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Doctor Strange 2 has huge plot holes that Marvel needs to explain

Published May 10th, 2022 3:58PM EDT
Doctor Strange in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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The newest Doctor Strange story is finally out, and you can read our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness review to learn all about it. It’s clearly another massive MCU success, and the movie will surely pass the $1 billion mark. But Doctor Strange 2 is not a perfect movie, and you will notice a few plot holes that Marvel needs to explain. We’re looking at both minor and major issues here, including some choices that require you to bend logic to accept them.

Before you read about the plot holes, you should make sure you watch Doctor Strange 2. Otherwise, you’re about to read a few massive spoilers below.

One of the issues many Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) fans will have with the movie is that it seemingly nullifies her character arc in WandaVision. But that’s not the case. Instead, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a natural progression for Wanda. She has endured all sorts of major trauma for her entire life, and she never received the proper medical help. Not even after the horrific events in Westview.

Sympathize with her all you want, but she was a villain in Westview. She sacrificed an imaginary life to save a town she kidnapped. All the while, she took on learning Darkhold magic without any guidance while escaping accountability.

That was just weeks after what happened in Endgame. The events of Doctor Strange 2 happen in spring 2025, after No Way Home and Hawkeye.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) is Doctor Strange trailer 2. Image source: Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange 2 plot holes that aren’t really plot holes

Wanda’s mental state is still fragile after Westview. On top of that, the Darkhold has had time to corrupt her, implanting the false idea that her children are in danger in a different reality. Therefore, Wanda’s transition to an overpowered, full-fledged villain isn’t a plot hole.

It doesn’t ruin her WandaVision progression, but it enriches the character. We’re still in the same cycle of bad deeds and redemption that started in Age of Ultron. The bad things she does are more and more heartbreaking, however.

Switching gears to Spider-Man; Doctor Strange 2 delivers a few answers to pressing No Way Home questions. The world had just faced a different multiversal threat. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) was obviously a big part of that. That’s why he feels like he has multiverse experience.

He doesn’t have to remember that he was part of the problem, and we don’t need that explanation in Doctor Strange 2. Also, blame America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) for interrupting Strange’s story.

Another detail that’s not necessarily a plot hole concerns having more Avengers intervene. As we’ve explained, the Avengers already came to help Doctor Strange early in the film. It’s Wong who shows up to help. The action then unfolds too quickly for anyone else to assist.

Doctor Strange 2 Super Bowl Trailer
America Chaves (Xochitl Gomez) facing a demon. Image source: Marvel Studios

The real plot holes start with America

Since we started with Chavez, we have a few plot issues with this character.

For starters, Chavez is unique in the multiverse, which is somewhat annoying. On the one hand, it prevents Marvel from dealing with multiple Chavez variants who can move through the multiverse at will. On the other hand, it feels like a cheap trick here, which practically ensures that she’ll get plenty of plot armor in future adventures.

If Chavez is unique like that, we need a solid explanation. Maybe one will come down the road. Maybe The Watcher knows. Whatever the case, it needs to make sense and right now, it doesn’t.

But that’s not the only problem with Chavez.

At the end of the movie, Chavez decides to stay in the MCU’s primary reality. That’s Earth-616. Why isn’t she more interested in finding her mothers before staying with Wong (Benedict Wong) and Strange?

We probably only needed a line of dialogue to explain that. But alas, we’re left hanging instead.

How did Wanda find America?

America Chavez is quite a problem for Doctor Strange 2, even though it’s not necessarily a massive plot hole. We’re told that she is unique in an infinite number of realities. Yet the MCU’s Scarlet Witch hasn’t just found her. She’s attacking Chavez across the multiverse, sending demons to do her bidding in several realities.

While we’re at it, we should have probably been told how a witch or sorcerer can attack a different reality with demons. Because that can be a problem.

But the bigger question concerns finding America. How did Wanda locate her? Without a reasonable explanation, this could be a big Doctor Strange 2 plot hole that takes away from the story.

