The seventh episode of the anthology titled, What If... Thor Were an Only Child? is easily the least impressive of the anthology
The story is an alternate take on the first Thor film directed by Kenneth Branagh, where Thor and Loki do not grow up in the same household. In this universe, Thor is a carefree prince who is a party animal and his only mission in life appears to be to eat, drink and be merry. He chooses Earth, or Midgard, as his next party destination and brings the whole galaxy with him.
The whole narrative is built around how Thor goes on his wild parties by evading the watchful eyes of his mother, Frigga, and Heimdall, the guardian of Bifrost. In hindsight, Thor is the Norse version of a socialite in this parallel universe. This situation naturally opens several scenarios that may seem illogical, but the writers have taken the ‘what if?’ concept to unnecessary territories in order to compensate for the lack of a gripping storyline.
The frustrating aspect of the episode is the fact that a vast majority of the original cast from the first Thor film returned for this anthology story including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Kat Dennings as Darcy, and Jamie Alexander as Lady Sif. Even the entirety of the actors who portrayed characters from SHIELD also returned including Samuel L Jackson. A whole other list could be made of the number of characters and the famous actors who appeared in this episode. When even Jeff Goldblum makes an appearance, it is painfully obvious that the episode is Disney’s way of saying, “We can, so we did”, which is ultimately a waste of a wealth of talent in the most forgettable story from the What if…? anthology so far.
The episode is not entirely a lost cause, there were well-choreographed fight scenes between Captain Marvel and Thor. Fans of the Dragon Ball series might find a few similarities in the environment and setting of these fights. However, these are mainly played for comedic effect, which is surprising, considering the whole episode is a parody in itself. The core plot line could be summed up as a boy terrified of his mother finding out about the frat party he had with his friends — an overused trope from coming-of-age teen comedies from yesteryear.
The episode is overrun by several popular characters who have nothing to offer to the narrative rather than just being in it for the sake of it. It is a very deliberate attempt at a lighter narrative after a series with very serious storylines, which is reasonable. However, the humour is cringe-inducing, which means that the episode excels at nothing in particular other than having a stellar cast which would be the envy for many.