By JoAnn Snavely
Whether or not you’re a Marvel fan, you’ve probably heard of WandaVision, unless you’ve been living under a rock. Streaming exclusively on Disney+, WandaVision is topping charts and capturing the hearts and minds of Marvel fans, and non-Marvel fans alike. WandaVision wrapped last week leaving me and thousands of other fans emotionally destroyed.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED: SPOILER ALERT
The first few episodes begin as a lighthearted sit-com with the first episode’s intro taking inspiration from all of the iconic sit-coms of the 50s. Interestingly enough, each episode is based on a sit-com from a different decade. It starts in the 50s and goes from there. What initially seems to be a fun sit-com about Wanda and Visions life in Suburbia, is noticeably much darker beneath the surface from the get-go. From the first episode, it seems completely scripted, and that idea would make sense until you get to the second episode. When Wanda attends a neighborhood meeting to plan a talent show. In one scene when Wanda is seen talking to Dottie, the neighborhood’s “queen bee”, on the radio that was previously silent, someone asks “Wanda, Wanda, are you there, who’s doing this to you?”, strange right? For a brief moment, Dottie is seen breaking glass, and the show that had been in black and white shows a brief moment of red blood. During this brief moment, the fourth wall is broken from the show, what this means is it is seen as real life and not the show anymore. Then seemingly, at the flip of the switch, Dottie goes back to normal. Wanda meets Geraldine that episode, who initially doesn’t raise any concern, in fact, it seems as if Geraldine is the perfect new best friend. However, by the third episode Wanda is pregnant and about to have her child (well twins but that’s not revealed yet). At the end of the episode, Geraldine and Wanda are discussing the twins when Wanda mentions how she had a twin when Geraldine says “he was killed by Ultron?” Wanda had a twin, Pietro Maximoff, who was killed during Avengers: Age of Ultron (remember this, it’s important). When Geraldine says this, Wanda realizes something is off so she gets rid of Geraldine and sends her outside of the Hex.
The fourth episode is when we begin to realize what’s really going on. The episode gives the context of everything going on in the show. We meet the true Geraldine, her real name is Monica Rambeau. She was an agent for S.W.O.R.D. when she got blipped (snapped away in Avenger: Infinity War). We open the episode by seeing Monica piecing together all that’s happened in the past five years. Once she gets back to work she’s sent to investigate a missing person case in New Jersey. There she meets fan favorite Jimmy Woo and they see a town, a town that doesn’t exist. Monica walks into the town and gets sent into the Hex. That is when Geraldine’s character surfaces. Research on this anomaly is begun and Darcy Lewis, a scientist working on the anomaly, discovers that the town is just one big sitcom. So this entire town, with real, missing S.W.O.R.D agents is just a sit-com. The question arises, who is causing this, how is Vision (who was killed by Thanos in Infinity War) alive? As everything begins to come together and Vision begins doing some investigation of his own it seems as if Wanda is the perpetrator behind everything.
Flash forward a few episodes to episode 7, in the aftermath of Wanda expanding the Hex and taking more people into the town. Wanda starts to lose control a bit, she notices little “glitches” of sorts begin to appear. We then witness Monica’s return to the Hex where she is no longer affected by Wanda’s control, in fact, we witness Monica’s origin story of sorts, as she turns into the iconic Photon. All of this leads up to the last few moments when it’s revealed that Agnes, Wanda’s nosy neighbor is Agatha Harkness, an ancient witch, and it’s revealed via. an extremely catchy theme song, that it was Agatha All Along.
In the 8th episode, we not only learn about Agatha’s origin but Agatha sends Wanda to relive the moments in her past leading up to the creation of Westview. New and old wounds reopened for not only Wanda but for fans alike as we saw the heartbreaking build-up after the loss of her twin brother and eventual death of her lover, that she witnessed not only once but twice. By now we really have no clue as to what’s going to happen next until we see Wanda reunite with the twins, that Agatha is holding hostage. Now we know we’re about to see the ultimate battle, and they do not disappoint.
First off, who is Agatha Harkness? The character of Agatha Harkness first appeared in the Fantastic Four #94 comic. She is the mother of Nicholas Scratch. Agatha lived in Salem and was a part of the original witches tried in the Salem Witch Trial. Agatha is an extremely powerful witch, some of her abilities being teleportation, energy projection, and the ability to tap into other dimensions. In the comics, Agatha is a tutor to Wanda Maximoff, helping her tap into her witch powers. Although that is yet to happen, it is obvious that Agatha has a lot to do with what’s to come.
