What If Episode 4 called ‘What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart And Not His Hands’ is now out on Disney Plus. Directed by Bryan Andrews and written by A.C. Bradley, the 30-minute episode features Jeffrey Wright, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton, and Ike Amadi.
The synopsis for What If…? Episode 4 reads – A grief-stricken Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto in a dangerous effort to change the past.
What If Episode 4 Review Contains Spoilers
What If Episode 4 Recap: Plot Summary
The Watcher tells about the multiple possible realities of our favourite superheroes. Today, he takes us to the universe where Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) doesn’t lose his hand but his heart. The episode begins with The Watcher saying – We’ve watched how one moment, one choice can ripple across space and time giving birth to new stories, heroes, whole universes. But what if it’s the wrong choice? What if the best of intentions has very strange consequences?
When Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) head for a date night, their car meets with an accident. Christine dies on the spot leaving Strange grief-stricken. He goes the Ancient One and becomes the Sorcerer Supreme. However, despite fulfilling his destiny of learning about Mystic Arts, Strange is grieving Christine. Hence, when he finds out about the Eye of Agamotto and how it can alter time, he decides to go back in time and save Christine.
Every time Doctor Strange would go back in time, Christine would die. The Ancient One warns Strange that manipulating time could destroy the world and how he cannot change the ‘Absolute Point’ regarding Christine’s death. But he refuses to listen. The Ancient One has no choice but to split the timeline into two parts. In one timeline, Strange craves power and, to achieve the same, goes to Lost Library of Cagliostro. After consuming the power from all the powerful beings, he becomes Strange Supreme. The other Strange doesn’t meddle with time and accepts Palmer’s death. The world is nearing its end because of power-hungry Doctor Strange Supreme.
The Ancient One requests Doctor Strange from the New York sanctum to defeat Strange Supreme and save the world. Unfortunately, Strange Supreme defeats Doctor Strange and consumes his life energy. He finally succeeds in his mission to save Christine Palmer, but nothing good comes out of it as the world is about to end. That’s when Strange Supreme realises his mistake and requests The Watcher to help him. Will The Watcher help him, or will the world end because of Strange, who is supposed to protect it?
What If…? Episode 4 Review: Discussion
Today’s episode ‘What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart And Not His Hands‘ is the best one so far. In terms of narrative, animation, performances, and twists, it was outstanding. It’s great to see Marvel illustrating the dangers of tampering with time and reality with each new series. That was evident in Loki and WandaVision, as well as today’s What If…? episode. In the 2016 film, the Ancient One was concerned that Strange would abuse his powers. We finally got to see what happens when Strange exploits them completely. However, the reason was love.
We saw what Wanda did when she lost Vision, Strange is suffering through a loss too. He becomes too heartless to realise the agony he is causing to others.
The timing of the episode’s release could not have been better. Although the episode has nothing to do with movies, it teases how mystified we’ll all be when Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit theatres. Especially the latter, because it also contains horror and unsettling aspects as today’s episode.
What If Episode 4 Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, today’s episode is exactly what we all want to see from Doctor Strange. As Stephen Strange, Ancient One, and Wong, it was great to hear Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Benedict Wong. The visuals and attention to detail are also remarkable. So don’t wait any longer and go check it out!
What If…? Episode 4 is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.