Marvel’s WandaVision Recap: Changing The Rules
WandaVision has only three episodes to go and if it continues down the same path, audiences are in for an even wilder ride. What started with a simple Dick Van Dyke homage starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda Maximoff the Vision has ballooned into a Marvel Cinematic Universe changing event. Wanda may have intended for her and the Vision to live quiet suburban lives, but when you’re a super-powered being living in a normal world something inevitably goes wrong. The Marvel and Disney Plus series continues to grip fans week over week, here’s what happened on the last episode.
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Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Episode 6 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!
Following the trend set in episode 5, the story rotates back and forth between Wanda and her family inside the Westview anomaly and SWORD agents outside of it. The episode is also rife with Easter eggs and callbacks to years worth of Marvel lore and that’s in large part to the fact it’s a Halloween Special ala 90’s show like Malcolm in the Middle.
Inside the Anomaly
The episode opens with the Maximoff family preparing for the Halloween festivities. Vision says he has to go out for patrol with the neighborhood watch, but it’s a ploy to explore more of Westview away from Wanda. Wanda and Pietro along with Billy and Tommy all go out trick or treating.
During this time Wanda talks with one of the Westview residents, Herb, and finds out that Vision isn’t part of the neighborhood watch effort. Herb asks Wanda if there’s anything he can do to fix things or make them better. One of many subtle nods that some of the residents in Westview are aware of Wanda’s powers and are going along with it, likely out of fear more than anything else. Agnes is another one that portrays this same demeanor.
The majority of Wanda’s screen time in this episode is alongside Pietro, (dressed as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver) as they talk about their past including their parents, losing him in the battle of Ultron. Pietro seems to know what Wanda is doing in Westview and commends her for it.
An interesting point to note, Even Peters played Quicksilver in the Fox X-Men Universe and his inclusion in WandaVision had many fans speculating the beginning of the multi-verse here. However, this version of Pietro Maximoff had all the memories of the MCU Pietro (originally played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson). From everything Pietro says, to what he and Wanda remember, this IS the MCU version of Pietro but in a different body.
The reasoning for this could be anything, but what is most likely is that Wanda subconsciously wanted her brother back. But she can’t bring anyone back from the dead (since Vision is still dead, but being used as a puppet). It’s likely her powers choose someone from inside the town and used her reality-altering powers to give him memories. The fact that it’s Even Peters is likely just a nod and easter egg to the Fox X-Men, but time will tell if there’s more there or not.
The biggest question mark in relation to Quicksilver and Vision, both being dead and now seemingly back alive in one form or another — is why does Pietro have his memories Avengers Age of Ultron, but Vision does not? It can be a struggle for audiences when the ‘rules’ don’t line up correctly in every instance. But the easy answer is that Wanda controls the rules. Vision remembering the past would cause him to act, similar to what he’s already doing. Whereas Pietro needs his memories in order to help Wanda deal with this trauma.
Vision, for his part, goes to the outskirts of Westview where all the citizens seem to be stuck in place. It gives off the sense that the farther away from Wanda that the people are, the less she has to control them. Instead of exerting effort over everyone just allows those near her the ability to move around.
Vision also comes across Agnes, who is at the edge of town but unable to leave. He uses his powers to free her from Wanda’s control and she explains to Vision that he was an Avenger and that he died. He has no idea what an Avenger is. Vision then attempts to leave the Westview anomaly which brings the inside and outside worlds crashing into one another.
Outside the Anomaly
Meanwhile, outside Westview, we finally see the consequences of Director Hayward and his SWORD agents for attempting to attack Wanda last episode using a drone. Monica, Jimmy Woo, and Darcy Lewis all express their dissatisfaction with Hayward’s agenda. After some heated words, he has all three of them escorted off the base and thrown out. Of course, Monica and friends have different plans.
They break free and sneak back inside the SWORD encampment, where Monica decides she’s going to try and go back into Westview and reach Wanda. Darcy argues against it and reveals the results of Monica’s lab work. It turns out that being inside the anomaly is changing her cells on the genetic level. This alone has major implications for the future of the MCU. At the very least, it’s the start of Monica’s origin story in becoming Photon and at most, it’s a compelling theory behind what could introduce Mutants into the world.
Darcy decides to stay behind as Monica and Jimmy are going to meet with a contact of Monica’s who can help her get back inside Westview. At this point, back inside the anomaly, the Vision attempts to leave Westview and the two worlds begin to collide.
Unlike Monica’s clothes which stayed transformed when she left, the Vision slowly begins to deteriorate and break away, dying in front of the Hayward, Darcy, and the SWORD agents. Back inside, Wanda is beginning to open up to Pietro and being forced to reconcile with what she’s doing inside Westview. It all comes together as Billy begins to sense that the Vision is in trouble. He goes to tell Wanda and in order to help Vision and bring him back inside the dome, she begins to expand it. As it does, it covers the SWORD encampment, swallowing up most of the agents including Darcy Lewis.
In the ending moments of the episode, Monica and Jimmy seem to have escaped it as well as Director Hayward.
What Does It Mean?
At this point, WandaVision has gone completely off the rails. In the past, we’ve looked to previous Marvel comics stories, lore, and canon to try and estimate where the story might go. Of course, Marvel and Kevin Feige want to keep the audience guessing, keep them asking questions and this episode succeeds in that regard.
The biggest takeaway from this episode and moving forward is that there are no concrete rules. Episode 5 had an interesting moment where Director Hayward asked Agent Woo if Wanda had any alias’, to which he said “nope, none.” But the audience knows that’s not true. Wanda Maximoff is the Scarlet Witch and despite being in several movies up until this point, WandaVision seems to be her true origin story as she slowly begins to step into that role.
Her powers are magic, they are reality-warping and both the MCU and audiences unfamiliar with her are slowly starting to understand the true scope and danger of those powers. They have the ability to alter reality as we know it, change matter from one thing into another. They have the ability to at the very least, reanimate and puppet corpses. Plus, they have the ability to selectively remove or allow people to remember key memories.
It’s almost impossible to know exactly where WandaVision goes from here, but there is one thing we know for certain. If you expect WandaVision to have a happy ending, you need to alter your expectations. With powerful magic, there always comes a price. Looking ahead to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Doctor Strange Sequel will deal exclusively with the fallout of WandaVision.
You don’t get to title your movie Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness following a happily ever after. With three episodes left on Disney Plus and Marvel Studios first series WandaVision, clocking in at over an hour each, things are going to get a lot worse and a lot weirder before we reach the conclusion. Buckle up, True Believers.
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 to episode six of WandaVision. They also break down the newest trailer of the Falcon and Winter Soldier. WandaVision has changed our perceptions of what a show in the MCU could be and accomplish. Will this change the viewers’ expectations going into the Falcon and Winter Soldier? Robbie and Ben break it all down and more on the Other Identity. 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 WandaVision Trailer from Marvel Studios and Disney Plus.