This post includes spoilers for What If episode 9.
Marvel‘s What If just concluded its first season with an action-packed finale, starring a multi-dimensional team of heroes battling Ultron. But while the episode was well-received by fans of crossover events like Avengers: Endgame, a lot of people are asking the same question: Why was Gamora there?
Just to be clear, this question isn’t a complaint. It’s exciting to see Gamora get more screentime! However she definitely feels like the odd one out among the episode’s cast, because all the other heroes had standalone episodes earlier in the season. The finale wraps up a two-part story where Ultron obtains the Infinity Stones, destroys his world, and begins to attack other universes. Out of desperation, What If‘s omniscient narrator, Uatu the Watcher, breaks his non-interference policy and recruits a “Guardians of the Multiverse” team to defeat Ultron.
Captain Carter, Star-Lord T’Challa, Party Thor, Killmonger, and Demon Doctor Strange all had episodes earlier in the season, but their teammate Gamora arrives without any backstory, prompting fans to wonder if there’s a “lost Gamora episode.” Did Marvel plan a Gamora-centric story that somehow got cut from the lineup? Considering the history of Disney being criticized for sidelining this character (remember the #WheresGamora campaign?), it felt like a weird oversight.
When Gamora arrives in episode 9, she’s part of an unlikely team-up with Tony Stark. It comes across like a continuation of a story we haven’t seen yet. And unlike the conspiracy theories about a nonexistent “secret Sherlock episode,” Marvel fans are right to speculate about a missing Gamora episode.
In an August interview with Collider, What If‘s executive producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed that season 1 was originally slated to have 10 episodes. However “there was an episode that just wouldn’t hit the completion date,” he explained. That episode was delayed due to COVID-19. Since the first eight episodes are standalone stories, no one would’ve noticed anything missing before the finale. But the Guardians of the Multiverse crossover makes it pretty obvious that Gamora’s episode was the one that got delayed.
We’ve reached out to Disney+ to see if they can shed any more light on that missing episode, but judging by this Brad Winderbaum interview, it sounds like a straightforward scheduling problem. Fans can likely expect Gamora’s story to arrive in season 2.