The Watcher wears a Santa Hat in a What If...? season 2 promo image.

If You Watch Only One Marvel’s ‘What If…?’ Episode, Make It This One

Today, Marvel released the best episode of What If…? season 2 yet—and, breaking from the show’s usual formula, the episode debuts an entirely new character.

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What If…? explores the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s multiverse by placing familiar in new circumstances. In season 2, episode 1, Nebula (Karen Gillan) joins the Nova Corp on Xandar. In episode 4, Iron Man crash-lands on Sakaar. However, episode 6, “What If…Kahhori Reshaped the World?” shifts the show’s focus to a colossal “what if:” what if the colonization of North America never happened?

In episode 6, Asgard is destroyed by Ragnarok, and the Tesseract flies to Earth, landing in Kanienʼkehá:ka (Mohawk) territory. A young woman, Kahhori (Devery Jacobs), falls into the lake and discovers a power that will enable her to change the course of history.

“What If…? Kahhori Reshaped the World” is first rate storytelling

There are so many reasons to love this episode.

First, there’s the cultural significance. Writer Ryan Little and director Bryan Andrews worked closely with Mohawk consultants to tell Kahhori’s story. The dialogue in the episode is almost entirely in Mohawk, and the episode gives viewers a look at Mohawk culture.

More than that, though, the episode contains some really great storytelling. It manages to achieve a beautiful arc in the space of about 30 minutes, and the climactic battle is beautiful and poignant. Jacobs knocks it out of the park with her portrayal of Kahhori. The stakes in the episode feel real, and the cliffhanger is intriguing.

Lately, it’s felt like much of Marvel fare is manufactured to be as safe and bland as possible, so it’s refreshing to be reminded of how fantastic the MCU can be when Marvel lets its creatives push the boundaries of superhero stories. Even the cameos in episode 6 make the story feel grounded in a coherent universe, instead of being wedged in just for fan service.

If you’re still on the fence about What If…?, skip straight to Kahhori’s episode. If Kahhori doesn’t get you revved up for Marvel again, then I don’t know what will.

What If…? season 2 is dropping episodes daily until December 30.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href=""></a>