Each Friday, Darren from @darrenmoviereviews will be recapping the most recent episode(s) of WandaVision and the show’s overall connection to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recaps will be released in mid-afternoon to avoid early spoilers.
It was Agatha all along!… and we get answers too! After last week’s big reveal, we are finally given answers as to what is actually happening in Westview on this week’s episode of WandaVision.
After ending last week’s episode with that incredibly catchy theme song that has been stuck in my head since, I would love to reveal that it was actually Agatha behind these recaps. But no such luck, there is no bigger plot behind these recaps.
As many Marvel fans have been predicting since before the series began, and I have been pointing out clues about since the third episode, last week’s episode ended with the big reveal that Agnes is actually Agatha Harkness. While it was not necessarily the most shocking reveal as there were lots of clues along the way that fans picked up on, it was exciting nonetheless and really got fans excited for what is about to happen in the MCU. And after that big reveal, this week’s episode provided answers viewers may have had at the end of last episode, such as “who is Agatha Harkness?”, “what role does Agatha play in the comics?”, and “what does this mean for the future of the MCU?”. We got some of the answers this (as will be discussed further below to avoid spoilers), and while I’m definitely excited to see what further reveals we get in next week’s finale and to see if any of my predictions come true, this was a great showcase episode for Kathyrn Hahn. Hahn had only been used for comedic relief to this point in the series, and don’t get me wrong because I believe Hahn is a truly gifted comedic actress, but it was nice to see Hahn get a meatier role this episode that truly let her show her talents as an actress. For too long Hahn has been overlooked in my opinion, and it was nice to see her finally get her due.
But while Hahn finally got more material to work with, Elizabeth Olsen was phenomenal in the episode. For weeks we have known that Wanda was emotionally distraught and trying to hold everything together, both personally and for Westview, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotion of this episode. The episode tracks Wanda’s emotional trauma throughout her life, and it is just a heartbreaking experience to see the pain that Wanda has been experiencing throughout the show as we are taken on a search for answers behind Wanda’s powers. While Olsen has been great the entire series so far, she delivers a truly raw and vulnerable performance that will have you feeling every heartbreak Wanda has experienced in her life. While I truly hope that things will get better for Wanda, I think it’s safe, but unfortunate, to say that things are going to get worse before they get better for poor Wanda. While I think that the Halloween episode was the most exciting episode of the series so far, this week’s episode may be my favourite as it was an emotional tour de force that took me by complete surprise.
And into spoiler territory we go. If you have not seen this week’s episode of WandaVision, stop reading now. If you have, keep on reading to find out what answers we were provided with this week…
The episode begins in Salem in the 1600s, with a younger Agatha being led to a stake by her coven. We learn that Agatha has broken the trust of her coven, and her mother who is the leader of the coven, in her search for power by practicing dark magic. While things are bleak looking to begin with, Agatha turns the tables on her coven and sucks the magic and life out of them, killing them all. All this proves is that Agatha is powerful and dangerous, and that Wanda will have her hands full going up against Agatha in Westview. Interesting to note, all of the witches’ magic appeared blue while Agatha’s was purple as we saw at the end of last episode. But, that same orange magic that we saw radiating from the spellbook was around Agatha while she was tied at the stake.Could this have a connection to the dark magic she was practicing…keep on reading to find out.
Back in Agatha’s basement, Wanda is Agatha’s prisoner. Agatha reveals that the runes on the wall are a protection spell which prevents Wanda from using her magic. This prevents Wanda from reading Agatha’s thoughts and finding out why Agatha is in Westview. But being a good villain, Agatha can’t help but to divulge some of her plan. We learn that Agatha was drawn to Westview by Wanda’s powers and that she is here to learn how Wanda became so powerful, as what Wanda has achieved in Westview is beyond power that Agatha thought was possible for a witch. Pietro is revealed to be a concoction of Agtha’s powers, used to get the secret of Wanda’s powers, but after many attempts Agatha decided to take matters into her own hands. Agatha also lets Wanda know that she is aware that Wanda is hiding from the truth of her powers, and that she would rather fall apart than face the truth from her past. Agatha then takes a strand of hair from Wanda’s head, casts a spell on it and the door in the dungeon begins glowing purple. Agatha informs Wanda it’s time to explore her past, like a rerun, and forces Wanda to accompany her as she has Billy and Tommy locked up. The one interesting part of this scene is the rabbit that Agatha was holding. Agatha is talking to the rabbit for a good portion of the scene, begging the question of who is this rabbit?
