TL;DR – A beautiful conclusion to a fascinating series.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this episode.
WandaVision Review –
When we started WandaVision all the way back with Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience, I’m not sure we knew where we were going to end up. However, after many twists and turns, we are here in the finale. With that in mind, let’s dive into the final episode of Marvel’s first real attempt at long-form storytelling in the MCU.
So to set the scene, in last week’s Previously On, we got a trip down memory lane as Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) tried to work out how Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was able to build the world from scratch. We found out that Wanda is actually the fabled Scarlet Witch because she can create matter out of nothing as she did with Vision (Paul Bettany). Of course, she makes this reveal while threatening to kill Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), which bluntness the reveal’s overall reverence. Meanwhile, Vision is flying back after having his history told to him by Darcy (Kat Dennings), Fake Pietro (Evan Peters) captured Monica (Teyonah Parris) snooping around the house, Agent Woo (Randall Park) is the only good guy left outside The Hex, which is essential because SWORD has activated the cataract program which reinitialised Dead Vision’s body creating White Vision (Paul Bettany). Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some MAJOR [SPOILERS] ahead.
One of the things that happen with a show that you release serially rather than all at once is that the in-between wait weeks give you moments to decompress and theorise what might be coming next. So, I hope that when people went into this week’s episode that had that in mind and the realisation that not all of your theories were going to come true. Indeed, I didn’t get to see one final Quicksilver (Evan Peters) slo-mo scene, and for a lot of people out there, I am sorry, but there was no Mephisto to be seen. This is something that we have not had to get used to in the binging world, so it was good to have that reminder of what it was like before binging. Indeed, I think the last show that had this kind of reaction was Westworld Season 1.
As we came into this week’s episode, we had three main antagonists that had to be dealt with before the end. The first was Agatha, who thanks Marvel, but I am still humming that song in my head after all these weeks. Then we have White Vision, and finally, SWORD, who make it in when The Hex falters. So it kind of makes sense in the context of the show that they took a divide and conquers approach to everything, which begins with The Hex Vision v The White Vision. Here we get a battle of two almost equal foes, which means we get to see Vision in his most powerful fighting against each other with head-lasers phasing through things and just general carnage. I do like that they resolved this by pulling a Captain Kirk, with The Hex Vision using logic to make The White Vision question his very existence, or at least the working of his commands. The use of The Ship of Theseus was both contextually appropriate but also fit into Vision’s story.
With the kids, they had to take out the military, which involved their twin powers of speed and mind control to take them down quite quickly. While on the outside, Agent Woo used his magic abilities (which I loved) to break free and do the smart thing by calling in the feds. We also got the reintroduction of Monica and Fake Pietro back into the story. Now, look, as I hinted, this was probably the part of the episode that I liked the least because Pietro, just being some dude, felt like a real missed opportunity given they are about to go Full-Multiverse. But more than that, they resolved it in a way that felt cheap and didn’t line up with what we have seen in episodes like in the All-New Halloween Spooktacular!. But at least we got Monica going full-power and protecting the kids from being killed by Hayward (Josh Stamberg).
Finally, we have the showdown between Wanda and Agatha, witch v witch, with everything up for grabs. Now I do have to say that I am not coming into this with many Marvel Comics experience, so I don’t have any framework for Agatha bar what we see in the show. But it felt like a very natural thing that once she worked out who Wanda was and what her power was, the time for scheming was over and the time to take her power. Yes, we got that very obvious reference to ruins last week. Make an appearance here, but with all the bluster, it was the small things that made this confrontation work for me.
To begin with, Agatha was consistently manipulating Wanda throughout the fight, first through the promise of saving her kids and The Hex Vision and then by revealing the damage she was doing to the townsfolk. This meant after all season, we finally got to see the real Dotty (Emma Caulfield Ford) and damn what an emotional moment with someone just wanting to hug her child again. Which makes the moment that Wanda twists that around and uses that against her so delightful, and it is the core of how she becomes the full Scarlet Witch, with an all-new interpretation of the classical costume. But it is in the resolution which the episode shines.
In the show’s finale, Wanda has a choice to make, does she keep up The Hex and all the damage it is doing to the people in there. Or does she sacrifice her kids and her Vision and take down The Hex, and she chooses the latter. When they get home, Wanda and Vision put the kids to bed, but with all the presence of this being the last time. There is a similar feeling to those scenes in Titanic. The mother put the kids to bed, knowing that the water was coming or the old couple giving their final goodbyes, and I have to say that it hit me just as emotionally. You just felt it as that wall comes barrelling back to where it all began. We also got two credit scenes this week. The first was Monica’s call to action from Nick Fury, which was excellent, and the second was positioning Wanda ready for her to jump into the next Doctor Strange film.
In the end, do we recommend The Series Finale? Yes, yes, we do. I know it was not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really liked it. The power of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s performances were wonderful to watch week in and week out, and here is no different. It also tied everything up, just in time to propel it forward for Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel, both of which I am very interested in watching.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of WandaVision
Directed by – Matt Shakman
Written by – Jac Schaeffer
Created by – Jac Schaeffer
Based on – Characters created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas & John Buscema
Production/Distribution Companies – Marvel Studios & Disney+
Starring – Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris, Evan Peters, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, Debra Jo Rupp & Kathryn Hahn with Julian Hilliard, Jett Klyne, Josh Stamberg, Asif Ali, Emma Caulfield Ford, Jolene Purdy, David Payton, David Lengel, Amos Glick, Selena Anduze, Kate Forbes & Lori Livingston