With the penultimate episode of the miniseries, WandaVision goes around and, after going through various television eras, passing through the most disparate genres, begins to be a real product of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in many respects, despite being inspired by an American documentary miniseries called This is your life. Not everyone will appreciate this return to normal for a miniseries that has made its absurd format a workhorse. It started out as a black and white sitcom and over the weeks it regained color, regained a modern narrative and, at one point, even downloaded the recorded laughter. However, the eighth episode is the mainstay of the series. Not only does he answer a lot of questions, but he finally really focuses on the character of Wanda Maximoff, which we thought we knew and which, in retrospect, had only been sketched out.
On the previous episodes
The episode falls so much within the traditional canons that it even lacks the advertising staccato over which viewers struggle every week. WandaVision 1x08 even begins with a flashback, set in Salem 1600: a coven of witches burns the young Agatha Harkness at the stake, accusing her of improperly using dark magic. The most powerful witch in the coven would seem to be her own mother, but Agatha however, he manages to kill them all and escape it. In the present, however, Agatha / Agnes has imprisoned Wanda in her basement, in a circle of runes that prevents her from using her powers. Agatha strongly believes that Wanda has transformed Westview with magic, then we discover that she is not really the puppeteer behind the scenes, but rather a witch who has infiltrated the illusion of the ESA to find out who had produced it. In short, history becomes twisted, and this is only the beginning.
Agatha forces Wanda to relive the pivotal moments in her story to better understand her abilities. For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it is a precious moment, because we see and review some backstories that have only been mentioned in the films and that help us to outline even better a multifaceted character like Wanda. We relive with her the fateful evening when the Stark Industries bomb killed her parents in Juices and we begin to better understand the logic behind the Westview transformation. Wanda was actually a fan of the Dick Van Dyke Show, watching along with her brother and parents to learn English. They were watching his favorite episode, the night of the tragedy, and so we see the famous scene from the head that doesn't break out for two days, a story that Wanda and Pietro tell to Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Agatha, however, senses that the bomb did not go off for a specific reason: Wanda.
Years later, Wanda undergoes the experiments ofHYDRA with Loki's scepter, without knowing that an Infinity Stone is kept inside. The mind gem would appear to react to Wanda's presence, even showing her a vision. Agatha deduces that the gem didn't empower Wanda - it just brought them to the surface. Episode 6, the one inspired by Malcolm in the Middle, finds justification in the next flashback. Wanda is in the Avengers Tower shortly after the death of Peter. The sit-com episode, which he watches absently, is the backdrop for a nice conversation with Vision about the meaning of love and loss. It is perhaps the first moment in which a connection is created between the two, which will then be broken by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. In another flashback, we finally see Wanda's phantom raid on SWORD HQ and, unsurprisingly, we discover that Hayward is a big liar. Wanda didn't steal Vision, if anything, it was he who showed her the body of the sytezoid in pieces to convince her to give up: she just wanted to bury it.
Be careful, though, because there may be an important detail in this scene, which is not the quote from Avengers: Infinity War - when Wanda puts her hand to the forehead of Vision's severed head and whispers "I don't perceive you anymore" - as much as the moment Hayward insinuates that Wanda wants to take Vision back to resurrect it. We will return to this. In any case, aware that Vision is gone forever, Wanda gets in the car and drives off. Drive to Eastview, this quiet village where the foundations of a suburban house are being built. Wanda parks and opens an envelope containing a title deed, made out to her and Vision, with a dedication: that would be the house in which they should grow old together. And then Wanda, caught in a grip of pain, loneliness and despair, loses control of her powers and rewrites the entire city, generating an exact copy of Vision from nothing.
And I mean, in the end, it was she who really created Westview. It seems that she was not trapped against her will and that there was no one else to manipulate this strange reality ... although we continue to have some suspicions about Dottie, if only why waste Emma Caulfield so it seemed strange to us. The episode is, in short, a mega summary of the ... previous episodes, in fact, but arrived at the final act, it works wonderfully, it gives a logical sense to the meta-narrative absurdities that we have seen from the beginning and, above all, yes supports the excellent acting rehearsals of Kathryn Hahn e Elizabeth olsen: the latter, in particular, manages to wonderfully interpret the various moments in Wanda's life, maintaining a perfect balance between the hardness of her character and the desperation that devours her internally until she burst. Watching the episode carefully, you notice - and feel - a real crescendo.
