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‘What If’ Season 1 Episode 6: “What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” — RECAP

‘What If’ Season 1 Episode 6: “What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” — RECAP

Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) is in a tank with soldiers taking selfies when they are attacked. He is instructed to stay inside, but he runs out and hides. A Stark Industries missile lands next to him, but Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) shows up and tosses it away. Killmonger informs Tony that the Ten Rings have reinforcements on the way, and they need to go now. 

The Watcher informs us that heroes are forged in darkness, shaped in battle, and defined by sacrifice. Because Tony was never captured in Afghanistan, Iron Man never came to be and a villain (Killmonger) was given a new chance.

At a press conference, Tony cracks jokes and answers a question about his near-death experience. Tony expresses that they need to stop building bigger and badder equipment; he is also appointing Killmonger as Stark Industries’ new chief security officer. A reporter asks Killmonger what he was doing in that specific province considering that his unit was nowhere near where Tony was attacked. Kilmonger admits that he uncovered the intel on Tony’s attack and exposes Obadiah Stane (Kiff VandenHeuvel) as the man who paid for Tony to be assassinated. Obadiah tries to deflect, but Killmonger came with receipts and dropped them online. 

Later, while having drinks, Tony promotes Killmonger to COO. Pepper (Beth Hoyt) talks to Rhodey (Don Cheadle) about Killmonger’s background. She wants to know what Killmonger could possibly want from Tony. 

Killmonger is shown Tony’s home lab where he brings up his doctoral thesis: automated combat drones. This would make human soldiers obsolete. Tony jumps in to assist Killmonger with the project. The two get to work on the project Liberator. Their first drone doesn’t go as planned and needs more power. Killmonger slides vibranium into the conversation and shows Tony his ring when Tony brings up that his dad, Howard, used up the last of it. Tony comes up with the idea to hit up Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) to help. 

Pepper is not impressed by the suggestion of having an arms dealer connected with the company. Tony counters by having Rhodey go in to make the deal.

Rhodey is being shown the vibranium that Klaue is holding on his ship when the security is breached. Black Panther takes out all the men while Klaue hides. Rhodey is informed by Black Panther that he is not the enemy and that he just wants to take the vibranium back to where it belongs. However, Killmonger has other ideas. He attacks and kills both Black Panther and Rhodey, framing both of them as attackers of each other. Klaue comes out of hiding, informing Killmonger that he put the word out about the material and is impressed on Killmonger’s plan. 

Black Panther and Rhodey are both given funerals in their respective countries. Killmonger visits Tony and tells him that they need to seek revenge for losing one of their own. Tony shows Killmonger a playback of the scene of Killmonger killing his friend. He tells Killmonger that he wants justice. A drone comes out and attacks Killmonger. Killmonger easily takes out the drone with a Dora Milaje spear. Then he uses the same spear to kill Tony. 

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Pepper suspects that Killmonger is in the middle of it all, but General Ross thinks highly of the man. General Ross acquires all of Stark Industries’ equipment, stating that they are at war. The drones that Killmonger designed are mass-produced. Killmonger meets Klaue with several planes of the drones, then the two take a drive to Wakanda. 

Killmonger walks into Wakanda with a dead Klaue over his shoulder. He is greeted by the Dora Milaje, who brings them to King T’Chaka, Queen Ramona (Angela Bassett), and Princess Shuri (Ozioma Akagha). Killmonger states that the Wakandans are his people too and that’s why he brought the man that stole their vibranium. He states that he remembers the stories his dad told him and has always searched for his home. King T’Chaka invites him home. Killmonger informs him that war is at their door, shows them the drones, and suggests a plan that has the drones come within the city so that they can easily be destroyed. King T’Chaka asks his wife, aka the general, what to do. 

The Wakandans prepare for war. General Ross is surprised to see the capital city of Wakanda when the shields are open but is disappointed when they go dark. T’Chaka and Shuri praise Killmonger for his assistance, T’Chaka going as far as stating that Killmonger will always have a home in Wakanda. 

But Killmonger wants more than that. He starts up the drones, playing that Tony set up a backup generator and is a villain. A battle breaks out with Killmonger joining in and destroying the very drones that he created. Queen Ramona and Okoye notice his fearless fight the whole time. 

While Killmonger enjoys a sunset, King T’Chaka joins him. Killmonger states he is a loyal subject of Wakanda and wants to be of service. He is given the herb to become Black Panther. In the ancestral plane, he is greeted by T’Challa, who asks if it was worth it then tells him that power unearned is a volatile force and will get the best of him eventually on one plane or another. 

Pepper is informed by General Ross that soldiers are arriving on the African coast. Later, she is surprised by a visit from Shuri, who has footage of Killmonger killing Rhodey and T’Challa. They both hatch a plan to open the eyes of both sides. 

The Watcher states that heroes are never really gone and live forever, as do the ones they inspire to carry on the fight. 

That was quite the ominous ending. This Killmonger achieved his status of Black Panther by being devious and murderous by all means. His goal has always been power by any means necessary without considering the lives that will be taken en route. Sacrificing the lives of the innocent (Tony, Rhodey, and T’Challa) to gain power isn’t the best way to fix a broken world. Fortunately, Shuri was there to find the information and get it to the right people. 

I liked this timeline and wished that we could’ve seen the outcome. I get the feeling that Shuri became the Black Panther at the end of it. And I very much enjoyed the queen fighting in the battle for her son! 

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