A new episode of What if…? has arrived and there’s only one thing to say: it keeps getting better! After the terrific installment of last week, it was a difficult thing to follow suit. What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? takes a different road from its predecessor but is able to engage viewers the same way.
In the showcased reality the car accident Dr. Stephen Strange suffered didn’t damage his hands, but instead the love of his life. The initial result is the same, a grief-stricken Strange seeks spiritual enlightenment and becomes the Sorcerer Supreme. However, what comes after is a strenuous battle against temptation.
Imagine losing someone and knowing that, in theory, you have the power to bring them back. Even though there’s the risk of destroying the Universe, the temptation to try would be always in the back of your mind. That is exactly what disturbs Strange until he takes the dreaded decision.
But when the challenge proves to be greater than the Sorcerer Supreme expected, what ensues is a long pursuit for the knowledge that will fulfill his biggest wish. However, the search changes him along the way, and we see an increasing transformation into something unrecognizable.
When Doctor Strange lost his heart he didn’t lose his love power of love
This episode does a great job of portraying what one is capable of doing because of love. The long and arduous journey we witnessed Strange go through in his title movie is nothing compared to what he is willing to undertake here.
It is an exceptional exploration of his character, that proves both the strength of his powers and ability to love. In addition, it delves into the downside of love. While love offers good sensations and sometimes even an aim in life, when we suffer because of it, it can bring devastating consequences.
A phrase from a character in the episode reflects upon this and encapsulates the theme. “There is a fine line between devotion and illusion. Love can break more than your heart; it can shatter your mind”.
The darkest story
Even though Strange is the main focus of the episode – he takes the spotlight in surprising ways – familiar faces show up throughout the narrative. However not in MCU large-scale style. A big merit of this episode is being able to scale up the stakes substantially while using only the characters from the focus franchise.
The Watcher’s presence in this episode is more felt than ever. We get a glimpse of his thoughts about what is going on. This opens up the possibility that maybe he can be more active in the future, even though he can’t interfere. Who knows?
Overall, this installment is an excellent character exploration and the darkest story until now. It is not afraid to take things into the last consequences to bring a poignant ending to the narrative. This one is going to stay with you for a while after it ends.
Do you agree this is the darkest story from the series until now? Let us know in the comments.