Wanda’s trip down memory lane begins back in Sokovia with Wanda as a young girl with her family. It’s a touching scene, with the family sitting down to watch television to learn English. And what are they watching? American sitcoms. But not just any sitcoms, they have all the sitcoms that have inspired the previous episodes of WandaVision. But this sweet moment is interrupted with an attack on their apartment that killes her parents. We also see the Stark Industries Missile that lands in their apartment that causes young Wanda and Pietro to hide for days hoping to not set it off. It’s a truly tragic moment that is the beginning of Wanda’s emotional baggage. But while watching it with Wanda, Agatha tells Wanda that she believes Wanda had her powers then and that is what kept her and Pietro alive.
We now jump into the future, and see Wanda during her time with Hydra. We see Wanda enter a room that has Loki’s sceptre, which houses the Mind Stone, and we see the stone be drawn to Wanda and engulf her in yellow light. In this light, we see a silhouette of the Scarlet Witch. As fans have known for a while, Wanda’s powers came from the Mind Stone, and while this scene confirms that, based on what we learnt in the previous scene it seems that the stone only enhanced her powers. We then cut to Wanda in her cell, watching sitcoms, building the narrative that Wanda’s viewing of sitcoms are comforting and help her through her emotional difficulties. However, we do learn that Hydra did not see any of Wanda’s interaction with the Mind Stone and did not know the true extent of Wanda’s powers. Agatha immediately recognizes the Infinity Stone and tells Wanda that she has a theory but she needs more information.
Next, we see Wanda at Avengers HQ between the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Wanda is in her room watching sitcoms again. Wanda tells Agatha that this was her and Vision’s first home and despite feeling all alone at this time while mourning the loss of Pietro, she had Vision. Vision joins Wanda in her room and the two have a conversation about Wanda’s emotions. Wanda confides in Vision that talking won’t help and that the only comfort would be seeing Pietro again. Wanda says it feels like her pain will drown her again, but Vision poses an alternative view of this. Vision suggests to Wanda that all her sorrow, which Wanda calls grief love persevering. In this scene, we see the beginnings of the relationship between Wanda and Vision. As Agatha watches this moment, Agatha notes that Vision was there to pull Wanda back from the edge when she had lost everyone. But she notes that now Wanda has no one to pull her back anymore.
And now we get to the events that led to the creation of Westview. We see Wanda arriving at S.W.O.R.D. headquarters wanting to give Vision a funeral to provide closure for herself and out of respect to Vision. Wanda is sent to meet with Director Hayward, who shows Wanda Vision’s body. He is being dismantled by S.W.O.R.D. scientists.. Hayward questions whether Wanda is being honest about wanting to give Vision a funeral, questioning whether she wants to bring him back to life. He tells Wanda that he cannot let Wanda leave with Vision as he cannot let Wanda leave with the valuable vibranium that makes up Vision’s body, despite Wanda saying that Vision is all she has left. Wanda then jumps down into the room where Vision is being dismantled, and we think we are about to see Wanda steal Vision’s body. But she does not. Hayward orders the guards to stand down and Wanda tires to see if Vision is still in his body with her powers. But in a heartbreaking moment, she says she cannot feel Vision and leaves without any part of Vision’s body while holding back her tears. As Wanda gets into her car, she looks at an opened envelope on the passenger’s seat but we do not see at this point what is in the envelope.
In her car, Wanda drives to Westview. We see the town and the inhabitants we have got to know over the past few episodes, including Dottie and Herb. The town is very run down, and Wanda drives to the residence that she and Vision have been living in. But it’s just an empty lot with some foundation for a house laid down. Wanda walks onto the foundation, and breaks down. She reveals the envelope enclosed a house plan that Vision created for her, in which he said that this was to be their house to “grow old in.” And Wanda completely breaks down. It’s a heart wrenching moment for both Wanda and the viewers. In this moment, Wanda subconsciously unleashes her power that creates the Hex and the reality inside Westview. We see Vision be born out of energy from Wanda, reuniting Wanda with her lost love. Vision says “welcome home” to Wanda in a beautiful moment set in the 1950s era of Westview, where the series began.
Suddenly, the picture changes to colour. Wanda sees that she is standing on a soundstage. Agatha is clapping in the audience, as we can only assume she has confirmed her theory based on Wanda’s memories. Wanda hears Billy and Tommy screaming, and Agatha has magically disappeared. Wanda bursts out of the soundstage and Agatha’s house onto the street, where she sees Agatha floating in the air while restraining Billy and Tommy with her magic. Agatha tells Wanda that she is dangerous, and that Wanda is a mythical beast capable of creation. Agatha tells Wanda that she is capable of chaos magic, which makes her the Scarlet Witch. And we cut to black, a dramatic end to the episode…
Or so we think. We get another mid credit scene this week! We jump outside the Hex to Hayward and S.W.O.R.D., and learn that they are ready to launch their weapon into the Hex. We learn that Hayward has used a missile they sent into the Hex to capture Wanda’s magic to power their device, and we are shown their weapon they plan on sending into the Hex: a revived, white version of Vision.
