What if…? Episode 4 The End Explained
Warning: Contains spoilers for What if… from Marvel? episode 4.
What if… from Marvel? Episode 4 takes a much darker turn than previous episodes in the Disney + series, ending with Doctor Strange destroying an alternate universe after becoming obsessed with changing the timeline. It’s a crazy look at the possibilities and limitations of the new MCU multiverse, which reveals that while infinite timeframes are possible, there are some things in universes that cannot be changed. Of course, Strange is trying to change these things anyway in What if…? episode 4, ultimately ending with the collapse of all of its reality.
The first three episodes of What if…? dealt with the changes to the Sacred Timeline that seemed, on the whole, to be quite significant – Peggy Carter receiving Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers, T’Challa becoming Star-Lord after being kidnapped by Yondu, and a Vindictive Hank Pym murdering multiple original Avengers after his daughter’s death. But in the face of the series’ fourth episode, “What if… Doctor Strange lost his heart instead of his hands?” The changes are far more dramatic. Overwhelmed by grief after losing his lover Christine Palmer, Strange sets out on a journey to attain enough power to change history, altering what the Old One calls a “Absolute point in time”. For all its strength and dynamism, however, this plan only ends in widespread destruction and death.
To tell this story, however, What if…? Episode 4 makes big additions to the MCU’s existing multiverse lore, explaining new details and tweaking some old ones about how divergent realities and time travel actually work. That’s a lot of exhibits packed into a relatively short story, but everything is essential to understanding what Doctor Strange actually does and how it works. Here’s what really happens at the end of What if…? episode 4, and why the universe is destroyed.
How does Doctor Strange get so powerful?
After training in the mystical arts in What if…? In Episode 4’s alternate universe, Doctor Strange begins attempting to change her tragic past, using the Time Stone to return to the night of Christine’s death and attempting to save her. Her efforts are ultimately in vain, however, as she continues to die over and over again in various equally horrific ways. Eventually, the Elder appears to Strange to tell him that his death cannot be undone, as it is an absolute point in the timeline of this universe – an event that is so crucial to so many other things, that he will stand firm regardless of temporal interference.
This sends Strange on his quest to become stronger, with the ultimate goal of being able to undo an absolute point. The texts he discovers say that the only way to get this kind of power is to absorb the strength of various mystical creatures, and after centuries of doing so, Doctor Strange attains near-divine powers. The episode doesn’t spend much time explaining how exactly his increases give him greater control over time, but the idea seems to be that enough pure mystical energy – something that the creatures he absorbs are. rich – can push a wizard beyond the typical limits of magic. At the end of the episode, it is shown that Strange becomes able to manipulate specific moments in time to exact specifications, as he is able to repair the damage done to his car and Christine’s body without affecting the world around. surround it. That’s not enough, however, as his unmatched power ends up tearing the very fabric of his universe.
And if… ? Explanation of two strange doctors
Towards the end of What if… from Marvel? Episode 4, the Elder reveals that she split Strange in half in an attempt to prevent him from destroying the universe. She says she used immense dark power to effectively channel two of her potential timelines into the same universe, thus limiting the power of evil Strange. It’s a confusing idea, as the MCU has already spent a lot of time explaining that any linking event causes new branches in the timeline. The only real explanation for how two of Strange’s variants can coexist in the same universe is the Elder’s widespread invocation of dark magic – too practical and questionable a twist, but enough to explain it for the purposes of the show. .
So how does Strange’s split actually play out in the episode’s ending? Everything is sorted out pretty quickly, but it seems that no matter how many creatures the evil Doctor Strange absorbed, he couldn’t reach his true potential without first reclaiming the part of himself that was being divided. This makes sense since, as Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange would be the person with the most direct control over the magical energy of Earth. But when he was split in two, it would be impossible for him to have full control, as his other self could effectively deny his own mystical influence. This is why it is only after the evil Strange absorbs the other Strange that he is finally able to bring Christine back.
Why is the universe destroyed in What if …? Episode 4
Even before the two Doctor Stranges merged at the end of What if…? episode 4, the universe has already started to collapse. The very fabric of reality seems to slowly vaporize in response to the interference of evil Strange. Sadly, the episode doesn’t really explain why or how this ending actually works. The bottom line is that universes are built around absolute points – moments in time that act as a skeleton around which the rest of time and reality can be altered somewhat. Changing any one of these absolute points means dismantling the skeleton, causing the entire universe to collapse. Evil Strange begins the apocalypse simply by reaching enough power to freeze time, but the universe doesn’t completely end until he reabsorbs his other self. Seeing what he’s done, Strange even implores the Uatu, the Watcher – whom he has grown powerful enough to see – to save his universe from its madness. The Observer refuses, however, to remain true to its name.
Given that Christine survives in the original MCU timeline, it’s clear the absolute points are only such in separate timelines. Other universes would have other absolute points that would define their own nature, presumably creating a distinction between the different branches of the multiverse. It’s even possible that Strange’s various attempts to save Christine each produced new branches. As Marvel continues to flesh out the rules for the MCU multiverse and alternate timelines, how it works can continue to be somewhat confusing. But if by marvel What if…? Episode 4 definitely proved one thing, and that is that there are things in the MCU that no amount of power can stop or change.
Next: Marvel Claims Doctor Strange Becomes The Most Powerful Avengers Theory
What if … from Marvel? releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney +.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release Date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: 05 November 2021
- Spider-Man: No Path Home (2021)Release Date: December 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release Date: March 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: 06 May 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: 08 Jul 2022
- Wonders / Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release Date: November 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release Date: February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: 05 May 2023
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