A Different Endgame
October 1, 2021
WHAT IF…ULTRON WON? (Episode 8) Original Soundtrack Available Now
– Randall D. Larson
Laura Karpman’s score for Marvel’s WHAT IF…’s penultimate episode has been released by Hollywood Records and Marvel Music. Warning: some mild spoilers may appear below.
In an alternate reality, Ultron not only defeats the Avengers, but also gains Vision’s body and the power of the Infinity Stones. Thus the episode explores what might have happened if Ultron actually won in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. It’s not a pretty sight. This episode is also the first one to reference previous episodes, having clear connections to both episode 4 “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands” and to the ending of Episode 7, “What If…Thor Was an Only Child” in which Ultron, in possession of Thanos’ Infinity Stones, and his drones march through a portal to interrupt Thor’s massive party.
This episode is an especially dark one (even darker than Episode 4’s evil Doctor Strange saga) that ends on a cliffhanger, presumably to be continued in the final ninth Episode, but it’s also a fascinating episode in terms of the MCU and the multiverses it’s spawned. That’s the delight of the WHAT IF… series both in television and in the comics, the imagination can spring wild with fantastic “What if” stories which are separated from, and not an actual part of, the MCU canon.
Laura Karpman’s scoring prowess continues in spades in this episode, ranging from powerhouse references to familiar heroic themes to cosmically cataclysmic endgames – in other words, massive music for the episode’s universe-shattering climax; not to mention The Watcher’s facing a conflict with maintaining his vow not to interfere but to watch and record.
For some spoiler-intensive reflections on this episode, read this article at inverse.com. For a detailed spoiler-heavy overview of the episode and some interesting trivia notes, see disney.fandom.com here.
The Episode 8 soundtrack is now available from various streaming/download platforms including Spotify and Amazon.