WandaVision Recap From Darren’s Movie Reviews – Episode 9

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.

And after eight incredible weeks of television, Marvel’s first Disney+ show officially comes to an end with an exciting, emotional and dramatic finale.

While we have been seeing interviews all week clarifying what to expect with the finale, I had to say I was a little anxious as I sat down to watch it at midnight. Were we going to get the cameo that Paul Bettany has been teasing for the past few weeks? And why would the director apologize saying that some people won’t like it? But after finishing it, I can easily say that not only did I love the finale, but it was the perfect ending to the story that was being told over the course of the series.

While WandaVision was not the Marvel series that I was most excited to see on Disney+ this year, it has set a high standard for all future Marvel shows. Perfectly weaving a mystery over nine episodes, dropping small hints and clues as to the show’s direction each episode, while stylizing it as a sitcom was no easy task. However, under the great direction of Matt Shakman, the series is a home run from start to finish. Elizabeth Olsen is incredible as Wanda, finally given the character development that fans have been dying to see for Wanda since her introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Is it too early to predict an Emmy nomination? Because I think Olsen could be getting one for her beautiful performance of Wanda, trying to cope with all the trauma and heartbreak of her past while creating this reality for her and Vision to live their dream life in. Paul Bettany is great as Vision, however it’s Kathryn Hahn who consistently steals the scene as Agatha. The production design is incredible, perfectly recreating a different decade each episode. Not a single detail is missed. The costumes and sets transport viewers visually into each decade, while the music reflects music of sitcoms from each era. Chrsitophe Beck’s score is good, but it is Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s theme songs for each episode that perfect the music. Then throw in the runaway hit “Agatha All Along”, and you have a wonderful show. But where Marvel succeeds is how it uses this show to lay the work for various future Marvel films, setting the stage for the MCU to be changed forever. And while we did not get these changes by the end of the show as I have been predicting for weeks, the groundwork is there and it will happen very early on when the films get back to this storyline after Black Widow and Eternals. Needless to say, WandaVision could very well be my favourite show of the entire year at this point! And we still have five more Marvel shows to come this year alone!

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 starts right where we left off last week: Wanda, Agatha and the boys in the middle of the street. Wanda tells Agatha that they are out of her basement and away from the protection of the runes, noting her powers will work. Agatha gleefully replies “I’m counting on it” as she lets the boys down. The boys run off to their room at their mother’s request, as Wanda and Agatha get ready for their big showdown. Wanda shoots a blast of magic at Agatha, but Agatha captures and harnesses Wanda’s magic while draining Wanda’s life force. This was Agatha’s plan all along: absorb Wanda’s magic to become more powerful. Agatha gives Wanda the choice of fighting her, or to surrender her magic and in return Agatha will preserve Westview so Wanda can keep her dream life with Vision. Wanda is not amused by this offer, and hits Agatha with a flying car that sends her flying into a house. As Wanda approaches the wrecked house, we see the car and underneath it Agatha’s two boots. But no body. It’s a wonderful homage to The Wizard of Oz that was just the cherry on top of the beginning of the showdown between Wanda and Agatha. As Wanda walks away from the house wreckage, White Vision flies towards Wanda. Wanda believes it to be her Vision and runs towards him. It starts off as a sweet moment, until White Vision tries to crush Wanda’s face. However, as he tries to crush Wanda, the Westview Vision flies into and attacks White Vision to save Wanda. The fight has officially begun as Westview Vision heads off after White Vision and Wanda tracks down Agatha.

Outside the Hex, Hayward has captured Agent Woo. Woo tries to reason with Hayward, questioning how he will explain two Visions to the world. But Hayward is convinced that no one will ever find out because he will neutralize Wanda and retrieve his Vision, and the world will never know what happened in the Hex. Woo tells Hayward that he has called in the FBI and they will be at Westview within the hour and that he won’t get away with it, but Hayward is not convinced and has Woo locked up. However, that won’t stop Woo. He manages to pick his handcuffs and calls a friend at the FBI, asking for a team to be sent to Westview.

