Comics On TV

WandaVision Finale Dispels Some Fan Theories and Leaves Unanswered Questions

The ballad of Wanda and Vision comes to an end — for now anyway. But we still have questions. Will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness provide the answers?

by | March 5, 2021 | Comments

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

After so much speculation, actor-endorsed blind alleys, and examinations of the kitchen sets, WandaVision drew to a close the only way it could. And while that may leave some hoping for certain cameos disappointed, the lingering questions will continue to fuel our speculation about the overall Phase 4 story for sometime. WandaVision may have seen its series finale, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues. Let’s take a look at the program’s contributions to the MCU’s ongoing tale.

Spoiler Alert: This article reveals details from WandaVision episode 9 “The Series Finale.” Stop here if you have not watched the episode.

The Scarlet Witch Was Foretold in The Darkhold — or Was The Darkhold Waiting for a Victim?

Kathryn Hahn in WandaVision

(Photo by Suzanne Tenner/Marvel Studios)

Suggesting the book in Agatha’s (Kathryn Hahn) basement was The Darkhold may be our only correct guess during the series, but we’ll take it. The book is an immensely powerful tome, as we previously discussed, and a key object for any of Marvel’s magic users to obtain. But Agatha added an interesting wrinkle by telling Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) the Scarlet Witch has a whole page devoted to her. It declares she will end the world.

The series seems to agree with The Darkhold as Wanda’s powers grew exponentially this week and looked quite destructive. Then there’s Wanda’s style as the Scarlet Witch. While we’re sure fans are happy to finally see her with a costume inspired by the late, great Jack Kirby — seriously, we love Kirby’s penchant for thrilling headgear — it looks far more like a villain’s get-up than that of an Avenger.

But, perhaps, that is the point. If Wanda’s abilities are as dangerous as The Darkhold suggests, then Wanda still has quite a struggle ahead of her to combat the more impulsive and destructive aspects of her soul. Look at the way she initially strangled the Westview residents when they confronted her. That was instinct. And though Wanda released them and removed the Hex, the final shot of her reading The Darkhold sure feels like a clear indication that she will be Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) opponent in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Or, at least, he’ll have to battle the Scarlet Witch even as Wanda fights against her from inside.

Maybe we’ll even get a recreation of The Patty Duke Show during the film.

Now that The Darkhold is an artifact in the MCU, it still leaves us wondering about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its role in that series. Considering that series firmly established the book corrupts all who read it, will it be the true source of the Scarlet Witch’s desire to end all things?

Was It Ralph All Along?

Evan Peters in WANDAVISION

(Photo by Marvel Studios - episode 105)

Though WandaVision‘s plot, and Wanda’s powerset, always seemed like a great opportunity to introduce the Mutants into the MCU — Wanda’s ties to the X-Men are almost as strong as her association with the Avengers — the hoped for moment was dispelled once Monica (Teyonah Parris) looked at a Water and Power statement addressed to one Ralph Boehner (Evan Peters) and one of his headshots. The fake Pietro was an actor all along! He was also Agnes’s never-seen husband Ralph. Honestly, it’s a nice tying of the bow as any other explanation for the guy (short of another reality’s Pietro Maximoff) would require a lot of screentime.

But, of course, it means no X-Men related revelations occurred in the series as a whole. And in the last month, speculation about certain cameos ran rampant. We participated, of course, and until we saw Wanda’s father, Olek (Daniyar), last week we started to wonder if, perhaps, Ian McKellan would appear as Magneto at the last second just for Wanda to ask “Papa?” as the screen turned to black.

Such a scene is still possible in some other project, of course.

Unfortunately, much of the cameo game turned out to be a joke on the part of Paul Bettany, who admitted earlier this week that he was referring to himself as The Vision (more on that in moment) and not some truly earth-shattering special appearance.

Julian Hilliard and Jett Klyne in WandaVision

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Which leads to a question: Is WandaVision lesser for not having that shocking cameo? We’ve striven to let the show’s text guide us in our ponderings — even when it led us away from the Agatha Harkness fan theory. And while we always suggested Wanda’s powers could give us the X-Men — and used the Kick-Ass joke as evidence — we’re not exactly sad they didn’t appear. The one thing we’ve definitely held onto was Wanda’s grief as the reason for the Westview Anomaly. And though the show ended on a more melancholy note than we expected, we’re satisfied with the resolution to the mystery presented in the first three episodes.

