The series finale of WandaVision is all about evolution. Whether it’s Wanda’s character evolution in this episode, the evolution of superhero genre storytelling, or the evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the theme was undeniably present throughout the show. The final episode concluded (for now) perhaps the most dramatic and intricate character development that the MCU has presented. While the series was advertised as “visionary”—whether that was a pun or not, WandaVision certainly lived up to that hype. While the rumors of X-Men, Mephisto, and the like never came to fruition, the series successfully completed the story that it set out to tell.
However, the episode clearly knew it had a lot of storylines and loose ends it needed to explain or tie-up. Between identifying Fake Pietro, emphasizing that Monica has powers, giving us last glimpses of Darcy and Jimmy, and dealing with Hayward, a lot needed to be pushed into this episode outside of our main focus.
To start, the episode immediately throws us into several different battles at what feels like breakneck speed—Agatha versus Wanda, Vision versus Vision, and Billy and Tommy versus S.W.O.R.D. The movie-quality action in this episode definitely sets it apart from previous episodes and seems to immerse us back into what feels like a more typical MCU film.
But WandaVision was never trying to be your typical MCU entry. Perhaps that is what made it potentially the perfect start to Phase 4—it shows that Marvel can evolve creatively, whether it’s by form or substance, and the storyline itself healthily stirs up plenty of excitement for the possibilities in the future of the franchise. While the episode ultimately features Wanda, an established hero, evolving again into a more powerful entity and becoming her purported true self, the finale certainly does not forget the overarching story of the entire series.
Underneath all the action of the episode still lies Westview and its sitcom history. It is worth remembering that we started in the black-and-white 1950’s sitcom, with little to nothing involving a storyline being present. At the end, we see not only character development including the creation and development of a family at its center, but the greater introduction of magic and power that will clearly begin to rival and perhaps, as the episode told us, surpass anything we have been introduced to in Doctor Strange.
We may all have known that Wanda would fully become the Scarlet Witch in this show, but the essence of the episode—and the series—is not a superhero flick. It is the story of one woman with overpowering grief struggling to exist in a world where so much has been lost. The series’ ultimate focus on Wanda and Wanda’s mental health is already revolutionary for Marvel, with nothing in its 23 films comparable. The result is more intimate, richer, and ultimately more compelling. The fact that it is able to mesh this with the superhero genre and the intense movie-worthy action this episode is a feat in and of itself.
In the background, thrilling action scenes between Vision and White Vision are ongoing. It’s been a while since we’ve truly been able to see Vision in real action since he was generally out of commission in Infinity War, and letting the two synthezoids let loose was a treat. The subsequent moments of the two Visions simply conversing with one another to determine the nature and meaning of their existence is undeniably a raw moment that has possibly been underlying Vision’s presence in the MCU all this time. The answer, though, is that perhaps the Vision we previously knew truly no longer exists. So while White Vision (and Paul Bettany) might be the evolution of the Vision we felt we knew, we likely experienced a genuine loss at the end of the day.
Back to Wanda, nothing embodies her transformation more than well…her literal transformation. The beginning of the episode sees Agatha as an adversary possibly too strong and experienced for Wanda. In fact, it isn’t until Wanda seems entirely drained of her power that she reveals that she is, in fact, willing to accept her identity as something greater than she was. Not only a witch—the Scarlet Witch. By turning the tables on Agatha with a seemingly artful mastering of the various tricks Agatha used against her, we see a woman who adapts, like she has been adapting her whole life. Mixed in are tricks from Wanda’s old days in Age of Ultronlike making Agatha see nightmares, solidifying her better understanding of the range of and her control of her powers. This transformation leads to her final decisions in the rest of the episode.
With Wanda’s evolution comes the evolution of her own internal struggle. Finally and definitively confronted with the destruction that her grief has caused, instead of digging herself deeper like she did throughout the series, her perspective on the reality she has created evolves into an understanding that what she created was never truly real and the idyllic sitcom realities that comforted her throughout her traumatic life is only now a distraction from who she is and who she is meant to be. The decision to release Westview from its spell also meant the loss of her created family, which is a stark departure from Wanda’s overarching motive of the majority of the season. Her heartbreaking last moments with her children and, particularly, Vision as they dissipated with the Hex tied together the emotional themes and grief-fueled series plotline as Wanda explains to Vision what exactly he is—a piece of the mind stone, a body of wires, but most importantly, her love.
The last episode is our first with both a mid-credits scene and post-credits scene. Each one gives us a different glimpse at the future of Phase 4. First, in the mid-credits scene, we are re-introduced to the Skrull presence on Earth and it’s teased that Monica’s next adventure will be extra-terrestrial. In the post-credits scene, Wanda has taken up residence in a secluded cabin. While in loungewear she makes tea, an astral projection of a Scarlet Witch version of herself is seen in another room, levitating and speedily tearing through the Darkhold (“Book of the Damned”) she stole from Agatha, Doctor Strange-style. She clearly is advancing in her knowledge and abilities. She also hears faint cries that sound like Billy and Tommy. We know Wanda will be seen again in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and their powers together may be a sight to behold, and the introduction of the Multi-Verse is clearly on fans’ minds.
6 Ralph Bohners out of 5
The episode, while not living up to many of the wild rumors that swirled around for months, was a near-flawless conclusion to a phenomenal series. While it’s hard to separate the episode of the series as a whole, it certainly delivered much-wanted, and perhaps much-needed action sequences that lived up to cinematic quality. The ending was also not afraid to be an emotional rollercoaster, giving us highs as Wanda became the Scarlet Witch and defeated Agatha, and lows as her entire family is once again lost, this time by her own choice. The Vision subplot also did not disappoint, adding more to the punch of the episode than maybe expected. Overall, Episode 9 was a great final thrill of the ride WandaVision took us on.
- Jimmy Woo and Darcy Lewis should get shout-outs for their (brief) roles in taking down Hayward.
- Personally, I’m a big fan of the new and official Scarlet Witch costume.
- I’m honestly bummed out that James Spader’s voice didn’t make a cameo in some form.