WandaVision | Season 1 | Episodes 8 & 9
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KBear Recap [Read time: 5-7 min]
Salem Massachusetts 1693. Agatha is being dragged to a witch trail, but she’s being tried by her own coven. The charges, stealing knowledge beyond her age and station, plus practicing dark magic. Agatha begs for her life, asking the coven to teach her, and begging her mother Evanora Harkness (Kate Forbes) to spare her. The coven fires their blue magic at her, but she absorbs their power, and they wither away. Agatha tells her mother she can be good, but her mom doubts it and unsuccessfully tries to kill her, Agatha is too powerful for her. Agatha walks away from the stake and grabs her mother’s broach before she jets out. Back in her basement she talks to her bunny Mr. Scratch and laughs at Wanda’s ignorance. Wanda doesn’t even know about the basic protections spell Agatha has around the basement, the runes. It allows only the witch who casts them to use their magic in that space. Agatha couldn’t make heads or tails about what Wanda is doing. Her spell is controlling thousands of people in Westview, it’s magic on autopilot. She asks Wanda how she did it, Wanda doesn’t know. To find out, Agatha is going to send her consciousness back to the past.
First stop, Sokovia. Her dad Olek Maximoff (Daniyar) greets her mom Iryna (Ilana Kohanchi), its TV night, young Pietro (Gabriel Gurevich) and young Wanda (Michaela Russell) run in the room. For a few minutes, the family is transported from the war to the safe world of sitcoms, but their tranquility is broken when a bomb explodes. Little Pietro drags Wanda to safety under the couch but then a Stark Industry missile lands in front of them. It doesn’t explode and Wanda holds her hand out to it. Agatha ends the scene; she realizes Wanda was a baby witch who used a probability hex to stop the bomb from exploding. Agatha wants to know where she got her extra power. Next stop, Hydra lab. The Hydra scientists send Wanda into the room where the infinity stone is, the mind stone comes to her and explodes, Wanda sees her future self. When the scientists try to review the video, it keeps skipping over her absorption of the stone’s power. Agatha has a theory on who Wanda is, but needs more evidence. We go to the Avengers Compound after the Age of Ultron. Wanda is watching TV when Vision phases through the wall and joins her. He tries to comfort her over losing Pietro, she tells him how she’s being washed over by waves of grief, they keep knocking her down and she’s afraid she’s going to drown. Vision doesn’t believe that will happen, he asks, “What is grief but love preserving.” He laughs at the program, and Wanda is comforted by his presence. Agatha knows Wanda has lost her parents, Pietro, and Vision. She knows Wanda wanted him back, but she doesn’t know how she did it.
Wanda goes to S.W.O.R.D. headquarters after she returns from the blip. The guard at the reception desk sends her to see Director Hayward. She asks to see Vision’s body; she sees the techs disassemble him. Hayward tells her they are doing this because Vision is a weapon. Wanda protests, she just wants to bury him. Hayward asks is she sure, with her power she could bring her soulmate back to life. Wanda tells him she can’t do that. He tells her he won’t let her bury $3 billion worth of materials in the ground. He’ll let her say goodbye. Wanda floats down to the lab, puts her hand above Vision forehead, she can’t feel him. She leaves without the body. A letter is on the passenger seat, she drives to Westview. We see the inhabitants before Wanda made them the supporting cast on her show. Westview is a rundown, depressed town. Wanda drives to an empty lot; Vision had bought it so they could build a house and grow old together. Wanda’s grief overcomes her, and she transforms the lot into their home, the waves of her power transform Westview to a 1950 era town, and from within herself she creates Vision. Wanda becomes her 1950 persona and joins Vision on the couch to watch TV. Agatha claps in a TV studio. Wanda hears her children scream; Agatha has her magic wrapped around their necks as she floats over them. She tells Wanda she knows who she is. Wanda doesn’t know how dangerous she is, she can create spontaneous creation. This is chaos magic. It makes Wanda the Scarlet Witch! Mid credit scene: At the S.W.O.R.D base, an underling tells Hayward they are ready to launch, they used the drone Wanda brought back to power White Vision.
