“The Scarlet Witch is not born, she is forged.”
Through nine episodes of WandaVision, which concluded its first season on Friday, we watched as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most neglected characters took the spotlight and became its most powerful. We watched as Wanda Maximoff was forged into the Scarlet Witch.
“It was always the design with these shows that they feel like a run of a comic,” showrunner Jac Schaeffer told The Hollywood Reporter in January—and after only nine issues, WandaVision has completed its run. Although there will likely be fans who are disappointed that the finale didn’t bring in the likes of Reed Richards, Professor Xavier, Clea, Mephisto, or whoever else came up during weeks of constant theorizing, WandaVision neatly tied up the MCU’s first Disney+ show by ending how it started: with Wanda and Vision. The series stirred up a chaotic discourse over its eight weeks, but ultimately stayed true to being a story about the love between a synthezoid and a grieving witch, while setting the standard for Marvel’s many TV shows to come.
But while WandaVision may be over, the Scarlet Witch’s story is only beginning. Wanda has confronted years of grief head-on (in a rather unhealthy way, but still) and now leaves Westview stronger than ever. Vision is alive yet again—well, sort of—and the twins have sadly vanished with the magic that was used to create them. But as Wanda and her Chaos Magic has proved: In the Marvel universe, death may not be the end.
For our final WandaVision recap, we’ll break down what happened in Westview one last time before taking a look ahead at what’s to come in the MCU.
What’s Really Happening?
The finale wastes no time jumping into the action, picking up right where we left off last week, with Agatha dangling Wanda’s children before her in the streets of Westview. In an instant, Wanda manages to overpower Agatha with her magic, allowing Billy and Tommy to speed away to safety—but it plays out as Agatha intended. The purple-clad witch tells Wanda that she “takes power from the undeserving,” and just as she did to her coven back in Salem, Agatha absorbs Wanda’s magic for herself. After Wanda launches her Buick Verano at Agatha (triggering a quick, if too on-the-nose, allusion to The Wizard of Oz), White Vision drops in … and immediately tries to squeeze Wanda’s head like a grape.
What follows is somehow WandaVision’s first full action sequence, as Vision swoops in to save his wife, and the two witches and synthezoids begin to fight each other in a classic MCU final battle. Director Hayward and Co. evidently programmed their weapon to kill Vision in addition to Wanda, and so the white synthezoid turns his focus toward eliminating his carbon copy. While the Visions are flying in the air, zapping and phasing in and out of each other, Wanda and Agatha head to the crowded town square, where Agatha takes a different approach.
In an attempt to show Wanda that she is the world-destroying force that was prophesied, Agatha severs Wanda’s mind control over Westview’s residents. One by one, Wanda’s sitcom neighbors return to their natural states, and turn toward Wanda in anger and terror. Dottie remembers that she’s actually Sarah, and begs Wanda to let her see her 8-year-old daughter again. Norm says that they all experience Wanda’s nightmares when she lets them sleep, while Mrs. Hart adds that Wanda is poisoning them with her grief. As Wanda becomes suffocated by everyone circling her and pleading for their lives, she loses control and accidentally uses her magic to choke everyone. She immediately frees them from her hold, but at long last, Wanda sees her sitcom reality for what it truly is. “Heroes don’t torture people,” Agatha chirps from a distance.
In response, Wanda begins to remove her hex around Westview so the townspeople can escape—but there’s a catch. Vision and the twins begin to disintegrate, just as Vision did when he tried to leave Westview. Agatha puts Wanda’s choice in plain terms: “Save Westview or save your family.” Wanda chooses her family, saving them before they perish but trapping the rest of the town once again, just as they’d finally been given hope of escaping. When S.W.O.R.D. arrives at the scene to add to the chaos, it becomes the Maximoff family against the world.
Meanwhile, Monica has been stuck on the sidelines at Agatha’s house, with Fake Pietro holding her captive. Before long, though, Monica solves a mystery that lingered for most of the season: Agnes’s missing husband, Ralph, was never a villain in waiting, but rather just some poor sap who happened to live in the house next door to Wanda’s plot of land. Removing his bewitched necklace and freeing him from Agatha’s hold, Monica makes her acquaintance with a lowly actor named Ralph ... Bohner. (I just have to say, what an incredible troll job by the WandaVision team here. Not only did Pietro have absolutely nothing to do with Evan Peters’s Quicksilver from the X-Men universe, but Agnes’s mysterious husband turned out to be some guy of zero consequence who basically boiled down to being a dick joke.)
Monica times her escape well. She enters the fray just as director Hayward, monster that he is, begins FIRING A GUN at Billy and Tommy. Using her recently acquired superpowers, Monica steps in front of the children and takes nearly every bullet in the chest, allowing each shell to harmlessly phase through her as if they’re passing through a bowl of very thick Jell-O. As Hayward doubles down on his attempt to kill kids, hopping in a military truck to run them over, Darcy Lewis—still driving around her incredible funnel cake truck—rams into him, committing apparent vehicular manslaughter but also saving the day.
As all the action converges in the town square, the Visions take their fight to the library—both literally and figuratively. White Vision ceases his attack when his pink counterpart explains the flaw in his directive to “destroy the Vision.” They begin to hover in a circle opposite one another and start chatting about identity metaphysics. Citing the “Ship of Theseus” thought experiment, Westview Vision helps his newly formed clone see that neither of them is actually the true Vision, but merely pieces of him. Westview Vision convinces White Vision to let him upload his original memories so he can experience them for himself, and that does the trick: White Vision sees their collective past—from flying in Sokovia to getting killed by Thanos—and accepts the fact that he, too, is Vision, if only a copy of him. With that, he simply flies off, never to be seen again. (Seriously, though, where the hell did this guy just go?! It’s as if he suddenly remembered he had left the stove on, like, 10 MCU movies ago, and rushed to turn it off before burning down the Avengers tower.)