Those expecting Mephisto may not be so satisfied. But hope for the Devil springs eternal and Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne) shouts in the last moments of the end-credit stinger should fuel the further possibility of his eventual arrival. With The Darkhold, the Dark Dimension, and a Mutliverse of madness in play, he is — like Thanos — inevitable. But he may, ultimately, have nothing to do with the twins’ continued existence.

Vision vs. The Vision: Which Is Which?

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in WandaVision

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

As in the comics, the use of the definite article in regard to Vision (Bettany) is inconsistent. To be sure, he is often addressed as “The Vision” on comic book covers and in stories, but characters just as often drop “the” as he becomes more than a title — an interchangeability he shares with the Batman, oddly enough. But in the program’s final cast list, it credits Bettany as both both Vision and The Vision, using that grammatical option as a way to differentiate the Vis we grew to love over the course of the series and the reanimated corpse of the original synthezoid.

And we’re here for it because it also speaks to the underlying conflict in their battle: the authenticity of Visions.

Indeed, after their thrilling fight, they have an equally thrilling conversation about who is The Vision really is — leading to, we suspect, the proper resurrection of the true Vision. The Vision’s mention of having been J.A.R.V.I.S., the AI in Tony Stark’s early Iron Man suits, seems to indicate his memories, self-awareness, and autonomy are again intact. But the fact their argument ends with them both truly being Vision and not The Vision (or is that vice versa?) also indicates The Vision will need to continue soul-searching before he can obtain his true colors.

Or, perhaps, that piece of the Mind Stone residing in Wanda will someday lead to The Vision becoming whole. In the meantime, we definitely love the elegant wordplay in differentiating Vision from The Vision. It’s definitely better than our pitch from last week: New Vision and Vision’s Corpse.

All that said, we love for both versions of the character to merge some day. Well, presuming Vis didn’t download his memories into The Vision already.

Will Monica Rambeau Become Director of S.W.O.R.D. or Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Teyonah Parris in WANDAVISION

(Photo by Suzanne Tenner/Marvel Studios - episode 105)

While it may have been the briefest resolution in the series, we were glad to see Dr. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) trap S.W.O.R.D. director Hayward (Josh Stamberg) so he could be taken into FBI custody. Although, we admit it would’ve been nice to see him get a more just dessert — a la Agatha becoming Agnes again.

Nevertheless, it puts Monica in a prime position to become director of S.W.O.R.D. But considering all that she’s learned about the organization in the last week, would she want the job? The fact she’s still wearing a S.W.O.R.D. shirt is a visual clue that it is indeed possible and, clearly, she could do good work there. But there is another tempting offer on the table.

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel poster

(Photo by Marvel Studios - Captain Marvel)

In what has to be our first glimpse of Secret Invasion, a Skrull operative spirits Monica away from the scene of Hayward’s crime to tell her “an old friend” of her mother wants to talk. In space. Now, there are two people who could be Maria Rambeau’s old friend: Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Nicholas J. Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). In terms of Marvel Studios’ production chronology, we’ll next see Monica in the Captain Marvel sequel, but we’re going to assume Fury has invited Monica to the orbital staging platform glimpsed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Which, of course, only leads to more questions about Fury.

For one thing: How long has that platform been there? Considering he was erased during the Blip, he could not have put this thing together in just a few weeks. That suggests it’s been there for a while and, perhaps, what he was working on before he turned to dust in 2019. But the Skrull operative leads to a new possibility — is the outpost even his? Perhaps the Skrulls put it there as part of their decades-long secret invasion.

Or, possibly, the platform is a next generation S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier capable of trans-atmospheric travel. Although Fury seemingly washed his hands of the agency at the end of Captain America: The Winter Solider — or left it in Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) capable hands if you accept Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as canon — we doubt he’d truly let it wither away no matter how disgraced Hydra left it or how many of its secrets Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) exposed.

If that is the case, it leaves Monica with an intriguing choice: lead S.W.O.R.D or join S.H.I.E.L.D. Granted, we’re presuming a lot about both organizations — like Fury having no stake in S.W.O.R.D. — and Monica’s interest in them. One thing is clear though from what we know of her so far: an invitation into space is something she cannot refuse. And while her powers are still mysterious — is she a being of pure light now? — we have no doubt the next time we see her, it will be out among the stars.

