Not every episode of What If…? needs to be this dour, somber affair. That was the main takeaway from the premise of What If… Thor Were an Only Child?
It was still a very entertaining episode filled with some fun cameos — some more unexpected than others. The basic concept here was Odin realizes he stole Loki from the Frost Giants and returns him to live among his people. This noble act somehow makes Thor more a fratboi with no sense of responsibility.
That premise felt slightly askew since Thor was brash, yes, but still had more of a heroic mentality than this Party Boy Meathead. Looking for the next big bash, Thor and his friends arrive on Earth. He’s instantly smitten with Jane Foster, who previously tried to warn SHIELD about aliens arriving on the planet.
As far as big galactic threats go, Thor hosting a massive party on Earth isn’t necessarily that big a deal. OK, Surtur burning the Statue of Liberty’s arm off wasn’t a good look, but this was just typical party hijinks.
Maria Hill’s had enough of this party that won’t stop and calls in Captain Marvel to handle Thor. The track record for getting most of the original MCU actors to reprise their roles is impressive.
Given their importance to the story it was too bad Brie Larson and Renee Russo couldn’t participate as Captain Marvel and Frigga.
Still, the lineup was commendable with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Karen Gillan and even Tom Hiddleston voicing their characters.
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The cameos were a big part of the fun for this episode as the random appearances helped lend a certain air of unpredictability. It’s like a house party in that you never knew who was going to show up.
And with any worthwhile early MCU superhero encounter, we get Thor vs. Captain Marvel. It was probably a smart move not to have a definitive winner. This wasn’t the kind of episode to have a winner and a loser and it was more about just having fun.
After learning Thor is spending all of his time partying on Earth, Frigga cuts her vacation short in order to get her wayward son back in line. The Thor/Frigga dynamic was much different in this episode as it was Frigga instead of Odin who was hard on their only child.
Thor’s cowering and pleading for help to clean up his mess when Frigga announced she was heading to Earth was pretty funny. It’s the kind of thing that would come off too stupid in live action, but in a one-off cartoon episode it works.
As usual, things can’t be completely happy as there is an actual invasion with Ultron drones showing up led by Ultron Prime rocking the Infinity Stones. The big twist was the reveal that Ultron Prime was Vision. At this point it’s too much to hope for a follow-up to this, but it would be fun to see Party Thor, Captain Marvel and all of his friends battling the Ultron army.
This was a breezy, no real consequences episode, which is necessary some times as a break from some of the heavier installments.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Disney+
Get Thor: Ragnarok 4K on Amazon.