Witches, spells and copyright
The last two scenes of the episode, with the credits in the middle, represent the sensational cinecomic turning point of the whole miniseries. We are literally in the final battle: Agatha has taken Wanda's children hostage, children who really exist because Wanda created them. Spontaneous creation, says Agatha, more and more intrigued, and probably also feeling a little threatened, by Wanda's extraordinary powers. He calls it "chaos magic" and, in the end, declares: "I know who you are ... Scarlet Witch"Okay, let's stop for a moment. We know that for many comic book fans it was great to finally hear that nickname being pronounced; on the other hand, in Spanish it doesn't just sound a little ridiculous, but also wrong. In the original dialogue, Agatha says: "This is chaos magic, Wanda. And that makes you ... the Scarlet Witch. "In Spanish it should have been something like," This is chaos magic, Wanda, and that makes you… the Scarlet Witch. ”Which actually makes quite a different sense.
We need to make a couple of considerations. The first is that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlet Witch has never been mentioned before because, well, until recently it was not possible: the name belonged to Fox. Do you remember all that story about rights we told you about a few weeks ago, when Pietro di Evan Peters? Here, they also included the nom de guerre Scarlet Witch. But the thing is also a bit more complicated, because the name in question has reflected, over the decades, all the ret-con that the House of Ideas has brought to the character of Wanda Maximoff. When they conceived it in '64, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had called her Scarlet Witch because her costume resembled that of a sorceress and her mutant powers allowed her to alter the odds, which was a different way of saying she could do whatever she wanted.
Today Wanda is not even a mutant anymore, but other than that, some time ago, we discovered an interesting detail about her family past when she and Agatha met the spirit of Natalya, Wanda's mother, who was a Scarlet Witch before her, as her mother had been, and so on. That of the Scarlet Witch would seem to be a role that the Maximoff family has been passing down for generations: when Wanda began to develop her powers, she felt within herself the innate knowledge of being the Scarlet Witch. In the Marvel comics, Wanda also taps into the power of chaos, a branch of magic presided over by a Lovecraftian entity better known as Chthon who dwells in Mount Wundagore. On top of that, in a very old X-Men # 4 cartoon in which Wanda first appears, a man yells at her that "she's a Scarlet Witch and her power must be destroyed." Which is kind of what Agatha intends to do, which doesn't necessarily put her in the bad role.
So Kevin Feige and the creator of the miniseries, Jac Schaffer, have mixed the comic origins and the cinematographic ones of Wanda to finally introduce the nickname Scarlet Witch and give it a logical sense: if we understand correctly, but probably the last episode will clarify the question, a Scarlet Witch would be a mythological being who taps into the power of chaos to shape reality. This leads us directly to the scene after the credits, where we see Hayward use Wanda's energy from the missile he dropped at her to power a white Vision. This scene is also inspired by comics, and in particular a cycle of stories written by John Byrne towards the end of the 80s: in these books, Vision was first dismantled and then rebuilt by Hank Pym, but it lost its humanity, represented through the colors of his body. For a time he served among the Avengers with a completely white costume and a cynical and aloof character.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first thing Vision does after coming out of the Regenerative Cradle in Avengers: Age of Ultron is to paint their body. And in fact, when Thanos peels off the mind gem from his forehead, the syntezoid becomes gray again. Now we just have to wait a week to understand if the White Vision will be the "final boss" of WandaVision, if the production will keep him aside for the future, if this means that the real Vision has a chance to return to the real world or if Wanda will have to accept his disappearance once and for all and move on with her life. And what will become of Agatha and her children? An hour of television will be enough to tell us all this and give a satisfactory closure to Monica and all the others? But above all: who the hell is Evan Peters?
An episode with a more traditional register, this WandaVision 1x08, but absolutely essential to better understand the whole Disney + miniseries and the character of Wanda, finally outlined better in the course of almost 45 minutes, masterfully supported by the performances of Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn. We are practically at the finish line: will they be able to deliver the memorable ending that WandaVision deserves?
- Scarlet Witch!
- The deepening of the character of Wanda between past, present and future
- A more ordinary episode than the initial formula of the miniseries
- Agatha's crucial line almost completely changes meaning in Spanish