The first episode of What If…? released today and it was an impressive and inspiring start. With superb voice acting, good pacing and fluid animation, the first episode of What If…? shows the potential of this series but also some of its flaws. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it!
The first episode of What If…? is centered on a storyline where Peggy Carter gets the Super-Soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. We learn from The Watcher, portrayed by the fantastic Jeffrey Wright, that the even the smallest decisions have a large impact on the universe. In this case, Peggy decides to stay and watch the experiment instead of going into the protective booth. This decision sets off a series of events that leads to her getting the serum and becoming Captain Carter.
Something I really like about this episode was that it wasn’t necessarily a rehashing of Captain America: The First Avenger. Instead, it was a different version that included elements like the Hydra Stomper, not included in the original timeline. Thanks to some excellent writing, all the elements, new and old, blend nicely to produce a new but completely believable timeline.
Bradley Whitford reprises his role from the Agent Carter short. Initially he is antagonistic and dismissive of Peggy but quickly discards his misgivings when he starts to see the value of our new female hero. Perhaps the most wholesome and touching moments come as we watch Peggy and Steve’s relationship blossom. It is easily one of my favourite parts of this whole episode.
For diehard fans, part of this new storyline. Perhaps the most painful part to watch is the realization in Peggy’s eyes when she finds out that 70 years have passed since she made the ultimate sacrifice to leave Steve behind in order to save the world. While this is an outcome that Captain America fans know to expect, it isn’t any easier to watch this time around.
There were the writing as all the dialogue felt natural to me. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the voice acting. It felt disjointed at times but honestly, for the majority of the episode, It felt fine but some scenes had worse voice acting than others but thankfully, this isn’t an issue for the next 2 episodes.
Overall, this episode was a strong start to the series and I enjoyed it very much. I think that this episode easily showed the potential of What If…? and it’s getting a solid 8/10 for me. If it wasn’t for some of the voice acting, I’d say it could be a 9 or a 10 but 8 is still good. The first episode showed lots of potential and more of what’s to come in this new series.