WandaVision has captured the hearts of many by reintroducing fan favorites like Jimmy Woo, an FBI Agent introduced in Ant-Man and Wasp, Darcy Lewis from the first two Thor movies, and Monica Rambeau whom we met as a child in Captain Marvel. This trio automatically became fan favorites, with their witty schemes and being the main protagonists outside of the Hex. These characters, having already established very minor roles in previous Marvel films, took the WandaVision fans by storm, immediately becoming new fan favorites. WandaVision is nothing like any Marvel show we’ve seen before. It is the first of a trio of series to officially be a part of the iconic Avengers storyline with the Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Loki series’ set to release this year. The series is unlike previous Marvel shows such as Daredevil or the Punisher because WandaVision will be cannon in reference to the Avengers film series’
Lots of theories had arisen surrounding this finale. Although many of these theories were debunked, the finale opened up a whole new chapter of the MCU. Breaking down the mind-blowing finale would be extremely difficult, so let’s just break down the highlights.
Fans went crazy after the end scene in episode 5 of WandaVision when Wanda’s deceased brother Pietro reappeared, but this time he was recast. The most interesting part about his recast is who played him. Evan Peters was recast as Pietro, this wasn’t Peter’s first role in the MCU as he had previously appeared in the X-Men series as Peter Maximoff or “Quicksilver” (the X-Men version of Pietro essentially). Theories of the two multiverses colliding arose because the explicit possibility of X-Men and the Avengers multiverses coming together would be something never-done-before and would objectively be one of the coolest collabs of all-time. All of this build-up led us to find out that he was just an actor named Ralph Bohner who was being mind-controlled by Agatha– underwhelming, I know.
THE SCARLET WITCH
As seen at the end of the 8th episode after we took an extremely traumatizing trip through Wanda’s past, Agatha discovers Wanda’s use of chaos magic and for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wanda is referred to as the Scarlet Witch. One thing that is important to know is that the Scarlet Witch has been prophesied about since the beginning of time, as the most powerful being, even more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme (Doctor Strange). Obviously, this power not only threatens Agatha it intrigues her. So what is Agatha’s main goal? To take Wanda’s powers.
THE BIG FINALE
On top of Agatha’s power-hungry stride towards Wanda’s powers, the loss of control of the citizens of Westview. The outside forces are stewing, Hayward, the leader of the anomaly investigation has now been revealed to have been working with some ulterior motives the whole time. His goal was to revive Vision and create a sentient weapon, which he did. So now on top of that, the Maximoff’s have a very dangerous “anti-Vision” on the loose. To make matters worse, now Hayward and his twisted executives are inside the Hex, and they’re shooting to kill. This all leads to an insanely gripping finale with twists and turns everywhere. After it ends and she sees all the suffering she’s caused, and she knows she must get rid of the illusion. This builds up to the ultimate sacrifice that every WandaVision fan has been dreading.
TIME TO BE EMOTIONALLY DESTROYED
Wanda now has to get rid of Westview, and that means the family she created within it. So with a few tear-jerking scenes and an extremely emotional goodbye, Wanda loses everything all over again. Wanda has ultimately been put through the wringer since her introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron, from the get-go we already know Wanda became an orphan at the ripe age of 10 when her parents were killed by a Stark bomb. From that moment all she wanted to do was become a good person, and whenever she did she only got more and more loss. Wanda’s only surviving family member, Pietro Maximoff was killed off within minutes of his introduction as he became a sacrificial lamb. That alone left Wanda in shambles, then she fell in love with Vision. Of course, that didn’t last long when she had to kill Vision herself in order to save the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, only to see Thanos reverse and kill him all over again. Traumatizing enough? You’d think so, but for Marvel, they decided to add a bit more pain. All of this pain built up to Wanda’s eventual creation of Westview, where she finally got her happy ending. Like all good things, Wanda’s happy ending quickly came to an end. Wanda had to lose everything all over again, all because she wanted to do the right thing again. When I say this ending absolutely broke my heart, it did. Seeing Wanda lose everything for the third time was so difficult for anyone to watch. Especially after we had fallen in love with this happy family.
We will see Wanda again as she is scheduled to appear in Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness. WandaVision is also not the end of the line for everyone’s favorite trio as we are expected to see Monica Rambeau’s return as Photon in Captain Marvel 2, and the possible return of Jimmy Woo in the next Ant-Man film. There are tons of theories circulating around what’s next for our Scarlet Witch but my least favorite theory by-far is that Wanda will become a villain. All Wanda has wanted to do was be a good person and the idea of turning her into the villain absolutely angers me. Overall this show, although long-awaited, has been the perfect addition to the MCU as it absolutely exceeded the already high expectations of the MCU. So much is to come in the upcoming months, and WandaVision opened that realm of opportunity drastically.