What’s Next? Will Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Provide Answers?

Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

The 20th century television sitcoms Wanda loved and emulated within the Hex took great pains to restore the status quo at the end of any given episode. On Bewtiched, Sam’s magic remained hidden and Darren stayed employed. The Bradys always found family unity and their housekeeper, Alice, always found the right quip. But WandaVision eschews that tendency — and, perhaps, Wanda’s greatest wish — for such tidy resolutions.

Although we now know Agatha’s main objective was to steal Wanda’s powers because she was “undeserving,” she is now imprisoned as “nosey neighbor” Agnes. It is unclear if she will continue to live in Westview with poor Ralph or in some sort of stasis near Wanda’s Sokovian cabin. And though it feels like a fitting punishment, is it really Wanda’s to dole out? She evaded any accounting for her own transgressions, after all. And while she did apologize to Monica, it feels incomplete without one of the townspeople offering some sort of absolution.

Then consider what Westview becomes without the Hex: dilapidated houses and a nearly abandoned downtown. It was on the brink of economic collapse before Wanda got there. And yet, the obvious pain its citizens were in, compounded by Wanda inadvertently forcing them to experience her own, means her cosmetic enhancements came at a terrible cost and further cement her as a villain. Nevertheless, Wanda is also the protagonist and by the grammar of the shows she idolized, she should be able to at least restore Westview to some prosperity as reparation. The fact she cannot is an interesting counter to the world she tried to make for herself. And in removing the Hex, she sacrificed the handful of things which brought her some joy in the weeks since the battle with Thanos.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Of course, trying to weigh that out leads back to the question of authenticity Vision and The Vision confronted. Does the pain she unleashed to create a false reality negate the grief she was in? Whose pain is the pain?

That ambiguity, and the haunting foreshadowing of the Scarlet Witch as an extinction-level event, is something we’ll have to live with until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness picks up the thread. But as we were always sympathetic to Wanda’s grief, we hope the character finds the help she needs and comes back from the brink.

In the meantime, we’ll congratulate WandaVision for using the grammar of television and the language of sitcoms to present these ideas to us. Also, we’ll thank them for eight weeks of wild theories, endless possibility, and one of Marvel Studios’ most emotionally resonant stories.

Read Also: “How WandaVision Recreated the Sitcoms of the Scarlet Witch’s Childhood

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Musicals deadpool Starz The Walt Disney Company Esquire foreign twilight godzilla razzies Box Office mission: impossible Black History Month christmas movies golden globes Academy Awards slashers supernatural Binge Guide Sundance Disney Rom-Com ratings popular docuseries cancelled marvel comics award winner festival political drama robots Election Spring TV child's play Tokyo Olympics FX strong female leads DC streaming service Amazon Prime Video Fall TV sports X-Men disaster Photos Comedy toronto Animation based on movie Comedy Central A&E singing competition facebook vampires superman Year in Review Pride Month Holiday AMC Schedule Fox Searchlight Arrowverse 93rd Oscars See It Skip It Ovation Emmy Nominations gangster travel Pirates Toys independent Pop anime olympics women spain TCA 2017 criterion fast and furious feel good The Arrangement SDCC Lifetime boxing Mary Poppins Returns GLAAD Opinion legend television animated psychological thriller critics series TV renewals video on demand science fiction 20th Century Fox movie 2017 The Walking Dead all-time VOD cops royal family diversity zero dark thirty Anna Paquin justice league The CW Thanksgiving Television Academy VH1 unscripted ViacomCBS technology medical drama dark LGBT Podcast spider-man TruTV heist movie Countdown french game show Fantasy ABC Family thriller miniseries south america CNN Summer halloween tv Music 99% Country cinemax best transformers TIFF Song of Ice and Fire HBO BBC romantic comedy Turner Classic Movies name the review rom-coms archives Disney streaming service Marathons Rock TCM Kids & Family serial killer First Look a nightmare on elm street 45 Brie Larson Travel Channel live action harry potter Set visit zombie green book 2018 australia The Academy Holidays comiccon football 1990s Nominations worst YouTube Red Carpet romance Video Games Reality laika Heroines Marvel Columbia Pictures nbcuniversal Chernobyl hidden camera critic resources OWN wonder woman obituary Freeform cancelled TV shows comedies Hallmark Christmas movies rotten movies we love Alien Funimation Rocketman CMT Avengers comics Best and Worst trailers TCA Winter 2020 Crunchyroll satire OneApp basketball jurassic park LGBTQ elevated horror MSNBC Sony Pictures APB canceled TV shows HBO Max ESPN king kong dexter 2019 breaking bad Vudu hollywood Exclusive Video PlayStation Watching Series theme song Apple TV+ franchise parents italian documentary Trailer Shondaland dramedy Ghostbusters canceled sag awards Extras cooking 007 rotten Elton John space BBC America Peacock Certified Fresh Lifetime Christmas movies RT History rt labs critics edition Oscars golden globe awards nfl Women's History Month TV 71st Emmy Awards prank Pixar Sundance TV Superheroe 4/20 Paramount USA Network DirecTV king arthur TV movies National Geographic Cartoon Network blockbuster adaptation Sundance Now 24 frames Comics on TV joker Wes Anderson WarnerMedia emmy awards Mystery YouTube Premium comic books Biopics dragons FXX Grammys universal monsters Film Festival Syfy E3 Super Bowl children's TV marvel cinematic universe mockumentary DGA MCU Western Pop TV crime Broadway scorecard Adult Swim comic book movie what to watch ABC Signature Cosplay 2015 spanish mutant Epix stand-up comedy new zealand talk show Paramount Plus adenture rt archives reviews worst movies Awards Tour young adult renewed TV shows New York Comic Con TCA superhero Black Mirror hist Food Network cats Logo Christmas TBS Acorn TV Sci-Fi lord of the rings Comic-Con@Home 2021 Tomatazos Awards james bond SundanceTV Tubi RT21 movies Rocky FX on Hulu dc true crime target IFC Marvel Studios composers 2016 Teen kaiju black documentaries quibi Lucasfilm Hulu blockbusters IFC Films MTV CBS Netflix Walt Disney Pictures mcc sitcom The Witch kids zombies stop motion slasher asian-american Apple book adaptation cancelled TV series stoner President japan 2021 Lionsgate Marvel Television GIFs 21st Century Fox Spectrum Originals comic book movies YouTube Red USA Amazon Prime Turner E! TCA Awards screenings witnail Masterpiece Mindy Kaling video teaser crossover revenge scene in color VICE cartoon Endgame fresh Shudder ID SXSW boxoffice high school Mudbound telelvision Calendar Universal Star Wars cancelled television Fox News ITV Britbox Tumblr 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Paramount Network chucky casting History Premiere Dates Trivia ABC venice festivals CW Seed politics police drama DC Comics nature finale Sneak Peek San Diego Comic-Con dceu anthology Amazon Studios TNT Dark Horse Comics natural history YA Interview news Warner Bros. Writers Guild of America halloween Family WGN batman 90s Nat Geo TV One ghosts A24 Trophy Talk Showtime monster movies free movies screen actors guild know your critic Emmys Valentine's Day suspense DC Universe new star wars movies Drama blaxploitation sequels war sequel Nickelodeon Classic Film toy story hispanic heritage month Winners films Horror BET Quiz Apple TV Plus streaming 2020 FOX PaleyFest Comic Book comic indie kong action-comedy hispanic The Purge Superheroes crime thriller Ellie Kemper Disney+ Disney Plus Amazon social media historical drama classics PBS latino cars Crackle debate indiana jones TV Land Reality Competition book spanish language Television Critics Association binge GoT Captain marvel new york game of thrones tv talk Martial Arts aapi Winter TV japanese CBS All Access posters Baby Yoda Stephen King versus Mary Tyler Moore cults psycho scary movies docudrama pirates of the caribbean Film streaming movies concert biography TLC Action directors Infographic adventure Legendary Polls and Games BAFTA Creative Arts Emmys BBC One NYCC Hear Us Out dogs doctor who spy thriller Pet Sematary Mary poppins Hallmark richard e. Grant jamie lee curtis Chilling Adventures of Sabrina HBO Go werewolf Pacific Islander Cannes period drama crime drama spinoff Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt saw Disney Plus Disney Channel Image Comics 73rd Emmy Awards 72 Emmy Awards discovery Musical Character Guide First Reviews American Society of Cinematographers international die hard Spike BET Awards biopic remakes rt labs Tarantino reboot aliens El Rey Star Trek NBC Discovery Channel Netflix Christmas movies NBA Bravo