(Spoilers from Marvel Studios and Disney+’s WandaVision will be found below.)
We’re now in Week 8 of WandaVision. It’s the penultimate episode in a series that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and yet, Kevin Feige is using the show to lay much more groundwork for Phase Four and beyond, even going so far to deftly combine two superhero universes, that of 20th Century Fox and the MCU, and that’s only one of the reasons why this show’s been a hit. A lot of the love for the series has to do with its flat-out weirdness and refusal to adhere to one genre, one tone, or even one decade (oh, there have been many). This week, however, a lot of the nerd-ery got temporarily shelved to strip the show back to its emotional bare bones and made it less weird, but that weird will possibly come raging back in the finale.
What we ended up with this week was Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn giving us two incredible performances. After learning about “Agatha All Along,” we saw a bit of an Agatha Harkness origin story, but what really matters is how Agatha relates to Wanda Maximoff. Through a flashback-heavy exploration of the moments when Wanda and Pietro’s parents were killed, we truly got to see the roots of her trauma. We saw Wanda’s love of sitcoms from an early age, and all of these revelations easily flow into this series’ marvelous structure. And we saw Agatha — a sorceress from the comics who helped Wanda come into her powers while training with HYDRA — declare that Wanda is much more dangerous than she could possibly understand. She’s using her powers to manipulate energy and matter to cook up “breakfast for dinner,” which doesn’t sound all that evil to us in the audience. Yet Agatha’s characterization of this as “chaos magic” does come close to a “We’re not so different, you and I”-type declaration from villain to hero, and it does sound like Scarlet Witch is being set up as the biggest bad here.
Yep, Wanda recreated her perfect house and perfect husband and perfect life, despite all of the sadness that it now brings her. And we’ve definitely got Scarlet Witch now, baby.
So, next week is finale time. Guessing where we go from here feels like a shot in the dark, but it’s worth discussing how we have not seen Mephisto at all despite all of the hints that we’d be seeing the MCU’s version of the Devil). There were suggestions that Evan Peters’ Pietro could secretly be Mephisto, but a member of the WandaVision team shut down that theory. Fan theories abounded that Mephisto was Agnes’ husband and would be played by Al Pacino, but that never materialized. In fact, it sure doesn’t seem like we’re going to be seeing Mephisto at all?
Nor do we know if we’ll see Pietro next week, or what will happen to Wanda’s (fabricated-in-the-comics) kids, who are now in Agatha’s clutches. We don’t know if Agatha and Wanda will team up (can they go there, after Agatha killed Sparky?) and both go on to spread chaos magic in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (Elizabeth Olsen has what’s thought to be a significant role in the film). Darcy and Jimmy Woo and Monica Rambeau (who’s got the Photon vibes doing as of last week) might be on deck again for finale time (all of that post-credit Hayward business about the true manipulation of Vision will go somewhere else, no doubt), but probably no Mephisto!
Alright, so we did get one bit of weirdness this week. Bryan Cranston showed up, ever so briefly, while Malcolm In The Middle flashed onscreen as Wanda and Vision watched TV. This blip happened amid a bittersweet conversation, and it’s all very emotional as Wanda attempted to grapple with all of the devastating loss that she’s experienced in her life. All of this could build toward the kind of power we saw when Wanda took on Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, but for now, we’re also left with one parting thought: Bryan Cranston is technically now part of the MCU. Yet it’s too bad that this didn’t happen with him as Walter White. Let’s call it now: Walter White is Mephisto.
Disney+’s ‘WandaVision’ streams new episodes on Fridays.