While this week’s episode was less informative on where the story is going for the finale, we got a wealth of information about what we have seen so far. The sitcom style of the show is born out of Wanda’s love of sitcoms and the comfort they have provided her in her past. It helps explain Wanda’s emotional state throughout the show and why the story was told this way, and it makes perfect sense while further displaying Marvel’s ability to tell a complex story in a creative way. The most interesting information that we are provided with for Wanda is the development of her magic. While we have been led to believe it was the Mind Stone that gave Wanda her powers, in fact Wanda was born with her powers. This is more in line with Wanda’s origin in the comics, but it’s the mention of chaos magic that was the big development for Wanda. In the comics, chaos magic was a mythical, all-powerful form of magic that gave its wielder the ability to rewrite and control reality, a power that even the Sorcerer Supreme thought did not exist. While we have seen Wanda display this power throughout the show, Agatha’s speech at the end confirms that Wanda is the most powerful player in the MCU and that she could be about to blow up the MCU as we know it. This confirms that the multiverse is about to make its big debut. Plus with Wanda’s magic being not just from the Mind Stone, it suggests that Mephisto will be debuting in the finale as this would tie into Wanda’s story in the comics, which the show has just realigned itself with by revealing Wanda was born with her powers. Now is Wanda officially a mutant as we can now use that term in the MCU as Disney bought Fox, unlike when Wanda made her debut in Avengers: Age of Ultron when she was contractually not allowed to be a mutant? I think so…but I don’t think the X-Men will be appearing for a little while. I think our big cameo in the finale will be another beloved Marvel character recently returned to Disney through the Fox acquisition.
Regarding Agatha, even though we have the delightful theme song from last episode that has been stuck in most people’s heads since, it turns out it was not actually Agatha all along. Agatha is here to learn about Wanda’s powers, and most likely harness them for her own evil purpose without much control over Westview. What this purpose is, we will have to wait for next week to find out, but I bet Mephisto is involved based on the appearance of the orange magic in both Salem and Agatha’s basement. And probably her rabbit is also of significance to her larger plan, whoever that maybe…but I’m sure it’s tied to Mephisto as well.
But the most interesting development is revolving around Hayward. While I have been wary to trust Hayward from the beginning, he has been confirmed to have been manipulating everyone the entire time. We learn that Wanda never broke into S.W.O.R.D. headquarters and stole Vision’s body, but in fact she was invited in by Hayward and left with no part of Vision. In fact, Hayward has used this entire event to bring Vision back to life under his control to take out Wanda. Clearly, we will have an epic and emotional showdown between Wanda and Hayward’s version of Vision in the finale.
Speaking of the finale, things are not looking good for Wanda. We know that the Hex is about to come down for good, but knowing that Vision is an illusion in the Hex, Wanda is going to be left alone and even more heartbroken potentially as she may have to face the choice of keeping her ideal life with Vision and stopping Hayward and Agatha. This means that Wanda is going to be even more devastated than she has been throughout the show, which is just horrific to even think of as Wanda has already been through the emotional ringer. Maybe Wanda’s chaos magic will be enough to rewrite reality and bring Vision back to life permanently, but we saw him struggle being outside the Hex earlier on in the show, so I don’t think Wanda’s powers are powerful enough…yet. Plus, she will have to defeat Hayward’s evil version of Vision which is going to be devastating to her as she will have to destroy the body of the love of her life. All I can say is poor Wanda.
On the villain front, I will say it again: I predict Mephisto to make an appearance. There is no way this will be the end of him in the MCU, I suspect his role will continue through the events of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness at minimum, so get ready for the introduction of the next big bad. But tied to Mephisto’s fate is Billy and Tommy, and without spoiling what could potentially happen to them in the finale, I think we will see one more age jump for Billy and Tommy to a young adult age of their late teens or early twenties. Not only would this provide new casting for them to be carried forward in the future of the MCU as this would allow them to make their debut as Speed and Wiccan (Young Avengers anyone?)
And finally, the big reveal of the aerospace engineer! Everyone has been waiting for this reveal, and I truly hope that it is Reed Richards played by John Krasinski. The fans have been calling for this casting, and hopefully Marvel answers next week with a resounding yes! Paul Bettany has been teasing a top secret cameo of an actor he has never worked with for a while now, and we know it was not Evan Peters and will not be Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. Could this cameo be Krasinski as Reed Richards? Possibly. Bettany has not starred in a film with Krasinski before, so this fuels the theory. But to be honest, this is Marvel so they have a large array of characters to use as the cameo, and I’m sure whoever the cameo is, whether it is Reed or not, it’s going to be an exciting moment!
So until next Friday everyone, keep theorizing about what’s going to happen. And don’t forget to check back in next Friday as I recap the finale and what it all means for the future of the MCU.