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What If...? Episode 8 Explained

Episode 7 of "What If...?" left us with quite a cliffhanger, and Episode 8 offers an excellent explanation of what happened in that terrifying finale. The story takes somewhat of a left turn from what we've seen before in the series and effectively opens the multiverse to viewers. In this scenario, we find out what would happen if Ultron won during his battle with the Avengers. Here, Ultron uploads himself into Vision's body, something the team effectively stops in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." It turns out Thor's interference with the cradle in "AoU" saves the entire universe as we know it, and other universes for that matter.

This Ultron is one horrific being. The episode does a terrific job of explaining just how powerful he is when he splits a five-stone Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos in half within seconds of seeing him. One planet after another is destroyed as this vicious AI seeks to cleanse the universe, and we watch him obliterate the worlds we've been introduced to throughout the Infinity Saga. Xandar, Ego, the Sovereign, Asgard, and Sakaar are all decimated within minutes, but somehow Natasha and Clint survive their own apocalypse on Earth and seek to save the day — which they don't.

Compared to other episodes, this one's events have the most considerable ramifications. Yes, even more than that disastrous Doctor Strange episode. With just one story left to go before Season 1 of "What If...?" closes, these are the biggest takeaways from Episode 8 that prep us for the finale.

Ultron discovers the multiverse

It doesn't take long for Ultron to wipe out every world in our universe. When he's done, he sits floating among his destruction as his purpose has been fulfilled. It's not long before he senses the Watcher's presence and realizes there is more out there for him to destroy. It takes him a little bit of time to find the Watcher, and he breaks into whatever secret dimension he's viewing all these realities play out in, and chaos ensues. There is a significant battle between the two, which proves that the Watcher is one powerful son of a gun, as he's able to contend with an Infinity Stone-adorned Ultron.

Ultron is now on a quest to travel throughout the multiverse while obliterating every planet and being he finds. With countless realities for him to devour — because yes, he actually eats a universe at one point — Ultron's mission will never be complete, and he'll continue murdering billions, and quadrillions, and so on. At the end of Ultron and the Watcher's battle, the latter disappears into a portal back into his hiding zone and escapes his assailant for the time being. Ultron doesn't really seem to care and admits he can now see everything across the multiverse, and no one can stop him.

The Watcher finds help in an unlikely ally

Well, it's finally time for the Watcher to intervene. Like, really intervene. In what very much feels like a post-credits scene, the Watcher bows his head in sorrow in his hiding place when we find out that he's not alone. Doctor Strange steps into frame as his flailing tentacles retreat into his body. This is the evil Stephen we met in Episode 4 — the one who tries so desperately to save Christine that he doesn't realize he's destroying the universe in the process. Here, it looks like this Stephen has learned the error of his ways and asks the Watcher if he's finally going to do something. Thankfully, the Watcher agrees that it's time, and he asks for Doctor Strange's help.

Equipped with the Eye of Agamotto and the powers of countless mythical creatures locked inside him, Doctor Strange should make for one powerful companion of the Watcher as they try and take down Ultron. We're left wondering if we'll see a continuation of Episode 7, where Ultron enters Party Thor's universe, as that was left out of this story entirely. We might catch a glimpse of Ultron universe hopping, and maybe the final showdown will happen on Earth. There is also speculation that this will tie into the events of "Loki," with Redditor u/Ghost_Astronaut guessing this all happens simultaneously as Sylvie's murder of He Who Remains.

Episode 8 promises us that the finale of "What If...?" Season 1 will be intense. Hopefully, there will be a connection between what we've seen animated thus far and the live-action MCU we know. Will someone cross over? Will we see live-action in "What If...?" Only time will tell.