In the recent episode of ‘What If…?’, The audience witnessed Doctor Strange begin to sense the Watcher, i.e. he can hear and see him. This happened at the end of Marvel’s ‘What If…?’ episode 4’s conclusion. Fans are confused as to how this was possible, given that the watcher was merely a silent observer. Beware, there are some major spoilers ahead.
‘What If…?’ fourth episode plot revisits the events of the first Doctor Strange film, particularly his horrific accident that prompted him to seek the Ancient One’s help. The fourth episode of ‘What If…?’ envisions Christine Palmer die on the spot after Strange’s car crash. Because of this, Doctor Strange attempts to travel back in time. To get there, he has to go back along the same route as before. However, this time with a different goal in mind, i.e., to bring his beloved back from the dead.
As time passes on, he focuses more on mastering sorcery. He also aims to become the new Sorcerer Supreme succeeding the Ancient One’s death and save Earth from Dormammu’s attack. At Palmer’s second death anniversary, he resolved to put all his efforts into figuring out how she might be brought back from the dead again. To him, this was conceivable since he had the Eye of Agamotto in his hands.
However, in ‘What If…?’ episode 4, Strange’s relentless spirit is one of his worst characteristics. Ignorance drove him down a terrible path, where his obsession with being strong in the hopes of bringing Palmer back led him to a bad place. Unaware of the fact that he could absorb powers from others, Strange began absorbing demons, turning him into a demon. This version of Strange Supreme was able to sense the Watcher and, in the end, speak with him. In first for an animated series, Uatu is generally a silent spectator who won’t or can’t intervene with human concerns.
In other words, how was it possible for this to happen in the first place? This is a testimony to how powerful Strange has grown since he was easily able to break through different realities to learn of Watcher’s existence and finally communicate with him as a result of his increasing might. Events in ‘What If…?’ are currently distinct from what’s going on in The Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is no longer the case with the multiverse in shambles after the death of He Who Remains at the end of Loki’s first episode. Diverse strands of timelines and realities overlap, making it simpler for them to collide at certain inflection points.
Because of this, what occurred to Strange in the animated episode of this week can also occur in the MCU’s Sacred Timeline. As much as the main character doesn’t seem to care about the life he lost after his car accident, there’s a chance that someone could do what The Sorcerer did in ‘What If…?’ and cause some major problems for the MCU, especially considering how the universe ended without a chance to be salvaged in ‘What If…?’
However, despite his few appearances in the superhero series, Doctor Strange has opened up an entirely new world that may be explored in the future with the help of other characters. MCU Sorcerer Supreme has been through a lot, but his ‘What If…?’ episode demonstrates that there is still so much to discover about him and magic in general in the MCU. As a result, the character is likely to remain in the Marvel Universe for quite some time, allowing Marvel Studios to fully explore his disposition.
What Do Fans Have To Say About The Recent Doctor Strange Episode?
Fans were certainly amazed but also very confused about Doctor Strange’s heightened senses. So naturally, fans shared their thoughts on how they felt about the recent episode. This is what one fan tweeted;
Doctor Strange calling out for The Watcher was a great touch
— BastySurreal (@CrapsUdon) September 2, 2021
Another fan’s tweet was the epitome of responses that Marvel probably expected from this week’s episode. Check out the fan tweet below;
This week's Doctor Strange #WhatIf episode was the saddest and the most twisted episode of What if… So far… The watcher even interacted with Strange… 😱😱 As a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Strange, I truly enjoyed this week's episode pic.twitter.com/qdWgEGpd3S
— Triple M (Taylor's Version) (@Exile_TS_13) September 1, 2021
A fan on Reddit shared that although they loved the episode, there were certain moments that were hard to follow. In response to that, this is what another fan wrote, “That ending had me shocked cause I’d really thought they’ll end on a high note but they didn’t.👍 Now going forward I have no idea what to expect.” Following this, a third fan raised a very important question. “A question for the crew: Do you think when Dr. Strange switched seats with his girlfriend that he was prepared to give his life for hers?” he adds.
Now that Doctor Strange can hear and see the watcher with his powers, there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what the audience should expect in the upcoming episodes. Additionally, for Spidey and Doctor Strange fans, Doctor Strange’s reappearance in the upcoming ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home‘ is a cherry on the cake. It is only a matter of time that all mysteries and answers will be unveiled.