Marvel can easily explain this in future installments that deal with the supernatural or the mystic arts. But this only brings us closer to bigger plot holes.

Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) pushing America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) through a star-shaped portal
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) pushes America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) through a star-shaped portal. Image source: Marvel Studios

Sinister Strange kills other Doctor Strange variants

When we meet Sinister Strange in the movie, we realize that Doctor Strange could easily follow Wanda and become a villain. We saw an incredible Strange villain in What If…?, for example. Even the Supreme Strange in the Illuminati reality moved closer to the dark side. Not to mention Defender Strange wanted to kill America very early in the movie.

But Sinister Strange tells our Doctor Strange that he’s been killing other variants while dreamwalking. That’s incredibly disturbing — and it’s problematic. We have no idea how he did it or why. But, more importantly, if he’s been on a Strange-killing spree in the multiverse, why hasn’t he ever triggered incursions himself?

Incursions are the biggest Doctor Strange 2 plot hole so far

We keep hearing about incursions happening when two universes collide. The result is catastrophic, as one or both worlds can be destroyed. Reed Richards (John Krasinski) — RIP — is the only known authority in incursions so far. He believes that it’s within Strange’s power to cause these events.

The Strange Supreme who Richards knew also dreamwalked a lot. He did it to find a solution to defeating Thanos. Yet he managed to destroy a different universe in the process. The incursion started with dreamwalking, not portaling to a universe like America Chavez can.

Wanda has been interfering with the multiverse for months, searching for America Chavez. And the way she went dreamwalking in the Illuminati reality was out of control. She wiped out an entire team of superheroes without even thinking twice. Yet this didn’t create an incursion. At least, not one that we’re aware of.

Moreover, Clea (Charlize Theron) tells Doctor Strange that he created an incursion, so he has to help her fix it. The MCU’s Strange traveled to two different realities with America’s portals. Then he dreamwalked into his dead self from a third universe. And he still created an incursion?

Wanda and her children in Doctor Strange 2 clip.
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and her children in Doctor Strange 2 clip. Image source: Marvel Studios

Destruction of the Darkhold

Speaking of big Doctor Strange 2 plot holes, there’s one involving the Darkhold. Wanda realizes she’s been wrong (again) and takes down the Wundagore Castle to destroy the original Darkhold carved in stone. As soon as that happens, the Darkhold book in other realities dies. That’s a great use of dark magic. And it’s very scary.

But there’s a problem with that storyline. It’s not that other Wanda and Strange variants might investigate the issue. It’s that Wundagore Castle must still be intact in other realities. She couldn’t have destroyed all those castles in the multiverse, could she? If she did, then she impacted the multiverse more than Steven ever did. Yet it’s still Steven who creates an incursion.

The issue here is that Wanda probably shouldn’t be that powerful in the MCU, especially if she survives Doctor Strange 2. Also, the Darkhold might be dead, but she still knows some of the spells in it.

Lack of Vision

There’s another significant Doctor Strange 2 plot issue that it’s harder to reconcile. Marvel really wanted to highlight what motherhood does to Wanda. Billy and Tommy are not real in the MCU, but they’re her kids in Wanda’s mind. That love supersedes her love for Vision (Paul Bettany), whose absence is deeply felt in Doctor Strange 2.

Vision is the cameo that Doctor Strange 2 needed. And I don’t mean White Vision from the MCU, who is still alive and well (although he could also have come to help with Wanda). But, again, the action unfolds very quickly.

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in WandaVision. Image source: Marvel Studios

On the other hand, the Vision who is married to the Earth-838 Wanda in the Illuminati reality might have appeared. It would have been a heartbreaking cameo, considering that Thanos never had to kill him in this reality. He might have been at home with the Wanda variant and their kids. And maybe 616 Wanda killed him to make sure he didn’t get in her way.

But the fact that Vision was missing entirely in Doctor Strange 2 is certainly a missed opportunity. It’s also a plot hole that Marvel can’t fix.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.