Wanda’s search for Agatha takes her to the town square, where she is attacked by Agatha. Agatha tells Wanda that the Scarlet Witch is not born but forged, and that there is an entire chapter in the Darkhold (a.k.a The Book of Sins or The Book of the Damned) devoted to her. The Darkhold explains that the Scarlet Witch does not need incantations or a coven, and that she will be even more powerful than the Sorcerer Supreme. As viewers will recognize, the Darkhold is the same book that we previously saw in Agatha’s basement. To continue torturing Wanda, Agatha begins to wake up the citizens of Westview, who begin to surround Wanda begging her to end their pain. Wanda, overcome with the pain and suffering that she realizes she is causing the citizens of Westview, promises them to end their suffering and begins to bring down the Hex. With the Hex coming down, Hayward mobilizes his team and heads into Westview to take care of Wanda. 

During the battle of the Visions and the showdown between Wanda and Agatha, we learn that Monica is being held by Pietro in Agatha’s house. Well actually, it turns out it is Pietro’s house. Pietro is actually Ralph Bohner, a young actor who has taken on the role of Pietro for Agatha (yes WandaVision fans, we finally get to meet Ralph that Agatha was always talking about!) Monica takes control of the situation, pins Ralph down and removes the shell necklace that he is wearing, which releases Agatha’s control over Ralph. After doing so, Monica heads off in search of Wanda. 

At the same time, Billy and Tommy can no longer see their parents fighting from their bedroom window. Billy begins to see visions of his mother being surrounded by the citizens of Westview and feels her pain, and decides that he and Tommy need to go and help her.

The battle of the Visions continues in the skies above Westview. The White Vision sends the Westview Vision hurtling to the ground, crash landing in the town square in front of Wanda. At the same time, Tommy speeds into the town square with Billy. But as Wanda is bringing down the Hex, the Westview Vision, Billy and Tommy begin to disappear from reality as they have been created by Wanda, leaving Wanda with a difficult decision: save the citizens of Westview or keep her family alive. Overcome with the fear of losing her family, Wanda stops bringing down the Hex to keep her family alive. Wanda embraces her family, at which time Agatha attacks the family with her magic. Wanda uses her magic to shield them, but Agatha harnesses Wanda’s magic and continues to suck the life out of Wanda. White Vision and Hayward and his team arrive in the town square, and the Maximoff’s break off to take care of each of their enemies: Wanda goes after Agatha, Vision after White Vision, and the twins are left to deal with Hayward and S.W.O.R.D.

With their parents fighting their own battles, Billy and Tommy use their powers to take care of the S.W.O.R.D. agents. Not pleased with how the fight is going, Hayward takes matters into his own hand and fires his gun at Billy and Tommy. Using her powers, Monica arrives in the town square and throws herself in front of Billy and Tommy to protect them from Hayward’s gunfire. Thanks to her powers, the bullets pass right through her (like objects do as Vision phases through them) and fall to the ground. While Monica does not stop all of the bullets, Billy uses his psionic abilities to stop these bullets before they hit him and his brother. Hayward, clearly frustrated by his attempt to kill the Maximoff twins has been thwarted, jumps into his truck and gets ready to run down Monica and the twins. Luckily, Darcy arrives in the town square in the ice cream truck, t-bones Hayward and stops him.

Meanwhile, the battle of the Visions continues. However, the White Vision is concerned by a statement made by the Westview Vision and asks him to explain if they are both real. The Westview Vision explains a thought experiment, which leads both of them to the realization that they are both the real Vision. The Westview Vision realizes that all of Vision’s memories are inside the White Vision, just hidden from him to make him easier to control. Using his powers, the Westview Vision restores the memories to the White Vision. With his recovered memories, the White Vision begins mirroring the movements of the Westview Vision, states he is the true Vision, and flies off. 

Vision returns to the town square and embraces Billy and Tommy, as Wanda and Agatha continue their battle in the skies above Westview. Wanda manages to disappear and reappear behind Agatha, and uses her mind control on Agatha. In doing so, Wanda transports Agatha back to 17th century Salem where she is tied at the stake by her coven with the bodies of the coven members scattered on the ground. However, the situation does not play out as Wanda plans, as the coven members come back to life and start saying Wanda’s name and call her the Scarlet Witch. The coven members tie Wanda to the stake, and Agatha tells Wanda that she cannot win. Not because Wanda does not have the power to defeat her, but because she does not have the knowledge. Red horns of magic begin forming around Wanda’s head, taking the shape of the headpiece of the Scarlet Witch outfit from the comics. Agatha continues her villain speech, telling Wanda that if she surrenders her powers to Agatha, Agatha will correct the flaws in Westview and maintain Wanda’s perfect world for her and Vision to live in. However Wanda is not going to let Agatha win, and unleashes her powers which knocks down the Coven members and breaks her control over Agatha, taking them both back to Westview.

