Marvel’s What If… Episode 4The Dark Herald
What if Doctor Strange had terminal Oneitis?
That was basically the plot for this episode.
Again it was better than the first two episodes. Doctor Strange was astonishingly enough, still a white male. Or perhaps that wasn’t too surprising since they were able to get Cumberbatch to voice him.
In this What If, Strange didn’t lose his hands in the accident, he lost Christine. Which apparently hit him a hell of a lot harder in toon world than it would have in the movie. After her death he is absolutely devastated. He goes looking for answers all across the world finally ending up in monastary with Wong and the Ancient One. The rest of his narrative from the movie is repeated to include the death of the Ancient One and his battle with the demon Doorarmarmarmamoo (however the hell it was pronounced).
But after that he settles in for good, long introspective sulk for a couple of years.
Finally he uses the Time Stone to travel back to the night of Christine’s death and alters things so she won’t die. And she dies anyway in a different accident. He tries to alter things with his route and the result is the same. Christine still dies. He tries not going out at all that night and she perishes in his arms while dancing. He tries again and again but no matter what he does, Doctor Strange cannot prevent Christine’s death.
Finally, the Ancient One appears. Now the Ancient One had died in this version of events too but apparently she can kind of, sort of be alive again if the plot needs things to happen.
Anyway, the AO tells Strange that Christine’s death is a fixed point in time. There is nothing that can be done to alter it. Except there can be if it makes the plot happen. It turns out you just need lots and lots of power, although there is “a price to paid” for this. A pity the price elaborated on because Strange might have thought things over. Anyway, Doctor Strange spends decades learning how to change a fixed point in time and then he starts absorbing the souls of demons to give him the power he needs.
No matter how many demons he absorbs it’s never enough because the Ancient One had somehow or another split Doctor Strange into two different versions of himself. One of whom didn’t go around eating demons to charge his magic battery. The Ancient One tells Good Doctor Strange he has to go fight Bad Doctor Strange. And Good Doctor Strange losses and gets absorbed.
Finally with enough power, Bad Doctor Strange breaks the fixed point in time but destroys his entire universe in the process. And Christine still dies, leaving bad Doctor Strange imprisoned in a small pocket dimension without even enough room in it to stretch his legs.
The episode wasn’t all that original and there was a ton of hand wavium to explain away the plot holes. But at least some effort went into it. The downer ending was kind of brave for Disney Plus. It’s not worth subscribing to Disney Plus but if you have it for free anyway, sure go ahead and watch it.
Although, I’ve told you the whole plot so there really isn’t any point.
Okay, I’m done here.