What If…? Episode 3 Recap: A World Without Avengers

What if the Avengers never had the chance to assemble?

What If...? Episode 3 Recap: A World Without Avengers
Image Credit: Marvel Studios

What If…? episode 3 begins during the events of Iron Man 2. Nick Fury and Natasha Romanoff are visiting Tony Stark at a donut shop and trying to bring him over to the Avengers initiative. Addressing his blood poisoning, Natasha gives Tony an antidote by injecting him with a syringe by surprise.

All of this happens in Iron Man 2. What doesn’t happen, however, is that the serum doesn’t work. In fact, Tony grows even sicker and dies right there in the donut shop. Iron Man, the hopeful leader of the Avengers, is now dead in What If…? episode 3.

What If…? Third Episode Turns Out To Be A Murder Mystery Story.

To figure out what went wrong, Natasha is investigated by SHIELD. While Natasha cooperates, she is still not believed in her innocence. Nick believes her but can’t prove it to the rest of SHIELD. He gives her the tools to escape, however, and hopes that she’ll find the answers to who was behind the murder.

Meanwhile, Agent Coulson is investigating the mysterious appearance of a magical hammer in the desert. This, of course, is the event that happened in the first Thor movie. While Coulson tries to figure out what’s going on, he’s in contact with Nick Fury as well.

Eventually in What If…? episode 3, we get to the scene where Thor battles his way through SHIELD agents to attain his mighty hammer. Hawkeye takes the high ground and readies his arrow on the god who is seeking his weapon. His arm steady, Hawkeye waits for the word from Coulson about whether or not to fire.

But Hawkeye, seemingly by accident, fires at Thor. The arrow is effective in not only hitting Thor but killing him as well. Another Avenger is dead and yet another Avenger is accused of such a killing.

Hawkeye stresses he didn’t intend to fire but is still held in confinement by SHIELD. Fury and Coulson meet up at the site and try to put the pieces together. When they go to check on Hawkeye, however, they find he is dead.

Hawkeye’s death is extra mysterious because he was in a confined cell. Nobody went in or out of the enclosed space and there’s no sign of any injury. So how could Hawkeye, accused of a murder he stresses he didn’t commit, be killed without anybody present and being held in a secure location?

Natasha has ventured off to a university to find some crucial information about what may have led to the murders. She finds Bruce Banner and tries to bring up the problems she faces. Before she can divulge the mystery, the military attacks, just as in The Incredible Hulk.

At the same time, Fury and Coulson have a new visitor to the site of the hammer. Loki has just arrived from Asgard and has brought with him an army, intending to take over the planet. Loki, having realized his brother is dead, is determined to seek revenge.

Back at the university, Bruce has engaged the military once he is transformed into Hulk. A fight breaks out but then something else that didn’t happen in the film. Hulk’s body begins to expand. He grows larger and larger until he explodes into a mess of green. Another Avenger is dead.

Using his way with words, Fury manages to buy some time by convincing Loki to give him a day to solve the murder. Loki agrees and there’s a standstill while Fury relies on Natasha to find some more information.

What If…? episode 3 continue with Natasha venturing into a library and uncovers some crucial information from the past that may have led to the murders. The deaths are all tied back to someone who has a bone to pick with Fury and wants him to suffer. With the information acquired, she quickly calls Fury.

Before she can make that call, however, she’s attacked by an unseen enemy. She is battered and bruised but manages to dial Fury. His phone goes to voicemail but Natasha manages to scream a crucial clue before she is killed: “It’s Hope!”

Fury listens to the voicemail and tries to piece together the puzzle. Having figured out who it may be, Fury approaches Loki and offers a team-up proposition in order to bring the murderer to justice.

Fury then goes to visit the grave of Hope Pym. It is then that he is approached by the true villain behind these murders. Hank Pym, in his shrinking suit, shows himself to Fury. He admits that he was behind each murder which he was able to accomplish on a microscopic level.

Pym also reveals the horrible history of how his family was damaged by the likes of SHIELD and wanted Fury to feel a similar sense of loss. Aiming to finish the job, Hank attacks Fury but finds that he can’t kill him due to his mysterious tactics. Soon, Hank finds himself surrounded by duplicates of Fury who look down upon him.

Eventually, Loki reveals himself to be playing the role of Nick Fury. Hank, his crimes confessed, is taken into custody. Now that the murders are solved, Fury asks what Loki intends to do now.

Loki Conquers Earth in episode 3.

Cut to a few days later and Loki has managed to successfully conquer all of Earth. The world governments now bow down to the prince of Asgard as he assumes control of the planet. His forces loom over every nation.

Nick Fury and Agent Coulson both look over the coffins of the fallen Avengers they attempted to recruit. Despite feeling defeated in their efforts, they vow to fight back against evil. In the last shot of What If…? episode 3, as Fury wipes the snow and reveals Cap’s shield, the other MCU captain arrives and asks what needs to be done.

Catch the first three episodes of What If…? now on Disney+.

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