Wanda and Agatha continue their fight and fly higher into the skies above Westview. The Westview Vision tries to help Wanda, but Wanda stops him with her powers and takes on Agatha alone. Wanda continuously attacks Agatha with her powers claiming that she does not want them. Agatha eventually drains Wanda of her magic and life force. However, Wanda has a trick up her sleeve. As Agatha tries to use her magic against Wanda, her powers do not work. Wanda has cast runes into the Hex, stripping Agatha of her powers. As a result, Wanda regains her magic and life force, and begins drawing in power from the Hex and Agatha. In doing so, Wanda becomes the Scarlet Witch and ends the battle with Agatha.

Wanda and Agatha return down to the town square, and Agatha warns Wanada that she does not know what she has unleashed on the world and questions Wanda as to what she will do next. Wanda tells Agatha that she will turn her back into nosy Agnes. Agnes warns Wanda that she will need her help one day, to which Wanda responds she will know exactly where to find her. Then, Wanda turns Agatha back into nosy Agnes and reunites with her family. Fun side note, but this scene features the second The Wizard of Oz reference as the town movie theatre is showing Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful.

As Wanda reunites with her family, Vision notes that their dream house has been reduced to a fixer upper, but Wanda is not concerned. She knows everything will work out right in the end, to which Vision responds but not for their family. Knowing it’s time for the Hex to come down, Wanda, Vision and the twins return back to their home as Wanda uses her powers to retreat the borders of the Hex. As she leaves the town square, Wanda and Monica catch each other’s eye, to which Monica smiles at Wanda, acknowledging the pain that she knows Wanda is dealing with with a reassuring look that says “it will be alright”. Westview is restored to its original condition and the residents are free from Wanda’s magic.

Back at the Maximoff house, Wanda and Vision put Billy and Tommy to bed as they can see the borders of the Hex retreating closer and closer to their house. It’s a beautiful and deeply moving moment, during which Wanda tells the boys how proud of them she is. She reminds them that family is forever and that they will never leave each other, even if they try to, full well knowing that she will most likely never see them again. As Wanda takes one last look at the boys, knowing this will be the last time she sees them as the Hex is about to close in on their house, she thanks them for choosing her to be their mother.

Downstairs, it is time for the moment Wanda has been saving herself from throughout the entire series: saying goodbye to Vision. She walks around the living room, turning off the lights, but Vision turns them back on as it’s bad luck to say goodbye in the dark and he wants to see Wanda clearly one last time. Wanda and Vision hold hands and look at the window, seeing the Hex getting closer, knowing they have a matter of minutes left. During their final moments, Vision asks what he is? Wanda replies that Vision is the part of the Mind Stone that lives within her, that he is a body of wires and blood and bone that she created, that he is her sadness and her hope, but most importantly that he is her love. Vision and Wanda share a last kiss before Vision recounts his journey through life. He has been a voice with no body, a body but not human, and now a memory made real. Optimistically, Vision wonders what he will be next. With only seconds left, they decide not to say goodbye as they have said goodbye before and been reunited, so decide that they will say hello again. Then, in Vision’s final second as Wanda’s spell over Westview disappears, Vision says “so long, darling”, leaving Wanda standing alone in the plot for their house.

Wanda makes her way back to the town square, where all of the residents are visibly still scared of Wanda and her power. Monica approaches Wanda and says that townsfolk will never know what Wanda sacrificed for them, but Wanda does not think this will change their opinion of her. Wanda is confused as to why Monica does not hate her, and Monica discloses that if she had Wanda’s powers, she would have done the same thing to bring back her mother. Wanda apologizes to Monica for everything she has done and that she is truly sorry, and Monica tells Wanda she knows she is. Wanda expresses to Monica that she does not know the extent of her powers, but as she does the sirens of the FBI are heard in the distance. Not wanting to be captured, Wanda flies away. As she does, Monica says goodbye and goodluck, and the series is over.

Well, actually not. We all know Marvel, so cue the mid credit scene! We are back in the town square with Monica and Agent Woo. Woo is organizing the response teams and notes that Darcy has left town as she hates debriefs. One of the FBI Agents approaches Monica and tells her that her presence is required in the movie theater. The sign board has now changed, and there is a mention of the Tannhauser Gate on the sign board. While this is not a Marvel Easter Egg, this is a reference to the iconic “Tears in the Rain” speech from Blade Runner, which I can only guess is in hint to White Vision and his acceptance of his being in the world. Inside the theater, the FBI Agent reveals herself to be a Skrull and tells Monica that an old friend of Monica’s mother has sent her. The friend says that Monica has been grounded and that he wants to meet with her. Monica asks where, to which the Skrull points to the sky. Yes, Nick Fury is looking for Monica, and this is sure to set up the events of Captain Marvel 2 which we know that Monica will be a central character in.

