What/If Recap: Exposing Vulnerabilities

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 24, 2019 (Last updated: February 23, 2024)
What/If season 1, episode 3 What Happened - Netflix Series Recap


The plot thickens in What/If episode 3, “What Happened”, as the characters begin to unravel as Anne’s manipulations begin to take full force.

This recap for Netflix’s What/If Season 1, Episode 3, “What Happened”, contains significant spoilers. We have provided extensive coverage on Mike Kelley’s neo-noir social thriller, and you can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

What/If episode 3, “What Happened”, sees Anne’s (Renée Zellweger) game slowly unraveling, with the characters attempting to expose each other’s vulnerabilities. The series so far has been about a lot of game playing, which is beginning to take a toll on Lisa (Jane Levy), who is infuriated that Sean (Blake Jenner) went to meet Anne secretly. The problem is Sean cannot reveal anything at all as per the contract; unknowns bind them. Lisa attempts to play Anne at her own game by studying her famous book “At All Costs”.

The problem is, Lisa is not the same type of person as Anne, and episode 3 makes that abundantly clear. In a brave attempt to match her enemy, she resists the new COO Avery’s attempt to take charge, and leads herself, ensuring that she organizes lunch meetings. The night before she visits Anne and tries to play mind games with her, but the businesswoman does this for breakfast, and she shovels the conversation up by manipulating her further.

On the sidelines in What/If episode 3, “What Happened”, Marcos is becoming accustomed to his new found lease of excitement with his partner Lionel, with their threesome sparking more chemistry in their relationship. It’s not clear where this story is heading yet, with it being suspiciously too ideal for the couple. With Angela, she learns that Dr. Ian Harris has discovered the pregnancy, but the only problem is that she does not exactly know who the father is.

What/If episode 3, “What Happened” swiftly moves back to the sole story; it seems that Sean’s ex Maddie knows his past, and threatens to reveal all unless he pays her £50k, which also gets Todd worried; it appears that Todd was part of this violent event that they are so eager to cover up. Lisa catches Sean meeting Maddie and misplaces it as an intimate lunch date, but it was Maddie threatening her husband. From a distance, it looked different. The cracks are beginning to appear in their relationship.

With Lisa and Sean at breaking point after a passionate argument, Lisa visits Anne in an attempt to know the truth about that night. Lisa cannot take the mind games anymore and loses it, giving Anne another victory in this war. She laughs, making the situation even more embarrassing.

Anne’s adviser gives her wise words about how he would never have thought “a victim would make another victim”, which rattles her. She visits a house that has no-one living in it, with the furniture draped in plastic. As What/If season 1, episode 3 ends, she sits in the corner and holds a lion teddy bear, and starts screaming into it, full of tears. It seems Anne does have a vulnerability, and it’s linked to Sean’s past.

Our coverage of What/If season 1 does not end here. You can read the recap of episode 3 by clicking these words.

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