What If...? Doctor Strange Review S1E4: Mystic Beings Do Not Bargain

Last week's episode of What If is one of the hardest-hitting entries in the MCU to date. Buckle up for the feels as we break down the weight of Doctor Strange's wrong choice!

Trey: Hello and welcome back to
another episode of, MCU Need to know.

A podcast dedicated to the
Marvel cinematic universe and

everything you need to know,I'm Trey

Jude: I'm Jude.

How are you doing Trey?

Trey: I'm doing pretty fantastic
because Shang-Chi is out!.

Jude: Yes,


You know what?

And there was a little bit of a
fear, I think, and it getting pushed.

I'm glad it didn't.

Trey: Yeah, I'm always a fan of
more options, but I'm so glad

it didn't get delayed as well.

Cause it's, especially after the
week that we've had on social media

where it felt like one by one, so
many big movies were being delayed.

It's it starting to be this creeping
feeling like I like maybeEternals, maybe

Spider-Man might be next in line, but
at least for now we have Shang-Chi.

Jude: I know.

Spider-Man goes without saying right.

In terms of being excited for, but
I was really excited for Sean Chase.

I'm glad it made it.

Trey: Yeah, me too.

And keep your eyes out on the feed.

Maybe this coming Tuesday for bonus
quick reactions, episode four.

so make sure you're subscribed.

So, you know, when that drops,
but how are you doing, dude?

Jude: Well, my cousin Paul, it was
so funny because he even mentioned

was, I jokingly said about the
time travel I'm listening to it.

So yeah, he, he said, yeah,
I heard you talk about me.

He's actually still here because
of the hurricane that hit.

Oh, no.

Um, so w which is nice, like, I, it was
a fantastic visit as he's listening.

Uh, thank you for coming to visit, uh,
you know, it was, it was wonderful.

He was like, welcome to stay as
long as he wanted, but yeah, so

that was a fun, that was a fun week.

And so I, I felt bad
because this last night.

Or, you know, right before we started
recording, I was already a little bit

tired, you know, and I was rewatching.

What if to get my notes and I don't
know, I guess after a week, You know,

it's like, oh, guests by the week.

You're like, look, this is just
your place to you're on your own.

That's unfortunately,
that's what it seems like.

Sorry, Paul.

Trey: Oh man.

All the hosts, like the it's just gone.

It's like, Hey man, I got to go do this.


Oh, that's fantastic.

But it was tremendous.

That's a special level of
comfortability with somebody that

you could have at that point.

It's like, Hey, you know where things are?

Jude: Oh, absolutely.


You know what?

He might be smiling and nodding his head.

As I say this, I think he
really enjoyed Francis.

Oh, really?

Enjoyed the dog.


Not as mascots, not enough
to take them home with them.

Um, unfortunately, but

Trey: is that, is that your plea
every time somebody comes and

visits to get them to take the

Jude: dog?



Oh really?

I get that.

It's never going to happen.

I just like my sandwiches.

I like to make any sandwiches and

Trey: piece look it's, it's an
understandable ask of anyone and I hope

you find that piece someday one day.

Jude: Oh my God.

How are you?

Trey: You know, I reached a new level.

Of podcast researching today as I was
taking notes where we're not going to

get into it yet, but I was watching
on my iPad in one screen and then

like the iPad can do two screens.

I was taking notes in the other and
it got to the point in the, what if

episode where I was like, Huh, I wonder.

And I pulled up the Dr.

Strange movie on my phone.

So I was watching both on my iPad
and on my phone at the same time.

And I just had to pause and think
about like, wow, this is, this

is a lot, we joked about watching
on two screens, but I'm actually,

Jude: so I'm, I'm curious any insights,
well, I guess we'll have to get into that

on the other side of the spoilers, but
any insights to having at the same time,

Trey: it was more just wanting to
get a confirmation of something.

But, uh, yeah, I hope I haven't.

Yeah, but we'll see when we get there.


Which, Hey, if you downloaded this
episode with it, then you know,

we're going to be discussing.

What if season one, episode four.

What if Dr.

Strange lost his heart
instead of his head?

So we're also doing a bit of an audible.

If you've been listening, uh, for the
last few weeks, you know, that the way

we've been doing this is our pre spoiler
thoughts, which we are still going to do.

But on the other side of the spoiler
zone, we've decided instead of breaking

it down by the most important topics,
we're going to go back to an old method

of reviewing these episodes, which is by
doing the three act structure breakdown.

Um, I think we had a very
good conversation at the

end of the last podcast.

When we were done recording about how
given the short length of these episodes,

it kind of felt like we were stretching
the episode a little too thin and not

covering everything that we wanted to
cover with the most important topics.

So with this change, we're really hoping
to give it more of that attention.

We would like to, since it is
shorter than most of the other

things we've gotten so far this year.

So with that being said, we're
going to go ahead and get

into our pre spoiler thoughts.

So Jude, what are your pre
spoiler thoughts for this.

Jude: Uh, I think I'm going
to stick with what we posted

on social media that got dark.

This might be my favorite episode.


It might be, but man, it went dark.


I really enjoyed it.

I really liked all the others
felt like a cartoon, right.

This didn't feel as cartoony
as the others to me.

So yeah, that, that was
the thing I noticed.

It, it really didn't feel like as
much of a cartoon to me and just

the, the direction they took it.

What about you?

Trey: So following suit with you,
I'll start with the one that we

shared on social media as well at
MC you need to know on Twitter and

Instagram, I'm impressed by the way,
this series has given us so many

variations on the multi-verse premise.

So kind of quickly going through it.

That first one with captain Carter
was a slight story deviation with a

major character, swap to challah was
a major story change and such a huge

departure from the story we knew.

Whereas episode three was another
major story deviation, but very

minimal character swaps and.

It's it's, it's flexing these different
ways to contextualize the multi-verse.

If that makes sense.

And I, I I'm appreciating that.

I think that's a fun look at the
possibilities, which by the way, after

we did the, the voiceover intro for
the, what if leach and Daniel episode,

anytime I say possibilities, I'm
immediately back into the recording.

Jude: Well, I'm just
going to start muting.

The what if and play yours?