But wait, there’s more Marvel fans! We also get a post credit scene. By a lake on the edge of the mountains, we see a log cabin. Wanda is on the porch and heads inside to deal with her boiling kettle. However, the camera continues past Wanda and into the bedroom of the cabin, in which we see Wanda as the Scarlet Witch in an astral projection reading the Darkhold and performing. As we see this startling image (as Doctor Strange can only use an astral projection while sleeping or meditating), we hear Billy and Tommy screaming for help as the screen cuts to black. To be continued…

So that is it, we have officially finished our first Marvel property of Phase 4. I cannot think of a better way to start off the Phase than this show. There is so much world building and setup happening in this show, and we are going places. While the Hex is gone, we know that in defeating Agatha that Wanda has unleashed something on the world. The question is who is it? While I have been theorizing that it is Mephisto, the finale neither confirmed nor denied that suspicion, but also provided another idea: the elder god Chthon. In the comics, Chthon is the author of the Darkhold and his lair in the comics is in the mountains, which would fit the setting that Wanda is in. With the appearance of the Darkhold, it could as easily be Chthon that the series is teasing. Time will tell whether it is Mephisto or Chthon, but either way, Doctor Strange is going to have his hands full in his next film dealing with what Wanda has unknowingly unleashed. 

Speaking of the Darkhold, this is not the first time it has appeared in a Marvel television show. It has previously appeared in the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the third and final season of Runaways. In both shows, the Darkhold looked different, so we are not dealing with the same version of the Darkhold. While the Runaways appearance may not be as interesting, it raises a question about the version seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: are the two copies of the Darkhold, or is this a continuity issue? I think it’s probably a continuity issue, because the version of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the word “DARKHOLD” on the cover, and we’re missing that here (because it would look silly like it did on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). I don’t think it is at all suggesting that S.H.I.E.L.D. took place in a different universe, as we know the events of the show directly tied into MCU events. But knowing that the final season of the show involved time travel, which would create different realities like Captain America experience while returning the Time Stones, it is something to keep in the back of your mind until we learn more about the Darkhold when Wanda next appears in the MCU.

While it’s clear Wanda’s story is going to have more pain in the future as she is able to hear her boys screaming out for help, there is a glimmer of hope for Wanda: White VIsion. He has all of Vision’s memories, and maybe he will come back and be with Wanda, finally allowing the two of them to have the life Wanda so desperately wanted for them. We last saw White Vision flying away halfway through the episode, but with that Blade Runner reference, I think it’s clear to say that we have not seen the last of White Vision.

While fans were going crazy about the mention of an aerospace engineer, we did not get to meet Reed Richards. Nor did we get that surprise cameo Paul Bettany was teasing, because his interviews this week were correct in the fact he was joking about working with himself. And while some fans will be upset and angered by the lack of appearances in the finale, I have to say that was not the purpose of the show. Yes, we have set up for a new villain to emerge and been hinting at the multiverse being ready to be exposed, but we got a beautiful end to this chapter of Wanda’s story. The finale accomplished everything it needed to to help Wanda process her grief, in an incredibly beautiful and moving way that is guaranteed to make viewers cry. And remember, WandaVision was originally planned to air in early 2021 with Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness premiering on May 7, 2021. The original plan was only to have a short time period between the two stories, so that while we didn’t get the villain reveal in WandaVision, we were getting it very quickly with the next Doctor Strange film. While this did not happen as Marvel originally planned, it should not be a reflection on WandaVision as Marvel has done the impossible and created an incredibly emotional story for Wanda, told through sitcoms, and proving yet again they deliver some of their best work when they are trying something new. 

So thank you for checking in every week and reading my WandaVision recaps. It has been fun going over all of the Easter Eggs in the series each week. While WandaVision is over, the next Marvel show is right around the corner: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Check back next Friday for my preview post about what to expect from Marvel’s next Disney+ show.

Follow Darren on Instagram at @darrenmoviereviews

What Do You Think?

%d bloggers like this: