‘WandaVision’: What was that end-credits reveal?
Looks like it was WandaVision’s turn to explain itself this week. We’ve reached the moment in every mystery story where the plot stops moving forward so the storytellers can come clean with the audience and tell them what’s been going on this whole time. And the longer you’ve teased this information payoff – the more complex your mystery is – the hardest it’ll be to pull off a satisfying explanation.
WandaVision has been throwing puzzling questions, surprising reveals, and wild misdirection our way for seven episodes before today. The most recent chapter in Wanda & Vision’s trip through family sitcom history finally gave us some answers. How did Vision come back to life? Why was Westview transformed into a series of sitcom homages? Who’s Agatha Harkness? And what’s Project Cataract?
Episode 8 of WandaVision took care of all those question marks. And thankfully, it managed to do it in an entertaining, emotional way, despite mostly being, you know, just a lot of exposition.
Once upon a time
Appropriately titled “Previously On”, the penultimate episode of WandaVision gave us a series of flashbacks detailing Wanda’s journey from being a Sokovian kid obsessed with American sitcoms to becoming a powerful superhuman capable of bringing Vision back to life. Guided by Agatha Harkness’s magic, Wanda revisited key moments in her life and we got to geek out about all the callbacks to her history in the MCU.
Here’s the thing . . . none of this was particularly surprising. Unless you’ve managed to stay away from social media and avoided the constant speculation surrounding WandaVision’s mystery, odds are the reveals in “Previously On” didn’t blow your mind. The internet had already guessed most of this stuff and the episode simply gave us confirmation.
So yes, the family sitcom homages were stemming from Wanda’s childhood memories of American television. The Stark toaster and the Strucker watch referenced the Stark missile that killed her parents and the experimentation she suffered under Baron Strucker. Wanda’s transformation of Westview was a consequence of intense grief. And so on.
And yet, even though there wasn’t much in the way of OMG WHAT moments, the new WandaVision installment succeeded in delivering emotion. There was something special about watching Wanda & Vision connecting for the first time over an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. And even though we knew it had happened, there was something powerful & raw in seeing Wanda’s pain & grief over Vision’s fate.
It wasn’t Agatha all along!
Where WandaVision threw us a curveball this week (or rather, where it somewhat withdrew a previously thrown curveball) was in regards to the character formerly known as Agnes. Episode 7 ended with Kathryn Hahn revealing herself as the witch Agatha Harkness. It looks like Agatha was the only person in Westview who wasn’t under Wanda’s control and had an agenda of her own.
The implication seemed to be that Wanda was innocent when it came to Westview after all, and that she had been under the influence of Agatha (all along!). However, the newest episode actually makes it clear it was Wanda all along. Agatha was drawn to Westview post-metamorphosis, eager to understand the magic behind such a massive reality-change. That’s what she’s been trying to do during WandaVision.
So, it’s all still on Wanda, which is a lot more interesting, if you ask us.
Okay, let’s get to the real WandaVision jaw-dropper this week. The show has hinted for a while that Director Hayward was a shady character. The end-credits reveal this week showed us Hayward’s “Project Cataract” in all its glory. Turns out Wanda didn’t steal Vision’s body because Hayward & his people still have it, fully reconstructed, and apparently ready to be activated thanks to some of Wanda’s leftover magic.
Hayward’s reconstructed Vision is an all-white version of the character, a direct homage to a storyline from the Avengers comics where Vision was deconstructed and then rebuilt without his memory or personality. In the comics, Wanda Maximoff didn’t take this well. We can only imagine it won’t go much differently in WandaVision.
Furthermore, are we being set up for a WandaVision finale pitting Wanda’s magically reborn Vision versus Hayward’s White Vision? How intense would that be? We’ll find out in a week!