It may have taken four weeks, but the Watcher failed to live up to his moniker in this week’s episode of Marvel’s What If…? by interacting with another being. The most tragic and emotional installment of the animated series yet, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange went to lengths to prevent the death of Christine Palmer.
The surgeon-turned-superhero became the first character in the show to acknowledge the Watcher’s existence, and even called out for help. Uatu may have spoken to Doctor Strange, but he still wouldn’t intervene, causing the universe to be destroyed, ending with grievin’ Stephen forced to spend eternity in oblivion.
It was powerful stuff, especially for what’s ostensibly a cartoon aimed at children, and it reinforced the notion not even the destruction of all time and space is enough to have the Watcher break his vow. In a new interview, though, Jeffrey Wright teased that he might end up getting involved as season one progresses.
“In this instance, it speaks to Strange’s mystical powers too, that he perceives him there. So there’s two sides to that, but also yes, The Watcher is compelled by the danger that Strange is conjuring, obviously not only for himself but for his whole reality. For The Watcher, there’s only so much he can only watch. He’s not a voyeur for voyeurism’s sake, he is in some ways made up of these characters. Without them, what does he watch? He’s profoundly compelled by them, and maybe there’s only so much he can take. We’ll see.”
Wright has already teased the possibility of the Watcher making the jump into live-action, but he’ll definitely be sticking around for the in-development Season 2. Each installment of What If…? to date has been different in style, tone, and narrative, indicating the show can run for years without running out of ideas. Therefore, the door remains open for even more spinoffs or standalones.