What/If Recap: Taking Back Control

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 24, 2019 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
What/If season 1, episode 9, "WTF" recap - netflix series


What/If season 1, episode 9, “WTF” serves the ultimate twist of the Netflix series, providing timely context to the entire story.

This recap for Netflix’s What/If Season 1, Episode 9, “WTF”, 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.

It’s been a while since a twist has served me and What/If season 1, episode 9, “WTF” set me back. I did not see this one coming.

But first, let’s discuss what is happening in the crazy world of Todd and Angela, who are self-serving their own story in What/If at this point. Ian has got them in a hostage situation, one where Todd is in the basement with a TV screen so he can see what he is doing to Angela. It’s got that Bane/Batman situation to it from The Dark Knight Rises. Ian forces Angela to play housewife, while Todd has to watch frustratingly. He manages to escape, however, by the time he reaches upstairs, Ian has taken Angela elsewhere. What’s the lesson here, kids? That’s right; don’t cheat on your spouse.

What/If episode 9, “WTF” also turns its attention on to Lisa (Jane Levy), who at this point is fragile from the situation brought on by Sean’s (Blake Jenner) revelations. She’s only got Emigen now, so asks Sean to find ledger files to bring down Anne. Lisa also asks for Avery’s findings and soon realises that Uncle John isn’t an Uncle, as we have already learned, and he’s called Liam. She persuades Liam not to kill her and makes a promise that she will find a way to remove Anne from his equation.

As for Marcos; he is quickly finding a happy ending with Lionel. He tells him everything about his past, and the accidental fire he caused. This triggers a moment for Lionel, who likes that the real Marcos is entirely out, and proposes him for marriages. What/If episode 9, “WTF” proves that not everything is all doom and gloom in this Netflix series.

Lisa finally tracks down all the ledgers, and figures out an address and Anne’s real name – Rebecca. She rings Anne telling her she will meet her at the address. It was impactful to see Anne so stunned by how much Lisa has found out. At the house, with all the furniture draped in plastic, Lisa believes she has Anne all figured out, but then here comes the twist…

What/If episode 9, “WTF” confirms Anne’s origin story; when she was little, she was taken on a date by someone her age, who broke her heart on the same night. She returned home to an already broken, abusive mother, so found comfort in an older man, who always took care of her in her time of need, but he took advantage, and it soon turned into a sexual relationship. Anne became pregnant, and the doctor offered her the option of giving the baby up for adoption. The baby’s parents died in a house fire. Anne is Lisa’s mother, which has spurred all these events in the Netflix neo-noir series.

Anne leaves Lisa with a choice; to build a world where they can be successful, or to trust people who will let her down. Anne is confident she will make the right choice.

It’s useful to know that in the next scene, Lisa returns home to a bailed-out Sean, and there is thunder and lightning. If you remember back in the first episode, it was noticeable that there were thunder and lightning every time there was a pivotal scene with Anne. Lisa tells Sean at the end of What/If episode 9, “WTF” that she wants one night where the Universe is the way it should be, and they proceed to have sex. What decision will Lisa take? Symbolically, it suggests she will join her biological mother.

Our coverage of What/If season 1 does not end here. You can read the recap of episode 10 by clicking these words.

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