‘WandaVision’ retrospective: brilliant confusion

April 9, 2021

I’ve watched all the Marvel movies since I was in the fifth grade, which is weird to think about considering I’m turning 20 soon. But these movies have been a really big part of my life, and ever since Thor’s character arch went down the drain I’ve been a huge supporter of Wanda and Vision. 

The show was everything I wanted and more. I absolutely adored it. They’ve got witches and fantastic leading ladies and a bunny. What more could I want? “WandaVision” balances light hearted humor from American sitcoms and serious undertones about grief and mourning. Not to mention the last episode is just flat out epic. You have two forms of Vision battling out who is the true form, Wanda coming into her power as the Scarlet Witch against Agatha Harkness and the set up for Monica Rambaeu’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 

This isn’t to say I wasn’t insanely confused after every episode, because I was. The entire time couldn’t even begin to guess what was going to happen next. While infuriating at the time, I think that is part of why I loved it so much. The show constantly kept me going to the internet to look up what aspects of the comics were being incorporated and what wasn’t. It managed to keep the audience hooked the whole time, eagerly awaiting that next episode to come out in order to figure out another piece of the puzzle. 

I think it’s really fitting that this show left people confused every week because it emulated just how confused Wanda was about everything, since she was unknowingly holding the town hostage using her magical sorceress powers—as people do. This whole show is about Wanda conquering her powers and gaining control of who she is. She even tells Agatha, “I don’t need you to tell me who I am,” because she finally knows who she is and what her power can do, which is something that Wanda’s character has struggled with her entire time in the MCU, especially back in “Captain America: Civil War” when she admits to Vision she doesn’t know what she is after she gained her powers. 

The Ship of Theseus metaphor in the final episode is genius. In the battle between the Visions, the Westview Vision brings up the thought experiment that the Ship of Theseus is still the Ship of Thesesus if all the planks and original parts have been replaced. This is key since White Vision’s motive was to kill the original Vision but the Westview Vision isn’t actually the original vision. He is something different. It calls to question identity and a big question of the series of what is this Vision exactly. Beyond that, this is something that is going to be really important for the MCU if it continues to expand. Since there is no end in sight to this franchise, this metaphor gives writers a free pass to resurrect characters underneath the notion that they’ve changed but still have the same identity, like the Ship of Theseus. 

I also loved Wanda and Vision’s goodbye scene. A big part of their relationship is both of them figuring out what they are, which they’ve never really had a grasp on. In their final scene, Westview Vision asks Wanda “What am I?” She tells him, “You are my sadness, and my hope; but mostly you are my love.” It is so beautiful and it is even more beautiful because, during the same episode, there is a flashback to when her brother dies and Vision tells her, “What is grief if not love persevering?” So you know in that final line to him that she has learned that her grief is also their love continuing, a lesson which she learned originally from him. If you didn’t cry during that scene you are a monster. 

The only way I could be mad about “WandaVision” is if it’s the set up for Wanda becoming a villain. I swear if she’s the MCU’s next super villain I am going to be so angry because her character has literally been through so much. She has to watch Vision die three times in the MCU, THREE TIMES. One of those times involved her having to be the one to actually kill him, only to have Thanos use the Time Stone to reverse time and kill him again in front of her. And she had to kill her two sons, Tommy and Billy, in order to bring Westview back to normal. I mean come on. She has gotten literally every short end of the stick Marvel could’ve given a character. 

Wanda has also had such an incredible arch going from Hydra, to the Avengers, to accepting her powers, to now having finally mastered them. I think it would be a real crime if the MCU wants to take all the progress she’s made after having endured all that she did and make her into a villain. There’s been a lot of speculation about her becoming the main antagonist in “Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness” because of what happens in the comics. Basically, Wanda makes a deal with the devil, Mephisto, to try and get her kids back, but her kids existence is kinda sketchy since they come from her power. It’s basically the equivalent of how Elsa made a dress using her ice powers. In the post-credits scene of “WandaVision” you see Wanda reading the book of the damned, which generally isn’t a light read for a protagonist. While reading you can hear the voices of her kids yelling for her to save them. So there is the potential for Marvel to use that plot line from the comics to make her into the next villain. 

The decision to make her a villain would be super disheartening because Wanda’s entire time in the MCU has been propped up by men: first by her brother, then Hawkeye, then Captain America and then Vision. She is finally standing on her own two feet figuring things out for herself, and to create a villain out of her would just be wrong. If the MCU thinks that they can turn this now self-aware, independent and empowered woman into a villain I will scream.

Overall, 10/10 would recommend. Be prepared to cry at the end and join the club of everyone else anxiously waiting for the release of “Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness.” In the meantime, watch Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That’s how the rest of us are coping.  

Sabrina: “she’s losing her vision? Is she going blind.”

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