Following last week’s exciting revelation that it was Agatha all along, Disney+’s first Marvel Cinematic Universe series WandaVision has returned for its eighth episode and we’ve finally learned a little more of what’s going on with the world of the reality-bending series.
Clues: The Only Way Forward is Back, Agatha is Curious and Vision’s Got a Brand New Bag
The episode begins with a bang as we learn that Agatha’s past extends all the way back to the late 1600s where she was put on trial by her coven, including her mother, for practicing a darker form of magic, but as they attempt to use their powers to smite her down, she is able to absorb their energies and lifeforces, leaving them all as dried-out corpses and taking the character’s iconic pendant off her mother’s dead body.
Cutting back to Agatha’s evil basement, she reveals to Wanda a little about how her magic works, from runes to spells and hexes, but shows an interesting confusion as to just how Wanda actually created The Hex and is controlling everyone.
During her evil monologue, Agatha lets it slip that she is behind Evan Peters’ Pietro appearance, utilizing a form of crystalline possession to give him a new look as she was unable to access the real Pietro’s body for a necromantic hex.
As we step back in time to explore Wanda’s past and the events that led to the creation of The Hex, we see a glimpse into her childhood in Sokovia with her parents, with a number of TV shows in their DVD collection including I Love Lucy, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Malcolm in the Middle and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Unfortunately, the family night is interrupted by an explosion from the ongoing war outside and while taking cover under their bed, Wanda and Pietro watch as a Stark Industries rocket crashes into their living room without exploding, keeping them trapped for two days as they didn’t know it was defective.
The next memory looks back at Wanda’s time being a voluntary experiment for Hydra, including the moment she first gained her powers as she was put into a room with Loki’s scepter from The Avengers. The mind stone breaks away from the scepter and floats over to her, giving her a closer look at the Infinity Stone and a brief flash of its true form before emitting an energy blast imbuing her with its energy and giving her a glimpse at a comics-accurate Scarlet Witch form.
A less-plot-heavy memory sees Wanda revisiting one of the first times her and Vision truly connected following the events of Age of Ultron back at the Avengers compound, in which he shared his company with her while she watched Malcolm in the Middle, learning the nuances of what a sitcom can throw at its characters without inflicting true pain.
Urged on by Agatha, Wanda goes to the recent memory of heading to the S.W.O.R.D. headquarters to demand Vision’s body to be with her and for her to have a proper burial. After some initial resistance, she meets with Director Tyler Hayward, who reveals his efforts to revive Vision in lieu of burying three billion dollars’ worth of vibranium. After having a brief goodbye with Vision as she senses no life coming from him, echoing their expressions of feeling each other in Infinity War, Wanda returns to her car and leaves.
Looking to an open envelope in her passenger seat, Wanda heads to Westview, where we see a number of the townsfolk from WandaVision going about their lives, including Mrs. Hart aka Sharon Davis, Phil aka Harold Procter and Norm aka Abilash Tandon, though all are not as cheery as in The Hex reality and the town is far bleaker and more rundown.
Wanda arrives at a vacant lot and opens the paper to reveal a property deed for the area that Vision bought for them both “to grow old in.” Overcome with grief, Wanda suddenly emits a large surge of red magic energy from her body, constructing a house on the lot, creating the world of The Hex and bringing Vision back to life.
With Agatha clearing out from the memory scape, Wanda hears the cries of her twins for help and rushes out to find them in the middle of the street with Agnes floating behind them and holding them back by their necks with ropes from her powers. She says Wanda is far more dangerous than she knows and confirms that she has tapped into Chaos Magic and is the Scarlet Witch.
In a mid-credits stinger, it’s revealed that the operation Hayward was looking to launch into the Hex is a revived version of Vision, who was successfully rebooted utilizing the Hex-affected drone Wanda threw back at the S.W.O.R.D. director.
Takeaways: Wanda’s Tapping Into Chaos Magic, Agatha’s NOT Controlling it All and Hayward’s Semi-Evil
So for an episode looking to catch audiences up on story, it was pretty light on major progress, but there were a few key takeaways from this week’s chapter of WandaVision. First and foremost is that after Kevin Feige first began hinting at its existence with the character’s arrival in Age of Ultron, it’s now confirmed that Wanda has in fact been tapping into Chaos Magic her entire time in the MCU. Chaos Magic is a form so powerful that its existence in the comics was believed to be a myth by even the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Doctor Strange, and allows the user to manipulate, warp and reconstruct the very fabric of existence and reality and even possibly bring about total destruction to the cosmos. Wanda’s connection to this magic in the comics stems from her being born near Mount Wundagore, where Elder God and Arch-Demon Chthon (aka the God of Chaos) is sealed and imbues her with the magic in the hopes of using her as a vessel in the future. With plenty of theories regarding another major demon potentially on his way, the time may finally come for the MCU to explore this side of Wanda’s origin story, even if it still seems keen on the explanation that Hydra’s experimentation was the root of her powers. Another major takeaway from this episode is that despite the delightful tune at the end of last week’s outing, Agatha is actually not behind everything and is equally as curious as everyone else on the planet Earth of how exactly Wanda is pulling The Hex off. While some might argue the song merely explained she was behind the bad things happening inside The Hex, her identity reveal did seem more pointing towards her having driven Wanda to create the reality and then just causing further hijinks after the fact. While her motives are not still entirely known, there was one bit of dialogue pointing towards the arrival of a heavily-theorized antagonist.
Lastly, the moment we all were pretty much prepared for, we have finally seen the extent of Hayward’s malevolent nature as we learn just how far the Vision-reviving Project Cataract has progressed as the agents were able to use the Hex-affected drone to bring the dead body back online, though looking rather devoid of color. While his goal is more than likely to just cease The Hex’s occurrence, it’s pretty clear that the S.W.O.R.D. director is more than prepared to take the low road quicker than even glancing at the high.
Predictions: Wanda’s Going to End Up Alone, Monica Joins Final Fight and Mephisto Is. Still. Coming.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the sad truth is all signs are pointing towards a devastating ending for the series’ titular heroine. The show has already explored her grief and trauma in glimpses across its first seven chapters, but this episode dug in deep to the fact Wanda is now alone after Endgame and given the fact Vision will likely not survive the fall of The Hex and ambiguous explanation regarding Evan Peters’ Pietro existence, it’s very likely she’s going to end up alone again at the end of the finale, though with Monica soon to be by her side she may be able to overcome her grief. Unless, of course, she does end up becoming an area of conflict for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as some reports have hinted at her being an antagonist for the Sorcerer Supreme in the film.
With everyone’s favorite FBI Agent Jimmy Woo stuck outside The Hex, his absence wasn’t much of a shocker, but the lack of screen time for Monica Rambeau was given the mid-credits stinger of the previous episode. Given the fact this episode set up a likely battle between both Visions and between Wanda and Agatha, it seems entirely possible that Monica will get in on one of the fights and show off her powers a little bit, either in fighting against the false Pietro or in saving the twins from the clutches of Agatha.
I’ve said it time and time and time and time again and I’m here to say once more that Mephisto is absolutely on the way for the series and likely Multiverse of Madness. This week’s episode did not go much further into explaining the mysterious glowing red book in Agatha’s basement and with her mention of sensing multiple spells cast all at once and drawing her to Westview and lack of explaining how exactly she got into The Hex after its creation, there are still a number of threads left open that can be wrapped up with the explanation of Agatha’s working with/for Marvel’s Satan and establishing him as a key villain for the next phase of the MCU.