This article contains major spoilers for WandaVision.
It is safe to say that Marvel’s WandaVision is a phenomenal show warranting popularity. While there are many other Marvel television shows (such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Runaways, and Cloak and Dagger), this is the first one that really connects to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is also the first Marvel show that focuses on a vital character already established in the MCU films, who will continue having a major role in future films.
WandaVision’s immediate popularity takes root in the fact that it really is a show everyone can enjoy. Although it would be more convenient if you watched the Marvel films preceding the shows, WandaVision is still an enjoyable show for those who aren’t big Marvel fans. That’s because WandaVision does so many things right.
WandaVision takes place a few weeks after the events from Avengers: Endgame and follows Avenger Wanda Maximoff and her journey with grief and acceptance. In Avengers: Infinity War, audiences had their hearts crushed when Thanos took the mind stone from Vision’s head, inevitably killing him. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, they brought back the people who turned to dust, but anyone who died was, unfortunately, still dead, sealing the fate of Vision.
Somehow, however, in WandaVision, Vision is seen living with Wanda Maximoff in Westview, N. J., a small, suburban town. The couple enters new decades through different sitcom television tropes, inspired by shows such as I Love Lucy, Bewitched, and Malcolm in the Middle. Like WandaVision viewers, Wanda and Vision slowly become suspicious of their surroundings. As the show continues, we find out that Maximoff is responsible, through something we later find out is chaos magic — a magic so powerful it can manipulate reality. This is how she is able to reconstruct Vision without having Vision’s body. Although Maximoff’s chaos magic captivates the people of Westview into this new reality, we learn that Maximoff’s grief is the reason she does so in the first place — not only grief from Vision’s death, but her brother and her parents’ deaths as well.
Although I personally was a big fan of WandaVision, there were definitely a lot of mixed reviews. Some fans were disappointed in the first four episodes and said they were expecting more action, and that these episodes felt like fillers. I beg to differ. WandaVision needed those episodes to establish the plot, and, if you pay close attention to each episode, they hint at everything in the more action-packed episodes. Dissatisfied fans even wanted more things to be revealed at the end of the show, and, instead, were left with many questions.
There were a lot of people also let down by the fact that their theories of the show that they took to Twitter and TikTok didn’t come true. Honestly, a lot of these theories were far-fetched, and would have been rather difficult to incorporate into a television series. Many theories include characters that would have made the show more confusing for viewers, especially for more casual Marvel fans. Some of the theories that didn’t make the cut were about who the ‘Big Bad’ would be. While the theory that Vision and Wanda’s nosy neighbor was actually a dark witch named Agatha Harkness was revealed to be true, people believed Agatha was working for someone else.
The most common theorized ‘Big Bad’ was Mephisto, a demon from the comics known for his shapeshifting abilities. One of these theories came from the fact that Agnes’ bunny was named Senor Scratchy, and Nick Scratch and Jack Scratch were both aliases for Mephisto. Eventually, theories got a bit out of hand, and people started questioning everyone as Mephisto. In episode seven, the camera focused on a fly for a bit of time, and fans of the comics suspected that to be Mephisto because he has been known to shapeshift into a fly before.
Some viewers were even hoping for a surprise cameo from Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), or Doctor Strange, mostly originating from an interview with Vision actor Paul Bettany, in which he said: “There is one character that has not been revealed. And it is very exciting. It is an actor I’ve longed to work with all of my life. We have some amazing scenes together and I think the chemistry between us is extraordinary and fireworks on set.” As it turns out, however, Bettany was talking about himself and the scenes in the last episode between Vision and White Vision.
There was also a big disappointment with Quicksilver. If you’re familiar with the MCU films, you may know that Wanda’s brother, Pietro (Quicksilver), died in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the X-Men films, however, Quicksilver is alive and well, although played by a different actor (Evan Peters). In WandaVision, when Peters as Pietro shows up at Vision and Wanda’s door, fans’ heads start spinning. Fans believed this was a hint of the multiverse already at play.
It was later revealed that Agatha had brought him in to mess with Wanda’s head, and that his real name was Ralph Bohner. Although none of these theories were revealed to be true, Marvel has always been intentional with details. Some believe that Ralph Bohner is still X-Men Quicksilver, and is the person Jimmy Woo mentioned was in the witness protection program. I would like to think that they were hinting at all of these things that will be revealed in the far future. Small hints of these things are exciting for comic book fans, while also not overwhelming for more casual fans.
Speaking of casual fans, the episodes aren’t as complicated and intertwined with the comics as many fans would’ve liked because that would be too much to introduce too fast. Although this is true, the show does incorporate a lot from the comics, specifically with inspiration from the House of M comics, and does so effortlessly. If you think about it, the first two Marvel phases led to its conclusion in Infinity War and Endgame. Marvel likes taking its time to develop an enriching storyline, and does so perfectly with WandaVision. I think some people don’t understand that a lot of WandaVision is setting up for the next Marvel phase.
So, what does WandaVision mean for the next MCU phase? Mostly, this gives the MCU major leeway to incorporate a multiverse. As some may know, Elizabeth Olsen is set to reprise her role as Wanda Maximoff in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The multiverse opening up for Spiderman fans means a chance for multiple Peter Parkers, and perhaps Miles Morales. For X-Men fans, it means we might eventually get to see more of Quicksilver explored.
It is notable that the next Spiderman film, Spiderman: No Way Home, is also rumored to deal with the multiverse. Moreover, it’s a chance for characters explored in other Marvel shows to really be explored and have an impact on the MCU, such as Quake (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). This may include characters from the comics that have yet to be explored — perhaps other Nexus Beings, who can affect probability and future outcomes. Monica Rambeau’s importance also seemed to be neglected and overshadowed by the crazy theories previously mentioned. Rambeu was first introduced as the child of Carol Danvers’ friend, Maria, in Captain Marvel. In the comics, Monica is a superhero who goes by many aliases, such as Photon, and, in WandaVision, we witness her origin story, character arc, and development of powers. Rambeau will likely have a very important role in the next phase. All of this leads to the complex intertwined storytelling that fans were expecting from WandaVision.
It is also revealed, by the show’s finale, that Wanda has chaos magic, meaning she can do magic simply by thinking about it, without casting any spells, making her the Scarlet Witch. Not only is this the first official time this is revealed to us, but it sets up so many possibilities for her character. Now that she has the darkhold, an ancient spell book made of dark matter, and knows her full potential, will she be able to fight her destiny of becoming a dark witch with being a superhero? Will she be able to fight who she is meant to be with who she wants to be?
Featured Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios / Disney+ TV