What If…? Episode 5: Zombies!?

Writers: A.C. Bradley, Matthew Chauncey

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira

RATING: 4.5 Stars

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What if when Hank Pym travelled to the Quantum realm, rather than rescuing Janet Van Dyne, discovered she had been infected by a quantum virus. Then, what if he bought that virus back to earth? When most of the population is infected with this zombie virus, including Earths mightiest heroes, it is up to the surviving heroes to try and find a cure before it’s too late.

I was expecting really lofty things from this episode. I hadn’t read the comic run, but the people that had seemed incredibly excited to see it come to life on the screen. And miraculously. I think this might be my favourite episode of the whole show so far. I think it’ because it’s takes the Marvel universe and completely turns it on it’s head. There are events going on that we recognise, but for the most part, nothing here is how we know it. , so it doesn’t feel like a rehash, it’s a totally new story, just with characters that we know.

The plot is gripping and well paced, incorporating all of the zombie movie tropes that you would expect to see, while at the same time, thanks to constant references from Peter Parker, being hilariously self aware. It knows that it is following all the tropes, but does it anyway, and makes a joke out of it. And just like in a zombie movie, none of your favourite characters are safe. We start with a group of about 7 heroes and by the end are down to 3, so any one for your heroes could be taken out at any point.

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There are so, so many Easter eggs to be found in this episode to both Marvel Studios projects, and to horror movies on the whole, and that is what makes this show so great. They scatter just enough of the MCU in there to appease fans and make it recognisable, but keep the plots original enough to not be boring or repetitive.

This episode, in keeping with the time in which it is set, ends on a huge cliff hanger. And with one of the most memorable shots from the show so far. I am assuming, or more accurately hoping, that next week will follow on immediately where this one left off and we will get to see the finale of this story. I loved every freaking second of this episode, and am running off now to immediately read the comic books it came from.

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