WandaVision, Wa-WandaVision! (A Review)

Finally, the time has come to talk about the greatest show in television history.

I’m kidding… but honestly, am I? Yesterday, Disney Plus and Marvel Studios unveiled the ninth and final episode of WandaVision, where audiences got an incredible look into the psyche of Wanda Maximoff in the MCU. Now, before I go further, I should warn there will be spoilers, you know the drill, so do not read if you have not seen the show in its entirety.

Wanda, Vision, Billy, and Tommy face off against S.W.O.R.D, Agatha, and White Vision.

‘The Series Finale’, properly named after the show’s nostalgia for classic television, somewhat wraps up the insanity that has ensued in the past eight episodes. Wanda and Agatha Harkness (previously known as Agnes) continue their battle over witchcraft while Vision embarks on his own fight against… himself? In white? So many questions, but for what we know, White Vision is technically the real vision without his soul/the Mind Stone. Just off the bat, I think we are all confused on a few things. (1) Who is Ralph, and why did they waste Evan Peters like that? I understand (as per Kevin Feige’s words) that these Disney Plus shows cannot reveal important plot points for the greater MCU, but it seems fishy that Disney would waste an opportunity to tie in the X-Men, especially since fans have been screaming about it since day one. That’s why I’m not upset but this choice… just confused. I believe Peters will be back and I am hoping in his *true* form. I am also not entirely clear how and why Agatha chose him to be under her “spell”, but again, we are not done with Agatha either (in my view), so hopefully those questions get answered later on. (2) Monica’s powers. Now, Monica is already set to return in Captain Marvel 2 (thank god), so I am sure we will get some answers there, but the last episode felt a little rushed in comparison to her incredible “crossing the hex” scene from an Episode 7. Rumor has it she will also be in the Disney Plus series Secret Invasion, but again, I think the films are going to answer more questions in general (I have a list at the end of this… don’t worry).

Besides the fact that I think some people are upset or let down by this finale, I would argue it sets up an incredible future for Wanda, her twins (yes!), and the rest of the multiverse. Ah, yes, that strange yet exciting plot we are headed towards this December (thank you Spider Man: No Way Home!). See, when Wanda tells Monica that she does not know the extent of her powers/capabilities just yet but will learn soon, to me that sounds like she is still at risk. From the comics, anyone should know that Wanda is not necessarily the hero at all times — she often does what is necessary to protect the ones she loves (and yes, I mean the twins). As per the final end credits scene, I think Wanda is about to do some dangerous, possibly reality-altering magic out of her grief, once again. We don’t know why Doctor Strange didn’t come to her attention in WandaVision, but since we know the timeline of where Wanda heads next cinematically, it would make sense to me that her next “hex” or outburst would turn even more (important) heads. I’m skeptical that Wanda would ever be considered the “big bad”, so for now I believe she will be manipulated in some way, or perhaps taken advantage of by her own desperation to save her apparently alive twins (though, we did only hear Billy’s voice). Is this finally the time for Mephisto or Nightmare? Agatha did warn her that the power she now possesses with the Darkhold is incredibly surprising and unpredictable. If I got anything from Wanda’s last scene… I’m terrified to say the least.

As a whole, though, I would argue WandaVision has been one of the most exciting television ventures in a long time. I think Disney’s decision to bring Marvel content to Disney Plus is not only an added bonus for fans, but an intelligent move on behalf of the industry. If Marvel has proven anything, it’s that these films/shows mean more than just action and dialogue. WandaVision delved into the world of grief after losing a loved one, and the mental toll that ensues afterwards. One of the best scenes in the entire show is when we see Wanda build this reality within Westview out of her own pain. As she says, her hope, sadness, and love quite literally create a new Vision and their children. From a comic book perspective, that’s fascinating, but from a psychological one, it’s terribly depressing. Wanda has lost everything after the events of Endgame; and this is her way of coping.

Wanda creates Vision.

Here are some of my season highlights:

  1. Episodes 1–2 were thought-provoking introductions into the world of WandaVision + the MCU post-Endgame. Plus, they were equally charming and suspenseful at the same time.
  2. The chemistry between Darcy, Monica, and Jimmy was hilarious but significant to the development of the plot.
  3. When Wanda figures out Monica’s identity, her casting her out of the hex was terrifying and bad-ass all at the same time.
  4. Kathryn Hahn can do no wrong, and although I’m still confused how much of the hex was truly Agatha’s doing, she killed her role and meshed perfectly into each era.
  5. I loved how each episode ended — the mini cliff-hangers were designed to draw viewers to the next installment (which I believe it did successfully).
  6. Episodes 5–8 were absolutely brilliant — easily my favorite of the bunch.
  7. All of the references to old television/Hollywood were so well done and not caricatures in the slightest. I especially loved how they tied Wanda’s childhood into the reason for why her and Vision were “stuck” in a sitcom.
  8. Teyonah Parris!

WandaVision was great. I am not complaining too much because I have complete faith in where Feige/the MCU is headed. I was worried after Endgame we’d feel a little empty, but this just proves there are plenty of other stories to be explored. I understand the problems people had with the finale, though, and agree that Marvel needs to make sure their upcoming projects focus in on what was either missed or left out of WandaVision. I am in no way saying this show is/was perfect — just that I am satisfied with its span. Anyway, I am not entirely sure Falcon and the Winter Soldier will “bend” expectations or genres as much as WandaVision has, but consider me sold on what is coming next.

Look how sick this is! C’mon Lizzie!

Let’s debrief all the questions I/we have moving forward:

  1. Who is Ralph? Why is he important? What happened to Senor Scratchy
  2. How is Agatha stuck in Westview if Wanda undid the hex right after? Is her new power able to seclude one person?
  3. We are bound to see Vision again — but where the hell did White Vision go?
  4. This one is easier to theorize, but where will Monica be next? When she goes to see Nick Fury (yup!), what will happen?
  5. How does Dr. Strange tie into all of this? I sure have my ideas, but will Wanda create this “multiverse of madness”?
  6. What really is the Darkhold and what is its significance moving forward
  7. Finally, when and how will we see Billy and Tommy again? They aren’t alive… or are they?

I’m excited to see where Disney takes us next. I’m sure they have a plan (for the most part) to answer the majority of these questions. Perhaps some of them aren’t important to the stories coming later… in that case, I’m hoping the other answers are significant and thoughtful. I really would like to see greater world and magic-building in the coming phase. The films leading up to Endgame were great, but we need something new and possibly scary from these new projects. I think WandaVision started that process, just not as quickly as we wanted/anticipated it to be.

Although I am sad my escape from the COVID world is over, I’m psyched to see plenty of new superhero content (Marvel and DC) coming out in the next few weeks/months. In the meantime, y’all can join me online as I theorize what will happen next to this strange franchise.

-H

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