The Ending Is Just the Beginning
So its finally come to this—the end of WandaVision. Episode 9, The Series Finale as it is appropriately titled, packed a lot of punch in its relatively short runtime. Fan’s expectations and theories blew up in people’s faces and tossed in the trash like so many copies of Spider-Man: One More Day. There was no big Mephisto reveal, we didn’t get Doctor Strange sling ringing into Westview, nor did that Aerospace engineer turn out to be old stretchy himself, Reed Richards.
Instead, we got a season/series finale that gave closure to one woman’s grief and pain from years of loss. We also got an ending that has opened the doors to both upcoming sequels for the aforementioned Sorcerer Supreme (that will never not sound like something you order from Taco Bell to me) and Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers.
We also got some loose ends by not finding out who Jimmy Woo’s missing person from the Witness Protection Program was or if Darcy ever did get that cup of coffee she asked for; maybe she did, I was too busy wondering during that episode if Wolverine or Throg (he’s a frog Thor, go look it up, he’s a freakin’ delight) might cameo so I was not paying attention to fine, coffee-fetching details like that.
A More Fitting Ending Than All Of That
We also got an ending that felt earned. Not just as the culmination of several week’s worth of storytelling and buildup but as the payoff to what our characters this season have all gone through. In the end, WandaVision was never going to be the place for gratuitous MCU cameos, nor was it going to be something that was going to meet all of the fan’s expectations and theories. But it was a damn good episode and a damn fine example of something the MCU has been doing since the very beginning.
When Ironman first debuted on the big screen, he ended up fighting a dark reflection of himself in his business partner Obadiah Stane and his Iron Monger suit. While Stark had learned that he did have a strong sense of humanity, even under layers of protective metal powered by an electric heart, Obadiah saw only profits from war.
When Bruce Banner came out of hiding in Brazil and forced to flee back into the United States all while trying to find a cure for his accidental and monstrous condition, the Special Ops soldier tasked with bringing him in chose to become a monster—seeking the power that Banner sought to shed. With all things pumped to eleven with testosterone, blows soon came between the Jade Giant and Abomination in the streets of Harlem.
The same story played out for Captain America when he faced the evil super-soldier Red Skull and so on and so forth with pretty much every hero in the MCU. You and I all know the story because we’ve had it seared into our brains after twenty-plus movies. At this point it’s become a cliche. Except in the case of Wanda and Vision, something special happened.
Are You A Good Witch or a Bad Witch?
WandaVision not only has the benefit of having nine half-hour to hour-long episodes in which to breath, but it also stars two MCU heroes who have been well established. This ain’t their first rodeo. But that is what makes the formula so unique this time and this time, it really gets to do what it does best.
In Agatha Harkness, Wanda has not only a rival, but a teacher too. Agatha takes powers, feeding off of those she deems not worthy to possess such gifts. Much like Baron Mordo in the stinger ending to Doctor Strange, Agatha sees herself as judge, jury, and executioner. Her powers come from her use of runes and spell books. She has her familiar in Señor Scratchy, and cackles like one would expect a witch of her ilk to do. Agatha is for all intents and purposes, a stereotypical witch—a woman with agency who loves the colors black and purple. While in some ways, Agatha is not a full-blown villain, she is just the counter-point Wanda needs in the story.
It all plays out through Wanda’s early and teenage life. From Sokovia with smuggled American sitcom DVD’s, to the introduction to her powers at the hands of HYDRA and up to her realization that Vision is truly dead during her visit to S.W.O.R.D. HQ. Wanda is dealing with grief and as such, she not only chooses to create her own reality, but she masks her pain with having an idealistic life, having children, and being who she wants to be with her family and not out fighting the mega-evils of the galaxy.
Agatha All Along
Wanda lost her parents and her brother and her lover and all loses she had little to no say in. Agatha on the other hand, chose to murder her mother for the woman’s powers. Up until now, Wanda has been fueled by revenge and loss and anger and pain. However, Agatha has been fueled by greed and her own inflated sense of self-worth.