Trey: You know, we had this whole
thing with Daredevil, where I said

watching the intro is a part of
the experience because I did that.

I almost want to skip the intro.

I can't do it anymore.


We're getting, getting back
to my pre spoiler thoughts.

We're not there yet.

All of these have been individual stories
so far, but I really am starting to get

this feeling of a slow build between
episodes that feels like it will be more

connected by the end of this season.

And we can get into that once we
get into the spoiler zone, but it

it's, it's invoking feelings of the
way one division had those first

three super stylized episodes.

And then by episode four,
you're like, oh, I get it.

I see how this is all interconnecting.

So I feel like that turn is coming.


Jude: Okay.

I was about to say something,
but I got to wait for the.

Trey: Can we use that
instead of the normal one?

You mean, can you imagine if, if
this was somebody's first episode and

they were like, whoa, what was that?

Jude: Look, I just went with it, man.

I, I just, it was time.

Trey: It was time.

I got a new one too.

I'll I'll do one at some point
before we, well, as we were

alluding to, we were getting ready
to jump into the spoiler zone.

Uh, but before we do, we just wanted to
take time to remind people that if you

are not already, uh, you should definitely
be following us on social media at MC you

need to know on Twitter and Instagram,
you know, we've been doing some work

in putting up bonus content, uh, things
that don't make the cut of the episode

that you hear in your feed as well.

Uh, like we mentioned earlier, you get
a taste of our priest, poreless thoughts

either on the day of, or very relatively
soon since Monday is a bit of a wait

Jude: and another reason to follow it.

So you can share your reactions with
us and we can read it on the podcast.

Trey: Yeah.

About to hear is an audio cue.

And on the other side of the
queue, we'll be talking full

spoilers for everything in the MCU.

So we'll see you on the other side.

And we're back.

We mentioned earlier, we're going to
be breaking things down by three acts

instead of the most important topics.

So act one is going to take us from
the beginning of the episode all

the way until the confrontation
with the ancient one, where Dr.

Strange escapes to the library of CAG,
Leo stro, starting with YouTube, where

would you like to start within this first?


Jude: starting point is
going to be Rachel McAdams.

I think she was so good at it.

Yeah, you watch these shows and
you can tell a difference, I

think sometimes and that okay.

Your voice acting versus on set.


Like I could hear a little different
in Benedict Cumberbatch when he's

normally on me when I came to bargain
and there's a slight difference, but

Rachel McAdams, I didn't, I don't know.

It just felt real.


And I think she was really good in that

Trey: for whatever reason, I was
convinced going into this episode

that it was confirmed somewhere
that Benedict Cumberbatch was

not going to be in this show.

And it was like, I remember reading
like a list of all the original

actors that weren't going to be in it.

And I could've sworn he was there.

And so whenever he took his
first word in the episode, I

was like, that's actually him.

And it just made it that
much more delightful.

And then the follow up with Rachel
McAdams as well, it was like, oh

man, this, this is going to be.

Jude: Yeah, I think so too.

I, I remember watching it and well, Paul
was here and we were both watching it

together and it was like, that's magic.

That sounds like Benedict.

No, it's not Benedict.

He wasn't going to be in this.

No, it is.

It's like, yeah.


Was it a

Trey: surprise

Jude: that he was in it?

Yeah, I was surprised.

Were you surprised?

I was surprised

Trey: I was it designed surprise

Jude: by March?

I'm not sure, but I look the only reason
why I did that as anybody who's watched,

I think it's glorious from Eddie Izzard
is going to be rolling right there.

But anyways, um, I think it's glorious.

It might, it might be D indefinite
article, but I'm pretty sure it's

glorious, but yeah, no, I was surprised.

Trey: And real quickly, I just wanted to
play off something that you said about

the difference in voice acting and acting.

I think that Benedict Wong is one of
the best translations of live action

character to animated character.

I don't think this made the podcast
last week, but I was talking

about in the discord with friend
Daniel, how, for me last week it

was Michael Douglas this week.

It's 100% Wong.

He just feels so natural in the animated
role that I really appreciated it.

Jude: Yeah.


You're right.

I mean, as much as I just said
about Rachel McAdams you're right.

Wong was really, really good here too.


And not to take anything away from
Benedict Cumberbatch like they are,

but it just, they, they just jumped
off, jumped off the screen for them.

Trey: Yeah.

You know, I've been tracking this
feeling that the watcher is tiptoeing

into interfering in this multi-verse.

I really enjoyed the line where he said,
we have watched how one moment, one

choice can ripple across space and time.

And he goes into that whole thing about
like, what would happen if somebody

made the wrong choice for someone
who can not, will not interfere.

It feels like even the participation
or even the opinion of something

being the wrong choice feels like an
act of participation on his point.

And so it's like we're watching
this tension build until a

moment where he will and it's.

It's such a tease.

Like I think I'm pulling it up
ahead because it makes sense here.

I think I wrote down somewhere later
in my notes, the watcher is the most

interesting character to me that I
just want more of and we haven't gotten

Jude: well, you know what?

And they're, and they're slowly
introducing us more to them.

Trey: Yeah.

It feels like there's more

Jude: to him.

So, so let me ask you this.

What did you think in
this case was the choice.


Cause I don't really see a choice.

Trey: Yeah.

I, I don't know if they gave us a
choice because even at the beginning

where they are going to an award
ceremony together that never happened.


Like, and, and even, um, even
them being on good terms.

When we start in the movie, it's
already implied a relationship that

has gone wrong and they're only working
in a very, um, professional sense.

And this episode starts with a lot more.

Familiar relationship.

So whatever choice there
was, it was already happened.


Jude: Yeah.

Well, okay.

So it's, what if Dr.

Strange lost his heart
instead of his hands, right?

That's the title?

So for me, my first note was
strangers and full of himself.

So already that's different.


Cause he's not, I it's, I don't see him
in the beginning as this arrogant person.

Like you can't lose your heart the way
strange did, if he is at the start, the

way he was in the middle in the movie.

And so for me, like he doesn't
get to go learn humility because

he loses it in the movie.

He loses his hands, he goes to fix his
hands and he has to learn humility here.

