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We Finally Know Who The Big Bad Is In What If...?

Via time, space, and a handful of other things, Jeffrey Wright's Uatu the Watcher has escorted fans through the prism of endless possibilities for eight whole episodes of Marvel's "What If...?" We've seen worlds with British Captain Americas, drone-backed Killmonger armies, and Ant-Men gifted with varying amounts of affability and torso. In the latest entry to the series, more compelling rhetoricals were presented — What if hyper-advanced, world-ending drones couldn't outmaneuver an arrow? What if Hawkeye could fall off of a building and walk it off? What if James Spader had a pretty bad cold and didn't sound quite right?

And, most importantly, what if Ultron won? The answer is bleak. In a nigh-indestructible synthezoid shell, the malevolent AI would start confusing "peace" and "quiet," burning down every world that it came across after a brief but memorable run-in with Thanos. Through the events of episode eight, Marvel fans watched in horror as the dastardly robot went ham on Asgard, Sakaar, the Sovereign, and even poor old Ego.

Unfortunately, Ultron's ambitions didn't end with a thoroughly shushed universe.

Ultron just became What If's biggest bad yet

Big stories need big villains, and "What If...?" finally cemented its bad guy in "What If Ultron Won?" Having established round-the-clock quiet hours for all life in the universe with the help of a full set of Infinity Stones, Ultron's consciousness developed to the point where he could see the otherwise nebulous Watcher, pierce the shell of his reality, and make a move on the Multiverse in the name of "peace in our time."

This tells us lots of things. First and foremost, Infinity Stones work outside of their own realities? Their own timelines? So why did the ones in the drawer at the TVA do fat nothing during "Loki?" On top of that, we learn that the Watcher, who comic fans already recognize as a formidable force in the universe, has the gumption in the MCU to stand up to the Infinity Gauntlet.

But most importantly, we now know for a fact that the "What If...?" universe threw away a perfectly good realm of never-ending possibilities by making Ultron the main villain of the season when, in an unceasing hall of mirrors reflecting all that ever was or could be, there was absolutely a timeline where Bob Ross used the Tesseract to reign supreme. Overlooking that option was an unhappy accident.