The ingenuity of “What If…?” is very interesting. One episode can be a re-telling of the “First Avenger,” underlined by a beautiful balance of war-ridden commentary while finding placement during a troubling time.
The moral I was left with was feeling comfortable in your skin, and finding your path even if your road is changing before your eyes. Then another episode can be a personal commentary and reflection on humanity when we are lost searching for purpose.
The best way to sum up episode 2 was it’s a touching tribute to the utter purity of Chadwick Boseman. It was full of heart, comedy and Easter eggs galore. If I was being honest, this latest retelling of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) lore was fascinating but straightforward. The plot came off as something completely different and vastly unique from what the pilot was showcasing.
The narrative was fresh and exciting and gave off Ant-Man heist vibes from the plan being executed on the screen to the double and triple-crosses playing out over a few minutes. It was leading to engaging character scenarios. However, one notice of praise is that the episode had consequences and gave perspectives on past justifications, which were food for thought and discussion during the entirety of the Infinity Saga.
For example, hearing Thanos try to justify the “snap,” even though its genocide is pretty funny, but also dark. Listening to the collector list of tons of characters and items that only eagle fans would recognize is another reason this series works, but only if appropriately showcased. It honestly all comes down to a balance of showing, not telling, and not letting the story get weighed down by a hindrance of plot and other shortcomings.
The call-backs didn’t come off as forced, and the pacing was a vast improvement over the first episode and pilot, which felt like it was trying a little too hard. Though by taking the approach to tell a cohesive story and let the pacing line up with the excellent and heart-felt voice acting from the entire cast.
At times the plot would slow down and let you take in the beauty of what made the Guardians film truly prolific from director James Gunn. The understanding of accepting, living with our loss, and letting go when it’s time to move on; another reason why I enjoy watching movies is because every story has a moral to tell or a reflection of our life to be exemplified.
Hearing the delight in how the Ravagers and Yondu speak about the escapes and heroics of T’Challa as a some-what robin hood trying to find purpose while remembering his roots is just so thoughtful. It didn’t feel like characters on-screen fulfilling a job. The chemistry felt and support just felt like people enjoying life.
The choice of letting Chadwick’s humanity take center stage and convey that the thing you’re looking for most has always been right in front of you, and we can never know when our time truly is up. Only to find out he was filming this series posthumously just leaves me speechless. Now I’m not going to lie.
A variety of emotions were present while watching this episode, and knowing that this is the final time Boseman will portray the character is powerful. I feel having a light-hearted episode underlined by a deep progression of finding yourself even when lost in the vast beauty of the cosmos is just the right step to take.
I always felt the MCU was excellent at showing us that the world of comic books was indeed outside our window, just like the great Stan-Lee would always say. Now to know that the humanity of Chadwick Boseman and the legacy of T’Challa is vital to the thread and vitality of the MCU just reflects the person he was. Which just rendered me utterly speechless, to say the least.