He's not, he has the same
drive to fix something.


And what he lost was himself.

And he's trying to fix himself here.

He's trying to fix what he
lost, which was Christine.


You know?

And so, and in that way, that, to me, that
was where the biggest difference was and

like who he was as a person before then.

Trey: Right.

Interesting to note though,
that in any universe, he's

still a terrible driver though.

Jude: Well, hold on, hold on.

Christine drove once and they got rear
ended a lot of those times, right?


Trey: is getting very dark,

Jude: but yes.

I mean, they got rear
ended a lot of those times.

So it was of that.

He was a terrible driver or Christine
was terrible driver, you know, maybe,

maybe it was the watcher or the TVA
that was rear kept rear ended him

to make sure this is what happens.

Trey: This is before they invented
those, uh, those time vials.

I already forgot what they were called.

The reset charges.

You know, jokes aside.

I did want to emphasize a little
bit more cause you're right.

This is not a, a braggart that Stephen
strange was at the beginning of the movie.

He was a lot more reserved.

He was a lot more humble.

And the thing that I think
stuck out to me oddly, was a

throwaway line where Christine
was talking about prices, rights.

Like you've never heard of prices.


And Steven's like, no, what is that?

And I genuinely believed him.

I don't think he was playing it off.

It's you know, for somebody who
took so much pride in trivia in

that opening sequence of the movie
where he was just like performing

surgery and like Naomi's the year.



It w it's so no pun intended strange
that this, this version of Dr.

Strange doesn't have the
cultural pop culture knowledge.

So that's a big change right there.

And was able

Jude: to recognize the number one
hit with, was it the flugel horn, the

flugel horn or something like that?



Is that what it was?

I think that's what it was.

Trey: Flugel horn is, uh,
how, like the Seusical thing.

Isn't it then?

What was it?


Jude: not sure.

I don't know why that comes to mind now.

I want to know.


Now we have, you will

Trey: need to reach us on social media.

So I'm looking for it.

Jude: It's not, not a
flugelhorn, but what is it?

That was the instrument and doctor
strange pull over and park, go to Twitter.

Now, go to

Trey: side, joking aside, you
know, you brought up this idea of

how, like a person who loses their
heart doesn't need to be humbled.

I think it made me appreciate
something that I didn't know.

Internalize in the movie where
it was two problems that Dr.

Strange was facing.

It was the humility, which I think is the
easiest one, but it's also this idea of

letting go so much of the later half of
that movie is him trying to get back to

the life he had before he lost his hands.

And it emphasizes the importance
of that character flaw here.

When you, I guess, adapt the story from
being his own personal wellbeing to the

wellbeing of another, because that, that
feeling of letting go resonate stronger

in the external factor of somebody else.


That makes sense.

No, totally true.

That if that makes

Jude: sense.

No, no, no, no.

It makes sense.

It does.

It makes sense.

So watching Christine die over
and over, it was heartbreak.

Trey: Aye.

I want to let you go first because
I have a different feeling really?


And I think this might make me the
villain of the season, but go ahead.

I want to hear your positives first.


Jude: Death over and over to an
individual that he would lead loves.

That's what, okay.

Uh, it just was like, like, cause for
me, you know, I'm seeing Stephen strange

so desperately at this point, right?

It's happened.

He has gone on to become sorcerer
Supreme and it's a two year

anniversary and he gets lost, you know?

So like, so like he
hasn't really moved on.


He's still in this grief and he just
gets lost in this memory and he has the

power to do so because of the time stone,
just so desperately clinging to them.

That memory and just everything he tries,
it just not working and over and over

again, having to relive that death.

I just, I found that heartbreaking.

Yeah, go ahead.

Be the villain.

All right.

Trey: Here's my turn to be the
villain, you know, last week, I think

you mentioned coming to terms with
realizing that you just don't like

the animation style and that's fine.

I think this episode for me was me
coming to terms with not liking the

format, at least so far because of
that short timeframe, the feeling of

watching Christine die over and over
again, felt more like they needed to

get in as many of those rounds as they
could to kind of beat us over the head.

Then actually spending time with that
realization of having to watch somebody,

let somebody go like that and fail.

So whenever it was happening over and
over again, I was with it at first.

But by the time we got to the scene where
they were in the diner and the gunman

walks in, while they're eating pizza,
I laughed, it felt like a lifetime.

And yeah, like I get the point
that they're trying to make.

It just, it felt very, I don't know,
like it didn't, it didn't land for me.

Like I think it did for other people.

And so this is why I feel
like I'm the villain.

Jude: I'm trying this, I'm trying my
best to see it from your perspective.

Trey: I think it's just the,

Jude: go ahead.

Now I'm just trying to, and try my
best to see it from your perspective.

Cause to me like I'm imagining he is
looking through all the possibilities

and looking for just that one.

That's different.



Yeah, I don't see it

Trey: to me.

It's it's just because they go through
it where he tries to do it differently.

And then he thinks he saved.

It doesn't happen.

That hit hard.

I was like, okay, here we go.

I understand that he's going to learn
the hard way that he can't do it.

I think they do it two more times
of different variations of like,

you know, they decide not to go or
they take an alternate route and it

just keeps happening where they die.

And then by the fifth time here we are
at the parlor scene and it was like, I

got it, but they just kept going with it.

And so it didn't, it wasn't connecting
with me emotionally because I was

like, you're are like, we only
have so much time and I get it.

Does that make sense?

Jude: I, yeah.

No, if not, that's fine.

It's just, it's just, cause, I mean,
they're trying to establish that.

Like, they're trying, for me,
it was always the car wreck.

There's always a car wreck.

And so you finally get them.

Oh, well, not always.

It was the one where they actually
get there and she has a heart attack.

And then, then you had
the one where, right?

The one you laughed.


The gunman.

But in other words that they do
something completely different.

He stands her up and something happens.

And so to me, they were trying
to really establish that,

that absolute point in time.


And so that's it.

And I think, I think they had to
show other ways other variations with

the same outcome to get that result.

Trey: Yeah.

Well, no, go ahead.

I was going to say, I think
it's finally official.

I have a cold dead
heart, but, uh, carry on.

