Marvel’s WandaVision Recap: The Quick And The Dead
Disney Plus and Marvel’s first joint venture, WandaVision, continues to be a runaway success. Starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as The Vision, the two super-powered beings attempt to live a quiet suburban life. But as with all things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nothing is quite as it seems and a greater drama begins to unfold. The fifth episode of WandaVision continues the story, this time with a look inside and outside the town of Westview. More questions are answered, even more, questions arise and the stakes continue to climb.
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Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of WandaVision. If you skip to the bottom and listen to the latest episode of The Other Identity, there are only light spoilers. Make sure you watch WandaVision before you continue reading!
The first three episodes of WandaVision were all about the Vision residence, playing them through motions of several classic TV homages. The fourth took us outside of Westview and caught us up on what has been going on in the real world, also introducing us to Monica Rambeau (the little girl from Captain Marvel). Episode five gives us a look both in and out of Wanda’s dome surrounding the city.
The weirdness continues on both fronts, as Tommy and Billy, Wanda’s two baby boys won’t go to sleep. Wanda attempts to use her powers on them, but they seem unaffected. The next-door neighbor Agnes shows up and wants to help, but Vision refuses to let her. There is then a very awkward scene where Agnes asks Wanda if she should ‘take it from the top’. It seems as though Agnes is somehow aware of the world she’s in. Vision also begins to question the validity of his reality. Shortly afterward, the babies age themselves up from infants to five years old.
The episode then shifts out of Westview to Monica Rambeau, going through some tests since she was ejected from the Westview anomaly. She meets with Agent Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis as they all find out that all of Monica’s tests somehow came back inconclusive. In a briefing with the rest of SWORD, a security video is shown that depicts Wanda breaking into a secure SWORD facility and taking the Visions body.
Meanwhile, back in Westview, Billy and Tommy find a dog and age themselves up again to 10 years old when told they need to be older to have a pet. It seems the boys are already exhibiting power sets from their parents. The dog is named Sparky (which is a reference to Tom King’s The Vision series from 2018). Outside, Rambeau, Woo, and Lewis continue their investigation and realize that Wanda’s powers have evolved and she has the ability to warp and bend reality.
Vision, now back at work inside the dome, does some investigation himself as he receives an email from the outside. He frees one of his co-workers from Wanda’s influence only to find the man scared and concerned for his family. Back home, SWORD sends an old 80s drone through the anomaly to attempt to talk to Wanda. Going against Monica’s wishes, the SWORD director put a missile on it and attempt to attack Wanda.
Moments later, she emerges from the dome with the drone and threatens everyone that she and her family are to be left alone. Back inside, Sparky has run away and Wanda and the kids find him at Agnes rose bushes, dead. The Vision walks in from off-screen on his way home from work and Wanda delivers a powerful message to her kids about death being part of life and something you can’t run from, or take back. At home, Wanda and Vision square off in an intense argument as he confronts her about his co-workers and why he has no memory of the time before their life in Westview. But Wanda says she’s not the one controlling everything.
As the argument begins to calm down a knock comes on the door, Wanda answers it and on the other side is none of than her brother, Pietro, otherwise known as Quicksilver. However, it’s not the Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) we know and remember from Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s the Quicksilver from the Fox X-Men Franchise played by Peter Evans. The way he talks, dresses, his mannerisms. Yet, somehow Wanda recognizes him as Pietro. Watching this on the TV back at the SWORD base, Darcy Lewis even comments, “Did she recast Pietro?”
What Does It Mean?
Despite getting a lot of answers in this episode and the mythos of Wanda expanding as the Scarlet Witch, there are still a lot of questions. During the SWORD briefing, the director asks if Wanda has any alias (alluding to the Scarlet Witch, something she hasn’t been called yet.) But throughout the episode, there are many references to it. She turns the dome red after her warning to SWORD, Darcy referring to the anomaly as the ‘hex’. We also get a confirmation that her powers aren’t just telepathy and telekinesis but can actually bend, warp and change reality.
The other interesting aspect of the episode is how most of the Westview residents are under some kind of mind control spell with the exception of four people. The Vision, Billy, and Tommy, and the next-door neighbor Agnes. Billy and Tommy make sense as they seem to also have Wanda’s abilities, they also demonstrate resistance to it when she tries to put them asleep. The Vision is an interesting case because the security footage confirms that Wanda stole his corpse from SWORD. After her speech to the boys about not being able to bring Sparky back from the dead and the glimpse we got in episode 3 of him as a walking corpse, it would suggest Vision isn’t alive but a puppet of Wanda’s. The big question then, is how does he have his own sentience and why can’t Wanda control him if he’s just a corpse?
The most interesting one, however, is Agnes. Why, of all the Westview residents, is she the only one who seems to be a way of what’s happening. And why is she willing to play into the whole charade as well? The answer to that lies in comics canon in a character known as Agatha Harkness.
In Marvel continuity, Agatha Harkness is a witch that remembers the time before the sinking of Atlantis. She has a history of forming a coven of witches during the Salem Witch Trials. There was also a point where she was a nanny for Franklin Richards, newborn baby of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. She became an ally to the Fantastic Four and this would eventually lead her to Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. During another adventure that resulted in the death of Agatha Harkness, Scarlet Witch would consume the energy of a large battle in an attempt to save New Salem, but part of the consequences of taking in so much of this energy resulted in the pregnancy of Wanda with Billy and Tommy.
It’s difficult to know at this time exactly how Agatha could play into WandaVision and if Agnes is even a version of her or not. One thing is clear, Wanda believes she’s not in control of the Westview anomaly. And as we remember from the first episode, even Wanda has had trouble recalling moments from before. By her own admission to her children, you cannot undo death. If you could, why wouldn’t she revive the Vision or Sparky? Someone else is in the shadows and they may be responsible for her becoming pregnant with the twins, using the Vision as a puppet and summoning forth an alternate reality version of Pietro Maximoff.
You can watch Marvel’s WandaVision starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany on Disney Plus. New episodes premiere every Friday.
The Other Identity
If you want more on WandaVision, the MCU, or comics in general, check out the Other Identity podcast. Each week Robbie Landis and Ben Morse (former Marvel Alumni) dive into various DC Comics and Marvel Comics topics. Everything from the comic book pages to the heroes on the silver screen, the Other Identity celebrates the fan in all of us. Whether a veteran reader or a new fan of the MCU, the show is for everyone.
This week, they recap their reactions on episode five of WandaVision. Plus, they talk about the current state of the Spider-Men in Marvel comics. They discuss Nick Spencer’s run of Spider-Man and Saladin Ahmed’s current series of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. They also touch on JJ Abram and his son Henry’s limited series of Spider-Man. To listen and find out more, subscribe to the podcast today. You can subscribe and download on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Feature Image, Screencap from Disney Plus and Marvel’s WandaVision Trailer.