WHAT IF…? S1 E4 ‘Doctor Strange lost his heart instead of his hands?’ review – This was nowhere near what I was expecting

Review by Ali Raphael

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I think at this point in the series Marvel is just trying to see in which ways they can make us cry and worry even more about Strange destroying the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home. To say the least, we get a bit of a sneak preview of Stephen Strange losing his ever loving mind. I have never been so worried in my life.

This episode starts the same as the movie for Dr. Strange, skipping everything until he leaves for his award party. Though this is where we see a different path taken, instead of going alone Stephen takes Christine Palmer (nurse, ex-girlfriend, friend, and still only love of his life) with him. It all plays out fine, without Strange hitting anyone with his car, but he and Christine are rear ended. She dies and it sets Stephen Strange on the same path as we know in studying the mystic arts, until he can no longer let go of his pain of loss (which is new).

Oh boy! If you’ve ever wondered about an evil Dr. Strange, this is the episode for you. Though the path to power and therefore evil isn’t an easy one to watch, it’s hard to tear your eyes away (it will have you shedding a few tears). The quote we get in this episode, “love can break more than your heart, it can shatter your mind”, are smart words to live by (and not just for this episode, we might want to remember these when we see Wanda again).This episode came close to being a masterpiece, because we never really knew how close Dr.Strange is to being evil with his thirst for knowledge till now (he’s also the glue the universe needs to hold itself together). It was a thrilling, yet nervous episode to watch. I cried and cheered for our hero to win and save his universe, only to see a completely different outcome than what I had originally thought. But, that’s the best part of what makes this episode number two in my favorites for this show so far, the complete unpredictability of the divergence of a single character’s path. One small moment, no matter how you think it could turn out, will completely surprise you. This is exactly what was done for this Dr. Strange episode and I could not love it more, with an added twist at the end too. Did I also forget to tease you all with a cape fight? Guess you’ll just have to watch to find out…

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I absolutely loved that we got to hear all the original cast come back to do the voices for their own characters, Dr.Strange, Christine, Wong, The Ancient One, and even Christine Everhart (the reporter from Iron Man 1 & 2).


What If…? is only available on Disney+ with new episodes premiering every Wednesday!  


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