky from the Red Skull, while Wanda tries to keep the portal contained with magic. Wanda then turns on King Thor to help save this world, and Tony gets his device working in time to reveal it’s Steve Rogers who is the time forerunner. Steve pushes the button and sacrifices himself to save the world. Before the episode ends, Strange Supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch) shows up and says he has a story for Peggy.

Strange Supreme Will Showcase His Power in the ‘What If…?’ Season 2 Finale

Peggy Carter trying to pull Queen Hela out of the portal in What If...? Season 2, Episode 8 | Agents of Fandom
Beautiful animation is on display in the latest episode of What If…? Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+.

With only one episode remaining for the season to conclude, it’s time for Strange Supreme to take the stage and rewrite the story. This season has been an undeniable step up from the previous, but it will need to stick the landing to live up to the Infinity Ultron vs. The Watcher showdown finale. As long as Marvel doesn’t lose sight of the elements that make this show work, we’re surely in for a thrilling conclusion.

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