After Wanda plays one of her old mind games with Agatha to pull them back to 1693 for a brief (and very creepy) reunion with Agatha’s coven in Salem, Wanda and Agatha take to the skies for one final duel. As Wanda hurls her magic at Agatha, letting her believe that she’s absorbing all of Wanda’s power, the student quickly becomes the master; just as Agatha taught her, Wanda’s “misfires” were incantations placing runes around the hex, preventing Agatha from using any magic herself. Reabsorbing her power, along with some of Agatha’s, Wanda transforms into the true Scarlet Witch:
With Agatha neutralized, Wanda chooses a fitting role for her as punishment: the nosy neighbor, Agnes. Wanda then begins the countdown on Westview, shuttering her hex around the town and finally putting a stop to all the pain and destruction she’s caused. The Maximoff family returns to their Westview home one last time to say their goodbyes. For Wanda and Vision, this time, at least they can do it on their own terms. Vision asks his creator what he is, and Wanda replies: “You, Vision, are the piece of the Mind Stone that lives in me. You are a body of wires, and blood, and bone, that I created. You are my sadness and my hope. But mostly, you’re my love.”
“I have been a voice with no body,” Vision says, referring to his past life as Tony Stark’s virtual assistant. “A body, but not human. But now, a memory made real. Who knows what I might be next?”
The hex comes to a close, consuming the Maximoff household with it, and bringing Wanda back to where it all started: an empty plot of land where she and Vision had hoped to build a new life together. After a final goodbye to Monica (as well as a deserved sea of death stares from all the Westview residents), Wanda flies off into the sunset and the season concludes.
After the Credits Roll
Setting Up Captain Marvel 2
The first of two stingers focuses on Monica Rambeau. With Jimmy Woo and the FBI cleaning up the mess in Westview (including arresting Hayward for his terrible “Vision” pun), Monica is pulled aside by an agent who tells her that she’s needed in the movie theater. But the theater is completely empty. “I was sent by an old friend of your mother’s,” the agent says as her face shape-shifts into its natural alien form. “He heard you’ve been grounded. He’d like to meet with you.”
When Monica asks where, the Skrull simply points to the sky, earning a big smile from Rambeau in return.
While Monica’s supposedly mundane task of chaperoning an imaging drone to New Jersey turned out to be just a bit more interesting than anticipated, the S.W.O.R.D. agent can now return to space like she originally wanted. She grew up around Skrulls in Captain Marvel, and now, either the Skrull leader Talos or Nick Fury wants to catch up with her.
All of this works toward setting up the events of Captain Marvel 2, and potentially the future Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which is set to star Samuel L. Jackson as Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos. Now equipped with superpowers of her own, Monica will also reunite with Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel 2. Maybe then we’ll find out what happened between Monica and her mother’s best friend that seemed to cause such a rift in their relationship.
Into the Multiverse of Madness
Though Doctor Strange never made a guest appearance in WandaVision, the Sorcerer Supreme did receive a shout-out in the series finale. When Agatha is telling Wanda what it means to be the Scarlet Witch, she says: “Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s your destiny to destroy the world.” This comes after Agatha explains that there’s an entire chapter on the Scarlet Witch in the Darkhold, “the book of the damned,” which glowed ominously when Wanda discovered it in Agatha’s basement.
In the series’ last post-credits scene, we find Wanda making herself some tea in a remote cabin tucked away in a beautiful snowy mountain range. But as the camera pans past Wanda as she walks toward a screaming kettle, the Scarlet Witch is simultaneously in the bedroom, parsing through the Darkhold in the astral plane—a level of multitasking only previously performed by Stephen Strange. Before the scene comes to a close, the twins’ cries for help echo throughout the room.
As she promised Monica she would before leaving Westview, Wanda is learning more about her true powers, and she’s doing so from the book of the damned itself. Seeing how she’s already hopping into other dimensions, she’s clearly picking it up quickly. Wanda may not have broken the multiverse during WandaVision, but now she is learning dark magic, and seemingly searching for a way to bring her children back to life.
With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness a little more than a year away, Wanda may already be on her way to fulfilling that disastrous destiny, one that the Sorcerer Supreme will likely be tasked with preventing. “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed,” Agatha warned Wanda as she emerged from their battle wearing her Scarlet Witch costume for the first time in the MCU. As Wanda continues to dive deeper into the dark magic of the Darkhold, she doesn’t seem too concerned with Agatha’s words, choosing to gain more knowledge and power just as Agatha did centuries ago.
Though the end-credit scenes may look ahead at Marvel’s seemingly infinite future of films and, now, TV shows, WandaVision avoided any crowd-pleasing cameos from mutants, demons, or astrophysicists. Instead, it stayed its course to conclude a story of a deeply traumatized witch who lost her grip on reality. The show may have had its blemishes and hiccups while melding its quirky sitcom homages with traditional MCU fare. But led by Elizabeth Olsen’s phenomenal performance, WandaVision highlighted a character who is neither hero nor villain, and allowed the MCU to reach exciting, new heights.