Wanda fires magic balls at Agatha who absorbs them. Agatha orders Wanda to surrender her magic to her and she will let Wanda keep Westview. Wanda throws a car and hits her. White Vision shows up and tries to crush her skull; Vision saves her. Wanda fights Agatha while Vision fights White Vision. Hayward has Jimmy brought to him. Jimmy gets loose from his handcuffs and calls the FBI. Monica is held captive by fake Pietro, his real name is Ralph Bohner. She quickly defeats him. Wanda is in the middle of town; Agatha stands on a billboard and tells her there is a chapter on her in the Darkhold. Her destiny is to destroy the world. Agatha takes the hex off Dottie; her real name is Sarah. She tries to bargain with Wanda to let her daughter take part in a storyline so she can see her. Agatha removes the hex from the rest of the citizens. The townspeople converge on Wanda and tell her how she’s made them suffer. Wanda denies it, she screams, and the townspeople nearly die. Agatha reminds her that heroes don’t torture people. Wanda lets them go and opens the barrier so they can escape. That allows S.W.O.R.D. to enter town. Vision crashes from the sky and he and the twins begin to disintegrate. Wanda puts up the barrier to save them. Agatha begins sucking her power from her. White Vision lands and S.W.O.R.D. drives up. The family gets into a combat posture.
Vision and White Vision fight inside the library. Vision says he isn’t Vision, and they begin to discuss the Ship of Theseus. He restores White Vision’s memories; he says he is Vision and flies off. Wanda tells the boys to handle the military while she fights Agatha. Hayward tries to shoot the boys, but Monica absorbs the bullets, Billy uses his powers to stop one. When Hayward tries to escape, Darcy hits his vehicle with the funnel truck. Wanda sneaks up on Agatha and gets inside her head, takes her back to Salem. The witches Agatha killed rise, but they attack Wanda because she’s the Scarlet Witch. Agatha tells Wanda that her problem is knowledge. She doesn’t know how to use her power. Agatha offers her a deal; give me your power and she’ll fix her spell so Wanda and her family can live in Westview in peace. Wanda wipes out the witches and attacks Agatha. Wanda tells Agatha she doesn’t want her powers and throws magical balls at her, throwing wildly at first, but then gives Agatha her power. Agatha reneges, she can’t change the spell because this world Wanda created is broken like her. She tries to destroy the withered Wanda, but nothing happens. Wanda comes back to life, she missed Agatha on purpose, she was casting runes, she is the only one who can use her magic here. To Agatha’s horror, Wanda finally accepts her title as the Scarlet Witch. Wanda punishes Agatha by trapping her in the role of the noisy neighbor in Westview.
Wanda takes the barrier down and things are beginning to return to normal. Their family goes home. Wanda and Vision put the boys to bed and Wanda thanks them for picking her to be their mom. Wanda and Vision say goodbye to each other. The wave erasing the hex comes towards the house, Vision asks her what am I? Wanda tells him he’s a piece of the mind stone that lives in her, her sadness and hope but mostly her love. They kiss goodbye and he disappears. Wanda walks by the hostile townspeople, Monica tells her they don’t know what she sacrificed. Wanda knows that doesn’t matter; Monica forgives her because she knows if she had that power, she would have brought her mom back. Wanda tells her she’s sorry for hurting these people and she’s going to study her powers. Wanda flies out of Westview. Mid-credit scene, a Skrull tells Monica someone she knows wants to see her up there. Final credit scene, Wanda is in an isolated cabin in the woods making tea while Scarlet Witch is reading through the Darkhold. She hears Billy and Tommy crying for help.
KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]
Agatha wants to know how Wanda is doing this. She has always had a curiosity about magic, going back to her days in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693 when she was studying and practicing dark magic behind her coven’s back. Her coven puts her on trial, but Agatha takes their powers away from them. Agatha pleads to her mother Evanora that she can be good, her mother doesn’t believe her and Agatha easily drains her too. Agatha plans to do the same to Wanda, but she needs to know who or what she’s dealing with. She decides to become Wanda’s therapist and take her back through her past to figure out what her deal is. First stop, war-torn Sokovia, where we meet Wanda’s parents and young Pietro and Wanda. It’s clear that they are a close, loving family trying to survive. Their escape from the war is old American sitcoms. Wanda’s dad sells the DVDs on the streets, and brings what’s left for the family’s enjoyment. Their last moments together were watching the famous alien walnut episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show. After a bomb kills their parents, Wanda and Pietro hide under a couch while they watch an unexploded Stark Industry missile beep down. What Agatha discovers is that Wanda was a witch from the beginning, she kept the missile from exploding, unbeknownst to Wanda. This could be her mutant gene. Still, this doesn’t explain Wanda’s full powers, so Agatha takes Wanda back to the Hydra labs where she and Pietro were experimented on. The Hydra scientist send her to a room where the mind stone is kept, the other test subjects they sent died. The infinity stone’s covering explodes and the mind stone is drawn to Wanda, she sees an outline of her future self as the Scarlet Witch and absorbs its power. The same magic that keeps editing her show edits the video of her in the room with the mind stone. Wanda watches The Brady Bunch as she sits in her cell. Agatha thinks she knows who Wanda is but needs more proof, so their next stop is the Avengers’ compound. Watching Malcolm in the Middle, Vision phases through the wall and joins her. Wanda is grieving over Pietro, and Vision is able to put her grief in perspective. I believe it’s the beginning of their love.