When Wanda confronts Agatha, she is confronting her darker self, the person she could have become. Instead, Agatha paves the way for Wanda to come to terms with who she is, broken and grieving and all the mucky stuff she carries with her. She takes charge and takes control of her life in a way we have not yet seen her do in the MCU. Agatha will be back, I have no doubts about that, but for this particular story, she is Wanda’s dark twin, there to help the Scarlett Witch become born into the world at last.
The woman who lost her twin brother and who herself, birthed twins, has faced her own magical twin and become unshackled from that identity of being one part of two. She is the witch she chooses to be using the powers she possesses.
I Can See Clearly Now
Then there is Vision. In the finale, our favorite ruby-red Synthezoid, knowing that he is but a creation of Wanda’s mind, comes face-to-face (and quite literally too) with Cataract, the all new and all white Vision sent to kill Wanda on Hayward’s orders. Since both androids are pretty evenly matched in their tussle high above Westview, it is not until they clash in the town’s library that things take a turn for the interesting.
While the fight easily begins like a standard hero versus their dark reflection battle, this one ends with Wanda’s Vision helping Cataract to not only unlock his memories still stored in Vision’s recovered physical body after the battle of Wakanda, but he literally clears the android’s vision (see what they did there—Vision/Cataract). Through a brilliant exploration in logic and philosophy, Vision helps the weaponized version of himself, realize that he has always been the original Vision.
While the Scarlett Witch is truly born in this episode, Vision is reborn, soaring off to who knows where while Wanda’s flesh and blood and wired memory of Vision passes from Wanda’s world.
The Duality of Light
Finally, there was one other birth at the hands of a twin-like relationship this season of WandaVision—Monica Rambeau. In the time she was dead at the snap of Thanos, S.W.O.R.D. Director Tyler Hayward has been scheming and plotting and developing his little toys of destruction. Monica comes back to the land of the living, with Hayward, a middle aged white man, in the position of power in an agency that her mother founded.
Monica is ready to jump into action at the drop of a hat while Hayward is methodical and dastardly in the best Melodrama villain ways. As he waits patiently for the powers he needs from Wanda to activate his Cataract weapon, Monica goes right back into danger by reentering Wanda’s barrier and world of make-believe and in doing so turns herself into something powerful; something new.
The birth of Photon is both physically painful for Monica but also inevitable for the woman who grew up resenting the super-powered aunt who left her mom to die of cancer while said aunt was off chasing trouble across the cosmos.
The Birth Of A New Hero
While it may have been uncomfortable to watch a white man in a position of police-like authority, shoot a black woman, Monica and Hayward’s showdown does show that she is always willing to put herself in danger to help others, in this case, Wanda and Vision’s twin boys. Hayward on the other hand, flees like coward he is. But just like with Wanda and Vision, Monica too faced her own darker reflection. Her’s though, was the closest to what we have already seen in the MCU with the other, more well known heroes. Even though we met Monica as a wide-eyed child in Captain Marvel, Monica in WandaVision is still wide-eyed but is now dealing with the loss of her mother, the last few years, her cosmic protector, and her innocence.
Still though, in the end, like Wanda and Vision’s encounters with their darker reflections or twins, Monica’s serves as the jumping off point for the new and improved her and I for one, cannot wait to see where her new abilities to transform herself into pure energy, take her.
Perhaps the Ending Has Not Yet Been Written
So we didn’t get the true return of Wanda’s late twin brother Pietro and she did lose her twin children when she ended the farce that was her take on a perfect sitcom life, but that does not mean we have seen the end of some of Marvel Comic’s most well known twins. With the Scarlett Witch set to appear in the next outing of the Sorcerer Supreme which promises to delve into the multiverse of Marvel itself, there’s a very good chance we will see these twins siblings and children once again.
Also, with a new slate of characters to introduce, it will be interesting to see if WandaVision ends up being the end of the hero versus their dark reflection/twin dynamic or if this is just another mile-post along a very long road. Only time will tell.
For more on WandaVision, stay tuned to That Hashtag Show.