Jude: Well, I was going to
say this, this here though.

It is.

If there's any place where it's
like, I'm letting something go

because it's a cartoon, this

Trey: is where it's at.

I think that's me coming to terms
with not connecting with the format.

I think if they're going to pull
something like that off, because

it's not a detriment to animation,
animation can be serious, it can

tackle like more mature stories.

And I'm fine with that.

But because these are so short
and because as of right now,

they're not continuous storylines.

I just, I'm not connecting
with it emotionally.

And so that part was a bummer.

And just to like clarify,
this is like, I think the most

critical I am of the episode.

So, you know, hopefully this is
the only act where I get this, uh,

negative, but yeah, it's just, it's
not working for me that way, which

sucks because that last point it
sucks because I do like that idea of.

The corrosion of trying to hold
onto the past and how unhealthy

it is for strange to be there.

It just, that one aspect
of it didn't do it for

Jude: me.


Well, and here's where I say, cause it
didn't Dawn on me to right now the, well,

two things am I note there is this element
of like Ken and absolute point in time

exists in a, multi-verse say probably not.

But the other thing is there is
that weird, like this strange is

using the time stone to go back to
change that, which case that event

is what got him with the time stone.

So it's a weird paradox.


And so like, and I didn't think about
it watching it cause it's a cartoon.

And I just didn't think about
that, but it is kind of a paradox

of like, well, if you do fix this,
that's the motivation for you?

You know, and maybe that's kind of
the absolute point in time angel

owner's referring to, or the idea of
like, wait a minute, this happened.

So do you became here and
became the sorcerer Supreme?

And it was dialogue and everything
was like, this has to happen.

So you can become the sorcerer Supreme,
but also it has to happen because you

are the sorcerer Supreme is another way.

I think we could look at it because
otherwise he wouldn't be able to

go back and relive these things.

Trey: Come on.

I think he even mentions to, to the
ancient one, I'm creating a paradox.

Like he, he was well aware of it.


Well, I will say this to add one
positive point on it because I know

I was coming down pretty harshly.

We were talking about
voice acting earlier.

It's very hard to pull off a character
exclaiming, no like screaming at the sky

and probably even harder in an animated.

I think that it did a pretty
good job on this one, whenever it

gets to the end where he realizes
that he just can't save her.

And that did get me a little bit.

So yeah, some points to that.


Jude: Well, you know, we'll
give you a point for that,

Trey: you know, changing out
of this topic completely.

We've, we've talked around
it, but I don't think we've

talked about him in particular.

I want a show with Wong and strange,
just hanging out at the sanctum sanctorum

it seems like they've got such a great
dynamic, but every time they turn around

a world ending event is happening.

And I just want to see them hang out.


Jude: that's the next one shot.

Yeah, strange in Wong,
just like thorn Daryl.

Trey: Well, it's just like, you know, Dr.

Strange is ruminating looking out
the window and, and Wong comes

in and he's like, oh, I had to
use the little sourcers room.

And he was like, oh, I'll go put the
kettle on before you do anything stupid.

Like they have such a great dynamic.

And, and even that line about him
saying, oh, I'll go put the kettle on

I, this is where I get tripped up a
little bit, because I think what I want

to pull from it is we know how long
was very apprehensive about the way Dr.

Strange was doing things after he
became the sorcerer Supreme to be.

But here he fully trust, strange to
be on his own while he goes and starts

the kettle and trust that he won't
do anything rash with the time stone,

even though he ends up doing that.

But I like that growth
of trust on Wong's part.

Right, right.

Well, I think that's going
to wrap it up for act one.

So moving into act two, this is going
to take us from the moment that Dr.

Strange is in the library of Taglio
stro and his training and absorbing

all the different mystical creatures
to gain knowledge up until the point

that he learns that he is only half
a man after discussing with obeying.

So starting with me this time, the
place that I really want to start

is just the setting of the library.

Overall, think when I was taking
notes, I thought about it strange

really is a character whose strength
is more in that ability to learn

and to absorb information quickly
rather than just conjuring up magic.

Uh, it's the same way we're
like, you know, with Tony,

it's not that he's in a suit.

It's that?

He's the mechanic, he's the tinker.

This is the true power of who he is.

And whenever you think
in terms of that, for Dr.

Strange, putting him.

In a library of infinite knowledge
just feels like such great drama

because you're watching a character
who's already teetering on the edge

of heroics and you get to watch that
tight rope as he pursues that knowledge,

which isn't bad, but knowing what
he ultimately wants to do and that

motivation behind it, which is watching
somebody walk down a path of demise.

And it's just, it's great, great
tension throughout that episode,

Jude: man.

I, I really wonder where that
was at and like, pardon me?

I was curious like, what is that?

um, now he never called him cavalier OSHA.

There was another name.

He called him by obeying.

Yeah, but I, I dunno, I, I was kind
of hoping that would be calculator,

show himself kind of that whole Yoda.

You know, I'm not gonna reveal that
I'm Yoda empire strikes back thing

Trey: right away.

Well, he even had the same aloof nature.

He's like, maybe he's
there, maybe he's here.

Maybe he's nowhere.


And that feels very much like
empire strikes back Yoda.


Jude: Yeah.

But you're right.

Like I'm, I'm, it is, you're
a hundred percent right.

Of this, you know, that's, that's
what we saw in the movie of Dr.

Strange him using the astral
projection, running and burning

through these books so fast, you know?

So it makes sense that that's
what he would do and that's

where we get to see him do.

Um, and it's, I, I think what I
mentioned earlier, he, the similar

drive to I lost myself and I got to
fix myself and this, I lost Christine.

I got to fix this.

It's the same drive.

You know, it's just, the drive is
pushing him in another direction.

Um, right.

It does.

It does.

I really am curious though,
where that library was.

I don't know why I was just so
fixated on where is he, where is that?

Or I guess problem with properly.

He said wind to the ancient one.


Trey: was he?


You know, I do want to
butt in here real quick.

Cause I'd mentioned in the preschooler
thoughts, or maybe even the banter section

about how I had two screens open at once.

Uh, there's a scene where Dr.

Strange is finally going through
the books and he's opening

them up and he's reading them.

And I think he says something
like, ah, time manipulation,

bingo, and he flips it open.

And there was a sign, a very, very
prominent red sign in the middle of

the book and it triggered a memory.

So I opened up Dr.

Strange the movie on my iPhone.

It's the same, uh, glyph magic ruin,
whatever it may be that Cassius uses

whenever he connects with Dormamuu.

And so that I wanted to confirm that.

So hopefully that lived up to
the, uh, the expectation setting

and the priest boiler thoughts.


It also makes me wonder, is this just a
fun Easter egg or is there some meaning

to derive from the symbols being the same?

Because at this point in the story, Dr.

Strange has already conquered Dormamuu.

So I don't know what else
that sign would be for.


Jude: I, I think it's, it's the
whole tapping into the dark magic

that the ancient one did the
live long that Casey Lee has did.

So I think that's, to me that would be

Trey: the connection, basically the
dark side of the sourcer Supremes.

Jude: Yeah.

Hey man, you got to, we all have the
shadow and we got to face our shadows,

integrate them to be whole for all
our youngian psychologists out there.

I'm just saying, you know, we all got it.

Although I think technically the
shadow's neutral, but anyways,

let's not get bogged down on that.

Trey: That's a story for another day.

Jude: So, yeah.

Um, one of the things I found
really interesting about this

part, and I don't think I caught
it the first time was the gnome.

I don't think it registered
shared with me if like he's

sizing up in creatures, right.

Learning how to absorb.

And the first creature
was this evil gnome.


Where in the world is this
evil know from the Marvel

Trey: universe?

My guess somewhere in ant, man.

I bet you anything.

If we watch an ant man movie, there's
a shot of a know it all this time.

It was an evil gnome
and we just didn't know

Jude: me.

They know, I like how he gets.


Uh, it was, it was a different
Cape, but he, he got his Cape and

then that was the same creature.


Trey: I'm going to read my notes, Jude
called it with the tentacle monster

being connected between episodes.

And that was a hundred percent the
same monster as it wasn't captain card.


So you get points for that.

You know, if there is an overarching
plot, I'm putting my money, that that

creature is central to it somehow,
because it cannot be a coincidence

that the two portals that opened up
the first one with captain Carter.

And now this one with Dr.

Strange it's, it's the
identical tentacle monster.

So there's something there for sure.

Identical tentacle, the
identical tentacle and.

Jude: Other children's books.

Oh, man.

Right next to a Munster
at the end of the book.

Identical tentacle.

But yeah, no, I I'm.

We're going to see, we're
going to see that again.

Trey: Oh, 100%.

You know, and, and while we're here
talking about the creatures that Dr.

Strange faced off against, I had
two thoughts, one watching him go

against all those mythical creatures
is further proof that I want.

My roguelike Dr.

Strange game.

It would be perfect.

And I really want that
to be a reality now.

Oh yeah.


Like you already have.

I mean, I've, we've talked about
in previous episodes, but you have

the idea of like certain runs in
a video game, being a different

timeline that is exploring.

And then now you have all these
creatures that are just the perfect

fodder for going against needle.



Jude: level

Trey: up learn new spells.


Somebody make it happen.

You know, the other thing that I
wanted to really highlight here

is the, the whole act of Dr.

Strange powering up is by absorbing these
creatures and all of this is in pursuit to

be powerful enough to change the absolute
point in time where he can save Christine.

And it is, like I said,
despite the beginning, part's

not really working for me.

There is some kernel of that deterioration
of watching somebody cling to the past

that I think is a really interesting
hook, watching him turn into these

horrible creatures as he absorbs them.

It's just really nice
because you're watching him

sacrifice his humanity for it.

And you will be questioned head
on of like, is this worth it?

But you do get to see it up to that point.

And so it's just nice visual storytelling.

Jude: Oh, what is it?

I'm going to say this.

And I hope I, somebody
is going to correct it.

But it's, it's like the,
the picture of Dorian gray.


Where Dorian gray is the subject
of like this portrait in Dorian is

infatuated with this beauty and the
PA and I'm going to get it wrong.

And my wife is going to be upset
cause she loves Oscar Wilde.

But essentially it's like the,
that he's fascinated with this

beauty and there's this picture.

But the, but while the picture looks
beautiful, I think he himself becomes

distorted and it is basically like this,
you know, selling the soul and trying

to stay young kind of, kind of thing.

And just as I like cringe, when people
screw things up, I know there's people who

probably know more about this than what
I just did and cringing and say, okay,

Trey: well, listen, I just talked about
not being emotionally affected by watching

someone be gunned down in a pizza parlor.

You're fine.

Jude: So, but, but it, it, it has
that idea and reminds me of that.


And this whole idea of, you know,
the, the choices we make, um, to

accomplish things matter, right?

The actions we take matter.

It's, uh, I was talking about this
with my students all the time, right.

Intentions, make a, make a,
make a difference and why you

want to do the things you do.

And that, and that just becomes,
it starts to distort who you

are and you lose sight of that.

And, and the, and the thing that,
especially with cartoons, um, and,

and, or not cartoons, but animated
stuff or whatever, the ability to

visually show that was fantastic.

Trey: Yeah.

And, you know, playing off that a
little bit more, another one of the

notes I took is whenever, because
the way it happens in the episode is.

Dr strange summons, the tentacle
monster first, and he just tries to

borrow his power and his immediately
done away with, and then he wakes up

and he has a conversation with obeying
where obeying is lecturing on him

about the path that he is currently on.

And he delivers a line of there's a
fine line between devotion and delusion.

And I mean, that's the thesis of this
episode is summed up in one sentence.

Is this watching this person sacrifice
so much of who they are to get this

thing that they think they want?

And it's a tragedy watching that.


Strange, despite that I love
coming from a real place.

It has now been reframed as this challenge
to prove how much she meant to them.

So rather than ever learning to let
go, he's just stuck in this hole that

he keeps digging further and further.

And it's just really sad to me that
that's where the emotional heavy

aspect of this episode came from.

You know, I mentioned in the first act
how we are watching this tip-toeing of

the watcher as he gets closer and closer
to wanting to intervene, we straight

up have it here in this second act.

As Dr.

Strange is dealing with the effects of
absorbing all the different creatures

and the tolls that is taking on his body.

We cut to the watcher.

Who's talking about
like, should I intervene?

Should I let him know
he's making a mistake?

What would it matter?

I can't do this.

And then Dr.

Strange, like looks over his
shoulder and goes, hello.

Can you imagine being somebody
who is as powerful as the watcher,

having doubts in your belief and then
having that insecurity being audibly,

recognized by someone who is supposed
to be so far outside your realm.

That gave me chills.

Like just that concept of it, because
it's like, it's showing how strong Dr.

Strange has become, and also bringing the
watcher down a peg from the all powerful

status that he had going into this show.

Jude: Well, it's interesting.

Cause he said the watcher
said I'm not a God.

Yeah, man.

He has very godlike traits.

So maybe put that to be able to be
outside and watch that way across,

across universes, multi versus, you
know, so that, that is interesting.

And I, and we've talked about
the more involvement, the more

involvement in the more involvement.

And I like how you picked up on the doubt.


And for me it seemed
kind of like frustration.


Like, Hey, I want to do something.

Well, it was a mix.

It was like, I want to do
something, but I can't.

But also like this frustration
of like, you've been warned,

dude, what are you doing?

You know, kinda frustrating.

Trey: Well, you know what he reminds
me of it's that trope in storytelling,

where there is a person from say a
fantastical side of a given universe

who is obsessed with the mundane.

And the easiest example I can
think of is Arthur Weasley

from the Harry Potter world.

He was obsessed with non magic folks.

Trivial life things.

And he didn't have a certain understanding
of it, but he was still mesmerized by it.

I feel like that's the trope we're
seeing here with the watcher where

he's a little bit more all-knowing
than someone like Arthur Weasley, but

it is that fixated fascination with
the mundane, which given the status

of the watcher, something that the Dr.

Strange is doing can be mundane
to him across a multiple.

Jude: Oh yeah.


Now I've found this interesting.

He said the watcher said you'd
risk the safety of all others.


Uh, if he, if he did, like, he he's
like, even if I could change it, it

would risk the safety of all others.

I'm assuming he's talking about that
would risk the other multi versus

so they would have to be connected
in some way, because otherwise, like

that reality is collapsing anyways.

So I'm curious as to.

Connective tissue or what point
they're pushing towards to show

these multi-verse connections.

Cause clearly he's jumping
from one to the next.

So, so there is this connective tissue
that I'm assuming it's going to be

Trey: revealed identical tentacles.

It's right

Jude: there it is.

There it is.

Trey: It's no longer
a multi-verse threads.

It's identical tentacle, right?

Jude: And every time on
off a multi-verse dies,

it's kind of like an angel, an angel.

He gets his wings and multi-verse dies.

Trey: You know, I have one more thing to
bring up in this act before we move on.

And it is the moment where.


Strange has become incredibly powerful and
he discovers that obeying is passing away.

And the first instinct that strange
has is to use the time stone to save

obeying, but obeying stomps him.

And they have a really good conversation
of the themes we're talking about of

letting go and obeying says, even in
our world, death is part of the plan.

I enjoy this line a lot, because if
you remember at the beginning of the

episode, one of the ways that we learned
that strange is a lot more humble than

the one we're used to is Christine's
like you perform this surgery and this

person lived, you did it successfully.

And strange says, yeah, well
that was part of the plan.


That, that callback between the lines is.

Hammering home that point
of what the heart of what

strange is doing is not wrong.

He is trying to fix things
he's trying to help.

But again, I guess I keep using this word.

The tragedy is strange.

Doesn't realize there's a difference
in helping people because you

truly are helping them or quote
unquote, helping people because

it's making you feel better.

And it's, it's that horror that this is
what strange thinks he wants, but it's

just, it's, it's a lesson he can't learn.

And, um, I don't know.

I guess I'm frustrated watching
someone being so close to

learning it and they just can't,

Jude: you couldn't see how big my
head was nodding when you said that.

So I'm just telling you, you know, yeah.

You hit it spot on.

It's one of those things where,
you know, go back to the beginning

where it's like the drive, you
know, in the movie losing his hands.

That was his identity.

He lost who he was.

And he was trying to reclaim that
and he had to learn this humility,

but also learn that he was never
going to be that person anymore.

And now this is who I am, and this
is how that help people in this, his

drive to fix things was because he
lost someone rather than himself.


And so what we see here is him
losing himself in the process

of trying to save others.


And my note here is that sometimes
the hardest person to reason

with is ourselves, you know, the,
that we just can't sometimes.

And strange clearly couldn't.

Trey: Oh, man, it's tough.

Well, I think that's
going to wrap up act two.

I feel like we've been
tiptoeing a bit into act three.

So let's go ahead and jump into
it, which this act is going to take

us from the quote unquote good.


Strange confronted by the ancient
ones, echo all the way through

to the end of the episode.

So Jude, we're starting with you again.

Uh, is there anywhere you'd
like to start in this app?

I find

Jude: it fascinating that in the end
he had to absorb himself to pull off

what he wanted to do, but bringing that
other side of himself is what helped

him after it was too late, realize that
he shouldn't be doing what he's doing.

So it's the ancient ones
fault for like splitting them.

Trey: You know, it's so funny.

You said that because you asked me.

What do you think the choice was?

And I don't think you can say the choice
was the ancient ones splitting them

because too many deviations are a happened
before, but it does make me wonder

if there's anything prior to that the
ancient one did, because I don't know.

It just, it's this feeling of the
ancient one being a bad mentor.

How many times did she need to let
him suffer through realizing he can't

change an absolute point before she's
like, Hey, no, you can't do that.



So that's really funny that you said that.

Jude: Yeah.

I mean, I mean, that's what
it took, you know what I mean?

When you think the split and there's two
strangers and I mean, I guess, right.

The, the only one powerful
enough to stop strangers strange.

So you get another strange, right.

But, but the show clearly split, you know,
and here's your ying and yang, right?

The dark and the good side or what
I've said earlier, the youngian.

Shadow, what are you capable of and
confronting yourself and integrating that.