Agatha senses that and believes Wanda wanted him back and takes her to S.W.O.R.D. headquarters days after Wanda returned from the blip. Hayward is being a complete dick to her, displaying his techs disassembling Vision’s body for her perusal. He wants to trigger her so that Wanda will bring Vision back to life. He’s been trying to bring Vision online but didn’t have a power source that could do it, and imagined that Wanda could. She doesn’t take the bait and leaves Vision’s body there. The deed to the property in Westview is on her passenger seat. One thing I’m confused about, was it always on the seat, or did someone put it there? Regardless, she goes to Westview, which is rundown, maybe due to the five years of the blip. We see Mrs. Hart/Sharon Davis, Herb/John Collins, Phil Jones/Harold Proctor, and Denis the Mailman/Pizza Delivery Man. Wanda reads the deed and Vision’s note about them growing old there. She’s overcome by grief and creates her version of Westview and creates her version of Vision. Agatha knows she used chaos magic, Wanda can create spontaneous creation, she is the Scarlet Witch.
What follows next is your standard MCU final act, where the hero and villain fight. In this case, it’s heroes and villains; Wanda v. Agatha, Vision v. White Vision, Monica v. Pietro, Hayward and S.W.O.R.D. troops v. Tommy, Billy, and Monica. Monica’s showdowns were anti-climatic after the buildup she had received earlier. Pietro turned out to be an aspiring actor, Ralph Bohner whose house Agatha commandeered. She was controlling him with a necklace that Monica easily took off. Hayward decides to shoot the twins, because he’s a psychotic dick now, and Monica steps between him and the boys and using her powers absorbs the bullets. Darcy hits his vehicle with the funnel truck when he tries to escape. It’s apparent that Kat Dennings wasn’t able to make it back for the reshoots because that wasn’t her driving the truck. Monica was wasted in the finale but a lot of that could have been due to the pandemic. Vision v. White Vision was good once they fought inside the library and engaged in a philosophical debate on whether Vision was Vision using the Ship of Theseus argument. Can an object that has had all of its components replaced remain fundamentally the same object? White Vision has the original Vision’s body but doesn’t have his memories, Wanda’s Vision was solely created by her, but has the original Vision’s memories and love for her. Vision says he isn’t Vision, and restores White Vision’s memories, but that doesn’t mean he has the same feelings for Wanda. He declares himself Vision and leaves.
Of course, the main bout is Wanda and Agatha. She wants Wanda’s powers and keeps working on her insecurities and ignorance, telling her that the Scarlet Witch is destined to destroy the world, Wanda doesn’t know how to use her power and she should give it to someone who does. Agatha takes the hex off of Dottie Jones/Sarah Proctor who begs her to let her child become friends with the twins in a storyline so that she can see her daughter. Agatha releases the rest of the townspeople from the hex and they corner Wanda, telling her how she has made them suffer experiencing her grief and being her puppets. Wanda tries to deny it, telling them they were happy, she was making their lives better, like any abuser. She finally can’t take it and screams, nearly killing them. Wanda finally wakes up from her illusions and realizes what she has been doing to the Westview residents. She pulls the barrier down so they can escape. Because of that, Vision and the boys begin to disintegrate. Wanda must put it back up to save them, but it allowed S.W.O.R.D. to get in. Using one of her old moves, Wanda sneaks up on Agatha and gets inside her mind taking her back to Salem. It backfires because Agatha’s coven attacks Wanda because she’s the Scarlet Witch. They put her on the stake and Agatha offers her last deal, she’ll fix Wanda’s spell and restore the hex in Westfield, allowing Wanda, and her family to live in peace. That also means the citizens of Westfield go back to playing their parts in WandaVision, so not a good deal for them. Wanda wipes out the coven and we see her crown appear. She and Agatha go back to present time in Westview, where they duel in the skies. Wanda shows she’s a quick study by creating runes in the sky, making sure that Agatha’s magic doesn’t work here. Wanda comes into her full glory as the Scarlet Witch. Her costume looks fabulous. It’s an update on her comic book costume that works. Agatha is defeated and for her punishment Wanda makes her ‘Agnes the noisy neighbor’.
