Updated: Feb 10
This episode of what if was an interesting one, mostly in its use of stretching the way a character might react to a horrible situation.
This episode talks about how the world would be if Dr. Strange lost his “heart” rather than his hands. It is a much bigger loss, after all so it’s no surprise that this hits him harder than just having to rehabilitate the use of his hands.
What this episode shows is just how far someone can be pushed in order to deal with a huge loss. Strange does everything he can to change this point in his past only to find the event repeating over and over again. And that’s enough to drive even the most stable man to complete insanity and maybe make him do something horribly drastic in order to return what’s lost.
In other words, we get to see a very dark side of Dr. Strange and I am living for it.
When you have all this power but can’t get back the only thing you truly want in the world, it becomes an obsession. And with the type of mind Strange has (all the calculating and working to think ten steps ahead of everyone) it’s easy to see how one could end up doing something irreversible in hopes of doing the impossible.
This episode hit hard with the theme of loss, if I didn’t make that perfectly clear. And it falls into the philosophy of “one bad day.” (hoo boy, Jay’s mixing properties!) And I know I’m dealing in a technicality as it only sort of qualifies as “one day,” my point still stands. All it takes is one loss, one horrible injustice, to turn a good man into the villain.
But, at the same time, it shows a duality. Even in this case, there’s a choice. A path to being consumed by grief, or learning to heal and let it go. One may lead you to a place where you can see beings who can’t/won’t tamper with your reality, the other is clearly the healthier option.
But a lot of the times, we get so consumed in it that we don’t see the other way as an option. In some cases, this only leads to destruction. And that really does turn you into your own worst enemy. Not being able to let go of that pain and, instead, trying to fix it by changing the outcome of a situation is only going to cause more harm. And, eventually, it could completely consume everything you once knew about who and what you are. In the end, you may even destroy the thing you were trying to save in the first place.
I might have gone off on a bit of a tangent for this review, but this really hit into something a little deeper than the others. At least for me. It was sad, painful even. But cathartic in a way.
I’d recommend it, if only to see the kind of darkness Strange is capable of. Because, let’s be honest, that’s why we’re all really here!