And so you can be whole in, in one
way, you can read it and say, well,

he didn't have the opportunity.

Strange didn't have that opportunity to
do so because the ancient ones split them.


And then once he did, it was too late.

So maybe in this universe, it was
always supposed to be that way.

And that's why the TVA didn't step in

Trey: outside of the TVA.

I think you're circling in a space that
I don't quite know how to articulate how

I'm feeling, because it worked for me
that I understand that the quote unquote

good, strange isn't our protagonists.

And what we're really watching is a
character fail, which is the quote

unquote bad, strange who makes
the wrong choice, but splitting

the Stranges into two timelines.

Are we seeing the pitfalls and
dealing in a multi-verse we're

it's what does it matter if one
character makes the wrong choice?

If you just side step to the next universe
and this character has made the right

choice and it threw me for a loop watching
both of them in the same timeline exist.

And so I'm okay with it because
it isn't the quote unquote good

strangest storyline, but it did feel a

Jude: little bit, right.

I'll be honest.

My thought was, oh, this is the strange,
that helps spidey in the trailer.

That's my honest thought,
my first time through.

And then when the whole world just
collapsed on him, I was like, whoa, maybe

Trey: not.


So yeah.

This episode became one of those
problems that took care of itself, right?

No remnants.

It felt

Jude: like, like we, we still
heard his voice at the end.

Like strange wasn't gone.

Like he was alone.

And just this singularity
that will be internal.

Trey: Yeah.

I just want to hammer home
what you were talking about.

Cause it was, it was a
note that I wrote down too.

I was shocked that this episode ended
so heavily because he is trapped there

in that little purple crystallized
sphere where he's just chanting.

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

It wasn't supposed to be this way, having
somebody, but you know, we talked about.

What, how does somebody who
lose their heart get humbled?

He got humbled on a scale that
is indescribable, where the

universe is gone because of him.

And he now has to live with me and the way
that plays out into the credits, whereas

just very melancholy, very quiet music.

It just hit hard.


Jude: it was interesting.

It was interesting watching it a
second time, knowing where it is.

Trey: Yeah, especially because again,
I talked about how the quote unquote

good, strange is not a protagonist.

There's the moment where they are fighting
and the evil, strange tramp, some in that

test where he conjures up Christine and
she offers him everything that he wants.

And you see that good, strange
is being tempted by it.

He is feeling like, oh yeah,
this could be a possibility.

And then he sees a flash of
Wong and he sees a flash of

New York deteriorating the sky.

And he did the right thing.

We watched the person overcome the
struggle and still didn't succeed.

And it's, you have to watch that
be set in motion as it gets to

the end point, where are evil,
strange learns the horrible lesson.

And so on that second watch
it's, it's unbearable.

You're watching like a, a train crash.

Jude: And we keep using the evil strange.

He really wasn't evil.

Trey: He had some pretty,
he had the typical like

darkened eyes and like various

Jude: and visually right.

Or distinguishing between them.

But like, we're talking about someone
who is dealing with, with grief on a

particular level, because he watched his
heart die multiple times and you get shot

in a restaurant right in front of them.

And then wanting to bring that, that
person back for simplicity sake.


The evil strange.

But there's also this, this feeling bad
for him in that he's not Vanos, you know,

or Raymond Sanders might not even be the
right example, but you know what I mean?

Like he's not your
typical evil villain here.

Trey: It's what we talked about before.

It's a, I guess the
simplest way to put it.

No, I can't say that because
antagonist or protagonist has

nothing to do with morality.

Um, and this one would be our
protectiveness, but it it's, it's

a character who is not aligned
with your, your ideas of what's.


But you still understand them.


Like that's, that's what makes
those characters succeed.

Because even though you don't
necessarily agree with what they're

doing, you see the, you see the work,
you see where they're coming from and

why, where they're trying to get to.

And I think that's what I
guess to put it in for me.

I understand what you're saying
about like, it's not a hundred

percent fair to call him evil.

Jude: Right.

Because it is like go back to the youngian
shadow because it is you it's that side

of you that, that you're capable of.


And can you accept that?

You're capable of that.

Trey: And I like, I mean, cause
I think you've already mentioned,

uh, before, like how fitting is it
a strange versus strange having to

literally reconcile with yourself?

Uh, you know, that fight, like I like
that it does stem from that inability

to let go MIS misguided strange.

If I can change the way I refer to
him now, the misguided strange, he

even says I'm too far to change now.

Right after the quote unquote, good
strain says you need to let go.

So it is the, the literal manifestation
of that internal turmoil between them too.

And it was really fun to get, to
watch that fight because stepping back

on a more like superficial level of
this episode, Uh, I've been looking

forward to this since the trailers
came out, because I think one Dr.

Strange is perfect to deal in concepts
of a multi-verse, but to his power set,

it lends itself wonderfully to animation.

So watching them go back and
forth was just visually stunning.

Jude: Yes.

It was your, and your,
your jet on, on that,

Trey: you know, and the last note
I have is something we already kind

of touched on, but just to, to bring
it back here at the end of this act,

if the watcher doesn't interfere
with this, how bad do things have to

get for him to actually interfere?

Because we watched an entire
universe gets snuffed out and he

just said, no, I won't help you.

Jude: But I also took it to him.

He wasn't able to,

is that, is that not how it goes?

Trey: What do you mean?

Jude: Like you don't, do you
not think of that, that case?

Trey: Uh, I'm trying to think.

I feel like I'm trying
to remember the dialogue.

Doesn't he say?

Like something I can't, even
if I wanted to, or does he

just say like it's too late?


Jude: thought he said I
can't, even if I wanted

Trey: to.


I don't know.

I guess maybe, maybe you're right.

And he just, even if
he wanted to, he could

Jude: that's that's the way I took it.

Trey: Well, I think that's going
to wrap it up for this act three,

which will bring us into our stray
thoughts, which is going to be our

catch all for anything that didn't
fit into the discussions we just had.

So starting with me this time, I've been
praising him throughout the episode,

but I just want to say one more time.

Wong remained steadfast and was offering
wonderful advice and guidance to Dr.

Strange as he was deteriorating.

And that is just Wong is like MVP.

I think, of this episode.

Jude: Absolutely.

Trey: Yeah.

My other stray thought is in that
first episode, we did, I praise

the lighting of the episode.

Like just the animation style,
the way they're able to cast

light just looks wonderful.

This episode in particular, when
strange arrives in the jungle and

the lights just pouring through the
fauna, that was incredibly beautiful.

And it builds to the moment where he
steps out into the opening and you see

the library and it's just gorgeous.

And I love what they're
doing here with lighting.



Those are my straight that's.

Jude: Yeah.

That's you're good.

I, to my, my first straight thought I want
to do go right after you I've mentioned

how I'm not a fan of the animation.

This episode, the animation
style didn't bother me.

I'm not sure.


Trey: do you think that speaks to the
quality of this episode in particular?

Or is the style growing on you?

Jude: I feel like the style might've
fit, the tone of this episode better

is, is kinda what, I'm, what I'm kind of
circling around as a thought right now.

I got ya.

Uh, because I had just
the, the animation style.

It didn't really take me out of
it the way it did in the others.

So, yeah.

So there, I mentioned this before,
it didn't feel as cartoony.

I didn't feel like you had
as many of the cartoon lines.


You know, I'm right with
you and Wong being MVP.

Last stray thought it was the
flugel horn and the song was

feeling so good by Chuck man.

Go Neo, M a N G I O N E.

And it was the flugel horn.

The flugel horn is a type of
trumpet or a chord at which I am

in seventh grade and eighth grade.

I played.


So I should know.

I don't want to say, I should know.

That's not like a mic drop.

I'm saying like, I should, I should have
known, like, I shouldn't have questioned

myself that that was not of my drop.

I sh I should know it was
like, I should have known

Trey: now.

I'm curious what the, uh, the Dr.

Susan instrument is.

Jude: I have no idea.

Trey: Yeah.

I'll figure it out.

I'll have it by next time.

Jude: That's it?

That's my last stray

Trey: thought.


Well, you know, we mentioned it earlier
at the beginning of the episode where, you

know, part of the reason for following us
on social media is a chance to hear some

of your first reactions to the episode.

So we're going to take some time
here, uh, to read the submissions we

got over on our Instagram stories.

So, uh, the first one
comes from friend Daniel.

It just reads harsh with
an exclamation point.

Jude: Our next one comes from Newton.

John Nova.

I thought it was amazing.

They just keep getting better and better.

I wish they were longer
I'm with them on that one.

I wish they were

Trey: longer.

I do too.

I think the increased link would help sell
me on some of the moments like the pizza.

Partly a little bit more.

Finally, the last one comes in
from our pod friend TK mixed

thoughts on first viewing, looking
forward to watching it again.

So, yeah, I think I've, I
think I'm a little bit closer

to her on that one as well.

Um, it really does take me a couple
of watches to finally kind of get into

the rhythm of what they are doing.

Jude: Yeah.

Well, and it, again, it just went
so dark that the others didn't.

You know, like, so like MCU,
rewinds, tweet theory of like, oh,

this is like best case scenario.

Not in this episode.

Trey: Well, Hey, it depends on what
MC rewind think is a best case.

I wonder what they feel about doctors.

Jude: Maybe that is, we didn't
need, we didn't need the doctor.


Got rid of him.

Trey: Yeah.

The universe is looking up.

But yeah, we just wanted to thank
all those that shared their thoughts.

On this episode.

It was really fun to
get to read those here.

And if you're listening and you'd
like to do the same, make sure you're

following us at MC you need to know
on Twitter and Instagram, we'll be

reaching out to people to share what
they thought of the episode there.

And if you want more of this show, you
can find some extra bonus content that

is being put up on those feeds that
does not make the cut of the episode.

A lot of great stuff there, there
was one we put out this week with

something that we recorded before
we actually quote unquote, started

the episode and it was really funny.

So you want to see that and
make sure you're following us.

Jude: Of course, there's a
discord link in the show notes.

And once you join there, you'll
get to have regular conversations

with us and many others.

It's a great community here,
all interested in the MCU.

Make sure you go to the roll aside
and click on the emojis, which gets

you access to all the spoiler channel.

Also leave a rating and review on
whatever podcast catcher you're using.

Feedback is always helpful to us.

And the best thing you can do for
the pod is share with a friend.

Trey: Yeah.

We'd also like to thank Nick Sandy for
the use of our theme song, which is his

rendition of the, of interesting find
more of his work in a SoundCloud, which

is lingering in the show notes as well.

All right.

And that's going to do it.

Thank you so much for listening and
thank you so much for doing this.

Thank you tray.

We'll see you all next week


I am recording

Jude: Sam

Trey: recording.

Okay, so here we go.

You ready?

Jude: Oh, wow.

That's quick.


Trey: 1,

Jude: 2, 3, go.

What was the giggle?

Because I was thinking
when I said, oh, wow.


I totally forgot about sinking up.

I thought you were about
to launch into the MCU.

Welcome back to the, you need to know,
like I was like, dude, I was like, okay.

Yeah, I'm ready.

So forgotten it.

Oh, we need to sync up.

Trey: What's so funny.

There was a small part of me.

That's like, I should throw Jude a
curve ball just to meet you to go.

Hello and welcome back to,

Jude: so you were saying about to do.


I mean, I'm prepared.

Like I already have my outline.

I have that stop the
stopwatch, ready to go.

Like I'm let's rock and roll.

Like I had,

Trey: well, what I've learned this
week is your psychic apparent.

And you have a haunted car.

So that's like, it's a
very supernatural for you.

Jude: Oh my gosh.

That was freaky.

Trey: That your reaction was gold.

Jude: Oh, damn.

It did go, man.

Oh yeah.

Freaky stuff, man.

Creators and Guests

Jude (Hubbit)
Jude (Hubbit)
Catholic | Still trying to make sense of things | Co-host of @MCUNeedtoKnow Podcast | mcuneedtoknow@gmail.com
Trey Solis
Trey Solis
One day I woke up painfully aware of my existence and I’ve been apologizing for it ever since.
Join our Discord here
As always, share with a friend
and shout out Nick Sandy