The barrier goes down, and a wave sweeps through the town reverting it back to normal. Wanda and Vision put the boys to bed and tells them that family is forever. As she leaves the room, she thanks them for choosing her as their mother. Which suggests Wanda didn’t completely create them, since she never really had control of them like she did the rest of Westview. The final goodbyes between Wanda and Vision were touching and beautiful. Once the wave goes through, Wanda is alone again. Monica sympathizes with her and tells her the townspeople don’t know what she sacrificed for them. Wanda isn’t delusional now and knows the townspeople could care less, nor should they. Monica addresses her grief by stating, if she had Wanda’s powers, she would have brought back her mother too. Wanda promises to learn about magic and her powers and flies off. Monica receives a message from a Skrull, someone she knows wants to see her, and the Skrull points upwards. If she isn’t pointing to the second floor of the theater, we have to assume space, and probably Nick Fury wants her. Wanda’s in the woods making tea, but in the back Scarlet Witch studies the Darkhold and hears the twins calling for help.
Because of the pandemic, WandaVision was the first project we received from Marvel Studios in over a year. People didn’t know what to expect, but what we got generally pleased nearly everyone. The show wasn’t as straightforward as a normal superhero project. The first episode was a 1950 comedy, and it didn’t indicate anything different until the end. It wasn’t until the fourth episode when it revealed itself as a MCU project. Everything with the sitcoms were fresh and innovative. The theme songs for each decade were hilarious, copying the style of those eras’ intros. The commercials were also a great link to the MCU, the original plan was that Dr. Strange were using them to try to communicate with Wanda, but once they decided not to have him do a cameo, I guess they came from her subconscious. The toaster was the Stark Industry missile, several commercials dealt with her association with Hydra, the paper towel commercial was the mess she created in Lagos, leading to the Sokovian Accords, the shark in the yogurt commercial was Agatha trying to take her magic and the anti-depressant commercial was about her being a Nexus being in the Marvel universe. The production values were excellent especially since they had to decorate her house to fit each sitcom era and dress the cast in appropriate period costumes. Even though the finale had the standard MCU battles, the true villain of the series was grief. Wanda was suffering from grief, going back to her childhood losing her parents, losing Pietro in Age of Ultron and losing Vision in Avengers: Infinity Wars. She was alone and drowning from grief when her powers changed everything. It doesn’t excuse what she did to the people of Westview, and though she wasn’t punished for this, we’ll see what happens in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The cast was fantastic, it was great seeing Randall Park and Kat Dennings in the MCU again, and I hope they will be in other projects soon. Teyonah Parris was a standout, proving herself adept at comedy, but also great in the dramatic parts of the story. She makes a great superhero and I can’t wait to see her in The Marvels next year. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany were allowed to really explore their characters, something their limited time in the movies didn’t allow. Both were great as sitcom characters, but they brought the emotional underpinnings that made their characters popular. Elizabeth Olsen also proved she could carry a movie as the Scarlet Witch. If she gets a movie, or a second season, Kathryn Hahn has to be in it. She was the breakout star of the series. Everything she did was great, from line readings, facial expressions, and when it was time, she made a great villain. I hope we get to see Agatha Harkness in other MCU projects, but especially with the Scarlet Witch. I think the pandemic affected some of the things the writers and producers were planning on doing. The only major fault I found with the show was the development of Tyler Hayward. He was an underdeveloped villain, it seems like something during the five years of the blip motivated him to do whatever he had to do to make Vision into a weapon, but it was never explored. He just became your stock white middle-aged male villain. I’m not too happy about Pietro either, don’t tease me with the X-Men and I end up with a Bohner. Not cool Marvel. All the other fan theories were pretty much on us. Mephisto anyone? Overall, I really loved this show; it was a great start for the MCU Disney + television series.
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